January 2012

Building great spaces instead of great managers

01.30.2012

Why do organizations build great workspaces? Get prime real estate with a great zip code? Buy the fanciest office furniture and features? We do it in an effort to be an employer of choice. We do it to recruit, and retain, the top talent. But is there a problem in this strategy? On fistful of […]

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Why won’t they tell me there is a problem?

01.24.2012

Leaders ask people to tell them what problems they have. This isn’t a practice exclusive to lean. MBWA, or Management By Walking Around, even incorporated this concept. In some organizations, there are systems in place (whether digital or on a board) for individuals to capture and surface problems. We ask as part of one-on-ones. But […]

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Should lean start with 5S? Or somewhere else?

01.13.2012

I recently highlighted Bruce Hamilton’s blog, titled Old Lean Dude. Yesterday’s post was titled 5S First? I got going with my comments, and that carried over into my own post here. Bruce’s story was between himself and a workshop participant debating whether 5S or kanban should come first in a lean journey. Here’s how the […]

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How to trick yourself into thinking you’re doing lean (and trick others at the same time)

01.10.2012

What to do when problem solving tools become the problem? One of the funniest blogs in the world, in my opinion, is The Oatmeal. However, this one about pros and cons struck a cord because what makes it funny is exactly that it’s how people work. Here’s the heart of the problem: Image by The […]

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IndustryWeek’s 2011 Manufacturing Hall of Fame

01.05.2012

IndustryWeek, the magazine for whom I now right a bi-monthly columned titled Lessons from the Road, just released the 2011 class of the Manufacturing Hall of Fame. Our co-founder of the Lean Learning Center, Dennis Pawley, was named in the Class of 2010. I won’t spoil the whole list, which you can view here, but […]

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Aesop’s Fables: Hercules and the Waggoner

01.04.2012

Many of you know that I love Aesop’s Fables to present timeless lessons, and write about how they connect to lessons in the lean journey. This fable is titled: Hercules and the Waggoner “A Waggoner was driving his team along a muddy lane with a full load behind them, when the wheels of his waggon sank so […]

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Chief of Staff: The new CEO necessity [Guest Post]

01.02.2012

Guest post: Shawn Patterson is the Executive Director, Enterprise Performance Management and Chief of Staff to CEO at DTE Energy. Shawn has held numerous positions in multiple industries and is passionate about influencing lean transformations in organizations. A recent CNN Money article stated, “In headier days a CEO’s must-have accessory was a GulfstreamV or a […]

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