Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lean Roundup #30 – November, 2011

A selection of highlighted blog posts from Lean bloggers from the month of November, 2011.  You can also view the previous monthly Lean Roundups here.

Practical Ways to Respect People – John Hunter explains what matters is not your stated respect for people but your revealed respect for people.

Does Your Organization Exhibit a Safety Culture? – Rick Morrow asks about your safety culture and says that a safety culture really consists of four related subcultures.

Toyota's True North Concept – Art Smalley defines "True North" as Toyota would see it.

How do you select the next CEO for continuity in excellence? – Steven Spear says continuity in excellence is rare from not cultivating the skills necessary for relentless discovery.

Manufacturing Skills Gap or Management Skills Gap? – John Hunter says the current manufacturing skills gap results directly from short term thinking and disrespect for workers practiced by those with management skills shortages over the last few decades.

Preparing for the Inevitable Change in Leadership – Jamie Flinchbaugh gives five ways to prepare for a change in executive leadership within a Lean organization.

How To: Setting Your Personal WIP Limit – Jim Benson explains how you can determine the WIP limit of your personal kanban system.

A Consultant's Advice: It is Always About Senior Leadership – Maureen Sullivan shares 3 questions executives need to answer to make real change their own.

Why Your Meetings Suck (And What to do About it) – Dan Markovitz suggests using the 3P's (purpose, process, people) to make our meetings more effective.

Humor in Adult Learning – Al Norval talks about how to teach adults and he suggests adding in some humor to make the learning stick.

Creating the Lean Warehouse: Evolution Not Revolution - Robert Martichenko explains that the lean warehouse is about continuous improvement using PDCA.

The Personal Kanban: Not Just "Vocabulary Engineering" – Dan Markovitz disputes a claim that a personal kanban is much ado about nothing.

My Brain Told Me – Karen Wilhelm explains the reason we resist change comes from the way our brain works.

Building Manager Standard Work – Jamie Flinchbaugh says if you use standard work you can save time and be more proactive.

Still Waiting on the Whambulance... – Kevin Meyer shares a story about whining versus competing about your situation.

The Importance of TPM and SMED – Matt Wrye makes the case for why TPM and SMED are so important to flow.

Kanban with Suppliers: The practical application – Dragan Bosnjak explains about setting up a kanban with your suppliers.

The Project Box - Donald Sweigart writes about the concept of a project box for ensuring a safe and effective execution of project work.

Lean is a CEO practice to improve performance – Michael Balle explains that lean is a practice for leaders to improve performance by going to the gemba and developing people as problem solvers.

ROWE, Lean and the Shingo Model – David Kasperzak share some thoughts on ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) and how it aligns with his understanding of Lean.

Inventory Reduction: The Path to Supply Chain Management - Robert Martichenko advocates inventory reduction and explains inventory from a perspective contrary to most conventional views defining inventory as an asset to improvement.

I Don't Have Time – Tom Southworth talks about the excuse of not having time to make improvements and the need to make this investment.

Flipping The Pyramid – David Kasperzak writes about employee motivation, retention, and the need for self-actualization as the basis of these.


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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Daily Lean Tips Edition #23

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #331 - Don’t sweat the small stuff.

One of the biggest bad habits is procrastinating on the little things that will take next to no-time, but put off for exactly that reason. Think in “chunks:” group all of those little one-off to-dos together and bang them out one after another. You’ll have a lot of items to cross off your to-do list when you’re done.

Lean Tip #332 – Create Daily Goals to Improve Your Productivity.

Without a clear focus, it’s too easy to succumb to distractions. Set targets for each day in advance. Decide what you’ll do; then do it.

Lean Tip #333- Make a continuum by planning for the next day.

At the end of your workday, identify the first task you’ll work on the next day, and set out the materials in advance. The next day begin working on that task immediately.

Lean Tip #334 - Optimize your productivity processes.

Identify the processes you use most often, and write them down step-by-step. Refactor them on paper for greater efficiency. Then implement and test your improved processes. Sometimes we just can’t see what’s right in front of us until we examine it under a microscope.

