Tag: Business

improvement or diminishment

Consider that everything has a state. Think of a ball and gravity – once it is tossed in the air there is a point when the incline reverts to a decline. At one point, for a very brief moment, it will pause at transition. The moment, however, is so brief that you may not even realize it. Continuous improvement is the same way. Processes do not stay idle long – the status quo will falter and begin to erode. It is either in a <a class="zem_slink" title="Systems engineering" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_engineering&quot; target="_blank" rel="wi

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boots on the ground: the power of the gemba (genba)

I cannot count the number of times when I thought I knew… or was sure… how something transpired. “The employees are taking shortcuts…” Or you may have many other preconceived notions. I am sure if you have ever been in a problem solving event – many people have the real root cause even before the process has been investigated. The power of any investigation is to actually go to the scene of the crime, or where the action takes place (or took place). The Japanese term, modernized, is Gemba.

Genba (<span class="t_nihongo_kanji" lang="ja" xml:lang

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The Suck – Of Success

A random song was playing on my way to work this morning. I am not normally on this station but the lyrics have been echoing in my head all day today.

Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone’s bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You’ve gotta get up and try, and try, and try

~Pink – Try

Not the most profound – I know. This station plays mainstream hits – no other real prerequisite is required, I do not believe.  Regardless, I think the song hit me today – since I was going through a cycle of my own. It is good to be humbled and to also re-evaluate your own trajectory or impact. To not, would be significantly worse, I feel. By no means am I stating doom and

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What is success? 13 Lucky Examples to think of Continuous Improvement

I have heard the items below before but have recently contemplated ‘what does it really mean?’

First off, continuous improvement is a journey… not a destination. Utopian views with no scrap, and no errors are more improbable than probable. Yet what if…

If 99.9% Is Good Enough, Then . . .

  • 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily.
  • 114,500 mismatched pairs of shoes will be shipped/year.
  • 18,322 pieces of mail will be mishandled/hour.
  • 2,000,000 documents will be lost by the IRS this year.</e

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Flavor of the month

I cringe every time that I hear a new idea mentioned, and side comments write the idea off as a “flavor of the month.”

Recently, I was listening to some educational material, I will call it that for purposes of this article, and realized that the ideas being shared were forcefully trying to create this concept. It did not flow, other than the words naturally forming from the text that was being read. The model was well presented. The text was spot on structurally. It was missing something, something very important, buy-in. The cascading ideas from this article were being shared to the audience – and you could tell that the material was never built “directionally” correct. What do I mean by that? Well – I mean that the plan was top down, instead of bottom up. The trunk of the tree was placed and the roots should follow. Or better yet, I thought Kevin Costner was going to appear and some mystic voice from Shoeless Jackson would say “if

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a fork in the road – ethics and decision making

grey area fork in the road tough decisionsBusiness is full of right and wrong answers. There are no-brainers, and there are decisions which could be pondered for some time. It can be hard to deal with ethics and decision making.

So imagine that you have a large amount of expectations which have been handed down to you to execute against. When it comes time to make the difficult decision, and a grey area, do you struggle? Are you Robert Frost and going to take the road less traveled – or will you be completely objective selecting what is right for the business long term? Based on each person’s unique environmental development I would expect some variation in the standard  

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