Monthly Archives: April 2008

Knowledge Workers 2.0 Video

I discovered this great video from Roger W. Farnsworth at Execultive Thought Leadership. This slideshow was created at http://www.acidlabs.org/.

I think there is a lot of great thinking here for Lean leaders.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from vodpod.com posted with vodpod

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Filed under Communication, Improve With Lean, Learn Leadership, Project Management

Free Comic Book Day This Weekend

I love comic books.  They are a great visual way of telling a story and I find it fascinating how characters who have been around for over 60 years are still told in fresh, modern ways.

Comic books are no longer just Super Heroes.  The Lone Ranger and other western comics have returned.  Fresh interpretations of fairy tales, Alice In Wonderland, or the characters from Oz  provide interesting takes on classic themes.  The influence of Japanese art and creators have permeated the industry as well.  There is a lot more to comics than you may remember!

This Saturday, comic stores will be giving away some free comics such as Archie, SpiderMan, Superman, X-Men, Disney, Tales From The Crypt, and many more.  Find a participating store near you right here

I hope you take this opportunity to explore an art form I love!

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Book Review: Predictably Irrational

The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
author: Dan Ariely
average rating: 3.78
book published: 2008
my rating: 3
read at: 04/08

I really enjoyed this book. This was my first dip into behavioral economics. Despite the boring-sounding subject matter, the author made it interesting and relevant.

The major parts that stood out to me were Relativity, Anchors, Jeckyll & Hyde (Hot & cool states), the true power of expectations, and our tendency to keep doors open despite the loss we get in doing so.

Interesting but not as revelatory were zero cost, social norms, procrastination, and honesty.

I think this book is important for understanding why we act or buy things. Product and service marketing people already understand this stuff and we need to be aware of what is going on. Dan Ariely provides great advice for knowing how to offset our natural irrational behaviors to ensure we make a logical choice instead.

This book has value to leaders. Leadership is about influence. Behavioral economics is about how we react to influence. Leaders can utilize some of the techniques in the book to positively affect the people around them.

I found the author went a bit long in some of the chapters. After I understood the basic concepts and grasped the initial experiments, I did not need the further detail that was provided.

There were hints of the writer’s political views in the book that I felt was a distraction. It wasn’t overbearing but the few times he brought it up, it stuck out like a sore thumb to me.

My review was posted at GoodReads.
 
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Shared RSS Feeds

I read a lot of Lean, Project Management, Productivity, Communication, and Leadership blogs.  There is so much good stuff out there, I can’t comment on everything I read in this blog. 

Please check out My Shared RSS Feeds.  When I find interesting posts in Google Reader, I am able to share them publicly.  My hope is that you discover new and interesting sites!

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Good Grief Charlie Brown

My friend Karthik Gurumurthy at Striving Towards Excellence posted a great piece called Charles Schultz Philosophy.  I hope you enjoy it!

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Want A Free Book?

Ron Pereira has updated his FREE book The LSS Academy Guide to Lean Manufacturing.  All you have to do is visit his website and subscribe to the free LSS Academy Insider newsletter (see top left hand side of his website).

Teachers make simple things complex.  Communicators make complex things simple.  Ron is a great communicator. 

The first version of the book was insightful and a great read.  I am still new to world of Lean and this book has been a great guide for understanding a lot of the concepts.  So check it out!

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Great Visual Of Waste

Jessica Hagy has a fun blog named Indexed where she uses simple index cards to visually communicate ideas and concepts. 

I thought this one fits in perfectly for Lean thinkers because we race to remove all waste because it is non-value added.  Using the word FRUSTRATON gives more oomph to the concept of NVA!

PS:  For the record, I scheduled this post before I read Kevin Meyer’s Waste Index at Evolving Excellence.  He beat me to the punch and scooped me!  🙂  Oh well, this is such a great picture, it’s worth posting again!  Sorry if this is a repeat for those who read both of our blogs.

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Stephen Covey on Knowledge Workers

Knowledge Workers are increasing.  The more we understand how to manage them and be effective in the new economy, the better we will succeed.  Stephen Covey recently had a Q&A on his blog that is relevant for project managers and lean implementers. 

Check out Knowledge Workers: 10,000 Times the Productivity by Stephen R. Covey

Q: What actions can people take if they are not in a position of formal authority and their superiors seem to be stuck in the Industrial Age both in mind-set and practice?

