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  • Lean as an abnormality management system

    Lean as an abnormality management system

    Takehiko Harada, in his great Management Lessons from Taiichi Ohno, tells us that another way of looking at the Toyota Production System is as “abnormality management.” Abnormality management means that: Abnormalities are visible and intuitive and management encourages revealing them […]

     
  • Their success is your success

    Their success is your success

    Let’s conduct a quick thought experiment. Imagine for a second: You are given the power to know the solution to all the world’s problems: it won’t make you a hero. It’ll make you a sad know-it-all no one even listens […]

     
  • Watch who you hire, don’t become a nest of ‘fixed mindset’

    Watch who you hire, don’t become a nest of ‘fixed mindset’

    The psychological theory that has gained visibility in the past decades is Carol Dweck’s distinction between growth mindset and fixed mindset – where we all have a bit of both. Growth mindset is the assumption that practice makes perfect, and […]

     
  • The takt of challenge, the challenge of takt

    The takt of challenge, the challenge of takt

    We’ll all agree that we learn by doing, but doing something, anything new is hard. The mind is hardwired to imagine a future in which we can carry on without changing our habits, opinions or place in the world. We hold […]

     
  • Teamwork on value, the value of teamwork

    Teamwork on value, the value of teamwork

    Value is what customers come looking for when they talk to you. Value they can’t find anywhere else is the key to scale-up. But value is also very, very hard to pin down. What can we do today to please […]

     
  • Lean thinking teaches reasoning, not rules

    Lean thinking teaches reasoning, not rules

    What are the rules for using “Red Bins”? It depends. What is the rule for stop-at-every-defect? I don’t know, it depends. What are the rules for effective problem solving? Let me see… it depends. People want rules to get on […]

     
  • Reduce boxes, then reduce buildings

    Reduce boxes, then reduce buildings

    When the CEO and COO of this service company heard that the key to improve their financial performance was to reduce their inventory of spare parts, they were a somewhat doubtful: their business is maintenance of gas stations and spare parts […]

     
  • First find a leader, then think about flow

    This is probably the best example of kaizen I’ve ever seen so far: A few deep thoughts to think about: They don’t show you how to find a solution to the problem, they first tell you about George, his will […]

     
  • Lean is an exploration method, not a belief system

    Lean Sensei Art Smalley reminded me again that there was not one method of problem solving, but many, and each depended on the type of problem you are trying to solve. Fifteen years ago, Art opened my eyes to the importance […]

     
  • The transformative power of Lean ideas on the gemba

    Why Lean? How is it any different from other management approaches? Why, after 25 years is it still equally important and has, paradoxically, spawn a bevy of trends that have all come and gone? The wonder of Lean comes from […]