Tag Archives: Carnival

3rd Annual Management Blog Review Part 1

This year the management blog review has 14 management bloggers taking a look at close to 50 management blogs. Here are links to the blog roundups published so far:

Jamie Flinchbaugh started things off with posts on: Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog, Lean Reflections, A Lean Journey and Beyond Lean. Jamie did a very nice job of including photos of some of the bloggers and seemed to start a nice trend for some of the other review posts.

Dan Markovitz provided a look at posts from 99% by Behance, Peter Bregman, and Work Matters with Bob Sutton.

Mike Wroblewski followed up his recent regular management carnival post with reviews of Improve with Me, Lean for Everyone and My Flexible Pencil. And shortly will round off his yearly recaps with Training Within Industry.

Tanmay Vora focused on the important topic of developing people through the Glyn Lumley, Great Leadership and Renegade HR bloga.

Tim McMahon took a post for each blog and also included pictures for Jamie Flinchbaugh, Gemba Tales, Gotta Go Lean and Got Boondoggle?. Which also ties Tim with Mike for the lead in reviewing blogs of those those posting management blog reviews (they both reviewed 3 of the 14 reviewers).

Ben Eubanks highlighted posts from A Girl’s Guide To Project Management, Lean Leaders Blog and Making IT Clear.

Shaun Sayers provided a look back on the year at the Learn Sigma blog.

As we did last year I think the review is providing a nice reminder of some excellent posts from the last year and showing us some posts we missed. In addition, hopefully you will find new blogs to add to our feed reader. There are an enormous number of excellent management blogs. It makes me wonder why we still see so many management miscues 🙂

Even with all that we are not quite half way through the review of what the year 2010 offered readers of management blogs. I hope you enjoy the reviews and find some useful ideas and some new blogs to follow. Keep up with the regular management blog carnival, publishing 3 times a month.

The 3rd Annual Management Blog Review Has Begun

Jamie Flinchbaugh has started off the management blog year in review with a look back at the year here: Blog Carnival Annual Roundup: 2010 – Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog.

Take a look at some of the posts he highlighted from the year and feel free to note some of your favorite posts in the comments below.

Again this year we have many management bloggers joining the annual roundup. Over the next 3 weeks posts will be seen on some great blog, including: Gemba Panta Rei, Evolving Excellence, Stats Made Easy, TimeBack Management and many more.

You can see a full list of hosts and link to their annual roundups on the Management Blog Year in Review 2010 home page. Also, see the wrap ups of2009 and 2008.

Management Improvement Carnival #114

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, October 30th 2010, Washington DC. Photo by John Hunter.

The Curious Cat management blog carnival selects recent management blog posts 3 times each month. Since 2006 the carnival has focused on finding posts to help managers innovate and improve (Deming, lean manufacturing, agile software development, data based decision making, systems thinking…).

  • If Jon Stewart can do it, so can you by Dan Markovitz – “Get it? It’s a process. Even for something as creative as writing jokes, there’s a structure to follow. And by establishing that structure, they can unleash their comedy.” [Process Improvement and Innovation – John Hunter]
  • How I (try to) add value as an investor by Gabriel Weinberg – “I’ve been doing this startup stuff for a while now, pretty much all by myself or with one other person. So I’ve done most startup things, i.e. from incorporation papers all the way to an exit and everything in between. Moreover, I want to be closely involved. For most of the companies I’m involved with, we try to have frequent Skype chats (weekly to every few weeks) to discuss whatever is in front of them.”
  • Inspired by Shingo Again by Mike Wroblewski – “Mr Shingo suggested that every management person should go to gemba at least once everyday, and stay in one spot for at least 30 minutes to observe. This is every person in management, not just the plant production leaders.”
  • 5 Ways to Influence a Culture of Engagement by Trish McFarlane – “2. Provide challenging work assignments… 4. Connect employees to the organization’s mission 5. Be intentional, honest, and interact with integrity”
  • You might think with all the good books and blogs on management, pretty soon there really isn’t anything more managers need to help them. But what organizations keep doing, provides evidence there is going to be work to do for a long time. Beyond Crazy by James Kwak – “The ‘star’ example is Texas A&M, which created a report showing a profit-and-loss summary for each professor or lecturer, where revenues are defined as external grants plus a share of tuition professor P&L.” Taiichi Ohno knew about the failures of cost accounting.
  • Back to Basics with Kanban – “This list of 5 core practices used in organizations with successful Kanban implementations gives us a definition for how to implement the Kanban Method. These practices represent the seed conditions in any organization that may enable a successful Kanban-based change initiative.”
  • Failure to Plan is a Plan for Failure by Orrin Woodward – “Let’s go through each step of the PDCA process starting with the Plan step. What is the Plan and how do I use it to improve? The Plan is a way to test ones hypothesis or models of life.”
  • Deming’s long forgotten chain reaction by Gede Manggala – “Too much focus on cost saving will alienate your customers and make your employees unmotivated. This is why, companies which too much rely on cost saving will fall into the ‘doom loop'”
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Posts on Managing People from Around the Web

