Friday, January 02, 2009

Management Improvement Carnival Best of 2008

John Hunter at Curious Cat has asked me to help co-host part of a larger scale Management Carnival Best of 2008 series where several bloggers are joining to recap the best posts from multiple lean or management improvement blogs this past year. The breath and quality of improvement information or thought provoking posts is simply awesome for those of us trying to learn a better way.

So please check out these highlights for 2008 from the Lean Insider, Improve with Me, Learning about Lean and Lean Printing.

The Best of Ralph Bernstein’s blog “Lean Insider” in 2008

Apple: A Successful, “Anti-Lean” Company
A company that embodies the lean principle of respect for people would likely have teams of empowered employees, strong communication among teams and individuals, ongoing recognition of employee and team achievements, and managers at all levels who are not autocratic but encourage independent thinking.

“We Don’t Make Mistakes; We Have Learning Moments
Ridge takes things a step further. During his presentation, he said, “We don’t make mistakes at WD-40; we have learning moments.”

How to Reduce Fatal Car Accidents
I am writing today about something that is not exactly a lean topic. However, for reasons I’ll explain shortly, I feel compelled to comment on what some other writers are saying about driving and speed-limit laws.

A Lean Initiative Can Be a Real Eye-Opener
I firmly believe that the most important benefit of any lean initiative is not the improvements that may be achieved in cycle time or inventory or cost, but in how it changes the way people think.

The Tennis Ball Exercise
I wrote previously about a kaizen event I attended recently at Food Sciences Corp. in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. I wanted to describe a particular exercise we experienced at the event that, in the space of a few minutes, helped teach some key improvement principles.

The Best of Brian Buck’s blog “Improve with Me” in 2008

Own it
One piece of advice for project managers: own it!

Holy Lean Batman
Have you ever considered how Batman is a great example of Lean?

My Reflection from Tufte
I learned a lot when I saw Edward Tufte last week. I have increased ^ my knowledge of data presentation (the little carrot in this sentence is an example of mixing symbols directly into narrative). Here are some more take-aways:

The Last Lecture, Football, and Lean
I just finished reading the great book, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. One of my favorite parts was where…

Alignment is Important
Alignment is important for projects and improvement efforts.

The Best of Joe Ely’s blog “Learning About Lean” in 2008

Hoshin Kanri—a Surprise
Last week, I made a presentation to our local Lean network on Hoshin Kanri, the Lean system of strategic planning (you can look at the presentation here; I’ve also listed as a download on the sidebar). The group was attentive and gave good feedback.

Upside Down Visuals
Circuitously, I ended up shopping for shampoo recently. Actually, I was shopping for a shampoo bottle, not shampoo. My wife had found a deal on shampoo but it came in a big batch, a huge bottle. I wanted to find a smaller bottle to put in the shower.

Toyota Tour, opus 5
Last Friday, eight engineers from our group of companies and I had the chance to tour Toyota’s North American Fork Truck manufacturing facility, Toyota Industrial Equipment Mfg (TIEM). I continue to be astounded and grateful for the openness, transparency and astounding skills of Toyota.

Getting to Email Zero
Following my recent post on Minimizing Work-in-Process for Knowledge Workers, several folks wrote and asked me to write more on getting their email inbox to zero. I put together an outline for such a post.

Engaging Consumers to Fight Clutter
Is it possible to get untrained, uninitiated, unconnected people to participate in your efforts to deliver value? Consider this example that caught me totally by surprise in a very unexpected moment.

The Best of Tom Southworth’s blog “Lean Printing” in 2008


Lean Manufacturing is Clean Manufacturing
My latest column in Label and Narrow Web magazine is about how going "Lean" can also help you get "green". Click the link and read on.

No Respect
Kevin Meyer over at Evolving Excellence has a post about companies - and consultants - who forget that the house that is Lean rests on two pillars: Just-In-Time and Respect For People. Too often companies get caught up in Lean tools and either forget or outright ignore the most important part of any organization: its people.

Survey Shows That Print is Getting Lean
Ok. Obviously, I'm happy that Lean is beginning to spread to the masses in the printing industry, but the "real challenge" is not cherry-picking "traditional Lean tools". The real challenge is realizing and accepting that Lean is more than "an all-out attack on waste and a relentless drive to improve productivity"; it's a complete change in how you run your business. You can't simply decide which tools you'll use, modify or adapt. This will only lead to "tool-itis" and, ultimately, frustration and failure.

Pulling the andon cord on yourself – PGA style
This article caught my eye. Its about a pro golfer, J.P. Hayes, who called a penalty on himself that automatically disqualified him from the PGA Tour's qualifying tournament, or "Q-school". Hayes unknowingly used a ball that was a prototype and not yet approved for play on the PGA Tour.

The visual fridge
Stopped in to my local natural food store to pick up a jar of honey. As I was passing one of their refrigerators the photos on the outside caught my eye.

You can continue reviewing the best of 2008 from a bunch of other outstanding sites hosted by
John Hunter at Curious Cat
Ron Pereira at LSS Academy
Kevin Meyer at Evolving Excellence
Mark Graban at Lean Blog
Bill Harris at Making Sense with Facilitated Systems
Nicole Radziwill at Quality and Innovation Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4
Matthew May at Elegant Solutions.

1 comment:

Brian Buck said...

Mike, Thank you so much for supporting my blog. I am truly honored by this highlight from last year.

Your site has been a constant destination for wisdom and has sparked many ideas that are making huge impacts in our organization.

You have been an online sensei for me this last year!

Keep up the incredible work.