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Evolving Excellence

  • The Mindful Ohno
    Mindfulness has become all the rage in personal and professional leadership these days, which is good and bad. Understood and done right, it is a very powerful concept. But as with most concepts it is also often misunderstood, therefore sometimes ma…
    - 16 days ago, 13 Jan 2015, 4:50pm -
  • Reflecting on the Intentional Routine
    My post a couple weeks ago on Gratitude, for Gratitude, generated a large number of responses.  Interestingly, most were private, commenting on both the nature of gratitude but especially on my daily routine.  I had detailed my regular set of activ…
    - 46 days ago, 14 Dec 2014, 3:35am -
  • Gratitude, for Gratitude

    - 63 days ago, 27 Nov 2014, 6:02pm -
  • Airbnb and Uber – From Batch to One Piece Flow
    Some of the more interesting internet-driven companies these days are the likes of Airbnb and Uber. They call themselves part of the “sharing economy.” But let’s take a look at the word “share.” From the MacMillan dictionary, share is “t…
    - 82 days ago, 8 Nov 2014, 7:42pm -
  • On Asiana, Driverless Cars, and Factories
    I’ve always been interested in technology – its use, advantages, and disadvantages.  Regular readers know that I often advocate for manual solutions first, such as whiteboards to run factories and a handwritten notebook for notes. Some believe t…
    - 28 Jun 2014, 1:41pm -

Lean Blog

  • new#Throwback Thursday – “Lean Sigma” is Still Pretty Often Wrong on Lean
    Last weekend, at a patient safety conference, I heard a physician from the Joint Commission talk about “robust process improvement” and this, thankfully, included an endorsement of Lean methods. That’s the good news. The bad news was that the p…
    - 1 hour ago, 29 Jan 2015, 7:00am -
  • newMark Graban Interviewed by Dr. Bob Wachter on Lean & Patient Safety
    I’m honored to have been interviewed by Dr. Robert Wachter for his “Web M&M” interview series on the AHRQ website. In Conversation with…Mark Graban, MS, MBA Dr. Wachter is a leader in the patient safety movement who I’ve respected and admi…
    - 21 hours ago, 28 Jan 2015, 11:00am -
  • Looking back at the Toyota Tsutsumi plant tour, part 2
    Last week, I wrote a post (part 1) looking back  at our visit to the Toyota Tsutsumi factory that was part of our Japan tour that took place two months ago now. See previous posts in this series. I’m going to try to do one post a week on this t…
    - 2 days ago, 27 Jan 2015, 7:00am -
  • Webinar Previews: Lean is All About People? Leadership Behaviors for Kaizen
    Tomorrow afternoon, I’m doing two different webinars that I hope you’ll want to sign up for. Even if you can’t attend live, I’d encourage you to register in advance so you can get links sent to you automatically to view these on demand. Bo…
    - 3 days ago, 26 Jan 2015, 11:00am -
  • Tweets & Notes from a Patient Safety Conference
    Today and tomorrow, I’m attending the “Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit” in Irvine, California, as part of my role as a board member for the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation. I’m taking notes via Twitter and I will post…
    - 5 days ago, 23 Jan 2015, 9:25pm -

Jamie Flinchbaugh

  • The Lean Strategy Video Series Summary
    A few years ago I develop a short video series on Lean Strategy. Given my last post challenged you not to start the year without a clear strategy and purpose, I thought it was worthwhile to dust off this video series and re-release it. I had a lot of…
    - 15 days ago, 14 Jan 2015, 10:30am -
  • How did you spend the first week of the new year?
    How did you spend the first week of the new year? If you were like many people, you spent it doing some pretty common things such as catching up on emails and going to some standing meetings, many of which probably began with people trying to remembe…
    - 17 days ago, 12 Jan 2015, 2:38am -
  • One of my least favorite questions
    I get a lot of questions – during my coaching and advisory visits, after delivering a speech, by email, by phone, and sometimes from conversations started in airports. I try to answer every last one of them, which could be a full time job all by it…
    - 44 days ago, 16 Dec 2014, 8:03pm -
  • Reflections on coaching (from Andy Carlino)
    My friend and co-author Andy Carlino had a great idea for his blog site. He shares Reflections in 3 columns – What’s good? What’s bad? What do I think? – on different topics. At this time he is covering coaching. I encourage you to visit the…
    - 48 days ago, 11 Dec 2014, 11:49pm -
  • Control is overrated…and a myth
    Management has long been based, although not necessarily by design, on a basis of control. For much of time, that control worked, but at the same time it did not allow for great organizations to be built. It at least did not allow organizations to be…
    - 49 days ago, 11 Dec 2014, 3:05am -

