Category Archives: People Development

Jeff Liker: Is Lean a Waste Elimination Program or Striving for Excellence?

Jeff Liker asks (and answers) the title question in a great Industry Week blog article by the same title. One of the biggest obstacles we in the lean community need to overcome is our own inertia around “Lean is a process for finding and eliminating waste.” In the article, Liker brings up a point that […]

David Marquet: Turn The Ship Around

A while back, Mike Rother sent around a link to a sketchcast video of a U.S. Navy submarine skipper talking about the culture change aboard his submarine, the USS Santa Fe. I posted and commented on it below, in “Creating an Empowered Team.” If you haven’t watched it, do so now so you have context […]

Toyota Kata “A3 Problem Solving”

Over the years, I’ve been exposed a number of efforts to “implement A3 problem solving” in various companies. I worked for some of those companies, I’ve observed others. The results are nearly always the same. Here are a couple of examples. Let me know if any of these match up with experiences you have had. […]

Navigating the Learning Hairball

Credit: A lot of stuff comes across my screen, sometimes more than once. I have seen this illustration several times, but don’t remember where it originally came from. If you created it, PLEASE comment so I can give appropriate credit. Improvement is messy. Science is messy. Research and Development is messy. These are all cases […]

Learning To See in 2013

With the publication of Learning to See in 1999, Mike Rother and John Shook introduced a new genre of book to us – a mix of theory, example, and practical application. The story invites the readers to follow along and actually do for themselves. This is one of those books that gives a bit more […]

Creating an Empowered Team

EDIT: There is a follow-on post here: David Marquet: Turn the Ship Around In the past couple of decades, we went through an “empower your people” fad. We saw work teams in world class companies that were largely self directing, surprisingly well aligned with the overall goals of the organization, and getting things done. “Well,” […]

The Struggle

In The Leader’s Journey, I highlighted the struggle with escalating challenges as a core driver of growth in both our fictional heroes and real-life developing leaders. This week I was essentially doing 2nd level coaching with a client I have been working with for quite a while. One of the things we did was have […]

The Leader’s Journey

Earlier this year, Sir Ken Robinson gave a great TED talk about the state of education in the USA. While his talk was about K12, nearly everything he says applies to how we grow and develop leaders. Or stifle their growth. He makes it clear that no teaching is taking place unless learning is taking […]

Shifting the Learning Zone

A client and fellow lean learner today shared a cool extension of the Toyota Kata model for establishing target conditions. Mike Rother’s Improvement Kata Handbook establishes a couple of key concepts about where a target condition should be set. The key is that the target should be somewhere beyond the learner’s knowledge threshold: The knowledge […]

Kaizen vs. Kaizen “Events”

I got an interesting email from a friend a while ago, and am finally finishing up this post about it. Some months ago, he joined a new company and wrote about his impressions of some of the legacy he was walking into: [before my arrival, the company] used Xxxxxx consultants to get their Lean effort […]

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