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Tag: GM

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 2012: Dr. Donald […]

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: Note: The Jalopnik […]

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 […]

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 →
What I’m Reading 12/30/13: GM’s CEO, Human Error, Costing, and Really Deep Sleepers

What I’m Reading 12/30/13: GM’s CEO, Human Error, Costing, and Really Deep Sleepers

To close out the year 2013, I once again need to close some browser tabs that are full of things that I was maybe going to write about, but don’t merit a full post. So, the latest in my occasional “What I’m Reading” series: New York State Hospital Data Exposes Big Markups, and Odd Bargains […]

By December 30, 2013 0 Comments Read More →
Detroit Elects a Lean Thinking Mayor? Will it Make a Difference?

Detroit Elects a Lean Thinking Mayor? Will it Make a Difference?

I grew up just outside of Detroit, so I’m always pulling for the city to turn things around. The newly-elected mayor, Mike Duggan, is the former CEO of Detroit Medical Center. Back in 2009, I blogged about a radio commercial for DMC that featured Duggan talking about healthcare quality improvement. A hat tip goes to […]

By November 14, 2013 9 Comments Read More →
The Term “Lean Production” is 25 Years Old – Some Thoughts on the Original John Krafcik Article

The Term “Lean Production” is 25 Years Old – Some Thoughts on the Original John Krafcik Article

People often ask me where the term “Lean” comes from. It’s not an acronym, so it shouldn’t be spelled “LEAN” (but it often is). Lean is not a synonym for “lacking or deficient” in resources, as some dictionaries will tell you or as it gets used in news headlines about “surviving the lean economy.” The […]

By September 23, 2013 9 Comments Read More →
Eiji Toyoda, Credited with Developing TPS and Expanding Toyota into North America, Passes Away at 100

Eiji Toyoda, Credited with Developing TPS and Expanding Toyota into North America, Passes Away at 100

Eiji Toyoda, a key figure in the growth and expansion of Toyota and the Toyota Production System practices has passed away this week, just past his 100th birthday. His death has received fairly prominent coverage in the business press, including: NY Times: Eiji Toyoda, Promoter of the Toyota Way and Engineer of Its Growth, Dies […]

By September 20, 2013 3 Comments Read More →
#Lean Healthcare: The Really Good, the Sort of Bad, and the Ugly

#Lean Healthcare: The Really Good, the Sort of Bad, and the Ugly

I had a speaking engagement yesterday for a large system, with the audience consisting mainly of hospital CEOs and CFOs. I was able to be around for the entire morning, which included a really outstanding kickoff talk by the system CEO (talking about process improvement as a key strategy) and followed by two internal P.I. […]

Podcast #175 – Mike Taubitz, Lean and Safety

Podcast #175 – Mike Taubitz, Lean and Safety

Please upgrade your browser MP3 File (run time 28:17) My guest for podcast #175 is Mike Taubitz of the firm Sustainable Lean and  FDR Safety. Mike is a retired GM employee (including a stint as Global Safety Director)  and we met at the Michigan Lean Consortium conference in 2011. We quickly discovered our shared interest […]

By May 17, 2013 Read More →
“My Best Mistake:” Working for General Motors

“My Best Mistake:” Working for General Motors

As a LinkedIn “Influencer,” I was invited to contribute a story to the “My Best Mistake” series. I wrote about something I, at first, thought was a mistake… taking my first job out of college at General Motors. In the piece, I write about why I wasn’t interested in a job at General Motors, but […]

Watching the Steve Jobs “Lost Interview,” Part 1

Watching the Steve Jobs “Lost Interview,” Part 1

Recently, I stumbled across something that’s been out for about a year, a lost video of Steve Jobs being interviewed in 1995. See this CBS News story about the video or you can rent the video via (what else) Apple iTunes (as well as Amazon and YouTube, all costing $3.99).  While I love my Macs […]

By November 5, 2012 4 Comments Read More →
Podcast #145 – Natalie Sayer, “Lean for Dummies”

Podcast #145 – Natalie Sayer, “Lean for Dummies”

Please upgrade your browser MP3 File (run time 26:30) Episode #145 is a conversation with Natalie J. Sayer, co-author of the recently updated 2nd edition of the book Lean For Dummies. I was able to meet Natalie at the recent ASQ Lean and Six Sigma Conference, where she was also a presenter. While I was […]

Stuff I’m Reading, April 5, 2012: New Books, Layoffs “Forced,” Regrettable Mistakes, and Avoiding Overproduction

Back by popular demand, here are links to some more articles I’ve read recently that might be of interest on a number of Lean related topics: Potent Medicine Delivers a Treatment Plan for U.S. Health Care (new book from Dr. John Toussaint) New book from Naida Grunden: “Lean-Led Hospital Design: Creating the Efficient Hospital of […]

Mental Models and How We View the Gemba & Workers: GM & Dell

Mental Models and How We View the Gemba & Workers: GM & Dell

Regular readers know I started my career at General Motors from 1995 to 1997. After graduate school at MIT, I took a job at Dell, Inc. in 1999. At the time, Dell was at the peak of its reputation in the business world and they were inundated with requests for tours. As a staff member, […]

By February 14, 2012 4 Comments Read More →