LSS Academy

  • My Final LSS Academy Post
    I remember it like it was yesterday… it was January 2007 and I was sitting on my couch surfing the web while watching TV. I had just read a lean related blog article by my friend, Jon Miller, and wondered how hard it would be to start my own blog.…
    - 25 Apr 2014, 1:33pm -
  • Is Home Depot’s Expedited Checkout Lean?
    It’s warming up here in North Texas… as such businesses like Home Depot are EXTREMELY BUSY places. Yesterday I joined the crowd to buy some tomatoes and other vegetables to plant in our garden.  And, yes, the checkout line was backed up in a big…
    - 31 Mar 2014, 3:29pm -
  • Gemba Academy is 5 Years Old. Come Celebrate With Us!
    Five years ago I, and two good friends of mine, began what’s turned out to be an incredible journey. Specifically, in March of 2009 Gemba Academy was born. We had no way of knowing whether there would be interest in what we were doing… but we sta…
    - 6 Mar 2014, 4:16pm -
  • My Newest Stand Up Desk!
    Friends, I have a confession to make. In November of 2009 I wrote about my new stand up desk. I was quite proud of how I’d managed to prop an old desk up on some crates… I guess you could say I definitely used my wits over my wallet! Well, as it…
    - 23 Jan 2014, 6:48pm -
  • Lean Thinker Challenge #4
    Welcome to the first Lean Thinker Challenge of 2014! The Situation You’re the owner of a very successful manufacturing company. Your company began its lean journey 10 years ago and has realized tremendous benefits. In fact, lean thinking – along…
    - 7 Jan 2014, 5:30pm -

Got Boondoggle

  • Book Review The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
    What makes a good checklist versus a bad checklist?  What are the limits in the power of a checklist?  Sure, checklists work for the weekly run to the grocery store or packing before we go on vacation but can they work to reduce errors in surgery?T…
    - 16 Jun 2013, 9:43pm -
  • Going from "Oh-oh" to "Ta-da" Faster
    As young children, we learn from our experiences through relentless trial and error. It does not take us long to figure out if we touch something hot, for instance fire or a hot skillet, it burns us and we quickly jerk o…
    - 14 May 2012, 3:01pm -
  • Lean Snake Oil Cures what Ails Ya
    Step right up Ladies and Gentleman! Do you suffer from bulging inventories? Are you feeling tired and wore down chasing problems everyday at work? Are parts of your organization afflicted by dislocation? Perhaps you suffer from irregularity of flow o…
    - 30 Apr 2012, 2:50pm -
  • Suffering from Sick Sigma?
    My good friend, Jonathan Sands, a Director of Operational Excellence for a large firm, recently told me about his experience with a company six sigma effort years ago. At first go around, he and other leaders undertook their black belt training with…
    - 3 Apr 2012, 4:11pm -
  • New Webinar "A Day in the Life of a Lean Supervisor"
    I invite you to please join me in a free webinar next week “A Day in the Life of a Lean Supervisor” hosted by Gemba Academy on April 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm – 2:00pm (USA-Central Time).Click here to register. In this webinar, I will help define stan…
    - 30 Mar 2012, 3:27pm -

