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posts relating to the management improvement carnival. Carnivals are blog posts that serve to provide links to posts on a number of blogs on a related topic. Our carnival covers management improvement: Deming, lean manufacturing, six sigma, innovation, customer focus, leadership, systems thinking, continuous improvement, respect for people...
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Related: Curious Cat Management Improvement Connections - online since 1996

6th Annual Curious Cat Management Blog Review

Each of the participants post reviews of several blogs on their blog. Links to all the 2013 Management Blog Review posts are listed below, ordered by the number of years each author has participated in the annual review.

2013 Hosts Years
Blog reviews

Evolving Excellence 6 Timeback, Matthew May, HBR: Brad Power
Lean Reflections 5 Deming Institute blog, MIX
TimeBack Management 5 Michel Baudin, Manufacturing Leadership Center, The Lean Thinker
QAspire 4 Squawk Point, Jesse Lyn Stoner, Jamie Flinchbaugh
A Lean Journey 3 Beyond Lean, Lean Pathways, Old Lean Dude
Beyond Lean 3 Lean Blitz, Personal Kanban
Lessons in Lean 2 Gemba Panta Rei, The Drucker Exchange
encob blog 2 Lean Post, Gemba Coach
Michel Baudin 2 The Lean Edge
Lean Blitz 1 Lean Blog, Karen Martin, Quality and Innovation, Let’s Talk About Quality



Only 3 blogs have been reviewed in all 6 years: Evolving Excellence, Gemba Panta Rei and Timeback Management.

Related: 2012 Management Blog Review2011 Management Blog Review2008 Management Blog Review

Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival #202

The Curious Cat management blog carnival has been published since 2006. New posts are published once or twice a month. I also publish a collection management improvement articles on the Curious Cat management improvement articles site.

Management Improvement Carnival #201

The Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival has been published since 2006. The carnival, has been published twice a month – but will now be published once or twice a month depending on how things work out. I hope you find the post included in this edition interesting and find some new blogs to add to your blog/RSS reader. Follow John Hunter online: Twitter and elsewhere.

  • Where do “Value Stream Maps” come from? by Michel Baudin – “Toyota alumni confirmed that you rarely see a Materials and Information Flow diagram (VSM) within Toyota, and explained that the tool was developed at Toyota’s Operations Management Consulting Division, for selective use with suppliers”
  • Management is a role. Leadership is an act. by Jamie Flinchbaugh – “The point is, stop worrying about whether you’re a ‘leader’ or a ‘manager’ and just focus on doing whatever you do better.”
  • photo of a floating football pitch

    Football (soccer) pitch at floating village in Thailand, by John Hunter.

  • How You Measure = How You Manage by Christian Buckley – “Each method of calculation has implications and limits, as does the source of the data. To be relevant, the measures have to be understood by those using them.”
  • Improvement is a Learning Process by John Hunter – Dr. Deming: “Improvement of Quality and Productivity, to be successful in any company, must be a learning process, year by year, top management leading the whole company.”
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Management Improvement Carnival #200

The Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival has been published since 2006 and this is the 200th edition. The posts selected for the carnival focus on the areas of management improvement I have focused on in the Curious Cat Management Improvement Guide since 1996 (17 years now, which I find pretty amazing): Deming, lean thinking, leadership, innovation, respect for people, customer focus, etc..

  • Eiji Toyoda – the Master Innovator by Bill Waddell – “He was a master innovator in the days when innovation wasn’t cool, and his focus was not so much on the product as it was on the processes – on management.”
  • The Man Who Saved Kaizen by Jon Miller – “Eiji Toyoda led from the front. His message to leaders within Toyota: ‘I want you to use your own heads. And I want you actively to train your people on how to think for themselves.'”
  • photo of Bill and John Hunter balancing on a log on a beach in Malaysia

    Dad, Bill Hunter and me in Malaysia.

