Making a Good Process Better

A “lean” parable: I go to airports a lot. Some folks like to get to the airport early. I don’t. My goal is to get there as early as necessary. No sooner. I think it’s “lean” not to spend extra time in airports. I’ve gotten my routine down. It works well for me. I got a good place to park. I dress the right way not to trigger alarms. I can break down my luggage […]

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The Benefits of a Checklist

Do you use checklists? I must admit that I don’t. I have written to you about the power of the checklist. But, I don’t have them incorporated in my life. I read a book that reminded me of their power and it has me reconsidering how I approach it. The book is called Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia. Sounds sort of exotic but it isn’t really. A friend gave me […]

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You Haven’t Failed Until You Quit Trying

Here’s a brief thought for the day:  “You haven’t failed until you quit trying.” Some folks are more easily frustrated than others.  When something doesn’t come easily, they quit trying.   When something involves a long time to learn or to master, they quit trying. When something is done “good enough,” they quit trying. As we take on “lean” projects in our plants, we are trying to take the bad and make them good.  We are […]

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Scrutinize the Reports You Receive

Here’s a lean exercise for you. Many of us get reports via email or by paper on our desk. Do you look at them? Why or why not? I was in a meeting recently where I made reference to a report I was looking at regularly. Immediately, someone told me, “That report doesn’t tell the whole story.” Quickly, we discussed how the report could be improved to tell the whole story. It reminded me. Every […]

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Speak Up with an Idea or Solution

I was visiting with a colleague today who was telling me about some consulting work that he had been doing. He had come across a firm who studies how ideas are developed and used within an organization. One thing he shared I have found to be true. The best ideas have nothing to do with the role or position in the group. When we encounter a problem or an opportunity in the organization, we have […]

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Reminders on Effective Leadership

I read recently that one trait effective leaders have is the ability to readily admit shortcomings. It occurs to me that I am pretty good at telling folks what they ought to do. I don’t often write about how I screw up. Even though, when I screw up, it is in plain sight.So, here are a few: I talk when I should be listening. In meetings, I find I like the sound of my own […]

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The Intangibles That Set Tim Tebow Apart

I am a Tim Tebow fan. As a Florida Gator fan, I watched him win national championships (I like winning) while expressing himself humbly (I admire humility), providing unparalleled leadership (leadership is necessary for teams to succeed) and demonstrating extraordinary perseverance (overcoming adversity is part of life). I got to admit I was a “doubter” when it came to him being a success as an NFL quarterback. I believed in all the intangibles. I just […]

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Look at Procedures with Fresh Eyes

Asking “why” is one of the key strategies for achieving better, “lean” practices. If you are new to the company, you may see us doing something one way and it seems like to you there is a better way. The tendency would be to step back and remain silent. Most new people figure the old ones have been doing it longer and probably know what they are doing.But, that isn’t the case. It is human […]

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