Jon Miller

Total 1286 Posts

A Spymaster’s Guide to Lean Thinking

A person works in intelligence told me a few things about that profession. Here is a summary of a few similarities between good spy craft and good business leadership that come with lean thinking. Go to the gemba. Intelligence gathering happens by going out into the field. We can’t get

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Chess Masters and Lean Thinkers

I found an interesting parallel between lean thinking and game mastery in a book about the history of board games by Tristan Donovan titled It’s All A Game. In a section of the book discussing chess, the author introduced an insight about how the minds of chess masters work. Psychologist

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This Area Closed to Improvement

An organization I visited recently surprised me. They are on a long-running and successful continuous improvement journey. They do many things right. They recognize where they have gaps and are open to outside help. And yet they have chosen to not make certain types of problems openly visible. When leaders do

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What Lean Leaders Can Learn from the Humanities

Leaders in business tend to come with educational backgrounds in finance, business, engineering, medicine or law. It is less common that they bring backgrounds in literature, philosophy, the liberal arts. These fields are viewed as less useful in running businesses which require a degree of sophistication in finance, law or

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The Horse, the Carriage and the Carriage Fee

The automobile has been with us for approximately a century. For the millennia prior to that, we had horses. Because horses were an important part of lives and civilizations for so long, they generated many idioms and proverbs. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it

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Practicing Lean Repairs a Leader’s Brain Damage

It’s a sign of how little power I pretend to enjoy these days when an Atlantic Magazine article’s  alarming title Power Causes Brain Damage made me more curious than concerned. In it studies suggest that given power, leaders act “as if they had suffered a traumatic brain injury—becoming more impulsive, less

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