A project team we coach requests that foremen include a short report on a Lean initiative with their weekly plan declarations. One of the foremen reported that they “can’t get any leaner than we already are.” The project superintendent did a fantastic job of asking another foreman to report on a significant improvement her team had recently accomplished. The point made was that even with her ten years of experience with this operation she still was able to make a significant time-saving, quality-increasing improvement.
We can always get better, and our work can always become more closely aligned with Lean thinking and practices.
I seriously doubt Katie Ledecky is thinking “I can’t get any faster than I already am.”