Browsing All posts tagged under »made in america«

They Assessment

February 27, 2012


Over years of listening to persons describe their work, one single word has surfaced repeatedly as a barometer of what is frequently called “culture.”   The use of the word they in conversation gives me insight into an organization’s ability to engage employees and sustain improvement. The technical aspects of Lean I can observe primarily with […]


February 15, 2012


Computer geeks over the age over 40 will recall that once upon a time, the images of text and graphics that appeared on computer screens bore little relation to the product outputted from the printer. There was a bit of an art involved using special ‘markup tags’ to control the printing font and format.  Prior […]


February 3, 2012


Do you remember a post-hippie era song called Signs?  The song’s refrain came to mind recently during a workplace walkthrough: “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?” Both office and factory were heavily invested in workplace organization, striving to create […]

Cost Subtraction

January 23, 2012


Last week, a drive-by a 99 Cent Store (see photo) reminded me of my first real job in an industrial marketing department.  In the 1970’s, one function of this department was to set prices, a task simplified in the early going by the market’s acceptance of whatever surcharges we added each year.   In some years […]

5S First?

January 12, 2012


Some time ago, while speaking at a conference in the land down under, I was taken to task by a participant for suggesting, “5S is usually the first improvement” in Lean implementation.   I had carelessly adopted this posture because, as a consultant I had found that workplace organization was usually the most palatable way to […]

Standards Part 1

December 6, 2011


I attended a gathering of healthcare providers recently to participate in a site review and listen to some nice TPS success stories.  During a Q&A session at the conclusion of the review this question came from one of the participants: “How can we get the docs to accept standardization?” I smiled at the question, not […]

Acts of God

December 1, 2011


Several weeks ago in New England, the rants of angry electric utility patrons filled the evening news.  Accusations of greed and incompetence were plentiful as many homes (including mine) were without electricity after a freak October snowstorm. Magnifying the problem was the disparity of service from community to community:  some communities had power restored in […]


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