A: Leadership is not formal authority, leadership is moral authority. If you are principle-centered, your opportunities for influence increase; and if you’re proactive and take initiative inside your own Circle of Influence, it will get larger. It will primarily get larger because of the pragmatics of the marketplace. You will simply produce more. If you have a subsidized or protected organization that doesn’t have to deal with theses market realities and this new, real, world-class competition, what I said may not happen. And you may find that the old structure and old ways will persist and there will be great resistance to a new style of leadership and to changing these deeply imbedded structures and systems. However, eventually they will have to change. Even organizations that are protected and subsidized are, in time, subject to market forces because they all have budgets and costs they have to get around.

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Check These Out!

Rick Maurer wrote a great post Change Management and Anxiety at Change Management News.  I recently came across his site and find it to be informative, concise, and highly relevant.  I have added his blog to my links on this site.

Cornelius Fichtner, PMP is a mentor to me for Project Management via his PM Podcast and his PMP Prepcast.   He recently attended a Lean Six Sigma workshop and shared his initial impression on the podcast Episode 093: Lean Six Sigma Overview.  It was really fun to hear his first thoughts and I am excited more project managers will get exposure to Lean because of him!

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Be An Andon Referee

Photo used with permission from roger g1

Have you ever considered how a soccer referee pulling a yellow or red card is like an Andon?

Players are cautioned with a yellow card when they show misconduct.  A red card from the referee means the player is sent off from the field.  While Andon is not used to show misconduct, we can repurpose this concept to pull the cards when we see errors, safety issues, or quality problems. 

  • The yellow “caution” card is a fixed position stop andon.  The team can be cautioned of the issue and work to correct it before it moves to the next step. 
  • The red “send off” card is a stop the line andon.  The team stops to get the issue corrected and the line doesn’t continue until it is resolved.

Toyota Culture says (paraphrased) “no SUSPECT cars ever make it to a customer”.  Team members need to feel comfortable to pull the yellow or red cards.  Everybody should act as a referee on the field.  Once all eyes are looking to help maintain quality and safety, more value will make it to the customer. 

Above photo used with permission from roger g1 

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Are Newspapers Dying?

I found these two articles to be fascinating.  As Lean enterprises, we need to always be aware of quality and remain flexible to meet competition.  It appears the newspaper industry may have been missing out on both fronts.

Check out Out of Print: The death and life of the American newspaper by Eric Alterman in The New Yorker and It’s the Redundancy, Stupid by John C. Dvorak at PCMAG.COM.

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Awesome Presentation: RSS in Plain English

Common Craft created this 4 minute video RSS in Plain English.  If you are not using RSS , you are creating waste of unnecessary movment with search time!  I also love the presentation style this company has.

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Seattle Lean Hospitals

Bill Thorness wrote a nice Seattle Business Monthly article Health Care: Loving Lean where he highlights Seattle’s Virginia Mason and Children’s Hospital & Regional Medical Center.  It is a great high level read.

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Weigh-In Report Week 5

 Technically this is week 6 but I skipped weigh-in last week.  I am keeping the tally based on my weigh-ins and not the actual weeks.
 
I lost 3.0 pounds this week.  My total loss is 14.4 pounds.  I am at 27% of my 53 pound goal!
Things that went well:  I find I am not hungry.  100 calorie packs and almonds keep me going between meals without adding a ton of points.  I found a great local produce stand that has great fruits and veggies, I actually look forward to eating them!

Things I can do better next time:  I skipped last weeks weigh-in because I got too busy and didn’t take the time.  I have found that I need to make the time since WW is a lifestyle change.  My actions need to match my mental desire to do this!

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* Edited due to odd formatting, I apologize to my RSS readers

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Holy Lean Batman!

btmn.jpg

Have you ever considered how Batman is a great example of Lean?

  • Much like Jon Miller’s Way Of The Ninja, the Dark Knight is quick, agile, and has portable access to the Batcomputer.
  • He can find anything in his Utility Belt during dark Gotham nights because there is a place for everything and everything in it place. 
  • The Batsignal is a visual management tool for the police to alert him when there is trouble.
  • Instead of sitting at the Batcave desk, he goes to Gemba to see the crime happening in real-time.
  • He is really good at coordinating with team-members Nightwing, Robin, and Batgirl.

Just like Toyota, Batman still has some work to have all waste eliminated.  I think the Batcave can use a bit of 5S.  The giant penny and robot dinosaur in the trophy room are not used frequently and probably pose a safety hazard!

Above image used with permission from DC Comics

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