By David Meier:
In this LinkedIn Group discussion, a member posted this question:
“In the book TPS Taiichi Ohno gives in chapter 5 praises to Henry Ford. He refers to Henry Ford his book Today and Tomorrow, written in 1926. Henry Ford was at his peak in 1926. In the following years, as Taiichi Ohno written, Ford faced failure and discouragement.
If people and organizations are good at anything, it’s gaming a system or finding workarounds.
From a recent WSJ article comes a tale of how Ford works around import tariffs:
Last week, I blogged about an episode where bad news wasn’t flowing up in Boeing (or, it’s part of a pattern).
In my Sunday morning reading, I ran across two articles that reminded me of the situations where fear (and other dynamics) lead to communication failures.
Interesting story last month about Ford and CEO Alan Mulally. He’s a Toyota admirer and Lean devotee’ from his time at Boeing. FORTUNE magazine was allowed to share a diagram that Mulally drew up before the interviews. Click on it for a larger view (I couldn’t find it online, so I scanned it)… interesting that Lean/Ford Production System isn’t there in the company strategy.
Wanted to share a link to an article I wrote recently for the Society for Health Systems newsletter.
The article begins:
For those who are new to the fields of industrial engineering or management engineering (as the field is often called in health care), the use of engineering methods may seem like a recent innovation in health care settings. The recent rise in the popularity of lean and Six Sigma in hospitals around the world has brought an influx of engineers into health care.
A bit of manufacturing and Lean history here…. since Henry Ford’s writings and practices helped influence Toyota and the development of the Toyota Production System. Many of Henry Ford’s methods seem “Lean” although the company got away from those practices over time (as Jim Womack mentioned in the BBC audio I posted on Monday).
The BBC aired a revisiting of a story from 2007, I found this thanks to an alert on Twitter, a message from a guy named @KanuDawg said:
I feel a bit insensitive posting this video considering the continued plant closure announcements in the auto industry and Chrysler’s bankruptcy, but don’t blame me, blame “The Onion” (the web’s funniest fake news)…
Why does the USA TODAY tend to do a better job with Lean articles than the Wall Street Journal? This article is another example.
Ok, so I’ll combine a mish-mash of Ford related topics into a single post here.
First off, it’s the 100th anniversary of the Model T, introduced in 1908. Yesterday’s USA Today has an article about the anniversary and some interesting tidbits, including some details about what a different driving experience it was.
I really like Seth Godin’s blog… but when he steps into “Lean” territory, he tends to be wrong (as he was last year).
In his recent post, he explores the history of how Ford-ism (and I’d add Taylor-ism) impacted fundamental assumptions that we hold in current-day work life. Kind of an interesting read.
One of the most fascinating trends out of there is the spread of Toyota folks into other old-line automakers or parts suppliers — Gary Convis, Jim Press, and Jim Farley, to name three. What impact can they have outside of Toyota? It remains to be seen and it’s a story worth following. How much impact can one man have on the culture of an entire organization, even if they’re at the top?
By Andy Wagner:
A poignant story showed up in the Washington Post during the recent GM strike that hits at the heart of the principle of respect for people. It came from the Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Management, required to work during the strike, gave their friends, their union hourly workers, rides to the picket line. They delivered hot coffee and donuts. They showed that respect for people is alive in well at the real Saturn, despite the fact that Spring Hill, home of the “different kind of car company” doesn’t even assemble cars any more.
By Andy Wagner:
I have blogged before on the inefficiency of multi-tasking and the virtues of more single-piece flow in the engineering environment. Judging by this article, it looks like somebody at Ford Motor has been listening.