Jon Miller

Total 1403 Posts

Making Meetings Less Terrible

Studies estimate that we spend an hour or more each day in meetings or preparing for them. On the one hand, it’s good that humans are communicating, making decisions and solving problems together. On the other hand, unproductive meetings can be a major disruption to our productivity and mood. A

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The Word of the Year for 2019

Looking back on the previous twelve months, there is one word that ties together my lessons learned and aspirations. The word is daily. It’s the humblest of words, suggesting commonplace, regular, routine, of no special note. In the day-to-day it’s often neglected in favor of the strategic, the innovative or

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Was the Standard Clear Enough?

While observing a morning huddle meeting last week, I heard a senior leader ask, “Was the standard clear enough?” several times as they discussed the previous day’s quality, safety and delivery problems. That’s a great all-purpose question. It resonated with me because it’s one I’ve been asking myself a lot

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How to be Tough on Process, Easy on People

One of the guiding principles for practicing continuous improvement, or good leadership in general, is to be tough on the process but easy on the people. The idea is to create a blame-free but problem-aware environment. This removes fear which in turn allows us to identify and remove the root

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Which Lean Behavior or Tool Should We Adopt?

This week during an interview for a Lean newsletter I was asked a hypothetical question. If I had to choose one Lean behavior or tool for an organization to adopt, what would it be? Easy answers might be “5S because it’s foundational to so many things” or problem solving as

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What Does It Mean to Huddle?

One of the encouraging trends I’ve seen in the past decade with Lean management is the emerging acceptance of team huddles. While still far from universal, this one simple activity is becoming a core part of the daily practice of Lean management. Organizations a decade or more into their Lean

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How to Measure the M in SQDCM

The giant letters SQDCM are common sights on visual display boards of teams on the gemba. They stand for the key performance indicator categories of safety, quality, delivery, cost and morale. Many organizations develop or adopt standard layouts to their team boards. This makes it easy to walk into any

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