Lean Tip #335 – Find happiness in your job.

To be productive, you have to be happy doing what you are doing. If your job is to stressful, boss is giving you a hard time or you are not happy, quit. Yes, quit that job and find one you really can enjoy. This will boost your creativity, productivity and joy.

Lean Tip #336 – Be open to new ways of doing things.

One potential land mine of a prosperous operation is to repeat anything that proves successful. It's hard to argue against that, but an inadvertent leader will put far too much stock in sticking with what always works. By contrast, thoughtful leadership acknowledges success but also recognizes there are always ways to do things better.

Lean Tip #337 - Show genuine appreciation.

Leaders with an eye to the future hand out praise but augment it with real rewards: promotions, raises, bonuses, and other tangible tokens of appreciation. That motivates your people, not only to apply themselves with enthusiasm but to stick around your company longer than they might otherwise.

Lean Tip #338 - Know that leadership skills come from learning.

Far too may business executives believe leadership skills stem from some sort of wondrous epiphany or other such flash of insight. Sure, great ideas can come to any of us, but being a bona fide leader also means study. Read books on effective leadership, attend seminars, and pick the brains of colleagues to see what works for them. It can be a long education, but one with rewards that multiply with the more knowledge you have under your belt.

Lean Tip #339 - Involve employees who actually do the work in the mapping.

Employees who do the actual work are in the best position to know the detailed steps in each process. They are also most familiar with the common roadblocks and bottlenecks and the key contacts in the organization to get things done. Involve your employees up front by inviting them to join process-mapping teams. Keep managers and supervisors out of the process-mapping sessions, as they have a tendency to dominate the sessions with their own “expertise”.

Lean Tip #340 - Identify a Process Owner for each process.

For each process, specify one Process Owner. Identifying one person who is responsible for the process end to end is critical to ensuring process efficiency. Where processes flow through departments, as all major processes do, the Process Owner will need to have sufficient authority and credibility to make decisions spanning these departments. There is no more effective way that I know to dismantle quickly and effectively the silo walls that get built separating departments.

Lean Tip #341 - Use standardized mapping conventions.

What you want is for anyone in the organization to be able to pick up a process map and understand instantly what it is they are seeing. Standardize on mapping conventions and formatting of the maps. Mapping symbols, flow direction, page layout, fonts, titling and so on, should be the same from one map to another. Keep the number of flow chart symbols to a minimum. You should need no more than six to keep the maps easy to read.

Lean Tip #342 - Use mapping as a basis for further improvement.

The primary objective of mapping business processes is to form a common understanding from which process improvements can be achieved. Once your teams have completed mapping their key processes, turn them into continuous improvement teams. Not only do the documented maps serve as the agreed baseline for ongoing process improvement, they also make for excellent induction and training resources. Now sit back and watch your business soar.

Lean Tip #343 – Validate your process map.

Perform a walkthrough using the actual process. Managers, engineers, and supervisors often create flowcharts to document processes performed by associates. As much as we all think we know our businesses, the truth is no one know their job function like the person actually performing it. For complex or inter-departmental flowcharts, it's best to validate the flowchart by walking through it with the people that perform the job.

Lean Tip #344 – Use the Yellow Sticky Method to Map the Process.

A typical way to collaborate on a flowchart is to map out the processes on a white board. This is OK, but can be messy and time consuming as you erase and re-draw to fine-tune the process flow diagram. The easy way to do this is with the Yellow Sticky Method. (The "Yellow Sticky Method" is just a phrase coined to describe doing the flowchart on Post It notes.) Using this method, you draw the flowchart shape and write each process step on a Post It note. Then stick it on the whiteboard. Now it is much simpler to move process flow steps around as you re-arrange and fine tune the flowchart!

Lean Tip #345 – Make flow charts with a pencil and paper.

