Let people make mistakes? Tough Love of Leadership!

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]While leading an event this week, I came across a common situation that I have faced over the years.  The group, very new to pull, wanted to implement a particular piece of the pull system in an exact same way that I have failed in a past life.  Despite my best efforts through education and description of the past shortcomings, I couldn’t convince them to set it up any other way.  As an event leader what do you do next?    Impose your will on the group or let them make the mistake and learn the hard way? Continue reading

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Make Technology Work for People

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]While traveling this week, I noticed that my alarm clock in my hotel room has a motion detector on it.  In the middle of the night it does not illuminate the time until it detects motion.  A great idea.  The room stays darker and then when you move, presumable to see the what time it is, it activates and illuminates the current time.  Continue reading

Almost Standard Work: 6 Pieces, 5 Steps and 3 Mistakes

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]Several weeks ago I posted an article related to building a pinewood derby car. After superior engineering, cutting edge tribology and a monster paint job, we didn’t bring anything home except the car and hopes of a better race next year. So our next project was at Lowe’s. Continue reading

22 Rules, Respecting Humanity?

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]I recently read a plant newsletter that list 22 keys to forklift safety. Twenty-two.  Many of these are pretty intuitive and are pretty easy to remember if not somewhat ‘natural’ to someone who is used to operating any motor vehicle.  Some forklift operators will probably read this list of rules and integrate a couple of these keys into their behaviors – they will learn something they will retain on an intuitive level.  The bigger question isn’t really about forklift safety though.  The bigger question goes to the idea of 22 rules. Continue reading

Undercover Boss – Going to the Gemba on CBS

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Genchi gembutsu.  Go to the gemba.  The importance of going to the ‘actual place’ to see the ‘actual thing.’  It’s something that lean practitioners value a lot.  CBS’s new reality show, Undercover Boss, premiering on February 7th after the Superbowl is where corporate leaders do just that – the voyeuristic ritual of reality shows goes lean? Continue reading

Performance Appraisals – A Better Way?

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As Bruce points in a couple recent post (here and here), it is performance appraisal season.  Bruce provided many great points on how they are used for evil instead of good!  But we all aren’t as lucky as Deming and can’t just conscientiously object.  In reality most of our jobs require us to perform some type of annual evaluation.  What can you do to take the “jackassery” out of them and avoid crossing over to the dark side? Continue reading

The Great Jackass Fallacy – Dan Pink and W. Edwards Deming

Image Remixed from abac077 @flickr.com under Creative Commons Attribution, Remix, Share Alike

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Special thanks to reader Dan Mott who left a link to a TED video on a post from last week called Performance Evals Are Bad – The Great Jackass Fallacy criticizing the “carrots and sticks” approach to performance evaluations and merit increases.  According to career analyst Dan Pink (you can read reviews of and or buy his new book – Drive:  The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us here), science has been confirming what Deming told us beginning in the first half of the last century — positive intent, an intrinsic desire to achieve  beats the extrinsic motivation model.  Dan summarizes the intrinsic motivators as: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.  Take the time to watch the 20 minute video from TED Global 2009: Continue reading