My thoughts on managing people are based on Dr. Deming’s thoughts on management. The over-simplified explanation is that people want to do good work. Performance problems should be looked at first, second, third, fourth and fifth as problems with the system not the individual.

photo of yellow leaves

I believe organizations should practice continual improvement with the participation of everyone. Decisions should be based on evidence not the opinion of the highest paid person in the room (or even worse – “policy”). Coaching is good. Performance appraisals are bad.

Poor performing processes need to be improved by the people working on those processes. Those people need to be provided the tools (knowledge, time, support) to improve.

People don’t need to be motivated and empowered they need to be given the the opportunity to do what they want to do naturally: a good job. Managers need to help people by eliminating the de-motivation that so many organizations seem designed to create for people at work.

Management and human resource staff need to do a much better job of providing people opportunities to do a good job and take pride in their work. Far too many people are forced to suffer through poorly managed systems when trying to do their jobs. By improving the work environment, organizations can improve their results (customer satisfaction, profit, productivity…) and employee satisfaction.

Developing Staff, Managing People, Coaching

  • Managing The Good, The Bad and The Ugly with Your Employees by Jim Keenan – “I believe coaching people is a process. I don’t believe coaching people or managing people can be done reactively… To develop the strengths or mitigate the weaknesses of your employees, get them on the table early and keep them on the table.”
  • The Eight Steps to Driving Successful Large Scale Change by John P. Kotter – “The obstacles take many, many forms: bosses who haven’t bought in; IT systems not capable of supporting the strategies; lack of the skills needed to make the vision a reality; a lack of training to develop these missing skills. The guiding coalition finds ways to eliminate these obstacles, empowering people to do what they want and what the change effort requires.” from his new book Buy-In: Saving Your good idea from getting shot down.
  • Do more experiments faster by Tom Peters – “The best performers, I said, seesawed back and forth between ‘ideas’ and ‘actions.’ That is, they had a ‘big idea.’ (Or a small one, for that matter.) Rather than think it to death, they immediately got the hell into the field and experimented with some element of it (a prototype). They watched what happened, adjusted, and then quickly ran another experiment.” [use this idea in your coaching – (experiment and adjust) and also as a guide to those you are coaching – John Hunter. by the way I completely agree with doing more experiments faster. I completely disagree with the idea systems thinking somehow precludes that.]
  • A Secret No One Tells New Managers by Wally Bock – “Controlled confrontation is a key part of being a boss… Your objective is for your team member to leave your meeting thinking about what will change and not how you treated them.”

