This is perhaps the best definition of Lean I have found:
“Lean is the dynamic process of continuous improvement and learning by empowered associated, in a culture of mutual trust and respect, focused on eliminating waste and maximizing value for our customers”
Lean Thinking is the process of continuous improvement. First we identify the added value we create in each process. Second we improve the process through the elimination of the 8 wastes or non-value added steps. This will result in a system that flows and leads to further improvements.
Lean shows respect for people. Lean companies are safe places where all associates are free to share ideas and have them acted on. Associates accept the redefining of their customer as anyone that their actions impact and have ultimate respect for the needs of the customer.
A key element in the foundation of Farming Lean is following a system of organization called 5S. Each of the 5 parts of the method starts with an S; Sort, Shine, Set in Order, Standardize, and Sustain. Together they make an area easier to work in and more productive.
In addition to learning to recognize the 8 Wastes and 5S Lean farms set standards for work done on the farm. They also understand there is a time expectation for completing a task. Finally they work hard to banish egos and work together as a team.