Jon Miller

Total 1356 Posts

The Life-Affirming Science of Tidying Up

When book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was published a few years ago, I read it with interest. It describes an unintentional application of 2S principles in the home (sort & straightening / set in order). Author and consultant Marie Kondo has reportedly been obsessed with tidiness since childhood. As

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How Wrong Should We Be?

A Scientific American article titled How Wrong Should You Be? offered an answer to a question that has been in the back of my mind for a long time. Like many answers, this one raises further questions. Taiichi Ohno’s wrote in Workplace Management that even the best of us are

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How to do Direct Observation of Knowledge Work

Knowledge workers are people who make their living primarily by thinking. They include software programmers, scientists, academics, physicians, lawyers, engineers, managers, architects, designers, accountants and various other white-collar professions. It was not long ago that hospitals, banks, software developers, federal and local government offices, and other knowledge workers viewed lean

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The 10 Commandments for a Lean Journey

Raymond Chandler was an early 20th century novelist of detective fiction. Most of his books were turned into movies. Fans of the genre may recall Humphrey Bogart’s iconic portrayal of Chandler’s detective Philip Marlowe. As a writer of pulp fiction, his prose was well respected by other serious writers. Chandler

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Respect for “Respect for Human Nature”

There are three main perspectives on the lean thinking pillar of respect for people. First, respect for people means that all stakeholders deserve respect. A business does not prosper long-term focusing only on a few of them while ignoring others. Shareholders demand returns on their investment. Customers and suppliers continue

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What Does it Mean to Measure Twice, Cut Once?

Last week I was appreciating some of our old podcasts and video interviews with lean practitioners. Our interviewer Ron Pereira always likes to ask a series of short, rapid-fire questions. One of my favorites is, “What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?” Not only are the pieces

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Lean Thinking and Embodied Cognition

In the study of the mind through philosophy, psychology and biology, there is a theory called embodied cognition. Unlike the assumption that the mind is generated only by the brain, embodied cognition claims that many features of cognition are shaped by aspects of an organisms’s entire body and physical environment. How

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Three Ways to Slice the Social Loaf

Humans accomplish things in teams. From the most basic unit of the family to local community to sports clubs to for-profit and non-profit organizations, people working toward a common goal is how we get big things done. Things one person can’t accomplish alone, with two, we can. It would seem

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