Author Archives

  • Changing Leader Behaviors

    With some excellent help, I’ve built a leadership development workshop (called Leadersights after my book) to provide a quick jumpstart to reenergize any organization’s leader development efforts.  We’re running it for 1400 plus leaders in a government agency in Arizona and getting great results.  I’ll be posting some of what is included in the workshop […]

  • concretehead

    What To Do When Your Lean Guy Is A Concrete Head

    Concrete head is an affectionate term applied by some old Japanese lean sensei to people in US companies who, though responsible for driving continuous improvement, were themselves resistant to change anything for any number of reasons.  I’ve run into this a few times, where the “lean guy” for a company is oppositional on any idea […]

  • Trust – A Necessary Component To Stay Competitive

    Without trust, organizations can’t function at a level required to remain competitive.  Those that don’t need to be competitive, like government agencies, are unable to deliver service as effectively because without trust, employees can’t do whatever they need to do to solve the problems that citizens bring to them. Without trust, there is usually fear.  […]

  • Satisfaction through Meaningfulness

    While science can’t seem to prove a causal link between happy workers and productivity, it’s nice to know that there are benefits beyond that to justify to leaders everywhere that we have to design work to be more satisfying for our workforce. I read a research report from Accenture that said more than half of […]

  • The Unlikely Leader

    I’ve been digging through old posts and found this one and believe it is still particularly relevant. I hope you agree. August 29, 2009. I was at my surrogate grandmother’s funeral yesterday, reflecting on her stories and on those others told about her. I never really thought of her as a leader, only as my […]

  • Stop Tim Wood from ruining your lean progress

    Today, let’s talk about Tim Wood. But first, some background. The origin of waste? Henry Ford identified dozens of types of waste in his operations and spelled them out in his book “Today and Tomorrow” written in 1926. In 1988, Productivity Press published Taiichi Ohno’s tribute book “Just-in-Time for Today and Tomorrow” in which Ohno […]

  • Lean for the future

    Lean thinking as we know it is probably insufficient to carry organizations into a future of intense global competition, insatiable consumption, environmental sensitivity, and social upheaval. In most cases, we simply practice a few lean concepts, often without understanding the underlying intent of those concepts, but we get a slightly better outcome and celebrate. We […]

  • Measurement

    Had a busy but rewarding week last week. Two clients with vastly different businesses, but very similar needs. This week focused mostly on visual management systems and two very different mindsets. In Phoenix, we’re working on capturing goals in a platform called Betterworks. After a lot of wrestling, we defined seven broad corporate objectives. The […]

  • Miles to Go

    Last night, on the red-eye flying from Los Angeles to Columbus after 2 very good working days in Phoenix, I crossed the threshold to Diamond frequent flyer status with Delta.  I’ve been here before, several years ago, but that was when I was flying to Australia a few times a year.  The miles add up […]