Can We Have Too Much Scientific Thinking?

The term scientific thinking has been used with increasing frequency in the Lean management community over the past decade. The idea is not new. There is little doubt as to its importance in continuous improvement, good management and good decision-making. The introduction of the so-called Toyota kata approach to improving

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Reflections on a Lean Futuring Discussion

Last week I met with a dozen Lean practitioners, leaders, consultants, and advisors for the purpose of understanding where we’re headed as both individuals and as a community.  We had a very deliberate and structured discussion over the course of about five hours.  There were many insightful points made and

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GA 277 | Analyzing Gilbert’s Behavior Engineering Model with Randy Matusky

This week’s guest is Randy Matusky. Ron and Randy analyzed a change management model called Gilbert’s Behavior Engineering Model, which addresses six different factors that influence human performance. A MP3 audio version of this episode is available for download here. In this episode you’ll learn:  The quote that inspires Randy

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Moonshots, Rocket Science and Taking Small Steps

This week we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing by the Apollo 11 mission. After a sleepy half-century in which space exploration has been largely unmanned, interest in sending humans further out in space is growing at last from both commercial and government space programs. From a continuous

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The Lean Leader as Player-Coach

Player-coaches are far less common today than they were in professional sports a few decades ago. A few notable superstar players informally perform a similar role today, but under a dedicated head coach who guide the team. In modern business the player-coach is often an individual contributor who also serves

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GA 275 | Leading vs. Serving with Sarah Tilkens

This week’s guest is Sarah Tilkens. A Lean Manufacturing Leader at GE Healthcare, Sarah and Ron discussed the differences between mentoring, coaching, leading, and serving. A MP3 audio version of this episode is available for download here. In this episode you’ll learn:  The quote that inspires Sarah (1:53) Sarah’s background

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The Guessing Game of Lean Leadership

“Eliminate slogans and exhortations asking the workforce for zero defects” or other such improvement targets, Dr. Deming set down as one of his fourteen principles. Yet this piece of advice ignored by even the most dedicated continuous improvement-practicing organizations around the world. There is something about a slogan that leaders

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What Happened to Blockbuster Nights?

Do you remember how you felt walking into a Blockbuster store to rent some movies on a Friday night?  I do.  It felt wonderful… curiosity mixed with anticipation created a powerful elixir.  Add in some junk food (for the kids of course) during checkout and the weekend was set! Now,

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