Category Archives: People Development

Lean Process and Product Development: The Role of the Leader

The LEI was kind enough to send a review copy of their new book, the second edition of Lean Process and Product Development. I have just started it, and am already finding gems. (note to the LEI – the Kaizen Institute is not my address. Thanks to Jon for getting the book to me.) The […]

Reviving How To Make Things

Almost three years ago I wrote “Don’t Lose How To Make Things.” In that post, I wanted to emphasize the risks of losing your expertise in the technology and skill required to make your product. Too many companies today seem to be bent on replacing those skills with financial ones. Today I came across a […]

What Is “Lean?”

I did a Google search on the terms [ lean manufacturing definition ]   . Here is a smattering of what I found on the first page of results. (I did not go on to the second page.) On the lean.org site we get a page with about 10 paragraphs describing the general outcome, philosophy, and […]

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 […]

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