Monday, April 26, 2010
We recently invited folks to join in a group effort to cut the waste of meeting time. I've been encouraged by the comments we've received.
One improvement we have made, already, is this. The original idea Dan Markovitz and I had was to do A3 analysis in public...all of us would post the A3 our company was working with and we'd all be able to learn from each other.
Yet, for some of you, that's uncomfortable. First, it's a concern of looking "dumb" in public. I understand that, having been visibly "dumb" lots of times. Second, there is a legitimate concern about exposing any company information.
So, if you'd like to participate but want to remain anonymous, let us know. Dan and I will comment but no others.
We have a few slots left in our maximum of eight participants. Let us know if you want to be in!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
It is way too easy for me to have a mental model of Lean as a straight process, much like going to University. First you take the 100 level course, then the 200 level course and, if you persevere and get some funding, you might eventually finish graduate school. Knock off the courses, check the boxes, get the diploma.
Which is a disservice.
Last week, we were grappling with a problem of inadequate supply of an intermediate component assembly. We should have had enough but ran out, severely affecting the supply of final product to a customer. Bad news. Drilling into the issue with the folks involved, it became clear we had missed on one element of our pull system. Basic stuff. But we lost track of it.
Gee, I thought we had passed that course. Felt we had conquered that city, slain that foe. I guess not. And why did we miss it for several weeks? Fundamentally, it was the wrong mental model in my own head. I didn't circle back quickly enough to the basic pattern which triggered the problem. I wanted to relentlessly move forward. Even though I have written here just last fall about linear vs. circular learning, I still was stuck in a linear mental model. Linearity runs deep.
Take a look if you are too linear today.
Sunday, April 04, 2010
At a recent local business luncheon, the conversation at my table turned to diets. It became quickly evident that five of the eight folks were on one of various current diet methods and, boy, did they five of them enjoy talking about it. Good carbs, bad carbs, nice calories, bad fat, happy fat, omega 3 (or 5 or 7, I can't remember), salted vs. unsalted frog tongue. The detail, the intensity, the animation were all amazing.
The other three of us, unfortunately not seated next to each other, were caught in the withering caloric crossfire. We sat silently, having nothing to contribute in the face of such enthusiasm and controversy.
Yet one really good thing came from the otherwise dismal lunch event.
It reminded me, in the clearest possible way, how I can annoy as well if I prattle on about Lean systems around those who do not find it interesting.
It's great fun to talk Lean systems with those who are interested. Let's spare the rest of the world who just want stuff that works and doesn't care how it happens.
Keep on learning. Even learning when to keep quiet.