Daily Kaizen

  • Immediate Detection & Correction: Easier Said Than Done
    Our team recently had the opportunity to learn directly from Sensei Chihiro Nakao, founder of Shingijutsu USA. We will continue to study and deepen our understanding of what he shared, but one area he helped il…
    - 40 days ago, 20 Dec 2014, 1:12am -
  • Walken the Walk by Jane McGillivray
    Walken the Walk   How many of us have seen a movie with Christopher Walken playing some role?  Probably most of us.  I saw an interview a long time ago where he talked about how he perfects the art of acting.  He said, “I Act!”  He takes eve…
    - 56 days ago, 3 Dec 2014, 10:36pm -
  • Why We Are Here
    The poem (below) jumped out at me from a therapist’s office wall.  A local team of our behavioral health providers were in Day 2 action, practicing and refining with real patients toward the ideal visit. I sat as still as possible, hoping to meld…
    - 27 Sep 2014, 12:35am -
  • Waiting for Health Care – no longer ‘just the way it is’? The Cleveland Clinic’s capability to provide same day access for any specialty came up during a lunch break at a recent kaizen event.…
    - 25 Jun 2014, 8:14pm -
  • Why does it take so long to make things happen? by Sean Sessions
     This year I became a home owner.  With a new interest in the quality of life within my neighborhood, I’ve reached out to local community groups, hoping to combine my loves of civic involvement, and community service, with my passion for process…
    - 6 May 2014, 7:04pm -

Gotta Go Lean

  • Social Media Etiquette and Lean
    I recently had an interesting experience on LinkedIn. On occasion, I answer discussion questions where I think I can add value. One such question mentioned that Dr. Liker recommends Toyota alumni to lead Lean transformations, and questioned why compa…
    - 32 days ago, 28 Dec 2014, 6:35pm -
  • Develop Trust (Principle)
    Think about what trust is. It is, in effect, a shortcut. It means that you have faith in something, or someone, and have stopped double-checking on all expectations.The post Develop Trust (Principle) appeared first on Continuous Improvement at the F…
    - 64 days ago, 25 Nov 2014, 10:08pm -
  • Continuous Data
    Continuous data can have any value within a given range. Compare this to discrete data which is limited in the values it takes.The post Continuous Data appeared first on Continuous Improvement at the Front Line of Change.
    - 69 days ago, 21 Nov 2014, 6:43pm -
  • CRM / Customer Relationship Management
    CRM stands for customer relationship management. It essentially is the practice of taking an active approach to understanding how a company interacts with its customers and creating a strategy to manage that relationship for both current and future c…
    - 74 days ago, 16 Nov 2014, 6:02pm -
  • Genchi Genbutsu
    The post Genchi Genbutsu appeared first on Continuous Improvement at the Front Line of Change.
    - 75 days ago, 15 Nov 2014, 2:31pm -

Lean Connections

  • Continuous Improvement Manager – TPS Lean – Lean Healthcare Manufacturing
    Continuous Improvement Manager – TPS Lean Global Lean Healthcare:  Infection Prevention, Contamination Control, Surgical & Critical Care Mentor (Cleveland) Ohio, Montgomery, Alabama (multiple positions)   Lean Continuous Improvement Manager – P…
    - 9 days ago, 19 Jan 2015, 9:45pm -
  • Connecting the Dots – Adam Zak Cover Story, AME Target Magazine, Winter, 2014
    Connecting the Dots. Why aren’t more smart, motivated young Americans pursuing careers in manufacturing? Why aren’t more parents, teachers and other career influencers actively encouraging them to explore opportunities in the manufacturing sector…
    - 13 days ago, 15 Jan 2015, 9:24pm -
  • Strategic Lean Quality Leader – Boston, MA metro
    Strategic Lean Quality Leader Industrial Electrical Components Manufacturer Worcester, MA (west of Boston) metro area The Ideal Lean Organization  When most companies transition to Lean they seldom succeed with the single most critical aspect of the…
    - 51 days ago, 9 Dec 2014, 7:41pm -
  • Join Me at the Lean Accounting Summit in Savannah, GA October 20-22
    Join me as I present at this year’s annual Lean Accounting Summit, October 21-22 in Savannah, GA. As always, the Summit will deliver the best principles and practices of lean business management. Register with Promo Code “presenterguest” for 10…
    - 30 Sep 2014, 3:34pm -
  • Your Career Advice for Generation Y
    In a recent nationwide survey, amazingly, just 35 percent of American parents indicated they would encourage their children to pursue a career in manufacturing. Are you be surprised? Now imagine your closest friend asks you: “My son wants to consi…
    - 22 Aug 2014, 7:57pm -