Good Policies for Managing People

  • Start at the Wall by Paul Hebert – “How many of the processes actually decrease effectiveness and are really barriers enacted years ago for issues that no longer are issues? What ‘behavioral’ issues could be solved by changing the environment the person is in?”
  • Standardization the prerequisite for any meaningful improvement by Steven Spear – “Without defining what you expect to do and what you expect to happen, you cannot meaningfully determine if what is happening is a bona fide problem or merely the result of work done out of control.”
  • Social Learning = Organically Sloppy. How business really gets done by Kevin Grossman – “Social learning welcomes impromptu scenario-based training and development opportunities. Organically sloppy, the way we really learn to transform ourselves and the business.”
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Management Improvement Carnival #100

I started the management improvement blog carnival in 2006. At the time the number of blogs posting useful management ideas had already grown to a large number. It took years after I started my Curious Cat Management Improvement site, in 1996, to have even a handful of consistently useful web sites for those interested in improving the management of organizations.

Blogs really started the explosion of good management content online. Now we have more great blogs nearly every month. This jumbo sized edition could be much larger and still not run out of great posts to include. Hopefully the regular carnivals help you keep up with great management posts from blogs you already enjoy, and introduce you to new blogs to add to you RSS (blog feed) reader.

Photo of Arches National Park

Arches National Park by John Hunter, Curious Cat Travel Photo Blog

  • What’s Deming Got To Do With Agile? by Dennis Stevens – “If you equate Kanban with manufacturing you won’t be successful. You need to understand what Deming has to say about knowledge work and how management is responsible for creating an environment for success. Kanban brings an easy to implement – low friction implementation of Deming’s philosophy.”
  • Remember – We Want to See Problems by Bryan Zeigler – “Well if you designed your system to truly follow the lean ideals, you have problems! That’s the whole point! Make your problems visible instead of hiding them with inventory, extra labor, long lead times, etc.”
  • Control Systems and Feedback Loops by Tom Foster – “why don’t we change this control system into a feedback loop? Why don’t we have the feedback loop tell the team, and why don’t we run the feedback loop in real time? The manager just gets in the way.”
  • My Favorite Southwest Airlines Moment by Rachel Barry – ” If you live with gratitude, you will have reached life’s highest ideals. And your letter is grateful. You are a wonderful woman. Thank you, thank you, for being you and for writing me. The truth is, it just doesn’t get any better than that. ” (Southwest encourages people to act like people [and treat customers like people not numbers] instead of cogs in a machine. Not amazing when put that way but when contrasted with most other large companies it is an amazing difference. – John)
  • Organizational Kryptonite: Fear of Confrontation by Kris Dunn – “Because the world is full of people who suffer from fear of confrontation, giving good, direct, honest feedback in a professional way is often the best way to stand out as someone who can be trusted.”
  • The False Theory of Meritocracy by Nigel Nicholson – “A true theory of meritocracy would acknowledge that we all have multiple talents and motivations; and that we all can learn and improve in most of the roles in which we are placed — though how much and how fast will vary from person to person.”
  • Corporate Renewal, Waste, and Turnaround by Pete Abilla – “Each of us has a responsibility to improve those areas where we have influence. Given that, what are you going to do today to improve the business you are in? Help the people you work with? Improve the world around you?”
  • Show Me the Results by Mike Wroblewski – “Despite our efforts to make all results objective and quantifiable, in many cases, subjectivity remains. Overlooking this problem, we obsess over results… In our obsession with results, do we actually miss something, perhaps something greater?”
  • Drucker’s Surprising View of Corporate Social Responsibility by William Cohen – “Drucker concluded that considerations for workers in and out of the workplace were the responsibility of the corporate leader just as much as the profits, survival, and growth of the business or organization. Therefore, he taught that there were social responsibilities of business.”
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Curious Cat Management Carnival #96

The Curious Cat Management blog carnival selects recent management blog posts 3 times each month. Also visit the Curious Cat Management Library for online management improvement articles.

