Ryan McCormack’s Operational Excellence Mixtape: 10 Most Clicked Links – First Half of 2023


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Insights about improvement, innovation, and leadership

It's that time of year – time to reflect – and to share the most clicked mixtape links, in descending order, from January through June.

1. Katie Anderson shared her thoughts on the skills needed for people transitioning from project-based work to managerial roles in So, You're a Leader Now. Forget Everything You've Learned.

2. We're all busy – but busyness is not productivity. Many readers clicked on this installment from Ness Labs: Being busy and the illusion of productivity

3. Doing lots of workshops or ‘rapid improvement events' does not make you lean. Larry Rubrich reminds us that Lean is a system, not an event.

4. Remember when leaders would ask you to bring solutions not problems? This great piece that's actually from 2020 but shared in a recent mixtape challenges our paradigms by suggesting that “Great leaders think “Bring Problems, Let's Find a Solution Together”

5. Mike Rother, popularizer of Toyota Kata shared a ‘how-to' article on Learning to Think Scientifically.

6. Transform or perform? BMW Spartanburg turns “or” into “and” in this interesting interview with the president of BMW Manufacturing –  ‘We Transform While We Perform': BMW Spartanburg Revs Up for the Shift to Electric.

7. Hayim Makabee challenges us to stop wasting our time counting pointless activities to make us look and feel good (e.g., # of people trained, # of projects done) and focus on measuring things that drive behaviour and change in Lean Startup Principles: Vanity Metrics and Actionable Metrics.

8. We're all busy. But are we busy on the right things? David Finkel reveals Unintentional Ways You Are Wasting Your Time

9. (tie) Speaking of intention, intentional leadership is replacing traditional leadership. Rose M. Patten shares The Must-Have Capabilities for Leading in the Future for Intentional Leaders

9. (tie) Going to the source to grasp the situation is an important habit for leaders, but here are the Top Ten Worst Things You Could Do on a Gemba Walk.

10. (tie) Trust in leaders has been increasing over the long run, but after Covid, it's dipped down. Gallup reported on Why Trust in Leaders is Faltering and How to Gain it Back.

10. (tie) Emails are the primary form of communication for most business leaders and employees. Adam Grant declares that If You Do This, Your Emails Might be Rude.

Honourable mentions (just barely outside the top 10):

Enjoy the best of 2023 to date!  See you in two weeks with the latest and greatest mixtape.

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Ryan McCormack
Ryan is an operational excellence professional with over 18 years experience practicing continuous improvement in healthcare, insurance, food manufacturing, and aerospace. He is an avid student of the application of Lean principles in work and life to create measurably better value.


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