Happy Thanksgiving…..Be thankful for Lean

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]Happy Thanksgiving from the Lean Is Good blog. 

As I reflect back, there is so much to be thankful for it amazes me.  Often times in our blogospheres we rant and rave about all the negative things like lack of leadership, overburdened workloads, lack of commitment, etc.  However, take a minute to think about all the things your teams did well this year!  How many kanban systems did you start or improve upon?  How many of your processes are more stable now than a year ago since you implemented standard work or process control charting?  Most importantly, how many people did you teach that there are simpler and better ways to do business successfully?

I bet you got a lot done!!!!!  Be thankful that we continue to have andon pulls to work on!!!!

Bryan

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

Roundtable 3 – How do you check that you are engaging people?

Staatsrat by jonas k under Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]The ‘posters’ of the Lean Is Good blog have grown to four in number. Each of us brings a different background and set of experiences around Deming, lean, and learning. How could we leverage this diversity of thought and voice for the benefit of our readers? We ‘planned’ and came up with an idea that we could each briefly answer a question once a week. Today we ‘do’ it, and we will ‘check’ it after a couple weeks looking for a high rate of comments.   This is the third edition of the ’roundtable.’   The first two are here and here.   We will post a poll so that readers can interact when it is reasonable for the question asked. The order that the answers appear in will be randomized each time. Please join us by adding your comments. We would like to hear from you.

The question:

How do you ‘check’ that you are engaging people? Continue reading

Roundtable 2 – How do you measure a year in someone’s life?

Staatsrat by jonas k under Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]The ‘posters’ of the Lean Is Good blog have grown to four in number. Each of us brings a different background and set of experiences around Deming, lean, and learning. How could we leverage this diversity of thought and voice for the benefit of our readers? We ‘planned’ and came up with an idea that we could each briefly answer a question once a week. Today we ‘do’ it, and we will ‘check’ it after a couple weeks looking for a high rate of comments.   This is the second edition of the ’roundtable.’   It is related to this post from last week. Continue reading

Book Review – Lead Well and Prosper

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"] Lead Well and Prosper | Nick McCormick | Be Good Publishing

Nick McCormick’s Lead Well and Prosper, subtitled 15 Successful Strategies for Becoming a Good Manager, follows fictional manager Joe “Joker” Kerr as he inflicts his leadership upon poor Wanda B. Goode, who must suffer Joe’s dysfunctional management for our benefit, allowing us to learn by Joe’s poor example.   The book is a quick and simple read.  A few pages to develop a topic in each chapter followed by “DOs, DON’Ts, and ACTIONs” to finish each chapter (these are all summarized in the appendices for easy reference.)  Continue reading

Pinewood Derby Cars, Standard Work and Training

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]It is Pinewood Derby Car season and working with a 6 year old who wants to use a coping saw, spray paint, and lead weights just sends chills down my spine. One thing that is helping get me through this process without a mental meltdown or trip to the hospital is reflecting on how a new associate, the 6 year old mentioned above, and I, the supposed reasonable adult or Supervisor go through the derby car making process and how Standard Work and training would help the manufacture of the car, calm my nerves, and make a more enjoyable experience for everyone. Continue reading

Competition Among Peers – Deming’s Third Deadly Disease

Photo by abac077 under Creative Commons Attribution

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Last week I did a posts here and here (and Bryan offered a different paradigm here) about the external motivation (carrot and stick) assumption of many performance evaluation / merit pay systems.  We’re calling this the “jackass series”.

Let’s talk about another assumption that underlies many of these systems – competition between peers increases productivity and effectiveness.  The effort to create competition can take on many forms.  Differential bonuses or annual increases, or forced rankings of peers.  Some go so far as to force somebody in the group to be put in a category like “needs improvement” or “C”.  In some of the most extreme systems people are “let go” Continue reading