  • Kanban Systems in Software Development – “In the field, I’ve seen Kanban work best in chaotic environments where upcoming features don’t have much in common.”
  • Renegade Recruiting by Chris Ferdinandi – “I think world-class recruiting is really about three things: Building a pipeline of qualified talent before you need to hire someone. Accurate, valid selection criteria. A fantastic candidate experience.”
  • How to Deal with Complainers – 2 Approaches by Harwell Thrasher – “People who complain fall into two categories: those who complain because they want help in resolving a problem, and those who complain because they want sympathy. Often the complainers themselves don’t understand why they’re complaining, so it’s up to you to figure it out for yourself.”
  • Building Coaching Capabilities
    by Lee Fried – “Let’s be clear the purpose of coaching is to build capability into the leadership line.”
  • How to Deal with Low Performers by Tim McMahon – “A production lead should use this simple 5 step checklist… 3) Has the person been trained?… 5) Has there been regular feedback on performance? An answer of “no” to any of these questions will indicate an area for which focused improvement is needed.”
  • Top Three Motivators For Developers (Hint: not money!) by Dave Rodenbaugh – “Every developer on the planet wants to get better at what they do. We crave new knowledge like some people quaff coffee after a hangover… Nothing is more tedious, horrific, or uninspiring to developers to work on projects that lack any real meaning in the world.” (this is another in a long line of posts about Danial Pink’s Ted Talk – John).
  • We can’t Handle the Truth by Mike Wroblewski – “People who speak the truth are often labeled as a non-team player, a disrupter, a trouble maker or the current tag of being ‘not a good fit’. End result the person either quits or is fired.”
  • Get A Life (Not A Job) by Mark Stelzner – “Great career acts: They all share five key elements – 1) Self-awareness; 2) Continuous self-development; 3) Unique and critical roles; 4) Well-managed time, money and human resources; and 5) Harmony among your work, family and personal life” – buy the book
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Management Improvement Carnival #94

The Curious Cat Management blog carnival highlights management blog posts 3 times each month. I have also collected hundreds of online management improvement articles in the Curious Cat Management Library.

  • Why You Should Never Listen to Your Customers by Mark Cuban – “Your customers can tell you the things that are broken and how they want to be made happen. Listen to them. Make them happy. But they won’t create the future roadmap for your product or service. That’s your job.”
  • Pure Genius: Southwest Airlines Baggage Strategy by Eric Joiner – “Consistently sized aircraft, carefully selected destinations and a desire to compete with the big guys only where they can win, has made Southwest profitable where the big guys have failed.”
  • Evolutionary operation by Mark J. Anderson – “a manufacturing improvement method called evolutionary operation (EVOP), which calls for an ongoing series of two-level factorial designs that illuminate a path to more desirable conditions.”
  • Why do we use Kanban? by David Anderson – “(1) Evolutionary, incremental change with minimal resistance (2) Achieve sustainable pace by balance throughput against demand (3) Quantitative Management and emergence of high maturity behavior in alignment with senior management desire to have a highly predictable business (4) Better risk management (the emerging theme in the Kanban community)”
  • MBWA is Not a Gemba Walk by Kevin Meyer – “What if the top executive led groups of people in spontaneous kaizen activities. Teaching, creating, changing. Not just sneaking around and watching.”
  • W.L. Gore: Lessons from a Management Revolutionary by Gary Hamel – Terri Kelly: “Our leaders have positions of authority because they have followers. Rather than relying on a top-down appointment process, where you often get promoted because you have seniority, or are the best friend of a senior executive, we allow the voice of the organization to determine who’s really qualified to be a leader, based on the willingness of others to follow.”
  • How a Simple Office Kanban System Works by Mark Graban – “In setting up a system like this, you just have to be careful that the 2nd bin has enough inventory to last you until the new stock arrives. If you order weekly and the material arrives the day after, the re-order quantity really needs to be six days worth of supply.”
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Management Improvement Carnival #93

Kevin Meyer is hosting Management Improvement Carnival #93 on the Evolving Excellence blog, highlights include:

  • Seven Virtues of the 21st Century Organization (Weekly Leader): Purpose-driven organic adaptability, values that are operational.
  • Value in Lean (Thinking for a Change): How do you define “value” – there are many ways.
  • Listen to the Naysayers (Evolving Excellence): “Be careful not to discount the opinions of dissenters – you may end up with everyone on the same bus… driving off a cliff!”
  • Solid at the Core (Unfolding Leadership): The advantages – and disadvantages -of inner strength and confidence.

Related: Management Improvement Carnival #44Management Improvement Carnival #60Management Improvement Carnival #76

Not related: @nicoleradziwill – Alex: “Is the Easter Bunny a boy?” Me: “No clue.” Alex: “Well let’s look it up on Google.”

Management Improvement Carnival #92

The Curious Cat Management blog carnival selects recent management blog posts 3 times each month. Also visit the Curious Cat Management Library for online management improvement articles.

  • The 7 Software Development Wastes by Jack Milunsky – “1) Keep your stories small, and unambiguous. 2) Ensure that each story has well defined acceptance test criteria (assisted by input from the customer). 3) Ensure that your code is well tested. Adopting good Test Driven Development habits will pay back in spades…”
  • Strengths, Weaknesses, Your Team, and You – “Help your people be more successful by helping them develop their strengths and make their weaknesses irrelevant. Help your team be more successful by developing the most effective mix of task assignments.”
  • Plan Vs. Actual – The Swiss Army Knife of Charts by Mark R. Hamel – “The plan vs. actual also spurs PDCA in that the worker is required to identify the root cause of the abnormal condition and ultimately points the worker, team and leadership to effective countermeasures.”
  • Don’t build a roofless home: 3 steps to successfully implementing Counter Measures by JC Gatlin – “Set up a ‘PDCA Implementation Review’ with the entire PDCA group one or two days following the final TARGET date. This should be a simple, short conference call – no more than 15 minutes.”
  • How Google sets goals and measures success by Don Dodge – “Achieving 65% of the impossible is better than 100% of the ordinary – Setting impossible goals and achieving part of them sets you on a completely different path than the safe route. Sometimes you can achieve the impossible in a quarter, but even when you don’t, you are on a fast track to achieving it soon”
  • Creating Employee Engagement, Part 4 by Jamie Flinchbaugh – “Team members must be able to engage in brainstorming, experimentation, and communication to be able to develop, share, and decide on solutions to problems… Skills make this succeed or fail.
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Management Improvement Carnival #91

The Curious Cat Management Blog Carnival provides links to recent articles to help managers improve the performance of their organization.

  • A Mindless Worker is a Happy Worker “when people are given a chance to participate in creating something good, solving a problem, and play a role in adding value through the use of their mind, hands, and heart, good things happen.”
  • Creating a Culture of Process Improvement by Rip Stauffer – “If you listen and act, you’ll soon find that you can’t keep up with the suggestions for improvement. That will be the beginning of changing the culture to one of improvement.”
  • Creating Employee Engagement by Jamie Flinchbaugh – “Organizations will often want people engaged and even teach them some skills to get them engaged, but fall short of creating a mechanism that actually enables this.”
  • Why do we spend so much time putting out fires? by Dan Markovitz – “The process keeps everyone up to date on where things stand throughout the organization — no tedious, long-winded, meanderings in the 60 minute weekly (or god help you, 90 minute monthly) meeting.”
  • 5 Reasons Why Agile Development Must Be Driven from the Top by Kelly Waters – “Another key concept of agile software development is co-location. Ideally the whole team will all be located in the same place – not just the same office but literally sitting side by side in the same room or space.”
  • Counter Measures: Bringing balance to the process by JC Gatlin – “A Temporary Counter Measure is ‘immediate containment.’ This is an action or series of actions that the PDCA group will take to temporarily remedy the problem. This action may have no connection to the root causes.”
  • Testing in the Data Center (Manufacturing No More) by James A. Whittaker – “This is the challenge of the new century of software. It’s not a process of get-it-as-reliable-as-possible-before-we-ship. It’s health care, cradle to grave health care … prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.”
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