Month: May 2008

Total 19 Posts

True Work, Apparent Work and Busywork

Thanks everybody who posted comments, questions and answers to the takt time competition. We are happy to say that you are all winners. Originally the idea was that only couple of people would win a copy of The Illustrated Toyota Production System, but I have changed my mind and we’ll

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Is Toyota in Trouble?

When I launched Google News this morning my eyes were immediately drawn to the headline “Toyota Posts First Profit Drop in Three Years.” To summarize the article: Net income fell 28 percent to 316.8 billion yen ($3 billion) in the three months ended March from 440 billion yen a year

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Calisthenics, Kaizen and Your Daily Stretch

I was lucky enough to witness a shift start at a local distribution center today. Like most Japanese companies and too few American companies the shift leader instructed all 40 or so workers in about 5 minutes of calisthenics: simple stretching and warm-up exercises before starting work. This small, daily

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Stumped in the Toilet

I’d like to think I am a relatively intelligent person.  I graduated with a 3.8 GPA during my undergrad studies and a 3.7 GPA while getting an MBA.  But, alas, today I realized I still have much to learn as I attempted to use the toilet in the Lyon, France airport.  The

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Where does the time go?

That’s what I wondered when seeing that it’s been nearly a week since the last post. It’s an idle question, until you start to think about it. Then you get dizzy, stop and look to those who came before us for insight. People have pondered time for ages: how to

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The Enemy of Better

Do you aspire to be the best?  How about your company… do they want to be the best? If so, I contend this is the deadliest goal you or your organization can have. Allow me to explain. You see if you are indeed the “best” as defined by things like wealth, popularity,

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Confused about Time

For those new to continuous improvement the concept of time can be confusing. In this article I hope to clear up some common misunderstandings. Takt Time The word takt comes to us from the German language and literally means pace or rhythm. It’s also a term often associated with the

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