  • The consumer is the most important point on the production-line by John Hunter – “The continued view of the organization as a hierarchical pyramid of authority and responsibility hides the connection of the customer/user to the processes in our organizations.”
  • Lean IT at Toyota by Pierre Masai – “educate yourself on the subject, since so many stories of dramatic or step-by-step improvements do exist out there. Then, soon after, experiment yourself. This is the basis of TPS. Make sure you also get enthusiastic people on board, and take the support of experienced external coaches if you need this to get started. Create a culture within your company where the principles of lean become embedded in everything you do.”
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Management Improvement Carnival #199

The Curious Cat management blog carnival has been published since 2006. New posts are published once or twice a month. I also publish a collection management improvement articles on the Curious Cat management improvement articles site.

photo of rice field with palm trees in the background, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Rice field outside Ubud, Bali, Indonesia by John Hunter. See more of my photos from Indonesia.

  • Engagement Leads to Results by Bill Waddell – “companies with high levels of worker engagement get better results – profitability, defect rates, growth, productivity…”
  • Flying Delta; Lessons in Unreliability by Sodzi-Tettey, Sodzi – “It also means designing procedures and building capabilities for fixing failures when they are identified or stopping the harm caused by failures when they are not detected and intercepted. In the experience of clients, the two organizations displayed very little of these; not predictive, not proactive and hardly anticipatory of client needs, but rather touting 50 dollar vouchers as if they would make all the difference!”
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Management Improvement Carnival #198

The Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival has been published since 2006. The carnival, has been published twice a month – but will now be published once or twice a month depending on how things work out. I hope you find the post included in this edition interesting and find some new blogs to add to your blog/RSS reader. Follow John Hunter online: Google+, Twitter and elsewhere.

  • Observations From A Tipless Restaurant by Jay Porter – “Our ability to make sure team members in all parts of the house were taken care of, and to remove tip-related squabbling from our business, gave us a huge competitive advantage in the marketplace; this in turn allowed us to serve a much higher quality of food and take lower margins on it.”
  • An open letter to Jeff Bezos: A contract worker’s take on Amazon.com by Steve Barker – “As experienced temps left and new ones rolled in, the breakdown began. Temps who had not paid attention in training were now training new temps. Different temps were teaching different techniques and it wasn’t long before the quality of work suffered. As witness to the poor quality, I made a few attempts to express my concerns, but none of my suggestions were implemented. When one of the higher-ups checked our work and realized that mistakes were being overlooked, performance scorecards were implemented.”
  • Change has to Start from the Top – webcast, included here, with David Langford: “You are the top of your system. Change your thinking, change your process – you change your system. As soon as you start to modify your system you are going to have an effect on the larger system: the way you organize, the way you manage what you do everyday, how you process the work that you are doing [will impact the larger system].”
  • No filter: the meanest thing Paul Graham said to a startup – “the vast majority of teams have the opposite problem: people filter their thoughts too much. The psychological and social incentives to do so are quite strong: we don’t want to go against the team, or we’re worried about giving offense, or we don’t want to be ‘the bad guy’… And that has a corrosive effect on culture.” [I agree - "I wish more people objected to bad ideas instead of just letting them go because they were afraid of being seen as negative." - John]
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Management Improvement Carnival #197

Mark Graban is hosting the 197th edition of the Management Improvement Carnival on his Lean Blog, highlights include:

  • Michel Baudin’s Blog – “The Toyota Way 2001: the Necronomicon of Lean“: Michel wrote a great post about reflections on the internal “Toyota Way” document that was created in 2001. He says, “A document of this type about the way a company does business gives employees a framework to understand management decisions and business processes. The challenge in publishing it — even if only for employees — is to actually say something without binding management to courses of action that may become inadequate as business conditions evolve.”
  • ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value (Helen Zak) – “America’s Most Dangerous Industry“: The Center’s COO asks, “Did you know healthcare is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States?” She continues with some data and more excellent questions: ”Is worker safety the problem or is it a symptom? While all organizations say, “people are our greatest asset, ” few really have a culture that demonstrates that. How can you tell? One way to tell is the worker injury rate.”
  • Lifehacker – “Turn a Shampoo Bottle into an Over-the-Sink Sponge Holder“: A fun example of a small “hack” to make something better in your home. It reminds me of Kaizen, using creativity over capital. I like little things like this. In the post comments, a reader suggests punching holes in the holder to avoid a stinky sponge or mold. In Kaizen, it’s great to build upon and continue improving the improvement ideas of others.

Vist the Lean blog to see the rest of the great management blog posts shared in this edition of the management blog carnival.

Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival #196

The Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival is published twice each month. The posts selected for the carnival focus on the areas of management improvement I have focused on in the Curious Cat Management Improvement Guide since 1996: Deming, lean thinking, leadership, innovation, respect for people, customer focus, etc..

  • The Management Work Ethic by Bill Waddell – “How on earth the folks in charge can trash the lives of 2,000 employees and their families in order to beat an earnings estimate, and keep a straight face while publishing a mission statement pledging to enable employees to ‘share in the company’s success’ is beyond me. Of course, the reason for such blatant hypocrisy is pure selfishness.”
  • Buying the new MacBook Air – “Most salespeople would have sold the more expensive computer, but this guy took the time to explain why I didn’t really need it, and convinced me to spend much less. Apple recognizes what few other retailers do: customer satisfaction starts even before a product is purchased, and it is customer satisfaction that makes companies great.”
  • photo on McKittrick Canyon trail in Texas

    McKittrick Canyon trail, Texas, USA. By John Hunter.

  • “Customer-In” Design – Best Achieved by Front-line Workers by Tripp Babbitt – “Front-line workers can offer any service organization insight into what is wrong with their design of service in real-time.”
  • Growing Deadwood in the Organization by Gregg Stocker – “I have found that, in many organizations, the responsibility to coach and develop talent is much lower on the list of priorities than documenting and replacing the poor performers. This is surprising when one considers what it costs the organization to hire, train, and fire employees. In my experience, this type of situation generally results from a lack of knowledge of how to develop people and/or impatience (or short-term thinking).”
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Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog Carnival #195

The Curious Cat management blog carnival has been published since 2006. New posts are published twice a month. I also publish a collection management improvement articles on the Curious Cat management improvement articles site.

  • If you develop people results will follow! by Tracey Richardson – “They developed us and conditioned us to always ask questions based on standards to current state, that pure essence kept us perpetuating the thinking until it became the “norm”. I reflect back now and realize it was all really simple when you have leaders aligned with expectations, discipline and accountability that were first and foremost. It wasn’t Lean, it was our JOB! Imagine that concept! It wasn’t a choice, option or convenience thing, it was how we did business everyday, we all lived it because it was who we were.”
  • Can You Really Improve Your Emotional Intelligence? by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic – “While many ingredients are required for a good coaching program, the most important aspect of effective EQ-coaching is giving people accurate feedback. Most of us are generally unaware of how others see us — and this especially true for managers. As noted , ‘it is remarkable how many smart, highly motivated, and apparently responsible people rarely pause to contemplate their own behaviors.'”
  • The Development of Deming’s Management System – Mike Tveite: “I achieved my goal by not my aim. That happens a lot, we honestly translate aims to goals. And then we do stupid things in the name of the goal get it the way of the aim. We forget the aim sometimes and put the goal in its place.” [the video above shows Mike his experience with this problem]
  • Pivots and Portfolios: A Contrarian View by John Hagel – “Rather than pivoting, we can periodically step back and reflect on our progress, then rapidly iterate and enhance the initiatives we are pursuing to achieve near-term impact. By constantly zooming out and zooming in, we maintain focus on what is really important and avoid spreading ourselves too thin. Within the context of a stable framework, agile methodologies of rapid iteration and learning can become powerful vehicles for progress.”
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Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog Carnival #194

The Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival has been published since 2006. The carnival, published twice a month, links to great, recent, management blog posts. I hope you find these post interesting and find some new blogs to start reading. Follow John Hunter online: Google+, Twitter and elsewhere.

  • Define Your Organization’s Habits to Work More Efficiently by Brad Power – We need to do away with the notion that standards necessarily mean rigidity. Rather, standard work can help people do their jobs consistently and reliably, and improve how they do it… he traditional view that efficiency requires bureaucracy and that bureaucracy impedes flexibility should be replaced with a new model: clever application of standard work allows you to have efficiency and flexibility.
  • Forget passion, focus on process by Matt Linderman – “Find meaning in what you’re doing. Work to improve your industry. Get joy from making a customer’s day. Surround yourself with the kinds of people and environment that keep you engaged. Figure out the details and day-to-day process that keep you stimulated. Focus on how you execute and making continual improvements.”
  • photo of The Family, a sculpture by David Green

    The Family, a sculpture by David Green. Photo by John Hunter during trip to Los Angels.

