Jon Miller

Total 1321 Posts

How to Civilize an Elevator

As recently as four years ago, my worked involved constant international travel. This is no longer the case. I miss very little of that life. One thing that I do miss is the exposure to other cultures, in particular how humans in various environments choose to communicate visually. It’s always

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How to Take a Trail, or Not

While shopping for gifts with my family this weekend, I noticed the store had many cards, mugs, printed items on the theme of, “Don’t follow the trail made by others but make your own.” This is spectacularly bad advice for national parks or when trekking through extreme climates. The “make

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Wellness Programs and the Health of Continuous Improvement

Logical. Proven. Life-changing. These words equally describe successful health & wellness programs and continuous improvement programs. But do these programs really work in changing behaviors? Professors David Asch and Shreya Kangovi asked this question, and discuss their findings from their paper Behavioral Phenotyping in Health Promotion Embracing or Avoiding Failure, summarized in an

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A Simple Hand Gesture that is Key to Goal Alignment

Lean management aims to serve others by doing more with less, thereby sustainably reaping just rewards for such service. Among other things, this requires everyone in the organization to continuously improve products, processes, services and as a person. Transforming our thinking style from traditional  management thinking to lean is a

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Compassion as a Competitive Advantage

“The long-term value of a company is based on the speed and quality of its decision-making.” These are the words of Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn. He was speaking to the 2018 graduating business school students at the University of Pennsylvania. He observed, “It’s hard to make better decisions faster when

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Why Have Belts in Lean and Six Sigma?

Motorola and the General Electric company made the greatest contributions to introduce Six Sigma across business in the 20th century. The deployment of Six Sigma often relied on “belts” of various colors, people who completed a course of study, delivered one or more projects using the methodology, and took an

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What’s the Right Way to Do a Gemba Walk?

From time to time people ask me a variation of the question, “What’s the right way to do a gemba walk?” They want to see an outline of activities, a step-by-step process for planning, taking the walk and reflecting on it. I feel this somewhat misses the heart of the

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Lean Leadership is Teaching Learned Helpfulness

When we use the expression “three-ring circus” we mean that the situation is chaotic and full of activity, not that it is entertaining. Chaotic or not, it takes effort to train animals to perform. Three-ring circuses and dysfunctional modern human workplaces have some things in common in this regard. Elephants are

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