Inventory is a Necessary Evil

How you See Things Defines Your World, Within LimitsInventory freezes money that could be working for you, and hides waste. What happens when you look at it as a liability rather than an asset? This short film, while a bit overly simple, elegantly illustrates what is wrong with treating inventory as an asset in operations, […]

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Rubin Hurricane Carter

Hurricane Carter on Taking Responsibility

Rubin Hurricane Carter died yesterday, a man who took responsibility for his life.and he leaves us with a lesson on taking responsibility for our life. What do I mean? He once said that innocence is an overrated commodity, pointing out that he was innocent but spent many years in prison. But he went on to say […]

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Change Management Tools Must Come from Within

Change Management: Drive or Thrive? Another View.In my experience, you can’t drive change, you can only cultivate it; should our thinking on management of change be changed to cultivating change?The term, “Change Management” is misleading. Not all change is an improvement, and driving change means it depends on you to drive it: You stop, or go […]

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In Their Own Words: La Clare Farm

The vast majority of goods and services we use or consume in our daily lives do not come from publicly traded corporations but from independent business. In almost every country in the world, more than half the GDP is contributed by small and medium businesses. Yet, all you get in the media, online and  in […]

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Get Your Point Across without Acronyms

Acronyms are created to help us remember things more easily. When I learned how to drive for instance, they taught us an acronym PEAK, which stood for: Park, emergency, Accessories, and Key. That silly little acronym has saved me a great deal of trouble over the years. You see, training works, even communication skills training.Acronyms […]

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Practicing What I Preach, and it worked!

In the past I would think that I could solve any problem that I confronted, and would stubbornly keep moving forward, refusing to see the signs, blaming myself perhaps; this week I did something very different, something that I’m very proud of. I practiced what I preach. I was working my computer and the computer […]

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Task Maturity Scale

A Simple Tool For a Complex Problem

Cultivating Skills in Other PeopleA simple tool for growth built on a deep foundation: Applying Erickson’s “Stages of Psychological and Social Development” to solve every day working problems.​When people aren’t “performing” the way we would like them to, you probably tend to deal with the situation pretty much the same way. That can be a […]

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coffee cup

The Circular File

Mr. Pareto figure out that only 20% of causes are responsible for 80% of results. If that is is so, and it is, then only 20% of most memos, emails sms’s, faxes and calls you get really matter.Weekly Productivity Tip #1:​If you find yourself drowning in memos, tweets, emails, messages of all kinds, try this […]

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Food Safety: Damned Lies & Statistics

Quick Navigation Food safety is a hot button issue, Note the word “appear” before you panic! Different Kinds of Statistics?​The article continues, with a seemingly reasonable statement on Food Safety…​The Perils of PercentsAverages presented as if they are real things, And then comes this nonsense, parading as science: The data does not support the conclusions: […]

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The Current Style of Managing is a Prison

GE, along with most large publicly traded corporations, and some privately owned, suffers deeply from Silo mentality. In fact, a former client was the conduit for communication between two different divisions: they competed within the company against each other and rarely communicated with each other.Honeywell has a split culture, with those who were with Honeywell […]

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A New Way to Manage

​©2011-14 Dan Strongin, All Rights ReservedA manager’s first job responsibility is to see to the design of a good system, with well thought-out and tested processes that meet the needs of customers, and a vibrant dialogue between all the parts. Once up and running, their second responsibility is to ensure it is stable, in other […]

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Rice on the Brain

The Manwho is kind of the source for what people turned into “Lean,” wrote a great bit on how what we plan based on calculations can often go astray when people and nature are involved: Ohno, founder of Toyota Prodution System “…we had quite a surplus of rice. Since having too much rice was a […]

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Mystery Man

Thanks Bud, couldn’t put it better myself!

From my December 2013 Column in the Cheese Reporter.Maybe its the time of year, but I wanted to share one email I got with you, because I think it says more eloquently than I could dream of, what many people may be thinking these days, but never gets covered in the Media. The writer is […]

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The Investment Economy: Schlemiel Schlimazel

For me, the greatest documentary on systems gone bad is the 24 hour French film Schoa…  interviews with the survivors on all sides of a concentration camp. Tough stuff, but real. I remember one fellow in particular, a Pole or German, who tried to save lives but realized that all he was doing was trading […]

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Snake Oil and Instant Pudding

am tiring of all these discussion online and in the management media on acronyms, systems, lean, six-sigma, BPM, all of them. They are various grades short of effective because they are copies. They are copies that pale in comparison to the ideas they stole from people like Taylor, Gilbreth, Ohno, Dewey, Charles Pierce Smith, Shewhart […]

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Nurturing is the best way to lead

Mothers Make Great Managers

The Leadership Quality of NurturingWomen, in general know the secret leadership qualities that make for effective long term management, and first and foremost is nurturing. How else could they hold together the team we call a family for at least 18 years, generally leading to a successful transition to a new generation. We lads with […]

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Peter Scholtes

The Gemba Reggae

Gemba is Japanese for “the real place,” where the work is actually done. I like “where the action is,” as in go “where the action is” to see for yourself, before forming an opinion.(Gemba Gembitsu) In other words, get off your duff, leave the office, put “I know” on the back burner, and go where […]

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the best leadership quality: love

Turning Management Into a Team

Final installment of the Change Since the fire of change had been ignited and embraced by the willing workers and their direct supervisors, it was time for the managers to raise the bar for themselves. According to management consultant Peter Scholtes, teams go through stages as they develop: forming, storming, norming, and performing. As work […]

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Picture of crazy eyed glasses inviting you to change your glasses to see things differently

Change 3: Victory on the Gallon Line

Victory on the Gallon Line—and Beyond Needing a victory, the team members mapped a rudimentary flow chart of the gallon line and discussed results with the line supervisor. The subject of speeding up the line, which the managers favored, was brought up. One might ask, Why not speed up to increase output? But the team’s […]

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The Change 2: Running the Business

The training sessions that followed focused first on a new way of managing, one aimed not merely at the short term, but also at long-term survival. Participants were exposed for the first time to the Deming/Shewhart cycle of plan, do, study, act (PDSA) and were challenged to see how the laws of nature and human […]

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Love and 5S

In yet another discussion on Linkedin the question was raised of how to sustain 5S long term. 5S are simple principles from Japanese tradition to maintain order, and keep chaos at bay. It is taught to them in their early education, supported by Buddhist, Confucian and Shinto teachings. It was brought from the home into […]

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Cesar Millan and Leadership

I get that people love to talk about leadership. Heck, a whole industry has grown around telling other people what to do to be better leaders. Once again, it depends on what you mean by leader. Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer, says a wonderful thing on the topic, which I will paraphrase: In Nature, they […]

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Supply Pipeline

Clean Your Pipes

In the dark side of big business, cost accounting rules, and demons with pocket protectors lurk, ready to pounce, shrieking, cut, cut, cut! Despite ample evidence to the contrary, many privately held businesses think they have to follow the “common wisdom” too often repeated; “watch your pennies the profits will take care of themselves.” So they […]

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Finished Goods is a Necessary Evil

Inventory is a result of production, and managing production is the key to flow! Enjoy this video, an early one I did, famous for the use of dog bones to explain complex business processes! Then consider this, that dollar that had the bit scissored off is the difference between the sales price and the cost […]

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integrity in action in business

Lean? A Business is Not a Diet Plan

A Business is not a Diet PlanMoving From Lean to Flow for Medium to Small BusinessThe roots of so-called Lean are in the Toyota Production System. When Lean people use the word Muda, it is to imply cut waste. Muda, however, does not mean waste, and it is rarely mentioned by father of the Toyota […]

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