Jon Miller

Total 1361 Posts

First, Make a Human Connection

A recent conversation with a friend of mine who is a continuous improvement director at a sizable North American corporation yielded some personal insights for him and general ones about being a technical change leader. This story is shared with his permission, in hopes that it will help someone else

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An Introduction to Kaizen

Kaizen (改善) is a Japanese word meaning “improvement”. The symbol kai means to change, to renew, to correct something that is wrong, and zen means “good” – there is no relation to Zen Buddhism. The word kaizen itself does not imply “continuous” or “continual” or never-ending. However, in modern business, kaizen refers to

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The Pursuit of True Pull

A couple of weeks ago I spent the day with Jeff Kaas at his company Kaas Tailored. We discussed their approach to hoshin kanri, gemba walks, visual management, creating flow in a high-mix low-volume environment, and how they are adapting their approach to kaizen after 20 years of learning by

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Akio Toyoda Gets Real

The New Year’s message to Toyota employees on January 8, 2019 by CEO Akio Toyoda’s was that times are changing. The automotive industry is in a once-in-a-century technological revolution. Products will need CASE: Connectivity, Autonomous, Sharing, Electrified. This requires new knowledge, skills, technology. The talk of change, bridging today to the

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Building Lean Habits, in a Lean Way

Our podcast with Atomic Habits author James Clear posed some interesting questions that we can ask ourselves when striving to practice and become Lean. Chiefly among them is, “Who is the type of person who could be Lean?” One of the main ideas in the book is to build identify-based habits. The

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Breaking the Weak Link in the Value Chain

In the lean way of thinking, the value we deliver to the customer increases in proportion to effort when we connect processes and keep the activities moving along smoothly. Instead, Harvard Business School professor Thales Teixeira writes that “decoupling” is what has helped many startups succeed by disrupting established businesses.

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Avoiding the Productivity Paradox

Lean thinking and practice have the potential to improve outcomes in healthcare, software development teams, government services, business performance and even individual growth and well-being. For something that is so powerful and effective, Lean has many ways in which it can fail. This is because contrary to popular belief, Lean

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Lean Literacy

Michael Ballé wrote a thoughtful reply to the question of what should be included in an MBA-level course to teach Lean concepts. It is a tough question because as Michael points out, there are some deep differences that must be reconciled between MBA thinking and Lean thinking. The LEI blog article

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