Management Carnival Annual Roundup

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on December 28, 2009 · 4 comments

What are the best blog posts of 2009? I would be willing to say that the best blog posts have probably contributed more than the best book releases. John Hunter of Curious Cat blog has done a wonderful job beginning a practice and a community of people sharing the best blog posts on lean, Deming, and continuous improvement. It is time for the annual roundup and I am participating for the first time. You can see a summary of all the annual roundups here. I have the honor of reviewing 3 bloggers, who I choose because it gave a chance to get to know their writing a little better. I was happy with that experience. I have extracted key blog posts, from my perspective, from Matthew May, Pete Abilla, and Mike Wroblewski.

In Pursuit of Elegance by Matthew May goes beyond lean, but Matthew is a lean thinker as he explores the world of design and elegant solutions.

A great way to start learning about his ideas is with this video interview of Matthew which covers a range of his key points.

Matthew relates Mandelbrot Sets to his key point of Symmetry in this post. A lean thinker is capable of recognizing patterns within the disorder, and allowing enough disorder for the patterns to emerge. As a geek at heart, I love when people can relate complex mathematical theories to organizational challenges.

In How to Set a Big, Hairy Audacious Goal, Matthew links to a post at the Open Forum Idea Hub and challenges everyone to think about complacency and how to break through it.

Since Matthew also blogs in the Open Forum, I thought I would also share a post from that content. His post The Stop-Doing Strategy covers what I think is one of the most important elements of strategic thinking.

In The Elegance of My Father, this beautifully written story didn’t make the cut of his book, but was shared here.

Pete Abilla writes the Shmula blog, which isn’t about lean as much as it is heavily influenced by lean, as Pete is a true lean thinking and an entrepreneur.

In Shining Metal Pointing Direction, Pete accurately describes hoshin kanri as a process of determine both the objectives and the means to achieve them.

One of my favorite posts is Respect for People, Underutilized People, and Waste. The title says it enough.

In Goodbye Customer, Pete explains the relationship between in dealing with customer concerns between loyalty and cost & complexity.

Mind Before Money clearly describes how an organization needs to think before spending it’s precious money. A mind is something that improves as you use it. Money is something that deteriorates as you use it.

Pete also shares his experiences with Twitter, through the lens of value, through a series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

Mike Wroblewski writes Got Boondoggle? from his personal experiences and lessons as a lean practitioner. Here are some of the posts I enjoyed the most.

In What is Lean, Mike doesn’t so much define lean but demonstrate the challenges with trying to. In the end, the message is that sometimes lean is very simple.

In the Lean Horse Race we discover that many organizations don’t even know what race they are in before they let the horses go. There is no one right way to make lean happen, and flaws in short-term versus long-term thinking can limit your success.

Are you Passionate About Lean? paints a very clear picture of what that really means. There is a difference between saying you are passionate, and demonstrating it.

A similar theme is explored in Leading By Example, making clear that lean will not be successful if you aren’t walking the talk.

Finally, Get Your Boots On describes the process of solving problems at the point of activity. He also shares other nuggets and lessons from a speech about Toyota in this post.

I hope you find these bloggers interesting, and these posts valuable. I’ll make this request on behalf of all bloggers. Please share your thoughts and reactions to their content by commenting on the posts. This feedback is energy, learning, and perspective for most bloggers. They want it to be a two-way communication process. So I encourage you to be a part of that.

1 Karen Wilhelm December 29, 2009 at 9:18 am

Great picks. Pete and Mike have wonderful blogs that I’ve followed for a long time. I haven’t spent time with Matthew’s blog, but the Carnival is a great way to find something new.

Just to echo Jamie, bloggers really pay attention to your comments, and so do other readers. By commenting, you also do yourself a favor by showing people what you know and think and raising your own profile in the lean community.

By commenting on Mike’s and Pete’s posts, I’ve got into offline e-mail conversations, and have met Mike at a couple of conferences and had some good talks. I feel like they’re always there to answer a question of share some advice.

Thanks go to John Hunter for starting the Carnival idea and now sharing it across the lean blogosphere. Be sure to check out his Curious Cat blog too because he’s another great thinker you should get to know.

2 Pete Abilla December 29, 2009 at 3:11 pm


Thank you so much – I feel honored and humbled that you would consider some of my posts for this 2009 blog carnival. I appreciate your taking the time and attention to read my musings. I don’t take that lightly. Thank you.


3 Jamie Flinchbaugh December 29, 2009 at 11:36 pm

Thanks for the comments Karen.

And Pete, I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing your blog.


4 Mike Wroblewski December 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Hi Jamie,

I really appreciate having my blog, Got Boondoggle, included in your Management Carnival Annual Roundup. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on several of my posts. I learn as much as I share on the lean journey.
Thank you very much! Mike

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