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Evolving Excellence

  • Slow… or Just Observant?
    By Kevin Meyer The recent earthquake in Nepal has led me to reflect a bit on the importance of observation.  Just over a year ago my wife and I were in Nepal, visiting various locations in the Kathmandu valley as well as Pokhara and Begnas Lake.  I…
    - 11 days ago, 13 May 2015, 6:38am -
  • Find the Other Stories
    By Kevin Meyer I recently came across the following TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie where she talks about the “danger of a single story.”  From growing up as a kid in Nigeria to studying in the United States and into adulthood, she describ…
    - 24 days ago, 30 Apr 2015, 6:36am -
  • The Engaging Value of Risk
    By Kevin Meyer Humans tend to abhor chaos, and love to invoke rules to supposedly create order. We like rules because they make us feel protected, aligned, and perhaps operating on a fair playing field. At the same time we dislike rules because the…
    - 90 days ago, 22 Feb 2015, 9:53pm -
  • 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…
    - 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…
    - 14 Dec 2014, 3:35am -

Lean Blog

Jamie Flinchbaugh

  • Skip the “lean intro” training
    I was just attending the TWI / Lean HR Summit run by Lean Frontiers, and heard someone talking about how to train in lean. They said they don’t care in what order you introduce tools, but you can’t skip the introduction. Perhaps its just me playi…
    - 5 days ago, 19 May 2015, 1:25pm -
  • Beyond the Lean Initiative [Lessons from the Road]
    Through my IndustryWeek column, Lessons from the Road, I’ve been exploring some of the issues associated with the ongoing maturing of a lean journey. In this installment, Beyond the Lean Initiative, I explore issues with making lean an integral par…
    - 46 days ago, 8 Apr 2015, 9:30am -
  • The relationship between trust and lean
    Lean doesn’t happen just because you want it to. There are enablers that make it possible. Trust is one of those enables. In this brief conversation between Andy Carlino and myself, we explore the relationship between lean and trust.  
    - 47 days ago, 7 Apr 2015, 9:30am -
  • A leadership book for the new leader
    You are a talented engineer. You’ve lead technical research and product development teams. But running a team is one thing. Now you’re promoted to a role where leading is just about all you need to do. That’s a great time to pick up a book from…
    - 79 days ago, 5 Mar 2015, 8:59pm -
  • What do you consider the most challenging unsolved problems today for the lean community?
    Over 20 years ago, the biggest challenge was just getting buy-in to even try lean. And as we’ve continued to learn together, we’ve tackled lean culture / behaviors, leadership engagement, business strategy, and much, much more. What’s left? Wha…
    - 81 days ago, 4 Mar 2015, 1:06am -

LSS Academy

  • newSolar Energy Is Feasible for Prevalent Energy
    The debate about solar energy is feasible to produce widespread outbursts of energy and is likely to continue for some time. In today’s time, everyone is aware of solar panels and their ability to provide benefits to the individual owners. As many…
    - 6 hours ago, 23 May 2015, 10:21pm -
  • new4 Ways Solar Panel Installation Can Benefit Your Home
    If you’ve heard a lot about the growing popularity of the installation of solar panels, you may wonder what are the benefits. There are many, to help save the environment to save money on your monthly bills. Learn how this energy source provides ma…
    - 15 hours ago, 23 May 2015, 1:52pm -
  • Does Your Home Deserve Solar Power?
    The term “solar energy” is often used these days, but some owners have considered a realistic option. Without estimates, most people assume that the cost of installation would be completely outweigh the potential benefits. While green energy has…
    - 1 day ago, 22 May 2015, 10:33pm -
  • Sunshine State lagging behind in solar energy
    The Sunshine State residents realize that the exploitation of the abundant solar energy in Florida is not an easy task. Industry experts rank third in Florida in the nation in the potential of solar energy roof, but 13 in the amount of solar energy p…
    - 3 days ago, 20 May 2015, 8:13pm -
  • CIAL to be world’s first fully solar-powered airport
    Kochi International Airport is on track to become the first airport in the world to draw all its power from solar energy. The airport would generate 12 MW of solar energy, and work should be completed in three months. Bosch is the structure of the ai…
    - 5 days ago, 19 May 2015, 9:50am -

