Core to Lean is the removal of waste. Anything in your process that doesn't provide value is waste. In talking with my dad, I realized that for the Japanese who have pioneered Lean, the removal of waste is focused on for two main reasons:
- Respect for the environment - If you're eliminating waste, whether due over-production, defects, excess transportation, etc., you're inevitably having less impact on the environment.
- Respect for people - If 90% of your process is waste, you're not respecting your employees, or you're at least not respecting them near as much as you could. It's like saying that 90% of what you work on provides no value. That doesn't do much for one's self-worth. People are so much more content and productive when they know that the work they're doing provides value.