Jon Miller

Total 1340 Posts

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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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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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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A Five-letter Recipe for a Non-Fail Presidency

Barely eight days remain until the American voters elects the adult human who will serve as the next President of the United States. It has been an ugly process to narrow it down to the two major candidates, with all due respect to the lesser known third-parties. In lean management we say

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