General

How your thinking filters are affecting your process improvment

05.12.2017

There are two thinking “filters” that affect how we problem solve during the continuous improvement process.  They are both necessary but should not be used simultaneously.    

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Practicing Lean

04.28.2017

The idea that just as doctors practice medicine we must practice lean is the premise of a book I contributed to called Practicing Lean which was edited by Mark Graban. We must be wiling to evolve our practices and learn as we move forward.   Order a copy of the book today on Kindle or paperback.  You […]

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Define Lean by Behaviors, Part 4: Clearly articulate the lean behaviors that matter to you.

04.26.2017

Part 3 examined where are behaviors come from, and in this 4th and final part, we explore applying PDSA to culture change. Most cultures are accidental. They are created through the somewhat random walk of experiences that we encounter. Those who grew up during the Great Depression developed a sense of thriftiness and conservation. Those […]

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Define Lean by Behaviors, Part 3: Experiences, beliefs, behaviors, and lean

04.24.2017

In Part 2, we explored the importance of behaviors. In this part, we examine how to create those behaviors. Experiences create our beliefs which drive our behaviors. So, if behaviors are so important, what do we do about it. We can certainly dig much deeper into this topic than in this blog post, but the […]

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Chief Executive Magazine picks up on theme that lean is not just about process

04.20.2017

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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