Jon Miller

Total 1271 Posts

Taiichi Ohno Interview Video Footage

This week I found a five-minute YouTube video excerpt featuring Taiichi Ohno. It is a television program about the revolutionary productivity Ohno achieved at Toyota. It is from the late 1980s. Taiichi Ohno is interviewed in what looks like his living room, interspersed with black-and-white footage from Toyota in the 1950s. Here are a

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Respect for People and Workbenches of the Mind

Lean cultures accomplish the most good with the least time and resource through continuous improvement and respect for people. Compared to continuous improvement, there is less evidence to prove that respect for people directly affects the bottom line. But we can now point to evidence that disrespect erodes performance. University of California,

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The Inner Game of Continuous Improvement

Five-time Superbowl winner Tom Brady credits reading The Inner Game of Tennis by Tim Gallwey for helping him overcome anxiety and self-doubt, and to keep winning. I read the book looking for parallels and general lessons that could be applied to workplace performance and continuous improvement, and was not disappointed. Here is a summary

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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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Three Management Lessons from the 2016 NFL Season

After about a 20 year hiatus, I have enjoyed following the game of American football closely over the past two years. Go Hawks! Watching how teams hire and fire coaches, build their rosters and manage their seasons is almost more interesting to me than the game itself. There are many management lessons

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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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