The Emperor’s New Huddle Boards

March 23, 2015

8

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

1

yellowpages

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

1

musicalkata

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

2

art_int

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

2

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

Dead See Scrolls

November 26, 2014

6

theoryz

I participated recently in the AME conference in Jacksonville, Florida; a terrific rally for manufacturing excellence with the tongue-twisting theme “Strategic Success Through People Powered Excellence.”   I had a small role on a keynote panel that attempted to answer questions from attendees relating to generating the people power needed for strategic success.  The session evoked […]

Posted in: Old Lean Dude

NVLLIVS IN VERBA

October 24, 2014

5

nvllivs image

There was a time when it was not fashionable for managers to associate with front line employees. Alluding to an old adage, I used to joke that you could not even lead the horse (manager) to water, let alone make him drink. Division of labor at that time was a great divide. In my early […]

Posted in: Old Lean Dude
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