  • Effective Communication is Explicit by John Hunter – “Making communication explicit and obvious, so that everyone that needs to know, does, will reduce problems and reduce the damage the problems that were not eliminated cause.”
  • Whey Too Much: Greek Yogurt’s Dark Side by Justin Elliott – This post discusses the system problem (waste whey). I also like how it shows academics helping to find solutions for business, again showing how professors can be part of the business process improvement when playing a role of innovators, experimenters to find solutions for the system.
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Management Improvement Blog Carnival #193

The Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival is published twice each month. The posts selected for the carnival focus on the areas of management improvement I have focused on in the Curious Cat Management Improvement Guide since 1996: Deming, lean thinking, innovation, respect for people, customer focus, etc..

  • Dr. Deming’s “Role of a Manager of People” by Mark Graban – quoting Dr. Deming “A manager understands and conveys to his people the meaning of a system. He explains the aim of the system. He teaches his people to understand how the work of the group supports these aims.”
  • Does Standard Work Destroy Creativity? by Janet Dozier – “When standard work is consistently and uniformly adhered to, it drives continuous improvement by exposing problems within the process. Making problems easier to see inspires planned experimentation to discover better ways to perform the work. Standards are the foundation for continuous improvement.”
  • How to Be Startup CEO by Ryan Allis – “In my experience the three most important components of the Start-up CEO’s role are:
    1. Creating a product that solves a real customer need (and convincing customers to pay for it).
    2. Making sure your users and customers have an extremely positive emotional experience with your product.
    3. Recruiting a great team to build your product.”
  • Distorting the System, Distorting the Data or Improving the System by John Hunter – “It is good to get in the habit of considering if the measured improvements are truly an indication of an improved system or merely the result of distorting the system or the data.”
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Management Improvement Blog Carnival #192

The Curious Cat management blog carnival has been published since 2006. New posts are published twice a month. I also publish a collection management improvement articles on the Curious Cat management improvement articles site.

  • Customer Service Andon Cord: Jeff Bezos and Customer Experience by Pete Abilla – “Lean principles have taken such a hold on Amazon and on Jeff Bezos that job titles now contain terms often used in Lean Manufacturing. For example, Jeff Bezos’ comment on ‘Customer Service Andon’ – well, it’s also a current job opening at Amazon…”
  • The Neuroscience of Deming by John Hunter – From the video (embedded below), JW Wilson: “Fast thinking is what you use when you are running from the bear, slow thinking is the kind of thinking you use when you want to change the world… We think we only have time to run from the bear; the consequences are devastating… [slow thinking is required for] making adaption to unsuccessful attempts”
  • Procter & Gamble: Basis Point Wise, Percentage Point Foolish by Bill Conerly – “If one of the parties in a transaction has to borrow, it should be the party with the cheaper debt cost.” [This is another example of stovepipe thinking and optimizing part of the system at great expense to the whole. People continue to fail to apply decades olds knowledge of the benefits of focusing on system improvement instead of optimizing components within the system. In addition to systems thinking failures it is an example of a focus on financial metrics themselves which often leads to silly actions due to not appreciating the proxy nature of measures. - John].
  • Are you providing leadership or support? by Dan Markovitz – Leadership means hacking through the jungle with a machete, clearing a path for front-line staff, supervisors, and managers to follow.
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Management Improvement Blog Carnival #191

The Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival has been published since 2006. The carnival, published twice a month, links to great, recent, management blog posts. I hope you find these post interesting and find some new blogs to start reading. Follow John Hunter online: Google+, Twitter and elsewhere.

  • How much is your success dependent on those around you? by Eric Barker – “You’d think that doing thousands of heart surgeries would make you better at them. Not necessarily. Surgeons only got better at their home hospital: the one where they knew the team best and developed strong working relationships…. We often take our context and those around us for granted. What is it about those around you that’s making you good at what you do?
  • A Lesson on Leadership from Marrakech by Kevin Meyer – “Five times a day Muslims are reminded of their faith and are asked to reflect on it. And practicing Muslims will, whenever possible… Take the time to discover and define the true purpose of the organization. Translate that into a long-term strategy with short- and intermediate-term objectives. Then communicate and reinforce that purpose, strategy, and thinking… over and over and over.

