I will never forget the day when everything went silent….

stay home

For good or bad, 2020 has happened. This leaves us with a choice – curl up in a heap and wait for things to improve or use the opportunity to take a long hard look at ourselves, personally and professionally and become lean and able to adapt to changing circumstances quickly and efficiently.



Time to clear the MUDA.


I woke up early hours of our first day of lock-down with such a strange, eery silence not even a sound of a car in the distance.  Overnight things as we knew it changed. My first reaction was to panic, thinking about all the things I would not be able to do, a simple thing like just walking my dogs not being able to visit my folks.  Life changed, my husband started working from home. He was now in my space in my office.  My daughter, who had just moved out and I had finally gotten used to her being at university, was now back home.  A lot of our training got cancelled and we had a busy time ahead.

At the end of week 1 and going into week 2, I realised that I had a choice to make. I could be blinded by the negativity or I could choose to learn and adapt. This was now the new normal and I had to decide what changes needed to be made.

I am not sure if you did this, but I registered for so many webinars as so many people were saying they could help navigate this new world this Covid-19 world I found myself in.  I joined the first “The REAL Connect Summit”. This was a whole weekend of speakers from all over the world, who were all in lock-down as well, that I would normally have had to pay for or whose conferences I would not have been able to attend.

In one of the talks the speaker was looking at a number of principals but the one that I locked onto was a Japanese word: Muda.  Just as I do, I went and researched what this word actually meant.

Muda is a traditional and general Japanese term for waste or anything that does not have or add value.  It refers to the inefficiencies within processes which you can seek to reduce or eliminate entirely.

This got me thinking about the times we are in.  Suddenly, we have had to re-evaluate what is important.  Many people have had to adjust spending.  Most of us have had to adjust how we are working. We need to be more creative and maybe adjust our offerings or even re-invent ourselves.  We are having to become lean.

What does this mean?

  • We need to start identifying the waste in both our private and our professional lives, by writing these down.
  • We need to be conscious of and accountable for the waste.
  • Measure what effect this waste has had on us or our business, then we need to eliminate or reduce the waste.


This might mean getting rid of things in your life: accounts that are not necessary anymore, if you have a business you might need to identify those that don’t add value to your business.  We will need to make sure that we become valuable to our customers or to our employees or we will become the eliminated waste on their side.


As we move to level 3 and so much more starts to open up again, remember not to take the waste with you go in lean.