Tag: WSJ

Like Lean: An NFL Head Coach Gets Out of His Office, Listens, Learns

Like Lean: An NFL Head Coach Gets Out of His Office, Listens, Learns

...this WSJ article caught my attention: "The Coach Who Won't Leave the Locker Room." The sub headline is "Why Carolina Panthers' Ron Rivera has become obsessed with integrating himself into his players' personal workspace." An NFL coach is at "the gemba" during a game, of course...

By October 15, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
When Warnings Aren’t Given or Heeded, People Die: Planes, Ice Cream & Hospitals

When Warnings Aren’t Given or Heeded, People Die: Planes, Ice Cream & Hospitals

In healthcare, it’s a well-known problem that people often don’t speak up to point out risks or to report near misses. It’s an organizational culture problem… people are afraid of being blamed, punished, or retaliated against for speaking up.

By August 12, 2015 5 Comments Read More →
Helpful Visuals for an International Flight, a Hospital, or a Dentist

Helpful Visuals for an International Flight, a Hospital, or a Dentist

My wife and I are getting ready to leave tomorrow night for a two week vacation, so it jogged my memory about this story I saw back in December in the WSJ: Airlines Try to Make Coach Classier.  Anything that makes long flights more bearable is good news to me.

U.S. Hospitals Have the Best E.R. Care for Kids, But Aren’t Prepared For Them?

U.S. Hospitals Have the Best E.R. Care for Kids, But Aren’t Prepared For Them?

There’s been a back and forth of views about the state of pediatric emergency medicine recently in the Wall St Journal.

Let me start first, actually, with the more recent statement, a rebuttal from Michael Gerardi M.D., FACEP, President of the American College of Emergency Physicians, in the form of a letter to the editor.

Stuff I’m Reading March 2015: Womack, Sweatshops, Hospitals, and Surveys

Stuff I’m Reading March 2015: Womack, Sweatshops, Hospitals, and Surveys

As often happens, I have too many open browser tabs full of articles that I was going to potentially blog about. Too much WIP (a problem that Jim Benson will discuss in our upcoming Boston workshop).

So, it’s time for me to clear out my backlog and to share some articles I’ve been reading with some quick notes, instead of full blog posts. Well, I got my backlog down by three. I’ll try again next week with some shorter blurbs about more articles, perhaps.

The Patriots, Coach Belichick, Aspects of Lean Thinking, and Dr. Deming

The Patriots, Coach Belichick, Aspects of Lean Thinking, and Dr. Deming

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).

By February 1, 2015 2 Comments Read More →
Lessons from the  Football Coaching and Leadership Styles of the Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes

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.

By January 12, 2015 1 Comments Read More →
What Are Your New Year’s Lean Resolutions for 2015? What Problems Are You Solving?

What Are Your New Year’s Lean Resolutions for 2015? What Problems Are You Solving?

Happy New Year! Let’s talk about Lean. Let’s talk about Kaizen and continuous improvement and how to get better in 2015.

You’re possibly thinking, “Hey, Mark, chill… watch some football… relax… it’s a holiday.” But, you’re reading this, so you must be as excited about the new year as I am.

By December 31, 2014 3 Comments 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.”

Lime Shortages, Cost, Price, and Lean

Lime Shortages, Cost, Price, and Lean

IMG_5843Limes 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 recently. Since today is Cinco de Mayo, let’s take a look at this from a Lean perspective and how this should be handled by bars and restaurants.

This was in the news first here in San Antonio: Margaritas in danger as lime prices at all-time high.

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

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

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 10.10.06 AM

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, a school in the lower “FCS” tier that managed to upset my beloved Northwestern Wildcats in 2006 (please hold your jokes about NU being “lower tier”).

When the Eagles hired Kelly, many thought that he would directly transplant his wild, fast-paced offensive game to the NFL. That strategy has failed for other college coaches who made the leap to the NFL.  That, with the poor track record of other college coaches in the NFL, the odds might have been against Kelly. But, he’s in the playoffs… and he’s sort of like a “Lean leader.”

By January 4, 2014 7 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 is so important. That reminds me of nurses and others in healthcare who can persevere in bad systems because of their passion for patients.

This opinion piece in the WSJ (“Deborah Kenny: Why Charter Schools Work“) had some interesting thoughts about good organizational culture – ideas that apply, really, in any environment… and it raises questions about the balance to be found in “standardized work” and how it comes to be.

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 the headline should be “This Embarrasses You and Me” although that sounds wrong to many.

There was something embedded in the quiz that was more interesting (perhaps) than any grammar cop differences between affect and effect or you’re and your. Two of the questions referred to leadership… and Lean concepts.

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 there. A (Real) Tragedy at the CDC
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 article published in MD+DI (Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry). I’ll share both of those here.

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 be a daily occurrence?

The article gives examples of leaders from companies ranging from DaVita, a small cellular communications company, and Subway as they spend time doing front-line work as part of rotational or development programs.

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

Kaizen on the Boeing 737 Line

A plane right over your headThere 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 70%, so the company is looking to “rally employees for ways to make its jets more efficiently and avoid expanding its factories and its costs.”

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?

zen gardenIt’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, saying, “Companies are moving beyond the suggestion box.”

Amen to that. The traditional suggestion box might be well intended, but in practice it’s “where good ideas go to die,” as a client of mine once said. Suggestion boxes are slow, batchy, opaque, and non-collaborative. Most of them just don’t work. But, thankfully, we have alternatives, including the Lean “kaizen” model of Masaaki Imai and Toyota.

By October 20, 2011 5 Comments Read More →