Faith Healing

As we move into chapter 14 of Matthew, Peter’s faith is challenged, and this pertains to health.  At this time the disciples were in a boat on the lake while Jesus had gone up a hill by himself to pray.  The lake became rough during the wee hours of the morning and Jesus came to them walking on the water.  The disciples were terrified and they thought it was a ghost approaching them. From Matthew 14 verses 27 – 32:Jesus spoke to them at once.  “Courage!” he said.  “It is I.  Don’t be afraid!” Then Peter spoke up.  “Lord, if it is really you, order me to come out on the water to you.”“Come!” answered Jesus.  So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus.  But when he noticed the strong wind, he was afraid and started to sink down in the water.  “Save me, Lord!” he cried. At once Jesus reached out and grabbed hold of him and said, “What little faith you have!  Why did you doubt? ”They both got into the boat, and the wind died down.  Then the disciples in the boat worshipped Jesus.


“Truly you are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. Beginning a lean journey takes a LOT of faith healing.  Nothing like Peter faced, but a lot of faith nonetheless.  During that first year of a lean journey when an organization is just learning what lean truly is – the importance of developing and investing in people, growing the culture, and leadership learning to lead lean – there is a good chance that breakthrough results are not going to happen.  People are learning to crawl, then walk by the end of that first year.  It’s sometimes hard for management to be patient.  Some of them want results – RIGHT NOW! “We’re paying how much for these people to walk the gemba, map processes, perform root cause analysis, determine action plans, and then finally DO SOMETHING?

Are Doctors okay?

Yes, absolutely, there is nothing wrong with going to doctors and health specialists, and it is in no way a counter to your faith.  We must never take matters of faith as something so technical and not relational.   We have many health centers (Parkland), dermatologists (rlingtondermatology.net), and pain treatment specialists like Intervential Spine Associates in Dallas.  We like to teach that people can be healed by the amount of faith they have and/or by the amount of wisdom they have.  Faith heals, but it’s wise to go to a doctor who also heals.  The main thing is your health–keep it by using faith and wisdom.


And don’t even get me STARTED on the consultant’s tab!” I once had a c-level person pull me aside during a gemba walk, while team members were getting their very first look at a process so they could understand it, and tell me that we were wasting time – that we needed to start solving the problems.  I believe this person subscribed to what Christian Paulsen dubbed the The Silly Cycle.  In other words, instead of PDCA, just DDDD.

Earlier in my career as a lean coach I used to feel a sense of failure when not all of my teams were able to show a tremendous ROI, especially since they had taken a lot of time and effort to make improvements.  They would often save a lot of space, time, motion, or transportation of items, but not always something that fit directly into an ROI formula very well.


It wasn’t until I learned that with lean what we often get is a freeing up of resources, and that improvements don’t necessarily fit perfectly into a spread sheet that I finally gained a better perspective on what lean is really all about – not seeing it as cost-cutting initiative – which is a misguided and often short-lived approach to lean in the first place.Now, this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t expect some great results.  Of course we should – after we’ve developed our people, leadership, and culture.  But to go forcing it, demanding it, kind of reminds me of the Pharisees demanding a miracle from Jesus (Matthew 12: 38-39).  It’s also the kind of perspective that can kill a budding lean journey before it even has a chance to bloom.