Category Archives: People Development

Be Ready for Empowered Employees

“I want my employees to feel empowered.” “You realize empowerment means your employees start making decisions, right?” “Oh… I want them to feel empowered. I didn’t say wanted them to be empowered.” (from a presentation by Mardig Sheridan) This is a further exploration of one of my notes from the Kata Summit a few weeks […]

Scientific Improvement Beyond The Experiment

“How do we deploy this improvement to other areas in the company?” is a very common question out there. A fair number of formal improvement structures include a final step of “standardize” and imply the improvement is laterally copied or deployed into other, similar, situations. Yet this seems to fly in the face of the […]

David Marquet: Turn Your Ship Around

Regular readers (and clients) know I really like David Marquet’s “Leader-Leader” model and believe it has a synergistic close connection to lean thinking, leadership, and Toyota Kata. When I was offered a chance at getting a pre-publication copy of his Turn Your Ship Around! workbook, I jumped at the opportunity. Lean Leadership I don’t like […]

How Does Kaizen Differ From A Kaizen Event?

The title of this post is a search term that hit the site today. It’s an interesting question – and interesting that it gets asked. “Kaizen” is now an English word (it’s in the OED) and defined as such: Definition of kaizen in English: NOUN A Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, […]

“What Is Lean” – 2015

Mike Rother and Jeff Liker have refined the “What is Lean?” slideshare from earlier this year. I think they have filled things in pretty well. Take a look, then I’ll add my thoughts. Responsibility of Leaders The Jim Womack quote on Slide 4 is telling in a number at a number of levels: “Most management […]

Goal vs “Target Condition”

Emily sent an email asking “how would you describe the difference between GOAL and TARGET CONDITION?” I end up on this topic enough that I thought I’d discuss it here. I am assuming we are referring to the “Toyota / Toyota Kata” context here. I mention that because while “target condition” has a pretty clear […]

Shifting Perspective from Getting Results to Developing People

Note: This post has been in my “Draft” queue for a few months, so actually pre-dates the previous one. But I’m seeing a theme developing in what I am paying attention to lately. Taken from an actual conversation. “What is your target condition?” “To get [this productivity metric] from 60% to 85%.” (thinking) – he […]

“Why Don’t You Just…”

Most leaders will at least superficially agree that organizations with an aligned, empowered workforce are more effective; that decisions are faster when made at lower levels that are closer to the actual facts; and that work teams are the ones in the best position to improve their own processes. Most would agree that they would […]

DMAIC and Toyota Kata

A lot of the organizations I deal with have a legacy with Six Sigma, or some x-Sigma variant. If they are now trying to incorporate Toyota Kata as a way to shift their daily behavior, questions arise about how it fits (or might fit, or whether it fits) with DMAIC. This sometimes comes about when […]

Coaching with Intent

As I continue to explore the concepts in David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around, I am finding increasing resonance with the concept of intent. I’d like to explore some of that in relationship to lean, “Toyota Kata” and organizational alignment. For a quick review, take a look at the sketchcast video, below, and focus on […]

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