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Tag: Culture

Managing With Red/Green Charts is Like Driving By Looking at the Rear-View Mirror

Managing With Red/Green Charts is Like Driving By Looking at the Rear-View Mirror

There’s an expression that was used by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, and also by Dr. Don Wheeler, that says managing through metrics (and comparisons to targets) is like driving by looking in the rear-view mirror. Deming said: Taking action on the basis of results without theory of knowledge, without theory of variation, without knowledge about […]

By September 2, 2014 16 Comments Read More →
Webinar Recording: What to Do When you Have Lots of Employee Ideas

Webinar Recording: What to Do When you Have Lots of Employee Ideas

At KaiNexus, Dr. Greg Jacobson and I have been doing new webinars each month (see the library here). Our most recent one was hosted by our friends and partners at Gemba Academy, so thanks to them for that and all of their support. Last week’s webinar is archived on our website, which you can access […]

My Boss “Blanks” #Lean

My Boss “Blanks” #Lean

As a child of the 70s and 80s, I like classic game shows. Last week, I used a photo from “Family Feud” in a post (albeit the more modern incarnation) and today I have the classic show “Match Game” on my mind. The host, Gene Rayburn, would ask celebrity panelists a question… it was really more […]

CNN Head Jeff Zucker Doesn’t Realize There’s a Culture of Fear at CNN?

CNN Head Jeff Zucker Doesn’t Realize There’s a Culture of Fear at CNN?

Back in May, I saw news reports about the head of CNN, Jeff Zucker: “CNN boss Zucker shocked by staffer’s fearful question.” Back when I worked for big companies, I had to be an audience member for many “all hands” meetings – either all hands at a local site or, as technology evolved, “all hands […]

What People Say is Their “Biggest Challenge Related to Innovation and Improvement”

What People Say is Their “Biggest Challenge Related to Innovation and Improvement”

Yesterday’s post was about some of our work at KaiNexus and today’s post is hosted over on the KaiNexus Blog: Challenges to Innovation and Improvement In the post, I share some of the survey reflections that were shared with us by attendees of our webinars (our next one is on July 9, hosted by Gemba Academy). […]

Dilbert’s Colleague “Jeff’ and “That Will Never Work”

Dilbert’s Colleague “Jeff’ and “That Will Never Work”

The Dilbert strip from June 18 features a (new?) colleague of Dilbert’s… a guy named Jeff. In the first panel, Jeff shows himself to be a Negative Nelly: The practice of Kaizen requires a certain positivity. Instead of pointing out “here’s why that won’t work,” we need to focus more on asking “how do we make […]

Visiting Two Japanese Hospitals with an Eye for Lean; I Can’t Wait to Go Back

Visiting Two Japanese Hospitals with an Eye for Lean; I Can’t Wait to Go Back

In November 2012, I had the opportunity to visit Japan for the first time as part of a Lean healthcare study mission. It was fascinating to compare notes with colleagues from the U.S., Belgium, and Holland as we visited factories, including a Toyota plant, and two hospitals that are using the methodology – at least […]

UMass Memorial Aims to Become a “World Class” Kaizen Organization

UMass Memorial Aims to Become a “World Class” Kaizen Organization

I was really happy to see this article about Kaizen and employee engagement at UMass Memorial Medical Center:  What’s good for Toyota is good for UMass Memorial. When I was with LEI in Boston, I had a chance to meet Dr. Eric Dickson before he became CEO at UMass, knowing him as a serious student of […]

Podcast #197 – Kim Barnas, “Beyond Heroes” at ThedaCare

Podcast #197 – Kim Barnas, “Beyond Heroes” at ThedaCare

MP3 File (run time 35:59) My guest for episode #197 is a hospital leader I really respect, Kim Barnas, author of the new book Beyond Heroes. Until very recently, Kim was a Senior VP at ThedaCare, leading Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Hospital. I’ve seen Kim speak to groups at ThedaCare and a few conferences and […]

