Jon Miller

Total 1290 Posts

Why Don’t You Try TPS?

“We need to improve our operation.” “Why don’t you try TPS?” “We don’t make cars.” If I had a dollar for every time a client brought up the “we don’t make cars” objection to trying to learn from the Toyota Production System, I could make a downpayment for the Tesla

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The Definition of Insanity

Insanity is thinking or behavior that is unreasonable or irrational. Albert Einstein is often credited with observing that insanity is doing the same thing over and over a again and expecting different results. This definition seems too narrow for the broad range of things covered by insanity, for a man

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Lean Customer Experience Design

Customers are front and center when it comes to lean transformations. We want to win them over, delight them, keep them, strengthen the relationship and grow the business, by continuously improving what we do. Too often for non-services business that are not face-to-face with the customer every day, it is

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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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