A Change of Pace

One of my favorite habits is a nice slow kinhin – walking meditation – on the beach a couple blocks from my house.  One step per breath, slow and deliberate. It’s amazing what you notice – both about your surroundings and yourself – by moving slowly.  I’m usually barefoot, feeling

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GA 139 | How to Use Job Breakdowns with Kyle House

This week’s guest is Kyle House, a lean practitioner with a TWI background. Ron and Kyle explored the Job Breakdown aspect of Job Instruction, specifically how to use the breakdowns and why they’re helpful. An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here. In this episode you’ll learn: Kyle’s background

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Gratitude is the Heart of Respect

Those of us who model our approach to lean management on the Toyota Way recognize that there are two core elements: continuous improvement and respect for people. Each of these elements breaks down into more detailed principles and practices. Continuous improvement includes challenge, kaizen and genchi genbutsu. Respect for people

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GA 138 | How to Use Kata to Create Service Excellence with Karyn Ross

This week’s guest is Karyn Ross, an author and lean practitioner who specializes in applying continuous improvement in a service context. Ron and Karyn discussed Coaching Kata, the role of creativity, her book, and much more.  An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here. In this episode you’ll

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Appreciation of a System

I’ve gained a renewed appreciation for systems as a result of reading an interesting book, The Invention of Nature, about the life and influence of the nineteenth century German celebrity scientist Alexander von Humboldt. While his name may seem familiar, most of us could not identify this man. But at one point Humboldt was the

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When the Possible Trumps the Likely

About a decade ago I was invited to help mentor the productivity and quality improvement teams at a large consumer electronics manufacturer. During the first visit there were three things that immediately struck me about this company. First, they were very proud of the quality and reliability of their product. Prior to

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The Pursuit of Perfection

Five months ago I called my painter, who happens to live all of three doors away, to see if he had time to do some touchup on the house.  He was able to fit me into his schedule starting a couple weeks ago.  I knew I was going to have to

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