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  • The kaizen engine in the lean machine

    The kaizen engine in the lean machine

    Lean is a clever scaffolding that points people towards continuous improvement and, if they work together, superior performance. But how does performance improvement really work? At individual level? The traditional operational excellence view of improvement is to avoid mistakes. Most […]

     
  • How to choose without a crystal ball

    How to choose without a crystal ball

    We dreamed of flying cars, we got the Internet. We strove to have a base on the moon and fly to the stars, we got comms satellites. The future is never quite like you expect and yet you need to […]

     
  • Instructing, training, coaching

    Instructing, training, coaching

    Coaching is all the rage these days – trainers are supposed to coach, managers are supposed to coach. Even lean senseis are supposed to coach. As a young man, I used to crew in ocean racing, as I wrote in […]

     
  • Flow from engineering

    Flow from engineering

    Many are now convinced of the benefits of flow in the production process. Flow is essentially about: carrying out the work continuously from start to finish – as opposed to doing some work, putting it down on a pile, getting […]

     
  • There is definitely an “I” in the word “team”

    There is definitely an “I” in the word “team”

    I’ve grown up professionally hearing that “there is no “I” in the word “team””. I always took it to mean that one should set aside’s one’s: Narrow self-interest, and rather work for the good of the team Ego, and join […]

     
  • We’ve got to let people know who we are and why we’re still relevant

    We’ve got to let people know who we are and why we’re still relevant

    How does lean thinking apply to marketing? This is an interesting question I’ve been asked now again and with no definitive answer in the literature – let’s explore? Quality is what we first seek in lean – quality in terms […]

     
  • Isn’t standardization a good thing? What does “standardize” stand for in lean?

    Isn’t standardization a good thing? What does “standardize” stand for in lean?

    Do you standardize the process so that all cases are treated as one? Or do you know what you’re doing by referring every work situation to a standard: the best known way to do the job with generating as little […]

     
  • To know your customers, listen to each customer

    To know your customers, listen to each customer

    Do you impose your processes on your customers? Or do you truly know their individual preferences and adapt to make their lives easier with your product or service? Knowing one’s customers is a business truism, one of these things we […]

     
  • Solving our own problems teaches us to distinguish what we know from what we don’t

    Solving our own problems teaches us to distinguish what we know from what we don’t

    Solving daily performance problems is not about taking every small rock out of a well-oiled machine so that, one day, the process works perfectly because there are no more problems. Discussing how we solved one problem every day is about […]

     
  • The kaizen way to environmental performance

    The kaizen way to environmental performance

    Reduce your carbon impact by half. In the worst market conditions in living memory. Without investment. This is what this mid-sized construction company has done, cutting its carbon footprint by 47% in four years whilst fighting for survival in a sector […]