    At least five times a day.”

  • photo of vista at Frasers Hill, Malaysia

    Fraser’s Hill, Malaysia, by John Hunter. See photos from my walk on Bishops Trail in Fraser’s Hill.

  • The Reason Health Care Is So Expensive: Insurance Companies by Jeffrey Pfeffer – “Unless and until we as a society pay attention to the enormous costs and the time wasted by the current administrative arrangements, we will continue to pay much too much for health care.” [the administrative system used by insurance companies is a big part of the problem but there are plenty more that needs to be improved with the health care system - John.]
  • This Executive Compensation Issue by Bill Waddell – What all of this means in terms of lean is that a holistic, respectful approach is an essential element of the lean philosophy – respect for people, including all of the stakeholders in the business. It is hard for me to see how anyone with the focus and priorities it takes to be in the cross hairs of the critics of CEO compensation can be such a lean leader.” [Taking What You Don’t Deserve, CEO Style - John Hunter]
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Management Improvement Blog Carnival #190

The Curious Cat Management Carnival is published twice each month. The posts selected for the carnival focus on the areas of management improvement I have focused on in the Curious Cat Management Improvement Guide since 1996: Deming, evidence based management, systems thinking, respect for people, applied statistics, etc..

photo of George Box, John Hunter and Peter Scholtesphoto of (from right to left) Peter Scholtes, John Hunter and George Box in Madison, Wisconsin at the 2008 Deming Conference
  • George Box (1919 to 2013) by John Hunter – George Box was a very kind, smart, caring and fun person. He was a gifted storyteller and writer. He was also one of the most important statisticians of the last 100 years. He had the ability to present ideas so they were easy to comprehend and appreciate…
  • George Box: A remembrance by Bradley Jones – “His greatest contribution to my life was the wonderful book, Statistics for Experimenters, which he wrote with William G. Hunter and Stu Hunter and published in 1978, the same year he served as president of the American Statistical Association. I remember the excitement I felt on reading the description of how the attainment of knowledge is an endless spiral proceeding alternately from deduction to induction and back. Even now, I recall with pleasure the discussion of the randomization distribution early in the book.”
  • Getting Started with Factorial Design of Experiments by Eston Martz – “When I talk to quality professionals about how they use statistics, one tool they mention again and again is design of experiments, or DOE. I’d never even heard the term before I started getting involved in quality improvement efforts, but now that I’ve learned how it works, I wonder why I didn’t learn about it sooner. If you need to find out how several factors are affecting a process outcome, DOE is the way to go.”
  • Brian Joiner Podcast on Management, Sustainability and the Health Care System – Recently Brian has shifted his focus to the health care system (while maintaining a focus on quality principles and sustainability). “Our health care system is an economic tsunami that is about to overwhelm us if we don’t do something very significant, very soon.”
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Management Improvement Blog Carnival #189

The Curious Cat management blog carnival has been published since 2006. New posts are published twice a month. I also publish a collection management improvement articles on the Curious Cat Management Articles site.

  • The Three Rules for Rules by Jon Miller – “If rules aren’t being followed, there is a reason. Proceed to the next rule [Rules must be frequently improved.] and rewrite an improved rule.”
  • Those Disposable People by Kevin Meyer – “Believing that employees are purely a cost, not understanding that just because the value of employees is not explicitly stated on a P&L and balance sheet doesn’t mean that there is no offsetting value to the “cost,” is a faiure of management.”
  • Why ThoughtWorks Eliminated Sales Commissions by John Hunter – “This is another instance of a technology company providing a well reasoned explanation for why they are better off without sales commissions.”
  • Dealing With Complexity in Leadership by Linda Fisher Thornton – “The ability to think through complex problems clearly is an asset to individual leaders and to the organizations they serve. We need to find ways to help leaders develop this ability, and to do that, it helps to understand what it is that leaders with a high degree of thinking complexity do.”
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Management Improvement Blog Carnival #188

The Curious Cat Management Carnival has been published since 2006. The carnival, published twice a month, links to great, recent, management blog posts. I hope you find these post interesting and find some new blogs to start reading. Follow me online: Google+, Twitter and elsewhere.

