Give authority to those closest to the information

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on August 17, 2016 · 0 comments

The following video was recently shared with me, and it reminding me of hearing the speaker in person. It’s a great story. It is the story of Captain David Marquet, Commander of a nuclear submarine, which is an environment that is perhaps least tolerance of leadership failures, and therefore a difficult place to try something […]

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Solving (or embracing?) conflicts of interest

08.15.2016

I’ve had to resolve many conflicts of interest over the years. I’ve always felt uneasy about them, and often went to extremes just to avoid the impression of a conflict of interest. Then someone said something to me that really got me thinking: “If you don’t have any conflicts of interest, you’re not doing anything […]

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How do you determine your core competencies?

08.11.2016

I was recently asked how someone should go about determining their core competencies. I had actually never thought about that question deeply. Any time it has come up, it either seemed obvious, or we just hacked our way to a determination based on some informed argument. So I gave it a lot of thought, and […]

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Stop saying you’re busy

08.08.2016

“How are you?” someone would ask. “Busy” was my natural response. But over 100s of repeated responses, it seemed insufficient to describe just how busy I felt. So the response would vary from “very busy” to “extremely busy” to “a bit overwhelmed at the moment.” Was I looking for pity, or trying to impress people […]

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Never leave in silent disagreement

08.05.2016

Whether a longer kaizen event or just a long meeting, it is commonplace to establish ground rules for the meeting. Some companies have standing ground rules that apply to all meetings. Others make it the facilitators’ job to establish them with the group before the meeting starts. There are some standards such as phones on […]

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Make money or make meaning?

08.03.2016

Every company can have a mission and a vision. What are we about? What are we good at? But if you really want to think about your company’s direction, ask this very hard question… If my company did not exist, why would the world be not as good a place? This doesn’t mean you have […]

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Reflections at the end of 15 years with the Lean Learning Center

08.01.2016

When I co-founded the Lean Learning Center 15 years ago, I never thought I would be leaving. It was my long-term vision that when I’m 70 years old (assuming I’m able to get that far), I’d still go back and play a bit of a role in teaching the Lean Experience, which was the course […]

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Who is really the student?

07.30.2016

One of my favorite ways to give back is teaching and coaching on campus. This is especially true for entrepreneurs. When I was an Entrepreneur in Residence for Lehigh University in 2006, I mentored 4 student-run companies. Although I won’t claim it was because of my mentoring, 3 of the 4 companies are still operating […]

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The misunderstanding of andon [Lessons from the Road]

07.06.2016

I was recently having a lot of conversations about the use of andon, how and why it works, and how to tailor the concept to a specific application. They asked if I had an article or column on the topic, and was quite surprised that I had never taken the opportunity to write more on […]

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Sometimes you must follow [Lessons from the Road]

05.11.2016

Before my Lessons from the Road column for IndustryWeek, I wrote one called Leading Lean for Assembly Magazine. Books are written about leading, a chapter in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean is about leading, but no one writes about following. Do we only follow because the leader is just that darn good? Or can we […]

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