Is it better to to measure or to observe and listen?

I am puzzled by manager who are only able to understand anything if it’s put into a report or presentation.  It’s one thing to use data to validate what you believe, it’s quite another to sit back, read reports, demand of others to present those reports repeatedly, coach more on the crafting of the chart than the exection of the work, and waste valuable time requiring teams of people to assemble reports and presentations on issues that could easily have been ovserved and understood if daily interactions with teams as simply accepted practice, rather than giganitc batching and queieing of… Continue reading

Management Excellence: The Joker

I’m a fan of Christian Bales, so I was excited to see him win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor a couple weeks ago for his role in The Fighter. Adding a little extra sentimentality to his award is the fact that my son received a callback for the role of Little Dicky in that movie. (Although he wasn’t chosen for the part, it’s still pretty cool that he got that far!) Nonetheless, the Oscar buzz and the wonders of cable TV had me watching the Dark Knight again for about the 25th time. (OK….you caught me… was about the… Continue reading

Muda is Bullsh*t!

A lot of discussions on Lean thinking have pointed to the term “waste” as being misleading or, at the very least, difficult for most audiences to understand. After all, no one likes to think of the work they do as Waste. So, many have endeavored to come up with other terms, or to better define just what Muda is. I believe I may have found a useful alternative that is simple, intuitive, and part of our every day language. Continue reading

Lumberjacks and workhorses: A dedicated team.

Everyone wants to be dedicated to something. It gives us, as individuals, a sense of purpose. Organizations look for dedication among their members – dedication to the organization’s purpose. Unfortunately, when individuals dedicate themselves to what they believe is worthwhile, it may run counter to what the organization values. You may work alongside, or work for, or have people who work for you that are dedicated to pursuing an ideal. They want the right things done, in the right way, by the right people. Exactly what “right” means is, of course, somewhat subjective. Nonetheless, these folks are in constant pursuit… Continue reading