It was called "Lean Manufacturing". One of the principles of this manufacturing process is to reduce physical waste by paying attention to waste, over a period of time. It was more than a policy. It was worked as an actual culture. And, it worked with material waste being substantially reduced over time. As the culture strengthened so did the practice of stamping out waste. It was pretty remarkable to watch the process unfold over a number of years.
Lean Manufacturing has one absolute over all highest guiding principle: What value is the customer willing to pay for? In other words, if you are not involved in directly or indirectly adding "value" to the product the consumer will buy, you are missing the mark and forcing the customer to pay more than he would ordinarily have to pay if there was no waste in material consumption and personnel behavior.
Lean Manufacturing requires the relentless pursuit of not only adding value by reducing waste, but this idea of conducting one's self in such as way as to be "delivering value" to the customer with every daily thought and deed. (and that includes doing everything Safely) It's amazing, but that's the model manufacturing is following these days in order to remain competitive. Value is the god.
Imagine if we had to apply the central proposition of Lean Manufacturing to the way we conduct our own businesses. Imagine having a boss that demands a quota produced or there will be consequences. But then again, that's why we jumped ship from our bosses in the first place. Could it be the demands of IM are a more rigorous than a production line boss? Could we be a worse boss to ourselves than were our in-the-workplace bosses? Who can answer that?