Curious Cat

  • Who Inspires Your Management Thinking and Action?
    This month Bill Troy, ASQ CEO, asked ASQ Influential Voices bloggers: “who influenced or inspired your management thinking and in what ways?” He discussed Paul O’Neill’s influence on his thinking; I agree that Paul has done some very impressi…
    - 7 days ago, 22 Jan 2015, 10:44am -
  • 10 Most Popular Posts on the Curious Cat Management Blog in 2014
    Here is a list of the 10 most popular posts on this blog last year (as measured by views counted by my analytics applications). The posts were published in 2010 (4 posts), 2013 (2), 2014 (2), 2005 (1) and 2012 … Continue reading →
    - 23 days ago, 6 Jan 2015, 1:43pm -
  • Is Quality Ambitious Enough?
    This month Bill Troy, ASQ CEO, asked ASQ Influential Voices bloggers to explore the question – Is Quality Ambitious Enough? Bill Troy suggests a vision for ASQ of To improve the function and value of goods and services worldwide, and … Continue r…
    - 34 days ago, 26 Dec 2014, 7:25am -
  • Good Startup Ideas from Startup Weekend JB (Malaysia)

    - 63 days ago, 27 Nov 2014, 8:53am -
  • The Importance of Leadership by Those Working to Improve Management
    This month Bill Troy, ASQ CEO, asked ASQ Influential Voices bloggers to explore the importance of leadership for every quality management professional. Leadership is important but also something that often is difficult to understand what exactly is m…
    - 65 days ago, 25 Nov 2014, 1:25pm -

Learning About lean

  • A new writing project
    This blog has been rather quiet for the past couple of months, which reflects two concurrent facts. One is an incredibly busy period for my own manufacturing job.  Good stuff, but hugely time-consuming, filling work days and leaving little mental sp…
    - 3 Jan 2013, 2:59am -
  • Creating Interest
    Flow is a lot more interesting than batch. This occured to me in recent conversations with one of our team leaders who schedules work for her area.  A series of well-intended but misdirected steps had created a batch process in her area.  She coul…
    - 26 Oct 2012, 8:30pm -
  • Go Look at the Ears
    "You know, farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field."Dwight Eisenhower, Address at Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, 9/25/56Ike had it right.  Need we say more about getting out of t…
    - 11 Oct 2012, 11:13pm -
  • The Curse of Sophistication
    As long as I've worked at implementing a Lean strategy, I continue to find it amazing how a description of it seems to fall flat on others' ears.  A common reaction is "Well, it's just common sense." Which is truly a comment which dismisses it as a…
    - 9 Oct 2012, 1:11am -
  • Ten Years of Blogging
    Flying well under any publicity banner, today marks ten years of this blog.  My first-ever post, on September 14, 2002, got this whole thing going.  568 posts later, allow me a few reflections. Ten years ago, there were not many resources about Lea…
    - 14 Sep 2012, 10:00am -

