Category Archives: Carnival

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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