  • Toyota, Respect for People (or “Humanity”) and Lean by Mark Graban – “I’ve really come to appreciate how ‘respect for people’ and ‘continuous improvement’ (or Kaizen) are intertwined. We practice CI because we have RFP… we practice RFP by engaging people in CI and challenging them to perform better… for the sake of our customers and our patients (who we have respect for).”
  • photo of Van Gogh self portrait

    Van Gogh self portrait. Photo by John Hunter, Musee d’Orsay, Paris.

  • Where There is Fear You Do Not Get Honest Figures by John Hunter – “The problems fear creates result in bad data, ineffective decision making and the destruction of joy in work.”
  • Comparing the Five Lean Principles to the Toyota 14 Principles by Matt Wrye – “The standardization allows for a baseline when a problem arises. If standards are being followed then the problem becomes easier to diagnose. Once the root cause is discovered, allowing the employees the freedom to improve the standard so the issue doesn’t surface again promotes empowerment and respect for people. This respect for their knowledge of the process will help to foster more improvement ideas from them.”
  • Disruption guru Clay Christensen says incumbent media players are making a classic mistake by Mathew Ingram – “incumbent players in a particular industry routinely fail to make the necessary changes to the way they do things, even when they can see the disruption occurring all around them. In almost every case, they see the disruptors as not worthy of their attention because they are operating at the low end of the market, and either don’t see that as important or are too committed to their existing business models.”
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Management Improvement Blog Carnival #187

The Curious Cat Management Carnival is published twice each month. The posts selected for the carnival focus on the areas of management improvement I have focused on in the Curious Cat Management Improvement Guide since 1996: Deming, lean manufacturing, customer focus, leadership, systems thinking, respect for people, etc..

  • We Need to Understand Variation to Manage Effectively by Mike Stoecklein – “I believe that much of what I see and hear these days related to lean and lean thinking can be traced back to Dr. Deming, his teachings and the system of profound knowledge – with one exception. I rarely hear anything about ‘understanding variation’.”
  • Lean Leadership Lessons from Costco Wholesale by Jon Miller – “1) Obey the law 2) Take care of our members 3) Take care of our employees 4) Respect our vendors 5) Reward our shareholders. If we do these four things throughout our organization, then we will realize our ultimate goal, which is to reward our shareholders.”
  • photo of 4 penguins marching on a beach in South Africa

    Penguins marching on a beach in South Africa by Justin Hunter.

  • Employees leave managers, not companies [link broken :-(] by Alaister Low – “The key to being able to keep the good employees is not so much the salary you offer them or even the actual work, it is more about how you manage them and how they feel working under you as their manager. Do they feel valued within your team?…”
  • 10 Penalties That I Would Call if I Were a Management Referee by Dan McCarthy – “1. Employee pass interference: Otherwise known as micromanagement, this penalty is for getting in the way of an employee or team of employees that know how to do the job better than the manager. 2. Illegal use of meetings: A meeting with no agenda, no apparent purpose, no process facilitation, little or no collaboration, and no meaningful decisions or action items…”
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Management Improvement Blog Carnival #186

The Curious Cat management blog carnival began in 2006 and it is published twice a month. I also publish a collection management improvement articles on the Curious Cat Management Articles site.

Posts #184 and #185 were summaries of the progress of the 5th annual Curious Cat Management Carnival roundup.

  • We agree… but only because we don’t understand each other by Jason Yip – “By making our understanding explicit, we can highlight our disagreements and come to a resolution and real agreement.”
  • This is a little story about how I learned the right way to manage people (on my first job, age 14) by Woody Zuill – “Lesson Two: Continuous Improvement. Mr. Smith: ‘However, another part of the job is for you to think about what you are doing, and look for better ways to do things. Keep track of your hours, and next Saturday when I pay you for the week I want you to tell me one way to do things better. Look for problems, and think about how we could deal with them.'”
  • photo of a blue dragonfly with wings spread on rice plant

    Dragonfly, at the Banteay Srei temple in Cambodia, by John Hunter

  • Here’s what I learned hanging out with Jason Fried by Dan Shipper – “When a lot of people think of marketing or sales they think of tricks that fool people into buying something. But great marketing doesn’t do that. Great marketing comes from understanding exactly what the customer needs on an emotional level, and showing how your product will satisfy those needs.”
  • User Gemba by John Hunter – “It isn’t enough to know how you intend that customers will use your products or services; you have to get out to the gemba of actual customer use and learn what problems your customers use your products to solve.”
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Curious Cat 5th Annual Management Blog Review – Part 2 of 2

The 5th annual Curious Cat Management Blog Review has been completed.