Before you sit down to draw your flowchart on a PC, map out your flowchart. In a sense this is a re-iteration of the Yellow Sticky Method tip. But if you choose not to use that method, at least go back to basics and write it out with a pencil and paper.


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Monday, November 28, 2011

Map Your Financial Accounts To See the Big Picture

Process mapping is a valuable technique for seeing the whole picture of something. While online recently I saw a great article about using process mapping in your financial accounts. A financial network map is a one-page diagram that shows the links and relationships between each of your financial accounts.


Creating a map of your accounts and bills gives you a better picture of your financial world. Financial blog Bargaineering shows you how to diagram your accounts:
  1. First, list of your accounts on a separate sheet.
  2. Now begin linking them together, indicating what type of link it is. You may have to log into your account to confirm the links.
  3. Now list all the investment related accounts you have, adding the links in as needed. This includes taxable brokerage accounts, IRAs, 401(k).
  4. Now list all the credit cards you have, linking to the banks that are used to pay the bills.
  5. Now list all the service accounts you have (electricity, cable, internet, Netflix, etc.), link them to the proper credit card or bank account bill pay. 

You’ll also notice the map lacks color. I think adding color to the types of accounts (yellow for checking, green for savings, red for credit cards, blue for service accounts, etc.) would be valuable in giving the map some more clarity. The point is to get the big picture view of your accounts so you can see if you need to simplify, where you might have any weaknesses, and so on. 

Just like in the process maps you create in your organization you can glean a lot of wisdom about your system, in this case your financial system.



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Friday, November 25, 2011

Lean Quote: True Homage Comes from the Heart and Shows Itself in Deeds

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds." — Theodore Roosevelt

President Roosevelt established the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day by the following Proclamation:

Proclamation 466 - Thanksgiving Day, 1901 November 2, 1901

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

The season is nigh when, according to the time-hallowed custom of our people, the President appoints a day as the especial occasion for praise and thanksgiving to God.

This Thanksgiving finds the people still bowed with sorrow for the death of a great and good President. We mourn President McKinley because we so loved and honored him; and the manner of his death should awaken in the breasts of our people a keen anxiety for the country, and at the same time a resolute purpose not to be driven by any calamity from the path of strong, orderly, popular liberty which as a nation we have thus far safely trod.

Yet in spite of this great disaster, it is nevertheless true that no people on earth have such abundant cause for thanksgiving as we have. The past year in particular has been one of peace and plenty. We have prospered in things material and have been able to work for our own uplifting in things intellectual and spiritual. Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us; and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips and shows itself in deeds. We can best prove our thankfulness to the Almighty by the way in which on this earth and at this time each of us does his duty to his fellow men.

Now, Therefore, I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States, do hereby designate as a day of general thanksgiving Thursday, the 28th of this present November, and do recommend that throughout the land the people cease from their wonted occupations, and at their several homes and places of worship reverently thank the Giver of all good for the countless blessings of our national life.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington this second day of November, A. D. 1901, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twenty-sixth.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT
By the President:


JOHN HAY,

Secretary of State.

I mention this quote and proclamation this Thanksgiving weekend because it echos a philosophy on Leadership we should aspire. Roosevelt does not say just to celebrate privately. He says to celebrate by public expression of gratitude, and not just with words, but with actions. Roosevelt was a man of deep convictions and above all a man of action. Essentially he says, “Be thankful, but do something about it.” The best way to express our gratitude is not to utter words but to live by them.

Thanksgiving after all, is a word of action.


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Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Time for Giving Thanks

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Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day, is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November by federal legislation in 1941, has been an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation since 1863 and by state legislation since the Founding Fathers of the United States. Historically, Thanksgiving began as a tradition of celebrating the harvest of the year.  Now a days it is a time to enjoy diner with family.  For me it is a time think about all the things we are thankful for and reflect.

