Browsing All posts tagged under »lean manufacturing«

The Emperor’s New Huddle Boards

March 23, 2015

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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 […]

A Tale of Two Communities

March 17, 2015

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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 […]

Musical Kata

February 17, 2015

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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 […]

A Holiday Miracle

December 31, 2014

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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 […]

Dead See Scrolls

November 26, 2014

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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 […]

Invisibility

August 14, 2014

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A chance reading recently provided a thought from Henry Thoreau that I think is worth sharing. Thoreau said: “The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.” The quote caused me to reflect on an incident some years ago at a film manufacturer: […]

Lesser Gods

July 7, 2014

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I learned recently of the passing earlier this year of person I worked with twenty years ago at my last job in manufacturing.   Manny S. was a ‘lesser god’, a term which is meant neither to canonize nor demean him.   He wasn’t perfect – not by a long shot – but boy could he get […]

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