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'CLARE SAYS': The 8th Waste...the one that crushes the Human Spirit

As the founder of Cannsult, It's great to see topics spark interest within our community of learners and practitioners! We recently posted a blog about the 8 Wastes, which is a well-known Lean concept and it definitely caused a spark! So, what's interesting about this old topic? It's interesting, because there used to be only 7 wastes and for about 40 years, the Lean community accepted those 7 Wastes. Until the 1990's when Canon presented the concept of the eighth waste, Non-Utilized Talent.

The debate over the 8th Waste is a sort of obsession for many (ahem) "seasoned" Lean practitioners and a source of confusion for new Lean Six Sigma explorers. Should it be included? Is it a real waste? What does it even mean?

Well, it should be included. It is very real. And it means that in our process is the worst kind of waste... the waste of human talent or skills. The waste of our most precious asset.

What's different about the 8th Waste is that it's not as easy to recognize and it's certainly no easy thing to fix. But that's no reason to eject it from the types of waste! And besides, we can't make a cool acronym like "DOWNTIME" or "TIMWOODS" without it!

Examples of the 8th Waste

Here, we offer some simple, real-life, everyday examples of the 8th Waste that we've seen. I'll put them in order of Most Obvious, Somewhat Obvious, and Cleverly and Devastatingly Hidden:

Most Obvious