• Andon is for operators to help us understand quality

    Andon is for operators to help us understand quality

    Andon is not for management to visualize problems, it’s for operators to help management understand quality. Yesterday, I witnessed that rare (very rare) feat: a company trying to set up an andon. Andon means that operators have a button to […]

     
  • What does it mean to develop someone?

    What does it mean to develop someone?

    The cornerstone idea of Lean thinking is that “to make quality products we first have to develop quality people.” But what does it mean to “develop people”? Our obsession bureaucratic conditioning tends to make us think in terms of Roles and […]

     
  • Leaders make choices, managers take decisions

    Leaders make choices, managers take decisions

    Choosing to quit smoking is one thing, deciding not to have that cigarette is another. Chasing is a lifestyle choice, an orientation that is going to make your life better. Decisions is picking one among several options at any one […]

     
  • The Yin and Yang of Organizations

    The Yin and Yang of Organizations

    Why does any organization seem to be caught in an endless cycle of success and failure? Why do they lose their purpose, then reinvent themselves? Yang is the clear sword, the strike, the attack energy the pinpoint focus. Yang is […]

     
  • We need HR to succeed. Really.

    We need HR to succeed. Really.

    During my two last gemba visits in two different companies, the HR Director was with the leader on the shop floor. This is a major step forward. What are the deep roots that will, in time produce more competitive products? How […]

     
  • Standards can really save your neck!

    Standards can really save your neck!

    How do you survive doing something with very high stakes at which you absolutely suck? We’ve just had our fifth Lean Summit here in France with fantastic speakers, a fantastic audience, fantastic support team (I love you guys) and, if I’m to […]

     
  • Has something gone badly wrong with storytelling?

    Has something gone badly wrong with storytelling?

    Whether you believe in science or not, science doesn’t care I grew up professionally in a world obsessed with performance improvement – maybe too much so. The talk at conference was always about: what worked what didn’t work did what […]

     
  • What do we really look for at the gemba?

    What do we really look for at the gemba?

    Is Lean about process improvement? Or customer satisfaction improvement? Or is it about creating a learning system? Or cost reduction in the end? What do we really look for at the gemba.  Usual entry points into lean thinking are: Improve […]

     
  • What does organic thinking really mean in Organizational Development

    What does organic thinking really mean in Organizational Development

    When engineers face a quality problem, they tend to start with the last operation. If something’s wrong with a part made of plastic components, the engineer will look at final assembly first, and make his or her ways backwards to find […]

     
  • The benefits of staying perplexed

    The benefits of staying perplexed

    “I’m completely confused,” concluded a participant at a recent workshop on Lean thinking – as if this was a bad thing. Staying perplexed as long as we can is, surprisingly, a good thing. In the workshop, participants were asked to build […]