June 2010

The Value of Rules

06.28.2010

NCIS has been one of the most popular shows on television for years now. I generally don’t like TV crime dramas, but my wife has gotten me a bit into this one over time. The lead character is Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon. Gibbs has a number of rules. His team learns these […]

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Eliminate Earnings Guidance

06.23.2010

Show me the money! Or at least, show me your plans to have money in the future. One of the most pervasive intrusions to sound strategic decision making and long-term leadership is a focus on quarterly earnings. “We must hit the number” drowns out more sensible criteria such as “what will deliver the most value […]

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How to read a book in an hour

06.16.2010

For those of you who have taken our Lean Experience, you know we have a very structured multi-step process to kick things off in which approximately 40 people read books, distill them to key points, share them with other, build common themes and ideas and prepare a presentation. A part of that is reading a […]

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A Call to Action

06.14.2010

Don’t generate news; do something newsworthy. Don’t just post on facebook your distaste of political decisions; get involved, go vote, or run for office. Don’t complain at the water cooler; have the courage to have difficult conversations with the right people. Don’t sulk or carry guilt; go apologize. Don’t just wish you were somewhere else; […]

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Role of Lean Thinking in Private Equity

06.09.2010

Private equity and lean don’t often go together. Private equity has been blamed for a lot of evils and problems, as this Boston.com cartoon lampoons: But when they do, there are some great synergies. We have worked with many private equity firms, and private equity-held companies. The biggest synergy is that despite the pursuit of […]

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Long Term Success of the Family-Held Business

06.08.2010

Last week I spotlighted some success and failures in family-held businesses in Zildjian versus Viacom. When done poorly, the family can destroy the business, or the business can destroy the family. How can you avoid some of the bad outcomes? I think two major factors must be considered: influence and succession. Influence Influence must help […]

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RIP: John Wooden

06.07.2010

It was sad to hear of the passing of the legend John Wooden. Of course this can never be validated, but he may be the best coach, of any sport, ever. I don’t really follow basketball, and if I did I would be a Big 10 fan, so this is by no means a biased […]

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Zildjian versus Viacom

06.03.2010

Publicly held businesses create most of the news. But family-created and held business are a bigger part of the economy than most people realize. They might be a brand-name you use every day, or something deep in the supply chain that you’ve never seen. But there are a great many family businesses. What makes the […]

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Leading Lean: Bring Lean to Your Sales Team

06.01.2010

I have a new post published on Assembly Magazine. See the full article on that site. Lean applies to every function within a business. You cannot succeed on your lean journey without engaging the sales organization at some point…. Continue reading….  

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The right supervisor ratio

06.01.2010

“How many direct reports do you have?” That used to be a question asked to measure someone’s importance. People wanted control. Building an empire was a status symbol. But that has little to do with effectiveness. I have been writing a lot lately about topics related to organizational design, such as Organizational Design Solves Lean […]

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