Tag: GM

Doctors Get Upset With Being Pushed, Bad Leadership, Clumsy Incentives; Try to Unionize

Doctors Get Upset With Being Pushed, Bad Leadership, Clumsy Incentives; Try to Unionize

A few weeks back, a number of you sent me this article from the New York Times: “Doctors Unionize to Resist the Medical Machine“ The article describes a physician who is trying to take the amount of time – the right amount of time – that he thinks is required to get a proper diagnosis […]

By February 15, 2016 14 Comments Read More →
More Notes on Dr. Deming & “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?” (Part 3)

More Notes on Dr. Deming & “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?” (Part 3)

Hopefully you’ve already seen the famed 1980 NBC documentary “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?” that featured Dr. W. Edwards Deming. I posted a link to the video and some notes on Part 1 of the broadcast. Today, I’d like to blog about Part 3 of the program…

By January 6, 2016 3 Comments Read More →
Throwback Thursday: #Lean Equipment and a Lean Layout Isn’t Enough

Throwback Thursday: #Lean Equipment and a Lean Layout Isn’t Enough

Going through some old files, I found an article that I wrote back in late 2005. I wrote it for somebody within our J&J Lean Healthcare circles, trying to help draw parallels to the idea that a hospital lab couldn’t just copy a “Lean layout” without also changing the way they work. I never published it

By October 1, 2015 2 Comments Read More →
Throwback Thursday: This 1946 GM Video Promoting Time & Motion Study is Dated Yet Current

Throwback Thursday: This 1946 GM Video Promoting Time & Motion Study is Dated Yet Current

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I somehow stumbled across this video on YouTube… it’s a video from 1946 that was produced by General Motors, their industrial engineering staff, the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), and the University of Iowa.

By September 10, 2015 9 Comments Read More →
Throwback Thursday: “This American Life” on NUMMI Lessons, “Labor Notes” Still Hates Lean

Throwback Thursday: “This American Life” on NUMMI Lessons, “Labor Notes” Still Hates Lean

Episode #403 of the public radio program “This American Life” originally aired in 2010, telling the story of the NUMMI plant that was a joint venture between GM and Toyota (it’s now where they build Teslas). As a joint venture, that meant the closed-down GM Fremont plant was re-opened to be managed under the Toyota Production System. […]

“How do you deliver quality and value to market quickly?” – Steve Spear at MIT

“How do you deliver quality and value to market quickly?” – Steve Spear at MIT

When I was back at MIT earlier this month, I really enjoyed the lectures that I was able to attend. See my notes from Professor Zeynep Ton’s talk on “The Good Jobs Strategy.” I’ve heard Professor Steven Spear (not “Spears,” as commonly misspelled) speak a number of times. I love his book The High-Velocity Edge and […]

Throwback Thursday: 23 Tweets I Might Have Sent in 2002

Throwback Thursday: 23 Tweets I Might Have Sent in 2002

I have been going through some old papers recently and I found two sheets of paper with hand-written thoughts or “truisms” that I had scribbled down in early 2002. The word truism, it turns out, doesn’t mean “true” so much as it means “a statement that is obviously true and says nothing new or interesting.” Oops. […]

Cartoon: The Workplace “Brain Check Station”

Cartoon: The Workplace “Brain Check Station”

Here’s my latest cartoon collaboration with a skilled artist (and medical assistant), Carrie Howarth. You can see the whole series via this link. How many organizations ask their employees to check their brain at the door? This certainly happened during my time at General Motors 20 years ago (and it had been happening for decades there). […]

By February 10, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Throwback Thursday: GM Got Gamed & The Original Intent of Their Standup Meeting

Throwback Thursday: GM Got Gamed & The Original Intent of Their Standup Meeting

Continuing the “Throwback Thursday” theme for the 10th anniversary of my blog, today’s post looks back at and builds upon one of my favorites from 2007. The post is a “GM War Story” from 1995 when I was just starting my career: “GM Got Gamed (Or, How to Fudge Your Production Numbers)” read more

By January 15, 2015 1 Comments Read More →
Fear of speaking up is a broader problem, not just in military medicine

Fear of speaking up is a broader problem, not just in military medicine

Announcement: Dr. Greg Jacobson and I are doing a new webinar for KaiNexus on “More Leadership Behaviors That Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement‘” on January 27. It’s free… learn more and register here. * * * * * * * * * Here’s a troubling article from the New York Times: read more photo […]

By January 13, 2015 4 Comments Read More →
What’s Up With Neckties in Healthcare?

What’s Up With Neckties in Healthcare?

It’s a simple question: what’s up with so many men wearing ties in healthcare? Are you / they wearing them because you like to, want to, or have to? When I worked at a video game and computer software store in high school, I had to wear a shirt and tie. This was the era […]

By December 17, 2014 15 Comments Read More →
GM CEO Mary Barra Celebrates Employee Kaizen

GM CEO Mary Barra Celebrates Employee Kaizen

Time magazine recently featured GM’s relatively new CEO, Mary Barra, on the cover and in this story: “Mary Barra’s Bumpy Ride at the Wheel of GM“ I can’t find a free version of the story online. Here is a USA Today summary that says “Five things ‘Time’ revealed about GM CEO Mary Barra.” read more

By October 13, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
This Date in Lean Blog History: August 6

This Date in Lean Blog History: August 6

My blog will turn 10 years old in February, 2015. You’re probably either thinking, “Wow, that’s awesome!” or “Get a life, dude.” :-) Here’s a look back at some of the posts from August 6 in past years… what was I writing about? 2013: Podcast #183 – Scott Sambucci, Lean Startup Ideas for Sales read more

Overcapacity and Overproduction in the Auto Industry (and Healthcare)

Overcapacity and Overproduction in the Auto Industry (and Healthcare)

I’ve seen this going around social media the past few days, an article with shocking pictures of all of the cars and trucks that have been built, only to sit in huge inventory yards around the world: “Where the World’s Unsold Cars Go To Die.” The photos are dramatic, including this one: read more

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 […]

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 […]

Are Today’s Hospitals Too Much Like “The Old GM?”

Are Today’s Hospitals Too Much Like “The Old GM?”

As a former GM employee and a GM customer, I’m really fascinated by the reaction of the public, the media, and Congress to the recalls and scandal over ignition switch problems in some GM small cars from recent years. The defect or design flaw is believed to have caused between 13 and 300 deaths (depending […]

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 […]