I wanted to take this time to thank all of you for reading, following, and supporting A Lean Journey Blog. You make sharing my thoughts more rewarding than I would have imagined.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Secrets to Creating an Effective Value Stream Map Webinar Replayed

Tim McMahon and Jeff Hajek talk about the proven steps you should use to create an effective value stream map. Value stream mapping (VSM) is ideal for creating positive organizational changes, developing efficient future states, and producing system-wide benefits in cost, quality, and flexibility. It is well suited for a broad range of industries and processes. But like any tool, VSM must be applied properly. Jeff and Tim share the secrets they have learned from years of creating VSMs so you can get the most benefit from yours.



If you would like to review or use the slides from this webinar you can get them below.



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Monday, November 21, 2011

Become a Guest Blogger

Have a passion for Lean Thinking?  Do you have a story, lesson, or example to share?  Maybe you are thinking of starting a blog of your own.  Why not give it a try by being a guest blogger on ALeanJourney.com

Audience Reach:
      A Lean Journey Blog has a fast growing audience:
            Visitors from 146 countries (50% of visitors from USA)
            Over 280 visitors a day
            Over 350 page loads per day

       2010 had over 60,000 page loads and over 40,000 visitors 

       to A Lean Journey Blog. 2011 is on pace to bring double 
       this traffic to the site. August 2011 had over 10,000 page 
       loads and over 7300 visitors.

       Over 1000 Twitter followers of @TimALeanJourney.
       3rd largest Lean related Facebook Page in the world.

Topic Ideas:
Most ideas for a topic are welcome. I generally cover a fair amount of real estate on the Lean Thinking methodology, continuous improvement tools and techniques, and respect for people. Simply look at the list of categories on sidebar to see what content should be submitted.

Some broad guidelines are:
  • Original work and if you cite someone else’s work, be sure to attribute.
  • Original work, not posted or published previously. It’s your intellectual property, but I just ask you to publish it here first, then feel free to publish it elsewhere.
  • Should 250 – 500 words in length.
  • Author byline should include your image, real name or your “nickname”, and a little about you.
  • No product reviews or blatant promotion – self or affiliate promotions will not be accepted be it your product or someone else’s.
  • Common Sense Rule – if your article fits the conversation topic of this blog, it will be approved. I moderate every post and comment.

If your interested then contact me directly with your proposal for a guest post and we can discuss the details. Email at tim at aleanjourney dot com.


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Friday, November 18, 2011

Lean Quote: Be More Concerned With Your Character Than Your Reputation

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing." — Abraham Lincoln

This is an appropriate analogy because a shadow shifts over time (just think of the daily cycle that the shadow goes through as the day progresses), the same can be said for all of us, what people think of us can change from time to time depending on what light is shining on us, and which way it casts the shadow, and where they are standing in relation to the source of the light.

The tree however has put down roots, it goes through the daily cycle of shifting light, it goes through the seasons, growing, dropping it’s leaves, dealing with rain, hail and shine. It bends back and forth only so far in a gentle breeze, but resists against strong wind. The tree is what it is, regardless of the light being shone on it.

Character refers to what a person is; reputation is what people in general think he is. Our reputation is only as good as that of which we are perceived. We can have a "good" reputation, or a "bad" reputation. However, we must realize that either of those are relative, and a "good" or "bad" reputation is only in the eye of the beholder.

The differences between your reputation and character are many:

  • Reputation is what you are supposed to be; Character is what you are.
  • Reputation is the photograph; Character is the face.
  • Reputation comes over one from without; Character grows up from within.
  • Reputation is what you have when you come to a new community; Character is what you have when you go away.
  • Reputation is made in a moment; Character is built in a lifetime.
  • Your reputation is learned in an hour; Your character doesn't come to light for a year.
  • Reputation grows like a mushroom; Character grows like the oak.
  • A single newspaper report gives you your reputation; A life of toil gives you your character.
  • Reputation makes you rich or makes you poor; Character makes you happy or makes you miserable.
  • Reputation is what men say about you on your tombstone; Character is what angels say about you before the throne of God.
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. Reputations come and go. Character will hold you through the storms. Develop character, and you will never have regrets.



