Tagged with made in the usa

Drowning in Opportunities

In 1989, after four years of what could be called ala carte improvement, my factory was introduced to policy deployment by Deming Prize winner, Ryuji Fukuda.   Tossing a dozen Delta Airlines swizzle sticks on the glass of an overhead projector, Dr. Fukuda asked our team.  “Does your plan look like this?”  The shadow of the … Continue reading

Reflections on the American Revolutions

As I watched Keith Lockhart conduct the Boston Pops to celebrate America’s birthday on July 4, another revolution that was occurring around the same time as the American Revolution came to mind. By coincidence, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations was published in 1776, spawning a less dramatic, but more far reaching revolution:  The first industrial revolution … Continue reading


One of the more dubious outcomes of the French Revolution was the standardization of guillotining as the sole (and oft-employed) manner of capital punishment.  Prior to the revolution, only nobility was entitled to such a humane demise.   Commoners received their due by more excruciating means such as drawing and quartering.  Today, it seems that American … Continue reading

Lean Pretenders

I was listening today to a song from The Platters (there are just a few of you who will remember that group) that was the inspiration for this post: “Oh, yes I’m the great pretender, Pretending that I’m doing well, I seem to be, but I’m not you see . . .” There are many … Continue reading

A Supervisor’s Greatest Discovery

The following is a true story but told with time compression – a nine month period shortened to three – in order cover the events in less than two pages: Paul was a shift supervisor with 32 years on the floor. Hitting schedules was his job. His manager, Bob, related this to me: “Paul is … Continue reading

Asset Artifacts

In 1980, an ASRS at my company was the showpiece of a new plant, its capability for high-density automatic storage and retrieval of inventory heralded as step change in stockroom services.  Eight years later, as the company adopted a just-in-time philosophy however, the ASRS was viewed more as an automated waste, facilitating storage of unneeded … Continue reading

Hospital Heroes

About six years ago I was meeting with a clinical team to kick off an early improvement effort at their hospital.  We began with a reflection on the problems with traditional business management practices.   To break the ice I played a short clip from an I Love Lucy episode that has now become a staple … Continue reading