A professor asked the following question: "One of the items that stands out from your writing is the need for leadership. Given the (at best) lukewarm reception so far for Lean in higher education, the question is: What are we doing wrong? Why are we failing to engage colleagues and administrators? … [Read more...] about Engaging Colleagues and Administrators
Archives for May 2014
"No" is a bad word for leaders to say. It broadcasts to people, "Don't try new things," "Don't experiment with different ways to correct the problem," and "Don't take action when problems arise." It shut's down people's minds and disables the uniquely human challenge to make things better through … [Read more...] about When Leaders Improve, Everyone Improves
The essay, "The False Promise of 'Practical' Education" (CHE, 19 May 2014, subscription required), by Michael S. Roth, president of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, delivers a wonderful defense of liberal arts education. In past blog posts, I too have defended liberal arts education … [Read more...] about That’s True, As Far As It Goes
My career in industry was limited at times by my unwillingness to do as I was told. Despite that, I earned high marks and was rated as a "high potential" employee throughout my career. Here is one of the things that I had difficulty with: stupid metrics. Specifically, metrics that were so … [Read more...] about Metrics Madness
In a previous blog post, Lean Leader’s Visual Control, I shared with you a couple of visual controls that I created to help leaders learn new ways of thinking and doing things. In this post, I'd like to share with you a few excellent examples of visual controls created by students in my courses as … [Read more...] about My Students’ Visual Controls
Visual controls have been an important part of the university courses that I have taught for nearly 15 years. I require students to create a visual control near the end of most courses based solely on the reading, lectures, homework assignments, and discussion from the course. The learning objective … [Read more...] about Visual Controls To Improve Student Learning
The state university system that I am a part of has recently engaged a consultant to "assist with the development of a plan to transform the state university and community college system." As a result, there are periodic Board of Regents updates that include publicly available presentations … [Read more...] about Transforming The System – Update 1
As a historian of progressive management, I like to look at the past to see if it can tell us anything useful about the future. More often than not I find disturbing parallels which suggest that humans make the same mistakes when they are in similar circumstances. History may not exactly repeat … [Read more...] about Is History Repeating Itself?
The work that professors do is exactly the same as anyone else. It consists of three components: Value-added work Non-value-added but necessary work Waste (activities that add cost but do not add value) We also have to contend with unevenness and unreasonableness, just as everyone else does. … [Read more...] about Is Everything We Do Value-Added?