John Hunter over at Curious Cat Management Improvement blog has asked me to guest host an episode of the Management Improvement Carnival. Kudos to John for having done 71 of these over the past several years. Here are my choice of articles of interest from the last month:
What if we chose leaders differently?
This was a thought provoking piece on Wally Block’s Three Star Leadership Blog. Those of us who live in countries where we can elect our leaders are fortunate, and should ask ourselves this question. I do every election cycle, looking at the choices we are given for leaders. On a more practical level, anyone who is a member of a team or a leader of a team has influence on the selection of a leader. The answers to this question aren’t easy but this is a question worth pondering.
Three Key Principles when Leading without Authority
One piece of advice passed down by Toyota managers is to “lead as if you had no power”
George Ambler writes about the three key principles of leading without authority. They are built around having enthusiasm, humility and the strength to not let results come before leadership. Most of us who lead or attempt to do so are lacking in one or more of these areas. If I said that my weakness was enthusiasm, would that mean I fail at humility?
All I do is work here…
Seth Godin writes about his experiences with being told “All I do is work here” and points out the risks this attitude has for quality, performance and the brand itself. From the customer’s point of view, you are the brand of the company you represent, and none of us can get away with the “all I do is work here” attitude. When this attitude is left alone for too long there won’t be any “here” left to work at.
The Broken Windows Theory and 5S
I’ve always said that 5S is first and foremost an indicator of company morale. Tim McMahon does a great job linking 5S to the “broken window” theory of social science which sates that unchecked disorder such as broken windows in a neighborhood soon lead to a cycle of crime and further disorder.
A Lean “Teachable Moment”: Starbucks in The Wall Street Journal
John Shook sets the record straight on the WSJ-Starbucks brouhaha:
Toyota combined old IE Scientific Management principles and techniques with social dimensions appropriate for the modern world. Even workers who do “manual labor” with their hands are knowledge workers. Front-line employees become the scientists.
John reassures us that the lean culture at Starbucks is not one of “all I do is work here” or that leaves windows broken.
When is it time for lean “lite”?
For a full scale implementation there are certain things that should first be in place, but there are plenty of broken windows we can fix. Jamie Flinchbaugh tells us that it’s better to get started where you can, stumble and learn than to wait.
Lean Accounting SuperGroup
Although not exactly a blog, the Lean Accounting SuperGroup is a destination for its growing body of information on lean, management and how to count correctly. The five videos introducing lean accounting are not t be missed.
It’s Always Day 1
Ron Pereira at Lean Six Sigma Academy pointed us to a video of Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos speaking with his employees on the four things he knows. It’s an 8 minute video. Watch it.