You are entering unclear territory

This post is inspired by some pictures* in Mike Rother’s book “Toyota Kata”, very relevant in our actual changing times and complex situations. I really like the figures that remind that the journey towards a goal requires entering unclear territory at some point. Experience from the military tells that no plan, regardless how carefully it … Continue reading You are entering unclear territory

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The fallacy of bottom-up Lean initiatives – Part 3: top-down and bottom-up

In the first post of this series, I explained why bottom-up Lean initiatives have little chance to succeed. In the second post I switched the point of view and discussed the top-down driven Lean rollout attempts and their pitfalls. Neither is easy nor a sure way to succeed. In this third post it is time … Continue reading The fallacy of bottom-up Lean initiatives – Part 3: top-down and bottom-up

Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are

This quote, often falsely attributed to Theodore Roosevelt (see Sue Brewton's blog), is an excellent mantra for both personal and management use. Too often when facing a problem or a challenge, individuals tend to push it to others, to complain about their insufficient resources and have great ideas for others instead. Think about the latest … Continue reading Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are

5 ways Lean guys trigger rejection on shopfloor

Lean guys are not always aware they triggered rejection of their ideas or suggestions themselves, only because of their behavior or their disregarding of some elementary rules. Here is a short list of 5 ways to trigger rejection on shopfloor. 1. Play the sensei A sensei, in lean lingo, is a recognized expert, which in … Continue reading 5 ways Lean guys trigger rejection on shopfloor

How corporate Lean programs spoil golden opportunities

This is the sad and true story of a manufacturing unit of a major manufacturer in his industry. This company has a corporate program to roll out Lean, with permanently appointed staff to support it. The Lean organisation is structured from a corporate level to sites representatives and staff appointed to support departments within the … Continue reading How corporate Lean programs spoil golden opportunities

12 tips for leading in a downturn

Slowdown, downturn, crisis, recession, words and condition that are around for some time now and for some businesses it seems to be the new normal. I witnessed several companies’ and their leaders’ reactions when facing difficulties and I’d like to share my list of dos and don’ts. Elevate your ambition When time is hard for … Continue reading 12 tips for leading in a downturn

You don’t give me answers, you ask me questions

He’s a former colleagues of mine I worked with during 10 years. Let’s call him Jack. He’s about 10 years younger, cocky, went from graduation directly to consulting and as he stated himself one day, “can’t stand being unable to answer a client’s question right away”. The opposite of me in many aspects and that’s … Continue reading You don’t give me answers, you ask me questions

Ten tricks to get things done

Many action plans share the same problems, they expand with additional todos but little gets done. Here are 10 tricks to change the wish list into real action plan that delivers. 1. accept only important and urgent actions Setup a basic rule to filter out proposed actions or suggestions. A severe one would be for … Continue reading Ten tricks to get things done