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News - August 2008

Continuous 5S: What it Can Do To An Organization, and To You

Date Posted: Aug 2, 2008 at 01:08:22 AM

by Grace S. de Guzman


The second stride of the momentous 5S program of the University—slated August 11 to 15—is still being incessantly pursued, with 36 inspectors tasked to inspect, evaluate, and monitor the community’s pledged compliance.


The big question: Who must sustain?


We face the tight spot of whether or not to devote our attention, energy, and effort for a certain cause. We feel overwhelmed when issues and concerns are in our hands and require our attention to address it. We assume that there are “others” who will take care of and be responsible for those.


Who will be responsible for the cleanliness and orderliness of our campus? Anyone responsible for sustaining these initiated efforts?


Indeed, higher expectations need to be set to encourage growth.
That is what is expected of companies and organizations.


Remember: the intent of 5S is to have only what you need in the workplace. Have a designated place for everything, a standard way of doing things, and the discipline to maintain it.


Everyone in the organization


This is an odd but proven fact: Change is something that not everyone is comfortable with. Though it is a customary condition that our automatic response to change is to resist it, we must, in this case, consider thinking otherwise.


Here’s another trivial rumination: it is important to remember that organizations do not exist. Organizations are not commodities or things. They do not exist in the sense that a book, a chair, or a computer exists. Organizations are made of people in relationship with other people. Organizational change is a “personal change.” To create fine change in the organization is tantamount to changing our “own” behavior, mindset and changing the people-related and people-perpetuated systems that are involved in our work.


5S is a form of intervention; an intervention to effectively change people’s behavior and mindsets towards a systematic process of workplace organization. And when we are serious about it, 5S brings change to ourselves and to the institutions that we belong to.


This is everyone’s responsibility and accountability.


If 5S will be taken with dedication, as a deeply-rooted responsibility and accountability, the way we perform at work will be different. If the change that 5S brings is to yield renewed and productive perspective about work and performance, then it will have a beneficial impact on the entire organization. It is the performance of people that is the true benchmark of organizational performance.


As Landmark Education Corporation defined responsibility: it starts with saying you are cause in the matter. Being responsible starts with the willingness to deal with a situation from the point of view that you are the generator of what you do, what you havel, and what you are. That is not the truth. It is a place to stand. No one can make you responsible, nor can you impose responsibility on another. It is a grace you give yourself- an empowering context that leaves you with a say in the matter of life.