Lean is Common Sense? #ObviouslyLean

Lean is Common Sense? #ObviouslyLean

I’ve been amused by the Hotels.com “Captain Obvious” character and TV commercials. Hotels.com is, um, a site where you book hotels. Obvious. It’s often said that Lean is “common sense.” If that’s true, I guess it goes along with the phrase that common sense is uncommon. Aspects of a Lean culture often seem like common […]

How to Create a Dysfunctional Culture Where Employees & Customers Are Unhappy

How to Create a Dysfunctional Culture Where Employees & Customers Are Unhappy

On this blog, I write a lot about how to create a “Lean” culture where employees and customers are happy. Engaged employees lead to happy customers — and sustainable business success. It’s often instructive, however, to see or hear about a broken and dysfunctional culture. Sometimes the clearest examples of WHAT to do come from […]

My Skepticism about GM’s “Speak Up for Safety” Program

My Skepticism about GM’s “Speak Up for Safety” Program

I have a new article posted on LinkedIn: “My New Program: Speak Up About “Speak Up for Safety” at GM.” GM seems to continue their “blame the employees” game, as they’ve suspended two engineers (in my mind, blaming individuals for systemic cultural problems). CEO Mary Barra says that some executives may be punished, but starting […]

Great Steve Jobs Video (& Transcript) from 1990 on Continuous Improvement

Great Steve Jobs Video (& Transcript) from 1990 on Continuous Improvement

Hat tip to Brent Brewington (@BrentBrewington) for sharing a link to this amazing video via Twitter. Starting at about 7:54 into the video, Steve Jobs talks about continuous improvement. Here is a little more background about the video, shot in 1990, when Jobs was 35 years old and CEO of NeXT Computer. I admit I […]

The Day I Thought I’d Get Fired from “The Old GM” – Putting Quality over Quantity

The Day I Thought I’d Get Fired from “The Old GM” – Putting Quality over Quantity

Following up on yesterday’s post that talked about “the old GM” putting cost ahead of quality, I sometimes I get flashbacks to my days working for General Motors. I’ve been in healthcare for 8.5 years now, but at the start of my career, I was an entry-level industrial engineer at the GM Powertrain Livonia Engine plant […]

Did GM Forget that the Customer Should Come First? And Who Forgot Exactly?

Did GM Forget that the Customer Should Come First? And Who Forgot Exactly?

I wrote an article for LinkedIn yesterday about the recent GM ignition problem controversy and recall. I commented mainly on the video put out by new CEO Mary Barra (which I encourage you to watch). As a former GM employee, I reacted (at a gut level) to a few things in the video. The main […]

Is it Lean’s Fault or the Old Management System’s?

Is it Lean’s Fault or the Old Management System’s?

It’s easy for an organization to say they are “doing Lean” or they have “started a Lean transformation.” They might hire a consultant or put out a press release… or maybe there’s an optimistic (but premature) news article about how the hospital or health system is going to turn around with Lean. The problem is […]

Notes & My Short Talk from the #Lean Transformation Summit, #Lean14

Notes & My Short Talk from the #Lean Transformation Summit, #Lean14

It’s been fun attending the annual Lean Transformation Summit (produced by LEI). Today is Day 2. I took some notes from Day 1 and Tom Ehrenfeld has been “live blogging” it a bit on the LEI site. Tom also took and posted a picture of me in my spiffy “Lean Geek” t-shirt. LEI had a […]

Podcast #195 – Steve Montague, Lean + TeamSTEPPS for Patient Safety

Podcast #195 – Steve Montague, Lean + TeamSTEPPS for Patient Safety

Please upgrade your browser MP3 File (run time 38:47) Joining me for episode #195 is my friend Steve Montague from LifeWings. Steve and I met initially through our shared interest in Lean and, like Ron Pereira, we discovered we both lived in Keller, Texas (I’ve since moved to San Antonio). Steve is a retired Navy […]