Senior Moments

April 30, 2015


sr moments

I was speaking last week with, Jen, a senior manager at a large manufacturer, and she commented to me, “I know it’s important for me to get to the floor, but the time involved for me and my staff to regularly visit two dozen different departments makes this seem like an impossible task.”   She was […]

Posted in: Old Lean Dude


April 13, 2015



Sometimes we receive unreasonable and confusing directions, and sometimes we give them. Check out this example. As in the short video clip, even if the systems behind this confusion are sound and the motivations reasonable, when you put them together they can create a frustrating no-win situation. Here are a few examples from my recent […]

Posted in: Old Lean Dude

The Emperor’s New Huddle Boards

March 23, 2015


After a one-day observation at a local company, I participated in a wrap-up meeting with the General Manager and his team. “We’ve been at this for five years,” the general manager said to me, proudly referring to his division’s lean implementation. “Our 5S rating is over 85% and every department spends one hour per week […]

Posted in: Old Lean Dude

A Tale of Two Communities

March 17, 2015



There was a time when “community” was narrowly defined as “a group of people living in the same place.” I have distant recollections of a Boy Scout merit badge that encouraged scouts to study the geography, history, government and local customs of their town. In the days before the information highway, this kind of study […]

Posted in: Old Lean Dude

Musical Kata

February 17, 2015



I sang baritone and sometimes tenor in the St. John’s Lutheran Church choir according the key of the hymn were rehearsing and also depending upon who showed up for rehearsal. There were no try-outs for our choir; willingness to sing on Sunday was the primary requirement for membership. One of our brethren, I recall, had […]

Posted in: Old Lean Dude

Artificial Ignorance

January 29, 2015



For a few years back in the early ‘80’s I fell prey to information automation fascination. I managed an IT department transitioning first from a basic accounting system managed by an external service bureau to a batch inventory control system to an order processing and manufacturing control system running on a succession of minicomputers with […]

Posted in: Old Lean Dude

A Holiday Miracle

December 31, 2014


Viewing Bill Murray’s “Scrooged” last week for the twenty-fifth time in as many years, I recalled a kind of holiday miracle I witnessed shortly after I began consulting. I was working with a manager team at a food processing plant shortly before Christmas, observing a packing line set up especially to pack hams for the […]

Posted in: Old Lean Dude

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