A hallmark of classical management, rooted in batch-and-queue material and information processing, is the existence of a perpetual state of confusion. That is not a good state to be in. People cannot think clearly when they are confused, and so when confronted with problems they rely on … [Read more...] about Business as a State of Confusion
If you observe carefully, you will notice that the people with the best problem-solving skills tend to have poor social skills, while those with the best social skills tend to be poor problem-solvers. The former are curious and go deep into their analysis of a problem to understand its root causes … [Read more...] about How Soft Skills Impair Problem-Solving
"A real irony is that ‘respect for people’ requires that people feel the pain of critical feedback." — Akio Toyoda Yes, that's me; the Bad Boy of Lean. I am l'enfant terrible de Lean, an irritant to some Lean movement leaders because I freely challenge their work. As a result, I have a bad … [Read more...] about The Bad Boy of Lean
Who doesn't admire Art Byrne, Orry Fiume, and the other members of the Wiremold senior management team? I've known Art and Orry for many years and continue to be captivated by their accomplishments and that of the entire Wiremold workforce. The Wiremold Company's transformation remains a classic … [Read more...] about Promotion of Lean Must Evolve
In early January 2019, I decided to conduct an experiment to test if a great advocate of human and technical progress is just that, or if it is more comfortable with the status quo. My new book, The Triumph of Classical Management Over Lean Management: How Tradition Prevails and What to Do About It, … [Read more...] about The Shingo Experiment
Fundamentally, what was the development of Toyota's production system about? Why was there a need for it? It was about employees in a small start-up company working to find ways to produce motor vehicles in low volume and at low cost. So what? Well, what that means is TPS was (and is) a lived human … [Read more...] about Fulfillment by Status Quo, Inc.
In Lean management, we speak of the current state, the future state, and the ideal state. But what about the past state? Why isn't the past state also of interest? It should be, because the past informs the present -- the current state -- which in turn determines the probability of achieving desire … [Read more...] about What About the Past State?
For many years now, there has been a great emphasis in the Lean movement on the development of problem-solving skills. Specifically, teaching people how to think scientifically through the use of PDCA, kata, coaching, etc. Typically, the target audience for training in scientific thinking is … [Read more...] about Where Scientific Thinking Lives and Dies
Advancing Lean management is a relay race. The first leg is nearing completion. The baton was held by those who brought the Toyota production system (TPS) and Lean to public attention in the late-1970s through the mid-1990s. They ran the first leg well, but this first generation of Lean leaders is … [Read more...] about Passing the Lean Baton