“Lean manufacturing” isn’t a long phrase, but some small-to-medium manufacturers prefer to say “lean” instead. The words we choose are important, of course, and some affect people’s perceptions of our intentions. According to Greg Hernandez, a manager at component manufacturer R.W. Lyall, the word “lean” can have negative connotations. “I’ve come to suspect,” he explains, “that it conjures images of starvation and poverty in people’s minds”. Is this what your employees think when they hear you say “lean”?