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Lean learning is a wake-up call for breaking old business patterns

By | February 28th, 2017|Categories: Book|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Most of us have experienced at least one wake-up call in our lives. Many of these alarm bells are sudden while others are slow build-ups that once they sound off can be catastrophic, catching us completely off guard. One thing we can safely say: most wake-up calls are triggered by the need to make changes either [...]

5S is the First Step – Always?

By | April 19th, 2016|Categories: Kaizen, Lean Learning|Tags: , , , |

I have seen it presented and stated many times that 5S is the first step in lean. For many, that will ring as a true statement in both a theoretical and a practical sense. I am also willing to bet that in most, if not all cases, that initial effort was not sustained over the long [...]

Middle Management – The Key to Lean

By | March 8th, 2016|Categories: Management|Tags: , , , , , , , |

When assessing the effectiveness and direction of lean in your organization you might find yourself in one of these places: The Continuous Improvement Program Managers have run a lot of high impact projects. We either need more CI managers or we need to increase skill and capability of line management. We seem to have plateaued in [...]

Lean – What Is the ROI?

By | January 3rd, 2016|Categories: Blog, Lean Learning, Lean Progress Newsletter|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Lean – What Is the ROI? “What is the return on investment for lean?” This question is asked frequently in our Lean Experience and Leading Lean sessions.  It’s a fair question. This week I had a chance to see a great example of the ROI of lean. A little background - the company I visited this [...]

How Can You Effectively Introduce Lean Improvements in Your Organization?

By | December 29th, 2015|Categories: Lean Learning, Lean Lingo|Tags: , , , , , |

What is Lean? At its core, “Lean” is about improving and optimizing your operations. An organization using lean thinking consistently provides greater value to its customers while consuming fewer resources to do so. Lean organizations do not focus on a single area of their business, they focus on the entire process flow to eliminate waste and [...]

Baggage

By | June 15th, 2013|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , |

I spend at least 50% of my time teaching classes for people who for various reasons are interested enough in lean to spend a week immersed in experiences designed to cause them to understand and apply lean principles to what they do.  The focus of the week is creating breakthrough thinking that will shift beliefs about [...]

Creativity–An Intended Consequence

By | April 9th, 2012|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |

I couldn’t possibly count the number of times I heard that “I work in an environment that requires creativity and lean doesn’t apply to my work”.  Over and over again I have offered how important lean principles are to creating an environment for creativity.  I am convinced more than ever that this is true but I have recently become convinced that lean principles also create a “mindset” for creativity.  This most recent revelation, or possibly validation, occurred while reading two very different publications.  The first is “IMAGINE-How Creativity Works” by Jonah Lehrer.  The second is an article in New Scientist, “Zap your brain into the zone: Fast track to pure focus” by Sally Adee.  […]

Promoting Employee Engagement–A Cautionary Tale

By | December 22nd, 2011|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Those of you who know me are aware that I have been slow to embrace the power and value of social media.  Fortunately my friend and partner, Jamie Flinchbaugh, has convinced me of the error of my ways.  This is my 1st foray into the blogosphere and I hope to be a valuable contributor. Although it is becoming less common, unfortunately it is still not uncommon to find employees, and even entire departments, unwilling to participate and contribute ideas or suggestions to improve their organization.  The reasons are wide and varied and often would take a psychiatrist’s couch to understand.  The following is a tale of an extremely important department in a company, we will call them AAA, that was not only unwilling to be engaged, they were downright militant about it. […]

Lean in a Union Environment

By | March 23rd, 2010|Categories: Blog, Videos|Tags: , , , , , |

In this video, Andy Carlino and Jamie Flinchbaugh discuss lean in a union environment. This is not about pro-union or anti-union, but a recognition that having a union does affect how you deal with change. When it comes to lean transformation, it presents some challenges but also some advantages, because you know the rules and have [...]