Many of you might not care, but it’s football season. Major college football starts tomorrow night and the NFL kicks off their season next Thursday. On that note, if you’d like to “kick off” a Kaizen approach to continuous improvement in your organization, I’d like to help.
I love what I do and I travel a lot… the travel can sometimes be a drag, such as last Monday’s flight delays with storms in Chicago, arriving in Toronto three hours late (after midnight). But, sometimes things work out in a surprisingly good way.
Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week. Follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation. See the previous installments of Key Tweets here.
The Wall St Journal loves writing about how “Just In Time” (JIT) is a risky inventory strategy. See my past posts about how the WSJ is so often wrong on this.
The WSJ seem to only understand Lean as JIT, as opposed to seeing Lean as a broader methodology and management system. JIT is just one component of the Toyota Production System (built-in quality being the other). See Toyota’s website for info straight from the source.
My wife and I were in Boston over the weekend, as it was her fifth reunion from her MIT master’s program. I’m also an alum, but was considered a “guest” since I graduated 16 years ago from my program and you don’t have to have an MIT degree to know 16 divided by 5 is not an integer.
Following up my earlier post about the “Patriot Way…”
During her halftime extravaganza (video), Katy Perry had a silver strap around her wrist, attached to the microphone. It reminded me of the Nintendo Wii strap that helps prevent throwing the controller (Update: I’m not the only one to think this and it might literally be a Wii strap).
Earlier this month, for the College Football Playoff championship game, I wrote about “Lessons from the Football Coaching and Leadership Styles of the Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes.” I had found articles about both teams in the name of balance (and because both teams represented Lean-like thinking or new ways of doing things).
Lessons from the Football Coaching and Leadership Styles of the Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes
Note: Today is the fifth anniversary of the Haiti earthquake. Russell Maroni’s journal from his volunteer work there, including some Lean concepts he employed, is still available. You can download a free PDF and I hope you’ll consider making a charitable contribution.
Organizations try to copy each other all the time. It doesn’t always work.
Manufacturing: A plant manager visits another factory and sees neatly organized tools and then comes home and tells everybody “to do 5S.” They’ve thoroughly missed the fact that the good factory engaged everybody in the 5S process and was using the methodology to solve problems that mattered. as part of a broader Lean management system. The top-down mandate isn’t embraced and then the copying plant manager decides “Lean didn’t work here.”
Although I’m a proud alum of Northwestern University, a former marching band member, and an ardent follower of our football team (as I’ve written about before), I grew up as a fan of the Michigan Wolverines and have many friends who are alumni.
Two pet peeves of mine are hearing people say things like “Lean is all about reducing waste” and or “Lean is all about cost cutting” (and thankfully others are also trying to dispel that myth). Another pet peeve is people drawing conclusions off of two data points, but we’ll come back to that later in this post.
I saw this article over the holiday weekend: “Nats install bullpen seating for relievers.”
The Washington Nationals relief pitchers asked to have a set of raised bleacher seats installed so they could view the game from above the fence instead of through the fence – see the article link for a picture or see this tweet:
Since my wife and I moved to San Antonio just over two years ago, we’ve become big Spurs fans. Since the Spurs are the only major pro sports team here, it’s basically a civic obligation to get behind our local team. The ThedaCare folks and others in Appleton and Green Bay feel that way about their Packers.
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 fun team to watch. I’m not sure where the “boring” reputation comes from, unless winning 50+ games every year bores you. They aren’t a high flying “Lob City” team but they play team basketball and they do it well.
Third, they play as a team. Finally, they seem like a classy bunch who are good members of the community. Oh, and they don’t have a racist owner.
I’m also a big fan of the quirky head coach, Gregg Popovich (recently named coach of the year in the NBA).
Regular readers of the blog will know that one of my favorite topics is “Gaming the Numbers” (or “Gaming the System“).
As Brian Joiner so brilliantly wrote, as shared by the late, great Peter Scholtes , there are three things people can do when faced with having to hit goals, targets, or quotas:
(1) improve the system, (2) distort the numbers, or (3) distort the system
Two items were in the news recently about #2 and #3 — from NCAA basketball and from hospitals.
I’m not a racing fan, but wow this video is impressive. I can appreciate a great process and all of the planning that’s involved.
I can also see the difference between having four pit crew members and 18 crew members (or so… it’s hard to count).
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, Lean and the Toyota Production System teaches us to NOT blame individuals and to, instead, look at the system. Dr. Deming, who influenced Toyota greatly, said that 94% of problems are due to the system. The exact percentage is unknowable, but the point is to not jump to blame.
So what happened in Major League Baseball last week?
I found a picture (posted by Jamie Voster on LinkedIn) and I re-shared it through my account. Neither Jamie nor I know where the picture was taken or who took it (I wish I could do a better job of giving credit).
Anyway, here is the great picture and the quote, attributed to the late Rear Admiral Grace Hopper.