• Lean standards are about teaching to change

    Lean standards are about teaching to change

    Standards are not about compliance and making sure every one does the same thing everywhere. Those are procedures. Standards are about teaching people to change for the better, by themselves. “Improve!” Isn’t that instruction clear? Well, actually, not so much. […]

     
  • PDCA or PPPPDCA?

    PDCA or PPPPDCA?

    What does a “culture of problem solvers” really mean? How can teaching PDCA help? or distract? Some things work, some things don’t. Some things matter, some things don’t. It’s hard to know which is which and chance always has a […]

     
  • Clarity: Where is management?

    Clarity: Where is management?

    You stand with a team that is presenting a kaizen effort. Is it clear which direction their next  step should take? Kaizen is the bedrock of lean practice. As a leader, your first step to getting going for real in […]

     
  • Why is learning is hard? Because you learn when it’s hard

    Why is learning is hard? Because you learn when it’s hard

    Most learning isn’t learning – it’s assimilation. True learning means changing your mind. Assimilation means that new facts are made to fit our existing worldview and mental models. It feels nice, like “aha!”, I was right. Real learning is accommodation […]

     
  • Why is “don’t restructure, help ground teams to make it work” so subversive?

    Why is “don’t restructure, help ground teams to make it work” so subversive?

    At it’s simplest, lean leadership is about helping ground teams to make things work before restructuring. It goes this way: The leader goes to the gemba and looks into improvement projects the teams have taken upon themselves to do: what […]

     
  • A lean sensei is neither consultant nor coach

    A lean sensei is neither consultant nor coach

    The difficulty in describing something new is not to bring it back to existing labels. If sensei was the same as expert, coach, doctor or consultant, I’d happily be using those terms. I’ve been working for the past five years […]

     
  • Lean separates learners from tellers

    Lean separates learners from tellers

    How can lean bring conflict? There is no denying that in the early days of a serious lean initiative, unless you’re very lucky, there will be some gnashing of teeth, even some weeping as arguments for or against heat up and lines are […]

     
  • The eye leads the hand

    The eye leads the hand

    The secret of visual management is that the eye leads the hand… which then leads the brain. Specifically, attention – the brain’s system one of fast reaction – leads the eye, which then leads the hand to action. The consequences […]

     
  • Can we accept Mura, Muri, Muda in a zero growth world?

    Can we accept Mura, Muri, Muda in a zero growth world?

    The jury is in: economic growth is a thing of the past, as shown here by Dambisa Moyo and Olivier Scalabre, and our economies continue to underperform. Truth is, economic growth throughout the XXth century has been based on 1) […]

     
  • Progress is the real source of motivation

    Progress is the real source of motivation

    How can I use the results of my activities to get ahead? Unless we answer this simple question, we’re missing out on the real source of motivation: personal progress. It’s always surprising to realize the depth of our taylorist conditioning […]