Category Archives: Carnival

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