This year, 15 blogs (a record) reviewed a total of 39 management blogs (not a record, in 2010 44 were reviewed).

4 blogs have been reviewed every year: Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog, Evolving Excellence, Gemba Panta Rei (all of which were reviewed by Ron Pereira on Lean Six Sigma Academy in 2008) and Timeback Management which was reviewed by me here on the Curious Cat Management Improvement blog. 2008, and this year, are the years that prevented several others from recording 5 year appearances. Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog and Evolving Excellence are the only 2 blogs to have hosted a review every year.

Here are links to the those reviews that have been posted since part 1 (with the number of years each author has participated in the annual review).

Years
Author of blog
Blogs reviewed
5 John Hunter, Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog Gemba Walkabout and Not Running a Hospital
4 Karen Wilhelm, Lean Reflections Michel Baudin and Square Peg Musings
3 Mark Hamel, Gemba Tales Shmula
2 Nicole Radziwill, Quality and Innovation Business 901, Design Thinking, Peter Bregman and Stats Made Easy
2 Joe Dager, Business 901 Beyond Lean and Knowledge Jolt with Jack
1 Scott Rutherford, Square Peg Musings Lean Pathways, Quality and Innovation and Squawk Point
1 Gregg Stocker, Lessons in Lean Steven Spear

Follow the management carnival all year with twice monthly highlight of management blog posts.

See annual review posts for 2011201020092008

Management Blog Review 2012: Gemba Walkabout

This is my second, of two, 2012 management blog review posts. In this post I look back at the last year on Mike Stoecklein’s Gemba Walkabout blog. Mike is the Director of Network Operations at Thedacare Center for Healthcare Value.

photo of Mike Stoecklein
  • In a very long post, Some thoughts on guiding principles, values & behaviors, he provides a sensibly explanation for one the real difficulties organization have making progress beyond a certain point (project success but failure to succeed in transforming the management system). “I’m not saying this approach (focus on tools, teams, events) is wrong, but I do think it is incomplete. I think we also need to work from right to left – to help people understand the guiding principles, to think about the kinds of systems they want and to use tools to design and redesign those systems. Dr. Shigeo Shingo said, ‘people need to know more than how, they need to know why’.

    Most managers view their organization like an org chart, managed vertically. They assume that the organization can be divided into parts and the parts can be managed separately

    It’s what they believe, and what they don’t know is that is is wrong – especially for a complex organization.
    If their thinking was based on the guiding principles (for instance “think systemically”) they would manage their organization differently. They would see their organization as as set up interdependent components working together toward a common aim.”
  • Reflections on My (Brief) Time with Dr. Deming – “The executives thought he was pleased. When they were done with their ‘show’ he thanked them for their time, but he wanted to know what ‘top management’ was doing. He pointed out that they were talking about improvements on the shop floor, which accounted for only about 3 percent of what was important.” When executives start to radical change what they work on the organization is starting to practice what Dr. Deming taught. Mike recorded a podcast with Mark Graban on working with Dr. Deming.
  • Standard Work and PDSA – “What I have noticed is that sometimes people insert another wedge (shown as black) in the diagram below. So, progress gets stopped because some seem to believe that standard work doesn’t get adjusted as you make improvement.” This is a brilliant graphic including the text standard work misued. The 2 biggest problem with “standard work” in practice is ignoring the standards and treating them as barriers to improvement. Standard work should be practiced and if that is a problem the standard work guidance should be changed.
image showing how failure to adjust standard work can block progress

During the year stay current with great posts twice a month via the Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival.

Related: Management Blog Review 2012: Not Running a Hospital2011 Management Blog Roundup: Stats Made EasyStandardized Work InstructionsAnnual Management Blog Review: Software, Manufacturing and Leadership

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