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UW Finance

Diversity in a Lean Environment

Team members share ideas at a lean event.

Financial Management has a long history of valuing diversity.  As we grow our Lean culture, we are learning that the most valuable expression of diversity is the diversity of ideas for continuous improvement proposed by every member of a working group.  Rather than limiting the concept of diversity to the physical or cultural nature of a person, Lean provides an opportunity for the diversity of ideas to be recognized and encouraged.  A Lean environment empowers all staff through participation in Lean workgroups.  As we track implemented ideas, we will be able to measure the engagement of staff participating in continuous improvement.

One outcome of our Lean journey is that departments are so focused on improving their own process that we sometimes lose track of the work being done in other Financial Management areas. In order to avoid developing silos and encouraging knowledge of the broader community, we invite individual departments to hold a Lean Open House, where all Financial Management staff can visit, see the visual boards and learn how Lean is advancing the goals and initiatives of the department.

Lean provides an opportunity for the diversity of ideas to be recognized and encouraged.

Departments can volunteer for these events, with one to be held every few months throughout the year.  This will be an opportunity to meet and greet your fellow Financial Management colleagues, and pick up some new ideas that you can use in your own department.  We suggest a two hour window for the event (11am to 1pm) and food! Volunteer to host a Lean Open House.

The UW Lean Team has a great website, which includes opportunities for training to support professional development and introduce new employees to UW Finance Lean culture.

Tell us your ideas about ways we can honor diversity in a Lean Financial Management.