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We’re burning the planet – I think we all realize that by now. We know the how – too much production of greenhouse gases, too much production of heat through energy use, too much use of natural rare resources. We […]

The post Lean meets green appeared first on Lead With Lean.

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Anyone in the world

In the old days, when I watched Toyota sensei help their suppliers with quality issues, the first question they’d ask was: “have you checked the materials?” Or “can we see your ordering pattern?” It always wrong-footed everybody. In a worldview […]

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Anyone in the world
By Pascal Dennis (bio)

Lean in the service industries is a frequent topic in this blog.

The great hotel chains -- Ritz, Hyatt, Marriott, Westin, Disney and others -- are superb Lean companies.

Marriott's Twelve Guiding Principles of Leadership and Customer Service, for example, reads like a Lean manifesto:
1. Continually challenge your team to do better.

2. Take good care of your employees, and they’ll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back.

4. Know what you’re good at and mine those competencies for all you’re worth.

5. Do it and do it now. Err on the side of taking action.

6. Communicate. Listen to your customers, associates and competitors.

7. See and be seen. Get out of your office, walk around, make yourself visible and accessible.

8. Success is in the details.

9. It’s more important to hire people with the right qualities than with specific experience.

10. Customer needs may vary, but their bias for quality never does.

11. Eliminate the cause of a mistake. Don’t just clean it up.

12. View every problem as an opportunity to grow.

Marriott's standard - our principles will be in the nightstand drawer of every Marriott room.

A few years ago, I was staying at the Sharm al Shaikh Marriott, at the bottom of the Sinai peninsula.

Being a natural pain, I decided to check Marriott's adherence to its standards, in this relatively remote hotel.

Sure enough, I found the principles were there were supposed to be.

The hotel manager smiled when I told him, and described Marriott's training & development processes.

Ritz, Hyatt, Westin, Disney & the rest all have corresponding principles & practices. Well done - and please continue!

Are there any other industries that could learn from Lean hotels?

Oh, I don't know, perhaps Health Care...?

Best regards,

Pascal

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Anyone in the world

What do creativity, service excellence, and problem solving have in common? A lot! I’m excited to share this interview with my friend Karyn Ross about her new book How to Coach for Creativity and Service Excellence: A Lean Coaching Workbook! We conducted the interview in person last week in Chicago while I was visiting her […]

The post Interview with Karyn Ross: “How to Coach for Creativity and Service Excellence” appeared first on Katie Anderson.

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Anyone in the world
My favorite part of last week’s podcast with James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, was the last five minutes when he talked about a potential downside of good habits.  When we decide to improve, and create a new practice with the right cues and rewards, we form a new habit.  But habits can put us […]
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Anyone in the world
By Pascal Dennis (bio)

Last time I talked about making problems visible through the four levels of visual management.

I described Levels 1 and 2, which have comparatively low power.

Today, our topic is visual management Levels 3 and 4 – the most powerful:

Level 3 – Organizes Behavior

Home positions for tools & equipment are a good example.

In a surgery, home positions provide a nice visual confirmation that sponges, scalpels and other equipment are back where they belong – and not inside the patient!

In manufacturing, having a home position for, say, our torque wrench and gauges, ensures a) they’re there when we need them, and, as important, b) we know when they’re not there.

“Right, Bonnie is doing her daily 2:00 pm torque audit.”

Other good examples include the ribbed perimeters, and studded lane lines of many highways. You know at once if you’re on the median or straddling your lane. You quickly correct your behavior.

Recently, I saw a nice kaizen in the Oncology department of a children’s hospital. Infections are a major risk in such wards. How to encourage staff & parents to decontaminate their hands before they enter the room?

Move the hand decontamination unit to the point of entry. You can’t enter without seeing and using it, and compliance rates have spiked.

Level 4 – The Defect is Impossible

Lean thinkers will recognize the ‘pokayoke’ concept. We develop such a deep grasp of our process and its possible failure modes, that we install gizmos and practices that make them impossible!

Manufacturing is full of these: alarms on torque wrenches, electronic lights and safety mats that disable the machine if a team member enters the line of fire, gasoline nozzles that won’t fit diesel tanks and so on.

In Health Care, pokayokes on gas lines make it impossible to mis-connect oxygen and other gas lines.

As we get better at Lean, our visual management naturally progresses from Level 1 to Level 4.

