Jon Miller

Total 1336 Posts

What’s Another Word for “Problem”?

What’s another word for “problem”? Opportunity? Situation? How about challenge? Whenever I hear this question, it’s an indication of a cultural problem. Unlike in lean organizations, bad things follow the discovery of a problem within traditional organizations. Being handed responsibility for a problem hints at possible punishment. For opportunities or challenges, hint of

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Review of Leading with Lean by Philip Holt

Leading with Lean: an Experience-based Guide to Lean Transformation, by Philip Holt, aims to provide current or aspiring lean leaders with experience-based insights and steps to ensure that others in the organization are turned on and tuned into the possibilities of lean. The author is the Head of Operational Excellence at Philips, and

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A Pithier Name for the 8th Waste

An article in Popular Science introduced some interesting research how to activate your brain’s ability to learn. The findings can be read as an interesting neuroscience-based argument in favor of daily stand up meetings, following standard work, kata, and any type of repetition that leads to improvement, for an extra few minutes

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Amps, Watts, Volts, Ohms and Lean Effectiveness

The most thoughtful questions that I have received from senior leaders regarding the health of their organization’s lean transformation have little to do with the methods, tools and lean practices themselves. Nor are these questions about the results and rewards that they can expect from lean. If not about the process of

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To Close an Engagement Gap, Bust Out a Myth

We think of myths as commonly-held ideas or beliefs that are in fact not true. We even watch as Myth-busters test out and disprove popular myths. Why then would myths be the key to saving the world? Before myths were false, they were traditional stories that explained the world and our place in

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The Political Economy of Fitness

As often happens this time of year, the Wall Street Journal editorialized on the physical fitness (or lack thereof) of Americans with a brief history of humankind’s desperate attempts to stay fit. In essence, the article demonstrates that the social and environmental conditions in the past required us to keep our

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How to Convince Someone, or Not

Have you ever noticed that when you present people with facts that are contrary to their deepest held beliefs they always change their minds? Me neither. So begins a Scientific American article on how to convince someone when facts fail. The author explains that two phenomena, cognitive dissonance and the backfire effect,

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Lean Practices to Counter Cognitive Biases

The Knowledge@Wharton interview with Michael Lewis, the author of The Undoing Project, was interesting for several reasons. First, it covered cognitive biases, one of my favorite topics. Second, the book is about Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, two of my favorite thinkers. Third, there were some insights that came from this interview

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Coming Soon: The Toyota Engagement Equation

I’ve always loved hearing stories and insights from the early days of Toyota’s building their lean culture. Tracey and Ernie Richardson were there in 1986 when Toyota started up the first US factory in Georgetown, Kentucky. When Tracey Richardson called about a year ago for advice on writing her story, I was

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