July 26, 2014

Five types of toys, and a lesson for the grown-ups

toys in a pile
Share via email

Like most parents, I buy my kids toys. I buy them mostly for Holidays and birthdays, and sometimes just because I can, and sometimes because I can’t listen to the begging any more, too. On top of that, there are the presents from other people, the junky things you get from Happy Meal boxes and the things they save up their allowance for, too.

Of course, the intrinsic value of the toy has nothing to do with the importance of that toy to the child. Through the years of watching my kids play with, discard, or completely ignore their toys, I have come to realize their toys fall into just a few categorie [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Stump the Chump, and the Steve Jobs Paradox?

Paradox
Share via email

I was asked a question that – as I put it, “Stumped the Chump.” One gentleman asked, in response to the portions of my presentation that focused on the Respect for People foundation of Lean and, in particular, the Shingo model, how I would characterize Steve Jobs and Apple’s success, given that Jobs was a well-known egomaniac and had a reputation for being quite stern and non-compromising.

it has stuck with me for the past couple of weeks, as I felt the need to contemplate the question a bit further. What I may have come to realize, is that there is something of a Paradox involved when a true visionary ascends to the position of influence within an organization.
[Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

When habits go bad – walking the extra mile

Let_Your_Mind_Do_The_Walking_by_jzcj5
Share via email

Habit tells me that to get places without my car means I have to walk. If I rode my bike more often, the thought to get on the bike and ride down to the mechanic’s shop would have been as natural as the thought that tells me I have to put on shoes before I go out the door most mornings. Also, I could say, if I’d developed a better habit of stopping and thinking…to weigh alternatives….before doing….then I would have realized I didn’t need to hike all the way down to the shop. I might still have wanted to, but I would not have needed to.

So, in a way, my habits let me down. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Every customer trusts you. But what do they trust in?

Trust by alireza1
Share via email

Customers will trust in something when it comes to your company – but what will they trust in? People will, quite quickly, develop an expectation of what they are likely to get from you – good service or bad, high quality or low, good price or not. What you want to establish is a positive trust, one that is based on customers consistently getting what they value. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

How Expensive is Perfection?

Buyer's View
Share via email

Last week I managed to chalk up 15 years of marriage, remarkably they were all consecutive and all to the same woman. I feel more than a little smug about this achievement (how my wife feels is a moot point).

I decided that the least I could do was to take the poor soul out for dinner so I dutifully booked a table at Sat Bains’ restaurant.

The first part of our 8 course taster menu arrived. Two immaculately presented waiters materialised holding a plate each and placed them in front of my wife and I simultaneously. It looked like a work of art, and it tasted… you will have to use your imagination. So it went for another 7 courses. Each course accompanied by its own, especially selected, glass of wine.

The bill, well I will leave that to your imagination as well. But as we all know quality costs and this was verging on perfection. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Product Innovation vs Operational Excellence (or, Magic vs. Might?)

Warrior vs Sorcerer
Share via email

Product innovation appears to be the realm of the unexplainable – that the way to go about that business is to assume a muse, or some divine spark is, ultimately, going to descend upon the workers bees and imbue them with the powers of insight and creativity. You have to create innovation space, and adopt managerial styles and practices, that allow creativity to flourish.

Process innovation, on the other hand, is seen as something a little more grungy and foul-smelling. It is the world of brute force and awkwardness, no matter how elegant it tries to become. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Work on Fewer Projects and Get More Done

Bottle Neck
Share via email

Good Intent Unintentionally Sabotaged – Have you observed this in your organization? Each year the Leadership Team goes through a planning process. With good intention, they launch a number of initiatives to achieve stretch goals. Work begins with great enthusiasm but soon becomes mired down. Reality hits, priorities are diluted and the rhythm of bureaucracy sets in.

“Idea darlings” are aggressively pursued by the Leadership Team and move to the front of the queue. The rest of the projects languish … or worse. Sure, as time permits they’re continually worked on. Yet they’re not predictably getting done. And perhaps worse, execution effectiveness drops off as expected organizational learning is lost and then repeatedly must be regained.

It is not uncommon for organizations to underperform on project intent. Many times there are simply too many things being worked on at once, consuming attention and resources, and giving rise to increasing conflicts and bottlenecks. Perhaps some of these situations sound familiar to you? [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Position Yourself for Performance Transformation through a Fact-based Plan

Share via email

By the time we meet most organizations, they want to get going with their transformation immediately. They often want to rush to implementation without a roadmap, resulting in the classic gotcha of “activity vs. action.” However, without clear direction, activity often swamps out action and fritters away resources fast. Few then remain to make a positive difference, and no lasting benefits accrue. To be effective, organizations need an implementation approach that predictably advances what their enterprise should be doing. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

An All or Nothing Attitude Usually Gets You Nothing

Share via email

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 [...]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

You can’t bloviate your way to an improved workplace

Share via email

TweetI think we’ve all encountered the senior manager who has been assigned to “fix” a dysfunctional chunk of the organization.  Typically, they come in with a great many ideas, usually born from experiences in other situations, and then they begin to implement the tools that worked elsewhere.  There’s often a short period of enthusiasm, if [...]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner