These posts were the most popular posts on the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog in 2019 (as measured by page views recorded by my analytics application).
14 posts are repeats from the 2018 top 20 list. Of the new top 20 posts 3 were published in 2010, 1 in 2008 and 2 in 2019. The long term value of good blog content is overlooked by many people. I hope you continue to enjoy this blog, both the new content and the content I published many years ago. I have a historical Curious Cat management RSS feed to help you view that content (also see other Curious Cat RSS feeds).
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.
Photo in Malaysian Borneo (near Bako National Park) by John Hunter.
Customer Focus As Seen From a Deming Perspective by John Hunter – “The Deming management system is designed to learn all we can from every customer interaction to improve the process of delivering value to all future customers. This mindset is a fundamentally different mindset from that of most companies…”
Why the Only Way to Think is Long-term by Jon Miller – “he payback for developing people and processes is often faster and higher than expected, but not enough leaders know how to design these profitable on-the-job learning experiences. In a Lean enterprise, leaders must evolve from being order-giving authority figures to coaches and teachers who make the training and development a talent attractor and talent-retaining system.”
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”
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.”
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.'”
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.”
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!”
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].”
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.
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.”
McKittrick Canyon trail, Texas, USA. By John Hunter.
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).”
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.”