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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Free Online Process Mapping Tool For Value Stream Maps and More

Process maps and the further extension of value stream maps are an extremely powerful tool to visualize your process. I am a big advocate of creating process maps and value stream maps manually.  When you do it manually it establishes an environment where more participation is possible.  This is critically important in the creation of said maps and  the future improvements to be had.

There are times however when it is useful to create electronic maps for education, training, procedures, and standard work visuals for example.  In this case there are a limited number of resources at your disposal.  The options include a wide spectrum from buying eVSM to using free fonts.

A new web application called Diagram.ly allows you to draw any type of diagram and chart online without login or registration free of charge. 


Diagram.ly is offered by a UK based company JGraph, which develops and supports graph visualization software and web services. This web application is self-explanatory and neatly structured to make it easy to rapidly draw what you need. A drag and drop interface is provided to make diagrams by means of clip art and pre-drawn shapes. All diagrams can be saved to your computer in 4 formats – jpg, xml, png, or svg.

I talked to JGraph co-founder David Benson about adding a set of Lean icons to Diagram.ly so that it could create Value Stream Maps.  Here is the outcome. 


I made this quick VSM in 5 minutes to give you an idea of the capability of this tool.  


Diagram.ly gives you a user friendly option to be able to map your processes including making value stream maps from anywhere with internet access.  I believe you will find a number of great opportunities to use this tool to your advantage.  



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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Using U Shaped Cells

Generally a horseshoe or U-Shaped work area layout that enables workers to easily move from one process to another in close proximity and pass parts between workers with little effort. Work cells do not need to be in a U-shaped configuration though this is often common due to maximizing product throughput with minimal use of space.

The layout of workcells in a U shape has several advantages:

  • The IN and OUT are close, allowing visual control and management, according to the production takt, a single person can handle both the cell input feeding and output
  • The shortening of distances allow sharing of work, as well as reduction of transportation waste
  • These layouts provide convenient foundation for one piece flow
  • Communication among team mates in the cell is easier
  • The work is done inside the U, supplies remain outside
  • Usually machines and tables are on rollers (if possible) for quick reconfiguration
  • The floor space is generaly fewer with a U cell than stretched line (including inventories and supplies), walk distances are also reduced, as they are Muda (waste).
Paul Akers from FastCap shared some thoughts and examples of U shaped cells from his company in this video:





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Monday, November 14, 2011

New Sponsor - First American Plastic Molding Enterprises

I am pleased to announce a new sponsor to A Lean Journey Blog - First American Plastic Molding Enterprises.


First American Plastic Molding Enterprises is a custom provider of thermoplastic injection molding manufacturing solutions for companies throughout most industries. Because of the versatility of plastic and plastic injection molding, almost any industry with manufacturing needs can benefit from the services offered by First American Plastic Molding Enterprise. They have the capabilities and the expertise to design and craft components of all shapes and sizes. They build parts, components and tools for an array of companies, with services that range from design assistance to actually molding and shipping your requested products.

First American Plastic Molding Enterprise serves a wide range of customers with unique thermoplastic injection molding and precision injection needs. They assist countless injection molding buyers with quality, reliable solutions.



If you are interested in advertising your business on A Lean Journey you can find more information about that here.


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Friday, November 11, 2011

Lean Quote: No Email Day - 11.11.11

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Face-to-face communication remains the most powerful human interaction." — Kathleen Begley, Ed.D., author of Face-to-Face Communication

Today is No Email Day, a campaign to encourage people to stop using email for 24 hours for greater productivity and to realize how email has become abused/overused. Can your organization handle no email for an entire day?

The No Email Day manifesto suggests switching off your email completely to help you get inspired and focus on your real work—for just one day.

NO EMAIL DAY is a campaign to encourage people to stop using email completely for 24hrs on 11th November 2011 and do something more productive with the time saved instead.

This could simply involve other forms of communication like actually talking to someone face to face, picking up the phone or even writing a letter (remember those?) or spending time away from work to reconnnect with the offline world.