Once we’re good at Level 1 and 2 visual management, we begin to think. “The same defect – here we go again! How do we prevent it?”

Who is the best source of Level 3 and 4 visual management?

Why, our front line team members, of course.

That’s why total involvement is critical. Alienate the front line and you lose all their insight & creativity. Problems mushroom!

Best regards,

Pascal

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Anyone in the world

There is a lesson that manufacturing leaders seem determined to learn the hard way: flooding factories with new technology does not improve their performance. Roger Smith learned it at GM in the 1980s. Elon Musk, for all his other achievements, admitted by tweet to making the same mistake at Tesla last year. To really improve manufacturing performance, […]

The post Industry 4.0 versus Manufacturing Improvement (Part 1) appeared first on Michel Baudin's Blog.

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Anyone in the world

“The robots are coming. Hide the WD-40. Lock up your nine-volt batteries. Build a booby trap out of giant magnets; dig a moat as deep as a grave. “Ever since a study by the University of Oxford predicted that 47 percent of U.S. jobs are at risk of being replaced by robots and artificial intelligence […]

The post Are Robots Competing for Your Job? | Jill Lepore | The New Yorker appeared first on Michel Baudin's Blog.

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Anyone in the world
Back in January, Timothy Schipper published an important new book about transforming workplace culture entitled The Highly Effective Office: Creating a Successful Lean Culture in Any Workplace. I spoke with him on the phone recently and asked him: “How can Lean work just as well in the office as it does in manufacturing?” Here is his complete response:

When David Mann (author of Creating a Lean Culture) suggested to me to write a book about how Lean could be successfully applied in the office, I was a bit reluctant at first. The scale of the project was daunting.  He encouraged me, however, and said if I don’t tell the story of how it was being done in organizations, the story wouldn’t be told.

The story begins with wondering if Lean concepts could be transferred from manufacturing and be applied effectively in the office?  And could Lean principles be applied to build a culture of continuous improvement in any workplace?  It turns out that the transfer of Lean principles from the concrete floors of manufacturing to the carpeted areas of the office required some fresh approaches and counter-intuitive ideas.

As the story unfolds, it turns out that Lean does transfer from manufacturing to the office. While the principles of wastes eliminate and flow through a value stream apply, “some translation is required."  The wastes in the office value stream are hidden from view and not in plain site as is inventory between machines in the manufacturing. Because of this, wastes must be exposed. Mapping the informational value streams of office work reveals the waste in the system.  Once the wastes are in plain view, then work can be done to improve what are typically push systems with pull systems that are more visual.

The opportunities for removing wastes from the information value streams in the office can yield dramatic improvements in flow.  To build the practice of making these improvements into the culture requires employee involvement with the support of the leaders.

The Highly Effective Office describes a road map for the journey of building a Lean culture in the workplace by providing methods to build a workplace that engages both the knowledge worker and the leader in continuous improvement.

What do you think of  Tim's perspective? Have you applied Lean in the office environment and mapped the value stream?
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Anyone in the world
By Pascal Dennis (bio)

Lean is about making problems visible, and visual management is a core methodology.

You can’t fix what you can’t see!

There are four levels. Here they are in order of increasing power:

Level 1 – Tells only

STOP signs are a good example. In our neighbourhood, people blow by them all the time.

(We call them ‘Hollywood stops’ – the driver slows by 5 miles per hour, takes a perfunctory look around & drives on through. Not exactly, Safety First!)

Level 2 – Something changes, which gets your attention

Traffic lights are a good example. “Hey, the light’s changed to Green. We can drive on.”

Level 2 has more power because, done well, it wakes people up.

Our regular readers may recall that Lean is about wakefulness…. Hey, we have a problem here. We should do something!

Sadly, visual management in many organizations gets stuck at Level 1.

In many Health Care organizations, for example, visual management amounts to signage telling people to do, or not do something.

This amounts to blaming the work, as W. Edward Deming observed a generation ago

Doing so, subtly shifts responsibility from senior management to front line workers. “Hey, I told them not to do it…”

A nice trick – “I’ll take the power, privilege and perks of power – but not the responsibility!”

This amounts to a 21st century variation on “Let them eat cake.”

Most of the time, the root cause is in the system - which senior leaders own.

Next time, Level 3 and 4 visual management.

Best,

Pascal

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