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  • Brian M Winningham

Construction Suicide Finale - The Spiritual Side of Lean - Podcast


Show Notes:

The Lost Episode – Spiritual Side of Lean


In this episode, Adam Hoots is joined by Julie Dolan, Brian Winningham and guest Joe Pryor, Vice President of Field Operations for Ruddick Construction Group. Joe shares his background in the construction industry and his journey from working in his family's masonry business to becoming a general contractor. Julie introduces herself as an engineer and lean practice leader, and expresses her excitement for the podcast series. The episode also features a poem that prompts Joe to reflect on his feelings and connection to it.


The team talks about the issue of a lack of respect in the industry, both from society as a whole and within the workplace itself. They highlight the negative consequences of this lack of respect on productivity and the quality of work. It is mentioned that when respect is absent, employees tend to have a negative attitude and the overall quality of work suffers. This suggests that without respect, employees may lack motivation and fail to put in the necessary effort to produce high-quality work.


Furthermore, the team discusses how tools and processes, such as lean principles, are intended to foster relationships and facilitate communication. However, they note that if there is a lack of respect, these tools may not effectively improve productivity and quality. They emphasize the importance of building relationships and treating others with respect as crucial for success in the industry. By taking the time to get to know individuals working on a project, including their names and personal details, a sense of camaraderie and unity can be established. This, in turn, leads to better communication, collaboration, and ultimately, higher productivity and quality of work.


Overall, the episode underscores the significance of respect in the workplace and how its absence can have a detrimental impact on productivity and the quality of work. Building a foundation of respect and fostering a sense of camaraderie among team members is highlighted as a way to overcome these challenges and create a more positive and productive work environment.


The team delves into the importance of building relationships in lean implementation. They stress that while tools and processes are important, their ultimate purpose is to facilitate conversations and cultivate relationships among team members. Building relationships is seen as a crucial aspect of lean implementation because it creates a positive work environment and enhances the overall quality of work. The team acknowledges that even if productivity tools are implemented, a lack of respect and positive relationships among team members can lead to a negative attitude and a decline in the quality of work. They believe that by building relationships and fostering strong bonds among team members, everything else will fall into place. Joe shares personal examples of how he establishes connections with his electrician and plumber, such as knowing personal details about their lives, such as marital status and number of children. This highlights the level of connection and relationship he has with these individuals, which contributes to a more harmonious and efficient work environment.


Overall, the episode emphasizes that building relationships is a key aspect of lean implementation. By developing strong relationships among team members, trust and respect are fostered, leading to a more productive and harmonious work environment.

In this episode, the guest speaker explores the idea that lean is not just a problem-solving tool, but also a learning tool that requires a spiritual approach and faith. They emphasize that lean encompasses the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of being a whole person. Neglecting the spiritual aspect of lean can have detrimental effects, both personally and in the workplace. The speaker stresses that lean is not solely about solving problems, but rather about learning from them and having faith in the process. Lean is described as a tool that reveals problems rather than solving them. It requires a spiritual approach, including respect, love, kindness, and faith in the process. The speaker also emphasizes that lean is not a problem solver, but rather a tool for learning.

Overall, the episode highlights the importance of approaching lean with a spiritual mindset and having faith in the learning process it provides.


The Poem:


What if Jesus was a pipefitter, how different would the world be?

Would they have hung him square, level and plum for all the world to see?

Would the cross have been made out of pipe, maybe out of stainless steel as to never rust?

Would the pipefitter yell tack it and would the welder pray not to bust?

Would QC okay it, and would the films come back just?

Would they marvel at a job well done, and brag about their skilled trade?

Or would they hang their heads low and pray,

for forgiveness for the man they killed that day,

not knowing that his death would wash their sins away?

Would we send Mother Mary a death benefit on behalf of our hall?

I wonder what kind of man it takes to take that kind of call.

To be honest with you, if Jesus was a Union Brother,

I don’t think it would have went down like that at all!

Instead of 12 disciples following him, 12 Union Brothers by his side,

We may not always agree, hell we many not always see eye to eye,

but we would have went on strike that day, not a single one of us daring to cross that picket line!

You’d have to get through all of us to touch that Brother of mine!

If it happens that God’s plans are for events more divine,

Then 12 brothers would take his lashing and 12 brothers would carry his cross.

12 brothers would take turns wiping Mary’s eyes, comforting her during her loss.

Reassuring her that he took a call back home by the one and only True Boss!

By Bart “RHINO” Rinehart UA Local 776 Lima Ohio 3/14/21 FB post



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1 Comment


Pedro Meza
Pedro Meza
Oct 11, 2023

The construction field has had a bad reputation for years, thanks in part to the fact that constructions has always had click in which the men (women too) are macho and keep everything bottled up. About the only time that they are free to express what they feel is when drinking and unfortunely that adds to the problem because there is always that one macho guy that will resort to name calling one weak. This is a complete lack of respect for a team member that is going through a hard time.

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