Sunday, January 3, 2010

Management Improvement Carnival of 2009

Many of you are familiar with John Hunter the voice behind Curious Cat Blog and his Management Improvement Carnivals.  John has taken the idea of sharing best practices to the blog community where selections of posts are highlighted on a regular basis by those in the community.  This year John's idea for the Annual Management Improvement Carnival was to have bloggers review some of their favorite posts from blogs of their choosing.  You can follow this link for a list of the 2009 improvement blog carnivals.

I am honored to participate in the carnival this year where I have chosen to review Lean Reflections, The Lean Way, and Gotta Go Lean.

Lean Reflections is authored by Karen Wilhelm.  She has been sharing her opinion and lean stories since 2005.  Karen is a writer and editor by profession with notable work SME and AME.  I have had the pleasure to work with her on a new endeavor where she chairs the social media council for AME.

Karen's Lean Reflections blog is written from the heart.  She shares stories with personal connection and also those from current activities she is involved in.  Here are a few of my favorite posts from this year:

When Customer Experience Comes First is a post where Karen shares a personal story related to customer service and making the customer first.

Are Americans Working Harder and Getting Paid More? is a review of several reports about productivity and wage statistics.

New Networking Skills Can Help You Restart your Career is about the importance of networking on sites like LinkedIn and others.

More Web Based Career Development Tools is a follow-up about forums and discussion groups for enrichment and networking.

Lean Team Competes With Asia -and Wins is a story about a chair manufacturer who used lean to improve efficiency and create its own economic recovery.

The Lean Way Blog is the work of Ankit Patel.  Ankit is the CEO of Lean Way Consulting.  He is new to the Lean blog community but a very active contributor.  We have shared many stories and lessons learned in Lean and blogging this year as we are both new comers to this community.

Ankit enjoys sharing a story and teaching a lesson with his blog.  It is written from years of experience in manufacturing.  His posts are current and relatable to everyone.  Some of my favorites are:

To Err is Human...To Error Proof is Divine is about taking mistakes and learning to prevent them with error proofing.

Whether You Think You Can or Can't, You're Right is where Ankit shares some guidelines on culture change.

How Comfortable Are You With Being Uncomfortable? explains the need for some discomfort if you wan to make changes/improvements.

Being Lean: Not Just for Fat People relates being Lean in a company to that of being lean physically and draws a number of similarities.

Smooth Is Fast is about teams working smoothly instead of as fast as you can.

Gotta Go Lean Blog is written by Jeff Hajek.  Jeff is an author of "Whaddaya Mean I Gotta Be Lean?" and founder of Velaction, a continuous improvement company.  His blog is written from the gemba for front line employees and leaders.  I find Jeff posts are informative and thought provoking.  Some of my favorites include:

Productivity Incentives That Work is about several key points to work place incentive program that are effective.

Customer Value: The Five Principles of Lean Customer Value, Jeff explains customer value principles to keep in mind when looking at your processes.

Lessons from Japanese Consultants is a piece where Jeff shares some 17 lessons he has learned from consultants from Japan.

Process Observation: Watch Before You Ask is about a an observation process commonly referred to as Ohno's observation circle.

Psychology of Lean explains some of psychological concepts and how they affect workplace behaviors in a Lean company.

I hope you enjoy these blogs and find them as valuable as I do.  If you already follow them great but if haven't experienced their blogs check out the content I highlighted above.  Let them know what you think of their hard work because they like to share their experiences with everyone as well as take the opportunity to learn from others.


  1. Thanks for the kind words, Tim, and for sharing some new sources with us. I know Ankit from Twitter and Jeff because we talked about his book, and they are both worthwhile lean thinkers. Right now on Lean Reflections you'll find my Management Carnival recommendations of Gemba Panta Rei, Reforming Project Management, and Learning about Lean. John Hunter is always bringing up good stuff.

  2. Hi this is really useful information.I appreciate you bringing these to the attention of us carnival goers.Thanks.
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