Driving out Non-Value-Added Activities
Time for America to toss out the waste.
One of the primary tasks of business is to define what the ultimate goals of the business are going to be and then to examine all the activities of business to discover and eliminate non-value-added work and increase the amount of value-added work.
A big part of any successful business is to amplify finite resources by hunting and eliminating waste.
One of the things you learn when you are trained in LEAN/Six Sigma techniques are the 8 Wastes, known in the biz by the acronym DOWNTIME:
Defects – Products or services that are out of specification that require resources to correct.
Overproduction – Producing too much of a product before it is ready to be sold.
Waiting – Waiting for the previous step in the process to complete.
Non-Utilized Talent – Employees that are not effectively engaged in the process
Transportation – Transporting items or information that is not required to perform the process from one location to another.
Inventory – Inventory or information that is sitting idle (not being processed).
Motion – People, information or equipment making unnecessary motion due to workspace layout, ergonomic issues or searching for misplaced items.
Extra Processing – Performing any activity that is not necessary to produce a functioning product or service.
When I compare the United States, our society, culture, and political class to our world competitors for leadership, I use these concepts to evaluate where we are and what we are doing – and it certainly seems we have evolved to spend a lot of time on waste – non-value-added activities.
What is the definition of non-value-added activities?
In the case of America, it is any activity that does not support the achievement of the nation’s goals.
It is wasted time, money and effort doing anything that does not add value to the American people.
On supposes that raises the question of what are the goals of America?
I believe our goals are found in the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. If I look at the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, I compare them to a business’ statement of core values (the Declaration) and a mission statement (the Constitution).
Our goals are to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness through a government designed to be focused on, and limited to, preserving and protecting those three things. There is nothing in these documents about creating Utopia through social engineering, nothing about managing a national economy, and certainly nothing about creating “equity”.
In my view, things like climate change, BLM, ANTIFA, CRT, transgenderism, affirmative action, Modern Monetary Theory, a partisan and politicized government, institutionalized graft, government handouts, minoritarianism (being ruled by, or bending the majority to the will of a minority), border insecurity, never-ending wars of convenience, and the fear and ceding of global leadership – mostly the entire Democrat Party platform, are all non-value-added wastes when defined in the context of reaching America’s goals.
But hey, I’m a partisan.
But it isn’t hard to see how all these things are counter to the three main goals of America – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
While China focuses their people on their goal of world domination, their children are being drilled in math and science. Their military is being trained in war. Their industries are awash in ambitious projects on earth and in space. They are busy acquiring and exploiting energy resources.
Of course, none of this is by choice, the CCP is directing it toward a desired outcome, but all value-added toward their goals.
But compare their activities to those in America. Our children are being indoctrinated in Drag Queen culture, transgenderism, social activism, and hatred for their own country. Our math and science scores are falling. Our military is focused on diversity and equity rather than warfighting. Our industrial capacity has been steadily falling with key materials and products made offshore. The Biden government went to war with our domestic energy production about thirty seconds after inauguration.
Of course, all of this is being done by choice, the Biden Administration and the Democrats are directing it toward their desired outcome, all non-value-added toward America’s goals.
It isn’t difficult to determine the winner and loser in this scenario, especially if the Republicans don’t begin to eliminate the waste.
If they don’t, it is up to the people to do it.
And we will.