• Start by asking “why?” and then “why?” again

    Start by asking “why?” and then “why?” again

    “Where do I start with lean?” I am often asked. How do I eradicate waste from my processes? How do I reduce costs? How do I improve flow? Why not start by asking “why?”? Yes, productivity is wealth. Yes, the […]

     
  • How to change a habit: lean or taylorism?

    How to change a habit: lean or taylorism?

    A large part of the quality of what we do is down to work habits. We can see this everyday: some people have good work habits, and work well. Others have poor work habits, and don’t work so well. Some […]

     
  • What is your customer engagement ladder?

    What is your customer engagement ladder?

    The lean approach to sales is seeing customers as friends: we help them get done what they want to get done, with the lowest cost and hassle possible, they help us stay in business by accepting our prices. But how does […]

     
  • The amazing challenging power of TPS

    The amazing challenging power of TPS

    Toyota’s Thinking People System continues to amaze me. To prepare for tomorrow’s gemba visit of one of their sites, the CEO and COO of this service company used the TPS House to draw the list of challenges they needed to […]

     
  • Do you want to learn lean? Or do you want to talk about lean?

    Do you want to learn lean? Or do you want to talk about lean?

    Before you read this post, ask yourself the following three questions: Am I improving customer value today? Am I investigating customer complaints systematically? I am challenging what I understand of my customer’s business model? What topic am I currently engaged […]

     
  • People need hope, they need wins, they need kaizen

    People need hope, they need wins, they need kaizen

    Sometimes, business is tough. Sometimes, products are undersold, markets reverse, competition is unduly aggressive. Sometimes core technologies change. When the company hits troubled waters, people can find themselves working very hard just to stay afloat, stuck in a “Red Queen” […]

     
  • Continuous flow… at the dentists’: Jidoka is the key to flow

    Continuous flow… at the dentists’: Jidoka is the key to flow

    Continuous flow is without debate a more effective way to work, but to many it seems impossible to reach in their current conditions – indeed, continuous flow requires an understanding of Jidoka as well. I had the misfortune of spending […]

     
  • Let go of the Post-its!

    Let go of the Post-its!

    Enough with the Post-its, already. Our aim is to crate space for more mindful work. More mindful work is more sensitive to customers’ wishes and smarter with avoiding waste. When did we start using post-its to represent work? 20 years ago […]

     
  • How to convince engineers… to listen to service feedback

    How to convince engineers… to listen to service feedback

    Concepts matter. Engineers are notoriously hard of hearing when it comes to negative feedback about their designs. Not surprisingly, they’re keen about their work, but sometimes customers do experience mishaps, inconveniences or simply gripe about impractical features. How can we […]

     
  • How responsible do you feel for your customers?

    How responsible do you feel for your customers?

    Our customers are our responsibility. What happens to them is our problem, particularly regarding what we do for them. Customers are not resources to get exploited by getting more money off them every way we can. Customers are friends to […]