April 19, 2014

The weekly rewind

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A look back at some articles that caught my eye:
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Management Improvement Blog Carnival #159

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March 2012 marks the 2-year anniversary of My Flexible Pencil. Although I’m certain he was unaware of that, I am still honored that John Hunter of the Curious Cat Management Improvement blog is helping me to celebrate this milestone, by asking me to host the Management Improvement Blog Carnival #159.

The Carnival, begun by in 2006, is published 3 times a month and serves to provide a selection of links to posts on a number of blogs. The carnival covers management improvement: Deming, lean manufacturing, six sigma, innovation, customer focus, leadership, systems thinking, continuous improvement, respect for people… [Read more]

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LinkedIn Q&A: Few answers for Gemba in the Virtual Workplace.

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Last week’s question on LinkedIn followed up on a post I wrote here a few weeks back, asking for insight on how to go to Gemba when Gemba is anywhere:

It is clear that the popularity of virtual work locations and concepts such as ROWE are increasing. Going to Gemba is critical for Operational Excellence, however. How would you go to Gemba if the Gemba is anywhere and everywhere? [Read more]

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Mark Hamel dives deeper into ROWE and Shingo; plus thoughts on the person vs. the organization

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In the second half of the discussion or ROWE in the Shingo context taking place on Tim McMahon’s A Lean Journey blog, Mark Hamel, author of The Kaisen Event Fieldbook and a Shingo examiner, points out some of his concerns with ROWE.

Mark pointedly demonstrates where ROWE has strengths, but might not fully align with the Shingo model, as well as raising questions on a few of the underlying assumptions of ROWE.
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Guest post on A Lean Journey, and the weekly rewind

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Today, I have a guest post appearing on Tim McMahon’s A Lean Journey Site. The Topic: ROWE in the context of the Shingo model. When Tim asked if I’d like to do a guest post on his site, I jumped at the chance. I also reached out to Mark Hamel, a blogger, an award-winning author for his book: The Kaizen Even Fieldbook, and a Shingo Prize examiner, for input. Mark wrote a complete post of his own which will appear on Tim’s site tomorrow. Mark dives even deeper into how ROWE aligns with the Shingo, and how it does not. [Read more]

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An All or Nothing Attitude Usually Gets You Nothing

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TweetA big trap in leading major improvements is to set massive and sweeping goals with no intermediate steps or sub-goals along the way. Here’s the trap. Because these goals are so massive, it ends up taking forever to just get it started or to generate any measurable results. Consequently, people see little or no progress, they get [...]

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Choosing between the Business Sucks or the Work sucks (and you can’t say “it depends”)

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Last week on Linked In, I posed this question in the Q&A forums:

Which would you prefer – A workplace with a progressive culture and employee-centric focus to its operations that struggles due to suboptimal business performance, or a difficult command-and-control environment, but with a record of high performance? What I found interesting about this, and many of the answers, was how much they discussed the issues they supposed were behind the question, or the question’s merits, without ever really providing an answer. [Read more]

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ROWE – Give them what they want – for a while

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Last week, a bit of a discussion occurred on the blog, in response to my post, “Raising Awareness of ROWE and Lean”

I was happy to see all of the comments, and especially enjoyed the points of view from some those whose primary background is in Lean. While I still think there’s a significant place within Lean for ROWE-based management styles, I also found the challenges to some of my assumptions to be quite thought-provoking. Clearly, this is not an idea that has reached its full maturity. [Read more]

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Last Week’s Top Tweets

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TweetIn case you missed it, here are some tweet & re-tweets of articles & other things that caught my eye last week: MUST READ: From Dan Markovitz (@timeback): Respect for people — treating them more like machines. bit.ly/zVyKew   From Others: From Boston College Center for Work & Family (@BCCWF): Need more leadership support + manager training: Flexible [...]

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What’s Wrong With Being Wrong?

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TweetHow well do you fail? Can you fail positively? Kind of interesting questions, aren’t they? Regardless of what you hear, organizations really don’t welcome failure. Many ignore it until it’s too late. Others seek out the guilty with a vengeance and fuel an atmosphere of fear and mistrust. A few actually see failure as an [...]

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