Bosses in love with claptrap…

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The Observer | Business | Simon Caulkin

Here's a provocative column from the UK.

A few lean-type thoughts:

“It's no use putting good people to work in a crappy system; conversely, putting people in a good system and expecting them to improve increases their individual and group capabilities.”

In the lean mindset, it's better to take good people and put them into a great system. Most systems rely on great people to be heroes. Good people are much easier to find than great ones.

“Incentives do incentivise – but be careful what you wish for. As W Edwards Deming said, people with sharp enough targets will probably meet them even if they have to destroy the company to do so.”

The article talks about managers falling for half-truths and claptrap. I hope managers aren't falling for “easy lean” half-truths and “you can change your culture in 13 weeks” claptrap. I think “claptrap” is British for “B.S.”.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. His latest book has been released as an "in-progress" book, titled Measures of Success.

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