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

  • All About that Base by Kim deMacedo
    I heard an interview on NPR with Senator Jim Webb that got me thinking.  He was talking about Jacksonian doctrine and said that you measure the health of a society not at its apex, but at its base. I don’t know anything about presidential economi…
    - 4 Feb 2015, 5:06pm -
  • Immediate Detection & Correction: Easier Said Than Done
    Our team recently had the opportunity to learn directly from Sensei Chihiro Nakao, founder of Shingijutsu USA. http://www.shingijutsuusa.com/team.html We will continue to study and deepen our understanding of what he shared, but one area he helped il…
    - 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…
    - 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’?
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/obama-mulls-cleveland-clinic-ceo-head-veterans-affairs-article-1.1816789 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 -

Gotta Go Lean

  • Control Limits
    Control limits are lines established 3 standard deviations from the mean on a control chart. Keep in mind that the control chart depicts averages, so exhibits a normal distribution. (See Central Limit Theorem) 99.7% of all random variation (common ca…
    - 85 days ago, 28 Feb 2015, 4:33pm -
  • Control, Statistical
    When a process is said to be 'in control', statistically speaking, that means that all the variation can be attributed to common causes. All of the observed variation is just a function of the natural randomness built into a system or process.The po…
    - 86 days ago, 27 Feb 2015, 3:14pm -
  • Control (Scientific)
    A control, or control group is a tool used to confirm whether changes are actually having an effect. The control group is exposed to the same conditions as the test group with the exception of the variable that is being examined.The post Control (Sc…
    - 87 days ago, 26 Feb 2015, 2:53pm -
  • Containment
    Containment is an interim quality management step. When a problem is identified, the organization must take steps to prevent defects from escaping. Containment is a method of systematically identifying and quarantining all materials that are suspect…
    - 89 days ago, 24 Feb 2015, 3:46pm -
  • Competitive Advantage
    A competitive advantage is a condition through which one organization has to spend fewer resources to get the same benefit as a competitor (or, of course, gets more benefit for spending the same amount of resources.)The post Competitive Advantage ap…
    - 89 days ago, 23 Feb 2015, 5:54pm -

Lean Connections

Curious Cat

  • Hire Me to Manage Your Blog or Web Presence
    I would like to add a client for my blog and web presence management services. The most obvious fit is for management consultants, in my opinion, though others may also be interested. My blogs have been honored often over the … Continue reading →
    - 83 days ago, 2 Mar 2015, 8:55am -
  • Improving Management Globally
    In the most recent ASQ Influential Voices post, Bill Troy, ASQ CEO, asks: Why Should Quality Go Global? ASQ’s mission statement talks about increasing the use and impact of quality in response to the diverse needs of the world. Are … Continue rea…
    - 94 days ago, 19 Feb 2015, 9:38am -
  • Some Thoughts on Investing from My Recent Interview
    In the first few years of this blog I posted occasionally, but still much more than the last few years, on investing and economics. Now I mainly post on those topics on the Curious Cat Investing and Economics blog (see … Continue reading →
    - 12 Feb 2015, 11:04am -
  • 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…
    - 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 →
    - 6 Jan 2015, 1:43pm -

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

  • What is the Key to Lean's Long-Term Success?
    I recently had the opportunity to speak with both Bill Baker and Ken Rolfes about their new book, Lean for the Long Term: Sustainment is a Myth, Transformation is Reality. During our conversation, I asked them: "Why did you write this book? What was…
    - 4 days ago, 19 May 2015, 6:45pm -
  • The Need for "Safety Culture" in Radiation Oncology
    I recently had the opportunity to speak with both Lawrence Marks and Lukasz Mazur, who are the authors of a very important new book titled Engineering Patient Safety in Radiation Oncology: University of North Carolina’s Pursuit for High Reliability…
    - 40 days ago, 14 Apr 2015, 2:17pm -
  • Will Independent Contractors, Free Agents, and Freelancers Dominate the Marketplace?
    There is a valuable new book out on the market titled Free Agent: The Independent Professional's Roadmap to Self-Employment Success, and it addresses the seismic shift occurring with employer/employee relationships. Katy Tynan authored the book, and…
    - 72 days ago, 13 Mar 2015, 2:26pm -
  • Combining Statistical Design and Statistical Control -- Can it Work?
    Kieron Dey recently published a book titled Competitive Innovation and Improvement: Statistical Design and Control, which explains how to combine two widely known statistical methods — statistical design and statistical control — in a manner that…
    - 10 Feb 2015, 4:20pm -
  • 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…
    - 12 Jan 2015, 2:01pm -

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 -

Shmula


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