My IndustryWeek column on the idea that talent matters has gotten more attention than I anticipated, with many notes and comments in personal conversations. Chief Executive Magazine picked up on the theme in their article “Lean Manufacturing is about people, not just process.” Here is some of their reference to me: Jamie Flinchbaugh, lean advisor, […]

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Define Lean by Behaviors, Part 2: Behaviors are greater than tools  

04.19.2017

In Part 1: The evolution of lean, we explored how our insight into lean has evolved. In this part, we explore why behaviors are so important to lean. The most important aspect of lean evolution has been the acknowledgement of the role of behaviors as central to a lean organization. I don’t just say this […]

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Define Lean by Behaviors, Part 1: The evolution of lean

04.17.2017

This blog post is the first in a 4 part series I wrote called “Lean is about behavior”  This series address the evolution of lean, why behaviors trump tools every time, how our experiences, beliefs and behaviors affect our ability to create and sustain a lean culture, and how to articulate your lean behaviors to […]

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Sergio Garcia didn’t take any mulligans, why should your measurement system?

04.13.2017

Sergio Garcia won The Masters. He didn’t get to take a mulligan. But just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. This is how a conversation with me might go: “Where were you today?” ….“Playing golf.” “What did you hit?” … “75” “Very good. Did you take any mulligans?”…“25 of them” All of a sudden, […]

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Is Talent or Process Vital to Lean Success? It’s Not Really a Choice [Lessons from the Road]

04.11.2017

Lean equals process improvement, right? Wrong. Lean is about people. We improve processes because bad processes beat good people. Good processes enable people. Good processes improve our consistency. But will a great process deliver greatness? Probably not, because talent is still required. This column for IndustryWeek, titled Is Talent or Process Vital to Lean Success? […]

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Replace your “All Hands” meeting with an “All Minds” one

03.23.2017

Almost every leader of an organization, whether a team of 15 people or a thousand-person site in a multinational has some version of the “All Hands” meeting. Some are done ad hoc when something needs to be communicated, and some are done at a regular cadence. But why are we bringing “all hands” together, to […]

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Do the work, improve the work

03.20.2017

Sometimes, performance doesn’t come from big, bold, broad interventions. Sometimes, performance is just about improving our work design. This article from MIT Alumni Magazine highlights the work of Professor Nelson Repenning. Dr. Repenning was just beginning his faculty career when I was a student at MIT, and I’ve followed his work since. He’s done a […]

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Come hear me speak! Upcoming dates…

03.19.2017

Come hear me speak at the following upcoming dates: MANTEC 5th Business Growth Conference, March 31, Lancaster, PA – This is the local MEP in south-central Pennsylvania. Their annual conference is focused on growth, and includes a range of topics. Come out for the day. Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research‘s Spring Symposium, April […]

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Lean is more about learning than knowledge

03.17.2017

What will be more useful in the future, knowledge or learning? Knowledge changes, sometimes rapidly. Machines make knowledge more accessible, both in terms of who and when. How we learn, I suggest, has much greater leverage. That is why I’ve been on a mission to define lean as the ultimate embodiment of a learning organization, […]

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Standardization is not for its own sake [Lessons from the Road]

01.30.2017

I continue to surprise myself with the number of important topics that I have yet to write about, despite how many years I have written both blog posts and columns for first Assembly Magazine and now for several years IndustryWeek. This month I take on the topic of standardization. The rote application of lean suggests […]

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