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Tag: Deming

Podcast #198 – Harry Kenworthy, #Lean in Government

Podcast #198 – Harry Kenworthy, #Lean in Government

MP3 File (run time 39:17) Episode #198 is a discussion with Harry Kenworthy about his work bringing Lean into local and state governments. We had a great conversation that touches on the influence of Dr. W. Edwards Deming and many other concepts that might be of interest even if you’re not interested in “Lean Government” […]

Blame: Human Error Occurs Even IF We’re Being Careful

Blame: Human Error Occurs Even IF We’re Being Careful

I’m not sure why “error” was put in quotes since this seems like an actual error, not a quote-unquote error: Staff ‘error’ blamed for chlorine leak at Louth’s Kenwick Park Hotel which led to five being taken to hospital When people talk about human error, they often seem to miss the point. They think calling […]

Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, Deming, and Lean Leadership

Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, Deming, and Lean Leadership

Since moving to San Antonio two years ago, I’ve become a big fan of the San Antonio Spurs. For one, it’s essentially a civic responsibility to cheer for them, with the Spurs being the only major pro team in town. They are similar to the Green Bay Packers in that regard. Second, they are a […]

Dr. Deming & Kaizen: Employees Should Not Just Suggest, But Try Improvements Out

Dr. Deming & Kaizen: Employees Should Not Just Suggest, But Try Improvements Out

I’ve really enjoyed reading the book The Essential Deming: Leadership Principles from the Father of Quality that was published last year. I think this link will work… you can view my my public Kindle notes and profile online. If you haven’t read Dr. Deming’s work, my suggestions are to start with either Deming’s own Out of the Crisis. Or, […]

My Comments on #Lean Healthcare in These Challenging Times

My Comments on #Lean Healthcare in These Challenging Times

Thanks to Dodge Communications for interviewing me for their blog: “Improving healthcare–there’s no instant pudding.” I was, of course, citing the late great Dr. W. Edwards Deming and his “There is no instant pudding” admonition. Hospitals and health systems are facing a lot of pressure right now, especially with lower reimbursements. Lean is powerful, but […]

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 […]

Learning Not to Blame: Baseball Edition

Learning Not to Blame: Baseball Edition

Following up my post about not blaming a bartender, here’s another look at learning to cast aside our old habit of blaming individuals… this time, baseball related. Modern organizations (in healthcare and business) tend to blame an individual when something goes wrong. It’s commonplace in our societies and it’s, basically, human nature to blame. But, […]

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 […]

How Do You Make Time for Improvement? Here are Nine Takes

How Do You Make Time for Improvement? Here are Nine Takes

I’m happy to be a participating author on “The Lean Edge” blog/site that’s hosted by Michael Ballé author of The Gold Mine and other books. Their most recent question has many responses and I’ll try to help organize them for you here. Question: As CEO of my company I have a grasp of lean and have experienced it in my […]

Is it a Bad Idea to Pay a Lean Consultant Based on a Percentage of Cost Savings?

Is it a Bad Idea to Pay a Lean Consultant Based on a Percentage of Cost Savings?

The price paid for most management consulting work is based on either a daily rate or some variation of a flat-rate fee based on what is being delivered. Enterprise software pricing is also often fixed. In both cases, the client pays this with some expectation of benefits and even an “ROI” for the customer). When […]

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 […]

Dilbert on Leadership

Dilbert on Leadership

The image here is the final panel of a Dilbert strip from 2010. I use the last panel because it’s an all-purpose punchline to many different scenarios. I asked Paul O’Neill what’s preventing us from improving patient safety… he said “leadership.” To become a Lean organization…. leadership. To engage people in continuous improvement…. leadership. About […]

By February 27, 2014 7 Comments Read More →
The Truth About Data and PDSA/PDCA from a Toyota Publication

The Truth About Data and PDSA/PDCA from a Toyota Publication

Out there in the Lean and quality improvement communities, you sometimes hear some silly things. Sometimes, I want to attach the “Lean As Mistakenly Explained” (or L.A.M.E.) label to what’s said when it really seems off the mark from what Lean is really all about. Davis Balestracci, a columnist for Quality Digest, passed along something […]

By February 20, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
Parallels (and Differences) Between the Book “Traction” and Kaizen

Parallels (and Differences) Between the Book “Traction” and Kaizen

When I recently did a Healthcare Kaizen workshop near Detroit, I invited an old friend of mine to attend as a guest. Marisa Smith, an entrepreneur and business owner in Ann Arbor, saw the connections between my Kaizen work and a book that she uses within her company and with her clients: Traction: Get a Grip […]

By February 4, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing – 5S & #Lean

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing – 5S & #Lean

I read this valid complaint from somebody on a LinkedIn group…. it led to a “facepalm” that I managed to catch on camera: I interviewed with a medium sized company for a quality Manager position a while back. They were convinced that 5S is lean. They referred to 5S as the “five pillars” of lean. A […]

By January 17, 2014 22 Comments Read More →
Podcast Transcript – #117, Prof. Samuel Culbert on Getting Rid of Performance Reviews

Podcast Transcript – #117, Prof. Samuel Culbert on Getting Rid of Performance Reviews

Podcast Page (with Audio) One of my favorite podcasts was recorded back in 2011, with Sam Culbert of UCLA. He speaks insightfully on a topic that Dr. W. Edwards Deming championed – replacing the annual employee appraisal (or performance review) with a more ongoing leadership process… being less of a judge and more of a […]

By January 3, 2014 2 Comments Read More →
Videos Look Inside the Tesla (former NUMMI) Factory – Will They Be More like Toyota or GM?

Videos Look Inside the Tesla (former NUMMI) Factory – Will They Be More like Toyota or GM?

I was able to tour the NUMMI factory in 2005, which I really enjoyed (see my series of blog posts here). NUMMI was, of course, a joint venture between Toyota and GM (as John Shook talked about recently at the Lean Startup conference). NUMMI was shuttered a few years back when GM pulled out of […]

By December 31, 2013 4 Comments Read More →