Put Me in Coach

Put Me in Coach

Leading vs. Coaching  I have recently been working with a number of organizations on a training format that originates from the days of providing first line supervisory training. If someone would have told me years ago that at this stage in my work I would be focused...

The People Value Stream Model: Measuring and Implementing

The People Value Stream Model: Measuring and Implementing

In my last blog, I discussed the People Value Stream Model and how it can optimize both employee engagement and financial results. Now that you know what the People Value Stream model is, it’s important to understand how this people-centric model is measured and the...

People Value Streams: What They Are and Why They Matter

People Value Streams: What They Are and Why They Matter

My work in Lean HR over the last few years has focused on the concept of “People Value Streams.”  The value stream model looks at an organization on two parallel paths: what the organization does, and the people within the organization.  What is the “People Value...

Top Down or Bottom Up?

Top Down or Bottom Up?

Over the years, most organizations I’ve encountered have a top-down approach to their employee engagement survey process, which tends to do more damage than good. The belief that employees’ workplace experience is the responsibility of leadership may be rooted in the...

Show People They Are Valued

Show People They Are Valued

Ann comes into my office and is really upset about how her review went with her manager. She can’t believe that, for all her hard work last year, she was rated “acceptable.” She exclaims, “I didn’t work that hard to be considered average. It really hurts that my...

The Value of Engagement

The Value of Engagement

In the field of engagement, many people are not clear about the abundance of research that shows us this: A highly engaged workforce is more valuable than one that is not. In this short video, I break down… • The value of an engaged workforce • A study that gives...

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...