Improve With Me

  • Test Beliefs Against Data
    I like this quote because it touches on a couple of other ideas I have read before. One author I like (Joiner) states that all leaders need to treat decisions as experiments.  Lean challenges HiPPOs (Highest Paid Persons Opinion) to use data in…
    - 4 Sep 2012, 2:00pm -
  • Seek Multiple Views
    This quote has been sitting with me a while and I hope it is relevant for you too.  So often, even a gemba experience may be different for people.  Even though facts are found at gemba, people may only see certain … Continue reading →
    - 28 Aug 2012, 2:00pm -
  • Change Through Repeated Action
    “Beliefs, behaviors, assumptions, and attitudes do not change through study, conferences, seminars, and training classes; they change through repeated action. This is not dissimilar to breaking unhealthy habits such as smoking or overeating. The co…
    - 21 Aug 2012, 3:00pm -
  • PDSA Is The Ultimate Success Formula
    I recently uncovered a box of books I thought was lost years ago (before I knew about 5S!)  This time capsule contained material I read about 15 years ago while still in college and managing my own direct sales business during summer … Continue…
    - 19 Jul 2012, 4:45am -
  • The Waste Of “Managing Up”
    Time spent trying to please your boss is processing waste and provides no value to your customers.  Leaders and staff need to recognize this as a major cultural problem because it will negatively affect the long-term success for your organization.…
    - 11 Jan 2012, 2:00pm -

Lean Insider

  • Meeting Customer Needs is Not Enough
    Lance B. Coleman recently published a book titled The Customer-Driven Organization: Employing the Kano Model, and I spoke with him about its content. My main question was: “Why is meeting customer needs no longer enough?” Here is his full respons…
    - 17 days ago, 12 Jan 2015, 2:01pm -
  • What Can Lean Do for the Banking Industry?
    The banking industry comprises many accounting, regulatory, process, and management challenges, and because its customer-satisfaction and efficiency rates are ripe for improvement, many feel Lean improvement initiatives can transform these financial…
    - 45 days ago, 15 Dec 2014, 11:43am -
  • Grasping Lean
    A very handy new book was published last month called The Lean Anthology: A Practical Primer in Continual Improvement, authored by Rebecca Goldberg and Elliott N. Weiss, and it provides simple case studies of people observing and integrating the pri…
    - 56 days ago, 3 Dec 2014, 8:36pm -
  • Lean is the Medicine that Healthcare Systems Require
    Last month, an important book titled The Lean Prescription: Powerful Medicine for Our Ailing Healthcare System, authored by Patricia Gabow and Philip Goodman, was published, and it details how Denver Health became the first healthcare organization to…
    - 84 days ago, 6 Nov 2014, 7:26pm -
  • The ”Just Do It” Approach to Strategy Deployment Has Proven to “Just Not Work”
    Randy Kesterson recently published a book titled The Basics of Hoshin Kanri, and it explains the basic steps to a strategy deployment and execution approach that has proven to be highly effective by companies such as Toyota, Danaher, and 3M.The boo…
    - 15 Oct 2014, 12:55pm -

Lean Reflections

  • Leadership style and neural networks - Part 3
    A three-blog collaboration continues as Jeff Hajek hosts part 3 of our series on brain research and leadership style choices on his Gotta Go Lean blog. Co-blogging with Matt and Jeff has been rewarding because of the reviewing process before publicat…
    - 11 Aug 2014, 1:29pm -
  • Leadership style and neural networks - part 2
    Matt Wrye is hosting Part two of our neuro-leadership series on his blog, Beyond Lean. Thanks for sharing it with your readers, Matt. And if you don't know Matt or his blog, you are in for a treat.
    - 15 Jul 2014, 2:53pm -
  • Leadership style and neural networks - Part 1
    You’re probably familiar with the two leadership styles: task/objective-oriented leadership, sometimes called Theory X, or human/emotional-oriented, Theory Y. The American MBO model with its financial and quantitative goals leaves out the human dim…
    - 24 Jun 2014, 1:15pm -
  • Bad employees
    As I discussed in my last post, the article, “Bad to great: The path to scaling up excellence” in the McKinsey Quarterly evoked my ire. In it, the authors discussed how to identify “bad employees” and get rid of them -- the old “bad apple…
    - 7 Apr 2014, 4:59pm -
  • McKinsey proves that today's management culture has a long way to go
    The first issue of the McKinsey Quarterly for 2014 was entitled, “Shaping the future of manufacturing.” Proof that management culture, however, is still rooted in the past, is made plain in the article “Bad to great: The path to scaling up exce…
    - 30 Mar 2014, 4:41pm -


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