Ever wonder how much time you are on email? What would do if you weren't on email today? So how will spend your day today?

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

2nd Annual World Quality Month


Last November, ASQ, together with organizations, leaders, and stakeholders in the Global Quality Community, celebrated the inaugural World Quality Month. This year ASQ is again joining with the Global Quality Community for World Quality Month 2011.
“Consumers and other businesses will seek to interact with those organizations whose commitment to quality is strongest, or in other words, those with which they are likely to find success and satisfaction.” – Paul Borawski, Chief Executive Officer, ASQ
As businesses look ahead to 2012, it is clear that reinforcement of and commitment to quality will be of paramount importance to their health and growth. Further, industry-leading organizations are keenly focused on improving quality from within, with employee training and process improvement topping the list of areas in which they intend to invest time and money. The overriding global economic uncertainty has not diminished member organizations’ commitments to quality – in some ways, it has strengthened it.

World Quality Month is an annual celebration of quality and its impact in the world. Through the joint efforts of ASQ, its many World Partner organizations, leaders and stakeholders in the Global Quality Community, the inaugural World Quality Month began in November 2010. World Quality Month was established both to reignite attention once generated in the 1980s by National Quality Month in the U.S. and to create a united, global forum for the organizations that have celebrated World Quality Days in November to come together and raise their voices for quality. November is designated as a worldwide celebration of quality – a time to showcase the advancements and valuable quality contributions in businesses, communities and institutions.

So in November raise your voice for quality. Every day. Make a point of it. I bet you’ll enjoy it. And when December 1 rolls around, you don’t have to stop. Speaking up for the importance of quality is our daily responsibility. The biggest barrier quality faces is making people understand that excellence just doesn’t happen. Excellence isn’t good intent. Through quality, excellence is available to everyone.



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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Learning From Wiremold and Art Byrne

My friend Bob Emiliani recently shared a collection of videos from a research project he led on Wiremold's Lean transformation in 2001.

These historic videos capture an amazing event that took place on 5 November 2001, when a group of more than 25 executives, physicians, and department managers from Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) made the long trip from Seattle, Washington, to West Hartford, Connecticut, to take a tour of The Wiremold Company. 



In the videos, the Wiremold executives do a wonderful job of translating Lean management from manufacturing to healthcare, and in doing so show how Lean can be applied to any organization in any industry. I have two key takeaways from the videos that I would like to share with you. They are:
  • The Wiremold senior management team’s determination to immerse themselves in daily Lean thinking and practice - for more than a decade - and willingness to share and help others; to teach others and to learn from others. These are typical characteristics of highly effective Lean leaders.
  • The VMMC team members, CEO on down, were willing and eager to learn new things. They recognized that they were not educated or trained for Lean at any point in their careers. And yet they did not suffer from the typical “I’m the doctor, so don’t tell me what to do” or “It won’t work here because we’re a hospital” mentality.
As Art Byrne says in the introductory video I encourage you not to find the differences in what we do but look for the similarities. There is much to learn from these videos no matter who you are - Board member, owner, investor, CEO, mid-level manager, supervisor, labor leader, politician, journalist, academic, student, etc. Art says we can all generate a list of "but, but, but, but,..." reasons why it can't be done however we need to find the "least waste" way of doing things.

I encourage you to review these unedited videos from Bob Emiliani's research on Lean.  If you want even further study I recommend you get a copy of Better Thinking, Better Results. In this book Bob, covers this research on Wiremold's Lean transformation. It is often used as a handbook by executives in companies of all sizes, in nearly every industry, to assist their Lean transformation.






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Monday, November 7, 2011

Daily Lean Tips Edition #22

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #316 – Separate fact from opinion.

Clarity begins at home. We all have opinions, but not all of us are opinionated. The distinction is in how rigidly we hold onto our opinions and how skillfully we share them. Offer your opinions as useful gifts.

Lear Tip #317 – Establish credibility when you speak.

