Browsing All posts tagged under »continuous improvement«

How We Learn

August 8, 2014

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While I am an unabashed proponent of learning by doing, I have a list of books that have over the years been essential to me as a framework for experiential learning. Most of these books were written before 1990, and one of the most insightful, Managerial Engineering by Ryuji Fukuda, was first published in English […]

Addicted to Lean

June 16, 2014

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One of my early lessons in leading change came at the age of 19, while working in in a program known as VISTA, Volunteers in Service to America. The lesson was this: Leading change is marathon not a sprint. Sometimes you just have to pace yourself, give your mind and body a break and do […]

Be Careful What You Wish For – Part II

May 27, 2014

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Four years ago I posted a funny story passed along to me by a Lean friend, that dealt with the consequences of crazy measures, and how lack of management oversight will allow these measures to persist indefinitely.   It’s one of my shortest posts and worth a quick read if you haven’t already seen it.  Go […]

No Respect

May 9, 2014

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In the last two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to participate in two outstanding conferences celebrating and supporting operational excellence. This week I attended the annual Shingo Conference and had an opportunity to teach the Shingo Institute’s Discover Excellence workshop at host site Whirlpool, in Findlay Ohio. The self-effacing humility of everyone we met at […]

Permutations

April 18, 2014

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For many years I worked for a manufacturer of pressure and temperature switches, a small company with a very big product selection. In our product catalog there were roughly three-dozen distinct product families with hundreds of standard products, each available with thousands of optional configurations. The average order quantity per line was two pieces. In […]

The Road To Lean

April 4, 2014

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An old TV series I watched recently reminded me of an experience I have had many times in my work. In this I Love Lucy episode, Lucy is ordered by Ricky to create a schedule to make her “more efficient.” A schedule board, posted in their home is a “best practice”, but without the best […]

Lines

March 17, 2014

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As any conference-goer can attest, the shortest distance between two points is not a straight line when that line is the lunch line.   At Lean conferences like the ones I attend it’s especially incongruous to hear stories all morning about customer service and flow, and then later stand in a long line at the lunch […]

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