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Sharpening the saw at Te Kura Whare – The Living Building

Te Kura Whare

Te Kura Whare, the Tūhoe headquarters in Taneatua, is a fitting place for reflection and renewal.

On the Ngai Tūhoe website the building is described as follows: “Te Kura Whare mirrors Tūhoe values and Te Mana Motuhake o Tūhoe in a way that maintains the truth of our past, our present and our future.  This building brings to life the idea that we must restore the spaces that we live in.  We must live within our means.  Water use; materials; energy generation and consumption, Te Kura Whare raises the bar beyond environment friendly.  Striking a chord nationally and worldwide Te Kura Whare has set established benchmark for future homes, Tribal offices, Marae, schools, kōhanga reo and all buildings throughout the Tūhoe rohe.”

Adrian, Jolene, Kristian, Liddy, Nick and Geerten from Productivity People came together last week to complete a review of how we support New Zealand businesses to think and act differently, in order to lift our national performance as a whole. To sharpen our saw, or complete a CAP-Do review, to practice ‘Lean’ the way we preach it.

Fitting thus, to do this at Te Kura Whare. It has been reported before how strikingly aligned ‘Lean’ and Continuous Improvement philosophies are with Māori and other indigenous cultures’ values and beliefs. ‘Lean’ originated in Japan out of necessity in a post-war rebuild, in a culture steeped in tradition. It combines the concepts of continuous change with respect for people. Does the culture of a nation or an (indigenous) group make them more likely to be successful in creating a Lean culture? And it is harder for organisations to implement ‘Lean’ when the corporate culture is all (and only) about shareholder value? I’m interested in your thoughts.

About the author: Geerten Lengkeek is the Managing Director of Productivity People and Co-founder of the Global Lean Alliance