If you wait for absolute certainty to speak up, those who require less certainty will control the conversation. If in doubt, check it out. Get clear and speak up. Stand up for what you believe.

Lean Tip #318 – Match your talk and your walk.

People don’t care what you’re going to TRY to do. They want to know what you ARE going to do. High sounding words fall flat without corresponding action. Commit to walking your talk. It will make you careful about what you say. Words speak, actions scream.

Lean Tip #319 – Specify and see it through.

Say what you’ll do and do what you say. Dare to be specific. Being specific sets a higher bar for execution. Protect the power of your words by meaning what you say. No one will take your words seriously unless you do.

Lean Tip #320 – Be a uniter, not a divider.

Divide and conquer can win some battles but also create some wars you will lose. People you divide might eventually unite…against you. Don’t manipulate people it destroys trust. Be honest and harness team work.

Lean Tip #321 – Hold people accountable.

The harder you push, the harder people push back. Any fool can avoid a topic and any fool can attack a topic. It takes skill to speak out gracefully. Before you react, people are the least lovable when they need the love the most. Revenge may seem sweet, but sugar rots your teeth. The kinder, gentler, softer way is the smarter, wiser, stronger way.

Lean Tip #322 – Live The 5 C’s of Responsible Leadership

PThe 5 C’s of Responsible Leadership:
Clarity results in conviction: a clear commitment to your beliefs.
Conviction inspires courage: The “courage” of conviction.”
Courageous leaders are willing to use candor in their communication.
Candor lends itself to creative expression.
Creative expression adds clarity to your position.

From Meryl Runion’s book Speak STRONG.

Lean Tip #323 – Persuade, don’t manipulate.

There’s nothing wrong with persuasion. There’s nothing right with manipulation. Don’t back off from persuasion because you’re afraid you’ll come across manipulatively. Use your skills to accurately promote ideas that have mutual benefit.

Lean Tip #324 – Focus on possibilities.

Don’t get bogged down by how things are. While you need to acknowledge the existing reality, the possibility of change is more motivating. Pair each problem with possibilities. Focus on areas of agreement first and then work to dissolve areas of difference.

Lean Tip #325 – Asking is an important skill.

Ask and ye shall receive. Ask well and ye shall receive well. Know what you want when you want it. Be clear. Let them know what’s in it for them. Invite them to explore alternatives with you. Make it easy for them to give you what you want.

Lean Tip #326 – Take the time you need to do a quality job.

Doing work right the first time may take more time upfront, but errors usually result in time spent making corrections, which takes more time overall.

Lean Tip #327 - Do not multitask it is not productive.

There is an illusion that we will accomplish more if we multitask. But study shows that it is wrong. Be sure that you do only one task at a time. Doing only one task at a time allows you to have the necessary focus to accomplish the task with the highest possible standard.

Lean Tip #328 - Keep Your Workspace Clean and Organized

How often have you found yourself procrastinating on a big project by thinking you ought to really organize your desk? I’ve done it before! I admit it. If you’re like me, then you too might succumb to the temptation. Don’t even give yourself the option. When you have a slow day, take the time to carefully clean and organize your workspace. That way you can give all of your attention to big projects later and not worry about some papers that are out of order.

Lean Tip #329 - Stick to a learning schedule.

Whether it is keeping up with the news, or taking on new skills in your industry, commit to devoting a certain amount of time (a couple of hours per week, for instance) and then keep to it. That’s important because you do not want to fall behind, but also because you do not want to flood your mind with so many facts and details that you suffer from “paralysis by analysis.” Treat information as you would food for your mind: Put enough into it be healthy, but not so much to slow you down.

Lean Tip #330 - Focus on one thing at a time.

One of the reasons we feel so overloaded by information is that we allow them to come at us constantly. Not every e-mail, article, telephone call, or other piece of information that comes your way is urgent. Try to focus on one thing at a time, and you will quickly discover that your capacity for learning and absorbing is increased. Our minds are built to tackle a single issue and move on, so concentrate on what’s in front of you and let your brain do its job.


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