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  • The Helping Organization

    The Helping Organization

    “Look at their eyes!” I remember one of my senseis trying to explain to me standard work. “Look at their hands. Look at their feet.” I was watching an operator on a line, pen and paper in hand, with a […]

     
  • The thinking roots of lean thinking

    The thinking roots of lean thinking

    What are the roots of lean? Some people have it going back to the arsenal in Venice, which I was fortunate to visit, but then again, most of industry probably comes from there. Others see the Gilbreths, Taylor and co. […]

     
  • Success starts with the continuity of customer satisfaction

    Success starts with the continuity of customer satisfaction

    People expect things to work, every day, before all else. Bosses, however, expect their staff to follow orders, before all else. Whatever your job is, don’t get fooled in thinking that success is defined by your boss’ approval. Bosses change, […]

     
  • Bad Boss Self-Check

    Bad Boss Self-Check

    “I don’t have time for this stuff!” How many times have you heard yourself think that as people let you down or get stuck on the simplest problems, as they get overwhelmed by the epidemic and/or their confinement? There is […]

     
  • The false hope of silver bullets

    The false hope of silver bullets

    Have you wondered: am I infected without symptoms? Am I contaminating others unknowingly? Years of gemba walks in hospitals have left this typically hypochondriac author with memories of irrationally leaving shoes on the doormat, carefully stripping, putting all clothes in […]

     
  • Lockdown’s Loss Function

    Lockdown’s Loss Function

    I’ve been studying lean in hospitals since the mid 1990s – co-wrote a book about it with a Nursing Director. I’m confined, but people tell me their gemba stories. It’s awful. It’s frightening. It’s inspiring. A hospital is a complex being – […]

     
  • We need to explain Just-in-time NOW!

    We need to explain Just-in-time NOW!

    Folk are ill and need support – but we can’t get close to them. Caregivers are on the frontlines and need equipment to work – but we can’t get out of our homes. Shop and logistics workers are keeping us […]

     
  • Prepare for whiplash

    Prepare for whiplash

    Let’s take care of the sick first, yes? They need care. So let’s take care of the care providers, yes? They need material and emotional support to do their jobs – masks for protection, gel for disinfection, respirators for the […]

     
  • Lean thinking at the cliff’s edge

    Lean thinking at the cliff’s edge

    Lean thinkers, the first question is what can we do to create psychological safety for people affected so that they feel enabled to be cautious and break the chain of transmission? But a second crisis is looming that we, lean […]

     
  • Lean is a verb, not a thing

    Lean is a verb, not a thing

    Lean is a verb, not a thing. Lean is the act of looking for waste, then asking why it’s there, then committing to do something about it, getting others onboard, and trying something. My son leaned us when he pointed out […]