April 17, 2014

Change exposes the boss, so there is no change

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It’s no wonder that those in power resist transparency or programs that put a spotlight on their knowledge base. By doing “what the boss wants” as a means of getting promoted, these folks never developed a strong enough knowledge base to fully understand the position. Of course, no one would want to put that on display. The end result is fear – fear, on the boss’s part, that he or she will be exposed for having little to no knowledge of what in the hell it is their staffs do all day. [Read more]

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Guest Post on Shmula!

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TweetI had a post featured on shmula.com  yesterday, once again examining the connection between Lean and ROWE.  Here’s a snippet: To most workers, Lean initiatives (and other improvement efforts) suffer from a critical flaw – that you are supposed to engage in them only once you get to work.  What isn’t addressed is that a lot [...]

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Scholtes: The workplace visionary no one’s heard of

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In recent years, we’ve seen some thought leaders offer up best selling books, visionary programs and torrents of articles and other works describing what is wrong, how to fix it, and attempting to explain the science behind their approaches. In particular, Dan Pink gave us Drive, Best Buy gave us the ROWE experiment, and Lean thinkers continue to encourage us to think of front-line emplyees first, as in Jim Womack’s Gemba Walk.

What I find interesting is that all of these approaches to improving the workplace, at least in part, have some basis in Peter Scholtes 1998 Book, The Leader’s Handbook.
[Read more]

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ROWE, Lean and the Shingo Model

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While they are, perhaps, competing approaches to creating workplace change I do believe that ROWE and Lean compliment and reinforce each other much more than they contradict and weaken. I think this presents a tremendous opportunity to generate a new understanding of how to both bring about, and sutain, the workplace transformation that has been so inconsistent, and so elusive, for so long.
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“Results Only” means “Value Only”

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Saying that ROWE is only about working when you want, wear you want is like saying Lean is only about reducing inventories. Yes – the outcome of adopting the practices in either ROWE or Lean are freedom or waste reduction, respectively, but they are really just the byproducts of adopting a new operational philosophy. Or, in other words, if you change the mindset – you change the inputs and, consequently, different outputs (such as freedom and reduced waste) result. [Read more]

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“…honest, thorough, and ongoing self-criticism…is at the heart of continuous improvement”

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Dissent is, afterall, the outward sign of dissatisfaction combined with the will to say something about it. In no way should we convince ourselves that silence implies consent. Instead, we should first think that silence implies the lack of desire to say what’s on your mind for fear of retribution. So, we return to Deming’s philosophy, which told us to eliminate fear. A lack of dissenting opinion is the manifestation of fear. An explosion of tight agreement is, too.
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Role of Finance in Process Improvement

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I caught a great article from Brad Power that was posted a couple weeks ago on the Harvard Busines Review, entitled “Shifting Finance from Controlling to Improving.”

What Power demonstrates are several CFO’s who have endeavored to make understanding finances simple to those who don’t live & breathe it in daily lives. They change the terminology to something more intutitve. They measure performance in a way that makes bottom-line impacts intutive. They help to spread the word about Lean to others with no-nonsense, easily articulated, and most importantly – easily acted-upon information. [Read more]

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It’s still Easier, Better, Faster, Cheaper…in that order

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The focus of improvement, and not just in lean, is in cost reduction and increased cycle time. That focus misses the point entirely, and remains unaware of just how brilliant the Easier, Better, Faster Cheaper methodology – when pursued in that order and that order only, truly is.
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Lean for Life – Work Smoother, Not Harder – More Thoughts on Establishing Flow…

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Action Item: From a personal perspective, be sure that you regularly set and review your personal goals and objectives, such that you can easily understand the extent to which a given opportunity at work or an ‘extracurricular’ commitment aligns with what you value. [Read more]

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More Mura Muri? (or, the reasons behind changing everything)

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The truth is, the way we live our lives is broken. We see reformers in education, healthcare, management, personal organization, stress relief, motivation, and nearly every other area continuing to talk about ways to address the same things, over and over: Adjusting to an ever-changing, unpredictable world and finding a way to keep yourself, and others, from going crazy while doing it. Or, in other words: Mura and Muri. [Read more]

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