Jon Miller

Total 1450 Posts

The Continuous Improvement Apple Tree

Apples are one of the most popular fruit. They are bright, sweet and the subject of children’s books, religious symbolism and business metaphors. Most people have an idea where apples come from. Grocery stores. They are readily available all-year-round thanks to cold storage warehouses. Many of these warehouses are just

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Toyota Kata Crossword Puzzle

One of my weekly responsibilities is to contribute a blog post. The hardest part of this is coming up with something to write about. I’ve managed to keep it up for quite a few years, but finding topics is starting to get challenging. This hasn’t been helped by the reduced

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How to Have a Happy New Year

The end of one year and the start of the next one is a time to reflect on a question; how can we make this year better than the last? What have we learned? What do we still need to learn to have a happy new year? Especially this past

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Better Living through Algorithms

I’ve been reflecting on an article from June of this year. It’s about Daniel Kahneman’s efforts to help organizations to become better at decision-making. He is a Nobel Prize winning psychologist and behavioral economist who retired from teaching to enter the consulting world. In the article he says he “expected to

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Simpler Definitions of Muri, Muda and Mura

In the Lean lexicon are three Japanese words that describe the nature of losses in a system. They are muri, muda and mura. In English these are often translated as overburden, waste and variation. The seven types of waste are well-known by now. For many organizations, the main focus of

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Gratitude as a Performance Metric?

Each year during the November harvest festival, I take time to reflect on thankfulness. This year it’s less about appreciating the fruits of efforts, payoffs from sacrifices, or being grateful for seeds sewn long ago. It feels more like an exercise in surveying the land after a flood has washed

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Lean Thinking and the Swiss Cheese Model

This pandemic has introduced many new terms and concepts into the popular consciousness. We work to flatten the curve. Policies now state that some businesses and jobs as essential. We are aware of the dangers of asymptomatic transmission. The “Swiss cheese model” is one such term. For those of us

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Five 5 Why Fallacies to Avoid

I was updating a few old articles on problem solving and came across some notes from a few years ago. These notes were on topics related to root cause analysis that I’ve written or spoken about. I picked out a few old favorites and packaged them here as five fallacies

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