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Tag: WSJ

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 […]

Lime Shortages, Cost, Price, and Lean

Lime Shortages, Cost, Price, and Lean

Limes are a very big deal here in San Antonio, between the cuisine and, of course, margaritas. Hint: life is too short to drink “margaritas” with some corn-syrupy pre-made mix. All you need is tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar. Maybe Cointreau or good triple sec. But, the price of limes has been sky high […]

Parallels Between Philadelphia Eagles’ Coach Chip Kelly & A Lean Leader

Parallels Between Philadelphia Eagles’ Coach Chip Kelly & A Lean Leader

The Philadelphia Eagles are playing in an NFL playoff matchup tonight against the New Orleans Saints. I’d admired Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and his somewhat unlikely rise through the coaching ranks. He’s well known from his successful stint at the University of Oregon, but before that he was the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire, […]

By January 4, 2014 6 Comments Read More →
“Why Charter Schools Work” – Questions of Autonomy, Responsibility, Standardized Work & Results

“Why Charter Schools Work” – Questions of Autonomy, Responsibility, Standardized Work & Results

My mom is a retired public school elementary teacher, so I’ve heard plenty of stories about bad management decisions within a school system and other craziness that runs the risk of crushing souls… but thankfully my mom (and so many other teachers) are strong people and they can put up with it because their work […]

More Than Grammar in This WSJ Grammar Quiz

More Than Grammar in This WSJ Grammar Quiz

Last week, my dad pointed out this grammar quiz on the Wall Street Journal website (as part of the article “This Embarrasses You and I*: Grammar Gaffes Invade the Office in an Age of Informal Email, Texting and Twitter.” We both scored 22 out of 22 on the quiz, as my dad and I know […]

Stuff I’m Reading, April 20 – Cancer Cars, ThedaCare Payments, Boss Apes

In a recurring feature, here are links to some more articles I’ve read recently that might be of interest: Luxury car program brings cancer patients to treatment in style (KVUE-TV, Austin) – a great non-profit effort started by a former colleague at Dell, addressing a very important part of the care value stream — getting […]

The More Sophisticated Brains – Robots or Employees?

The More Sophisticated Brains – Robots or Employees?

Last week, an article in the Wall Street Journal caught my eye: “The Robots Are Coming to Hospitals:  A New Breed of Blue-Collar Robots is Handling the Dirty Work, Transporting Linens and Laundry.” My immediate short response was to tweet out an illustration that I hoped would get circulated around Twitter. I also got an […]

WSJ: How to Be a Better Boss? Spend Time on the Front Lines

Last Thursday’s Journal had a story titled “How to Be a Better Boss? Spend Time on the Front Lines.” The article talks about senior leaders going to see work being done at the front lines. Does this have to be a special act, like some sort of “Undercover Boss” reality show stunt or can it […]

By February 15, 2012 11 Comments Read More →
Kaizen on the Boeing 737 Line

Kaizen on the Boeing 737 Line

There was a nice article in the Wall Street Journal this week about the Boeing 737 and some of their Lean and Kaizen (continuous improvement) work: “Boeing Teams Speed Up 737 Output — Jet Maker’s Innovation Crews Search for Ways to Streamline Production as Aircraft Demand Soars.” Boeing needs to increase production by more than […]

By February 10, 2012 2 Comments Read More →
Yes, We Need Staff Ideas – But, How to Manage Those Ideas?

Yes, We Need Staff Ideas – But, How to Manage Those Ideas?

It’s always great to see stories in the major media outlets about engaging front-line staff in improvement ideas. Recently, we had a piece in USA Today that I blogged about  and now we have one in the Wall St. Journal titled: “For Bright Ideas, Ask the Staff.” The article starts on a very promising note, […]

By October 20, 2011 5 Comments Read More →
Fox News Channel Understands “Lean” Better than the WSJ

Fox News Channel Understands “Lean” Better than the WSJ

On Friday, there was yet another Wall Street Journal article about Lean (fixating as they always do on the “Just In Time” component). The article titled “For Lean Factories, No Buffer” yet again takes an outdated 1980s view that Lean is about low inventory. On the flip side, I was more pleasantly surprised that Fox […]

Questions about and Lessons from a Steering Wheel Falling Off

Questions about and Lessons from a Steering Wheel Falling Off

In the news yesterday, a General Motors recall over what could be just one isolated steering wheel problem in an Ohio-built Chevrolet (don’t call it Chevy) Cruze. Most news stories about the recall just mention that one steering wheel came off while an owner was driving down the road (yikes!) The Wall Street Journal story […]

GM Blames Layoffs on the Japan Earthquake and JIT; Should Instead Look in Mirror

GM Blames Layoffs on the Japan Earthquake and JIT; Should Instead Look in Mirror

Let me give a big ole’ Texas-sized hat tip to Bob Emiliani for sending me this sad article with the headline“General Motors lays off workers at NY plant.” This is an addition to earlier Shreveport layoffs. The media will let GM off the hook as the parts shortages are the result of the tragic Japan […]

Enough with the Factory Bashing, Please – Healthcare Professionals and WIRED Magazine

Enough with the Factory Bashing, Please – Healthcare Professionals and WIRED Magazine

Those of you who know my background know that I spent the first 10 years of my career working in various manufacturing sectors (including GM, Dell, and Honeywell). I moved into healthcare in 2005, part of the wave of people who are transferring the Lean methodology of management and quality improvement into an industry that […]

By February 25, 2011 22 Comments Read More →
So What If You Don’t Have Stats for Offensive Lineman?

So What If You Don’t Have Stats for Offensive Lineman?

It’s Super Bowl week in the U.S., which is probably even obvious to many readers from outside of North America. As we watch the game, most fans will be focused mainly on the team outcome, as opposed to focusing on individual player stats. American football isn’t as stats-obsessed as baseball, but people tend to want […]

By February 4, 2011 1 Comments Read More →
Invest in Robots or in People? Amazon Makes the Lean Decision

Invest in Robots or in People? Amazon Makes the Lean Decision

I’m finally blogging about a Wall Street Journal article from just before Christmas – it’s still a generally interesting topic, I think. The article was “Holiday Help: People vs. Robots“ It compares the labor and productivity strategies of two retailers – Crate & Barrel and Amazon. Amazon is known to be seriously embracing Lean principles, […]

By January 17, 2011 6 Comments Read More →
The Article I *Wish* I Had Read about Starbucks in Yesterday’s WSJ

The Article I *Wish* I Had Read about Starbucks in Yesterday’s WSJ

For a more traditional approach to this topic, check out this alternative post, “Real Lean at Starbucks or Tayloristic Industrial Engineering?“. Below is the more creative approach to addressing yesterday’s WSJ article about Lean at Starbucks. Read the WSJ article first: “At Starbucks, Baristas Told No More Than Two Drinks” and the read below for […]

By October 14, 2010 9 Comments Read More →
Real Lean at Starbucks or Tayloristic Industrial Engineering?

Real Lean at Starbucks or Tayloristic Industrial Engineering?

Once again, the WSJ has written about Lean at Starbucks (see my last post “Controversy over New Standardized Work at Some Starbucks Stores“) in Wednesday’s paper. The newest article is called “At Starbucks, Baristas Told No More Than Two Drinks“, also available in a free version from Australia. Yesterday’s article leaves me to wonder, once […]

By October 14, 2010 22 Comments Read More →