What is the Value of Lean?

What is the Value of Lean?

Lean drives revenue. One of my early experiences with this was at Sweetheart Cup. We were supplying straws to a major fast food chain and there was a quality problem. When that problem showed up, the chain had a team of their people work with a team from operations to...

The Transformation of Sweetheart Cup

The Transformation of Sweetheart Cup

A company I used to work for, Sweetheart Cup, was going bankrupt. There were huge amounts of waste in every shape, size, and kind. They didn’t know it at the time, but they were struggling with an incredibly common barrier to a successful lean transformation. In this...

Lean Culture Remains Elusive

Lean Culture Remains Elusive

For most organizations I work with, lean culture remains elusive. When I ask, “What is the specific lean culture that you’re looking to build into your organization?” they can’t say. It’s not quite clear to them what they actually want, even while the desire is there....

Revisiting Change Management in COVID-19

Revisiting Change Management in COVID-19

In the last several months, we have all experienced enormous changes in how we’re living and working. We often consider managing change as something we apply to a new initiative, a major reorganization, or a change in ownership. However, change management practices...

How to Overcome COVID-19 Business Challenges

How to Overcome COVID-19 Business Challenges

Lean is most commonly utilized to improve operations or services in a relatively stable environment…but we can also apply these practices to the challenges and ongoing aftermath of the pandemic. What has made this application of lean especially difficult is that...

Rock My World with Meditation

Rock My World with Meditation

Have you considered developing a regular meditation practice? (As it turns out, there are a ton of work-related benefits to doing so.) After years of periodically experimenting with meditation, I’ve finally adapted a regular, sustainable practice. In the past, it had...

Finding My Mission

Finding My Mission

Much of my career has been devoted to the role of HR in creating successful lean transformations. As I sat down to write the second edition of my book, I pondered what I had learned about this in the last 5-10 years. My first approach was to wallpaper the hallways of...

Systemic Racism in People-Centric Workplaces

Systemic Racism in People-Centric Workplaces

In the last few weeks, most of us have given some thought to the recently increased attention to systemic racism. In all honesty, I have found myself aware that this has seemed a problem for others to solve. The expansion of the protests and the amount of media...

Making a Stronger Connection with Your Team

Making a Stronger Connection with Your Team

While many things have been heartbreaking or difficult in these times, there have been others that have helped alleviate some of our angst. I find myself moved to tears over things I’m not sure would have really registered in easier times. I suppose the pain we’re...

If COVID-19 goes on longer than we thought, then what?

If COVID-19 goes on longer than we thought, then what?

Most every conversation I’m in, there is this growing awareness that there’s no telling how long significant changes may go on, much less their impact on the overall business landscape. This is leading to a range of concerns and corresponding responses related to work...

Navigating this New World of Virtual Communication

Navigating this New World of Virtual Communication

If any of you are in the same spot I am, all of a sudden you’re being faced with how to work with people virtually instead of in person. Specifically, I have a number of scheduled in-person trainings that are now being done virtually. Interestingly, when this all...

The New Ball Game of Working Virtually

The New Ball Game of Working Virtually

How many Zoom meetings have you attended in the past two weeks? If I had to guess, probably more than you ever have before. As we learn to work virtually, many people find it provides a new set of challenges. The most common problems are: 1) participants who...

Applying Lean to the Challenges of COVID-19

Applying Lean to the Challenges of COVID-19

Recently, I was working with a team on addressing the myriad challenges they were facing related to COVID-19. The same organization has over 15 years of experience with applying lean practices to various manufacturing situations. Many of this organization’s team...

Change Management in COVID-19

Change Management in COVID-19

In the last several weeks, we have all experienced enormous changes in how we’re living and working. We often consider change management as something we apply to a new initiative, an ERP implementation, or a change in ownership. However, change management practices...