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... Suggest a post to be included in the next carnival.
Related: Curious Cat Management Improvement Connections - online since 1996
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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”
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.
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]
photo 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.”
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.”
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.”
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).”
Van Gogh self portrait. Photo by John Hunter, Musee d’Orsay, Paris.
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.”
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.”
Employees leave managers, not companies 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…”
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.”
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).
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.
This is the 5th year in which multiple management blogs have participated in reviewing the year in management blogging. Once again we have many great blogs reviewed. Each year a few blog authors stop, or nearly stop publishing, but each year more great new management blogs start.
Here are links to the reviews that have been posted so far with the number of years each author has participated in the annual review.
Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by John Hunter.
How would you explain what Lean is to a 7-year-old? by Ron Pereira – “Daddy tries to teach people how to work faster and make less mistakes. And, most importantly, we also try to teach people to be nice and respect each other… that way everyone can do their very best.”
We must think of the whole enterprise as a continually evolving system by Jeff Liker – “Customer care call center–This is housed in the same building as Toyota Motor Sales in Torrance California and the call centers function like the work groups in Toyota plants to the extend of even holding weekly quality circle meetings and having a team leader and group leader structure as well as visual metrics with targets for improvement.”
The maker/manager transition phase – “One of the hardest things as a developer transitioning into a manager role has been to get a feeling of progress without writing code. Progress is usually clear with code, and harder with manager activities… As a founder you’re in the best position to guide people and help them be super productive. That becomes your role.”
How do mid-level managers convince the CEO that adopting lean practices is worthwhile? by Michael Ballé – “You can’t convince your boss to do lean, but you can become more convincing yourself by doing lean rather than talking about it. Few consultants ever get lean because they’re always thinking about getting others to apply it, but not them. As a result, their own learning curve stagnates. Don’t fall into that trap. Lean yourself before you try to lean others.”
The Curious Cat Management Blog 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.
How to Build it: Lean Prototyping Techniques for Hardware – “Good user feedback is essential, and this feedback should guide making the next round of prototypes. It is an iterative cycle. The key to making good products is making mistakes early and learning from them. This is best done through prototyping and getting user feedback.”
3 Reasons Why Layoffs Don’t Benefit Hospitals in the Long Run by Bob Herman – “Dr. Gruner says ThedaCare has had a “no layoff” philosophy and commitment to Lean techniques, similar to Scripps, since 2003. He agrees with Mr. Van Gorder, saying layoffs are only a patchwork strategy with immediate financial gains and long-term financial and cultural losses. However, focusing on the retention of employees without layoffs is actually the simpler strategy — it just requires an undying commitment and focus.”
The Greatest Waste by John Hunter – “The sentiment of failing to use the ability of people is not that uncommon. But putting the thought and effort behind changing that failure is. Dr. Deming consistently re-inforced the creation of a management system that sought to take advantage of the ability of people.”
Coach Says: What Do You Think? by John Shook – “Your challenge will be to find a way to reconcile the apparent contradiction. You need to reconcile them not to satisfy the sensei (absolutely not for that reason) but to deepen your own learning. Presume that there is some truth in what both sensei are telling you. You need to determine just what that truth is and how you can make sense of it in this specific situation.”
Retail Values for Lean Leadership by Jon Miller – “A successful lean leader must also have this retail mindset – a keen sense of customer intimacy and always being in the moment of truth to delivery a quality product or service… Yet the customer experience aspect is perhaps one of the least developed areas within lean thinking.”
Don’t Let Lean Myths Stand In Your Way by Tim McMahon – “leaders have to learn to think differently and see their customers and business differently, that’s people development, not tools development.”
Preparing for the Natural Tendency to Backslide by Gregg Stocker – “There is nothing more critical to success in a lean transformation than learning. Keep in mind, however, that people can only learn when and what they’re able to at any given time. By continuing to emphasize the need to understand cause and effect – or the reasons why results are what they are – you will greatly increase the chances that the organization will develop a learning environment. “
Dr. Deming on Innovation by John Hunter – “What you need to do is know your customers (and potential customers) and business so well that you can innovate to meet their unmet needs (even when those potential customers can’t give voice to what they would like to see).”
Just Observing, Sir. by Kevin Meyer – “When you rush around focused on firefighting and fixing things, you miss the nuance of the process.
Take some time to ‘just’ observe. Better yet, make it part of the ongoing routine of you and your staff.”
The most destructive misunderstanding in today’s work life by Sami Honkonen – “Thinking that high utilization leads to good results is the most destructive misunderstanding still prevalent in work life. This misunderstanding is based on the false assumption that working hard is always the best way to get results… We should focus on results, not utilization.”
Do We Know How to Learn? by Gregg Stocker – “The power of PDSA thinking lies in the realization that every decision is, in effect, a prediction that a specific outcome will occur. If one consciously adopts this mindset and practices it to the point where it becomes natural, significant learning can occur.”
Lean Versus Historical TPS by Art Smalley – “identify what are your impediments to improvement and work on those. In particular as what are barriers to higher equipment uptime, higher process capability, safer equipment, higher capital and labor productivity without adding cost, more highly trained personnel, and you will be on the right track. I call this building better process stability and it is an essential yet often ignored element of the historical Toyota Production System.”
Adaptability vs Evolutionary Change by David J. Anderson – “Organizations with evolutionary capability have resilience – they remain relevant despite changing circumstances and maintain high levels of effectiveness as the environment around them changes. Kanban is a means to install evolutionary capability and deliver on higher level agility. Evolutionary capability defines second generation Agile methods.”
Completion: Limiting WIP Post II by Jim Benson – “When we limit work-in-progress, we not only limit the number of projects we are working on, but also the number of tasks. This helps us complete tasks efficiently and effectively. When we are done, we understand what we did. While we are doing the tasks we are fully aware of how long they are taking.”
Disruptive Management by Bill Waddell – “The professional management experts break the fundamental rule of lean – they miss Dr Deming’s essential point. Failure is ascribed to personal failing, rather than flawed processes.”
Amazon’s Play by John Gruber – “What he’s [Bezos] done that is Jobs-like is doggedly pursue, year after year, iteration after iteration, a vision unlike that of any other company — all in the name of making customers happy.”
The absurdity of the 40 hour workweek by Dan Markovitz – “Even if you’re not a plumber or a lawyer, there’s a tendency to focus on the amount of time you spend on a project and what the output is.”
Metrics in Lean – Deming versus Drucker by Michel Baudin – Deming “thought MBO was a bad idea and he would not pussyfoot. 15 years later, Drucker himself came around to the same point of view and recognized that MBO had failed.” [also many comments on the post are interesting - John]
I am returning to publishing the Curious Cat management carnival twice a month; from the schedule of three times a month that has been the case recently. 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.
Why You Must Stop Putting Out Fires: the Urgent Disrupts; the Important Erupts – “Firefighting, sadly, is a lot easier than fire preventing. It takes comparatively little thought. You just get into “action mode” and can be really busy. Busy resembles productive. And you feel like a hero. But, when you really stop to ponder the matter, wouldn’t it be better if you allowed the important, planful, preventive work to erupt from the constraints you’ve placed on it so those fires never occurred?”
via, Innovation is Nothing but ECRS by Jon Miller – “The letters ECRS stand for a work analysis and redesign method originating in industrial engineering and commonly used as part of kaizen. The work is observed and the observer looks for opportunities to improve by taking steps to eliminate, combine, rearrange or simplify each step.”