Lean Thoughts


This week’s Issue | 25/01/2021

As westerns we have been programmed that if we are not being busy (or acting busy) we likely are not providing any value … when in reality sometimes doing nothing and having to do nothing is actually much more productive.  For example when part of the leadership team at a car assembly facility our job was to stand and just observe the Andon board in final assembly spanning from 5 minutes before line start to 15 minutes after line start … and if no Ando alarms were detected chances were that we would have a good day.  As an observer I was expected to be at the ready to assist should a challenge become evident … but I was just one of several observers .. I witnessed this again later in life at a restaurant in Saskatoon where they employed an observer box … it had to be always occupied but should an issue that could use their attention they moved to remedy and then another person stood in the box … no territories, segregated job functions or silo mentality just a focus on insuring the process worked by eliminating “Disturbances to Flow” .

Which takes us to this week’s topic about understanding the ramifications of your 30 inch view and how you need to migrate from being a doer to an observer … and did I mention learn to “Sit on your Hands”?

Read and Learn ….



This week’s Issue | 18/01/2021

Life is comprised of a series of processes and these processes consist of operations, tasks and sub-tasks … but do they add value?   As the world pivots due to Covid people are now sequestered in their home office and even though you may have migrated your processes with you I am sure that they have changed even if it is due to now acceptable “Disturbances To Flow” caused by children, spouses or pets … but a process still exists.   Your work at home situation may have been thought temporary … but now it appears to be semi-permanent … So we encourage you to pause, reflect and refine your processes and to help you review this week’s newsletter.



This week’s Issue | 11/01/2020

Often companies adopt new methods in order to either adjust or change culture while attempting to improve communication.  But are method changes enough?   Your organizational culture was programmed at the start of your business and then solidified as infrastructure operating software is implemented … so can you adjust culture through methods or do you need to dig deeper into your DNA while you Brand is evolved through Muscle Memory … read more in this week’s newsletter.



This week’s Issue | 21/12/2020

CONGRATULATIONS !!!  if you are reading this … well, you have survived and navigated around the obstacles of 2019 which I am sure that in some cases were major and others .. just a nuisance but you are here.  That is awesome and …

We hope that during the past year our weekly newsletter inspired some thought starters and perhaps some excellent discussions between you and others within your organization and hopefully made your organization a better place to be.  We truly are inspired by passion to publish and share our inspirations with you and hope that you can become a better practitioner.  And maybe we can personally connect and work together in 2020 to become the best you can be.

Most important … MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR while you read our “To Do’ list in the newsletter along with a reprinted article from a favorite former author of a local newspaper.

 



This week’s Issue | 14/12/2020

I believe there is a huge vulnerability with organizations are attempting to eliminate Tribal Knowledge by replacing it with “Standard Work” … now I truly believe in Standard Work or “latest Best Practice” to insure consistency of purpose and predictable outcomes … but that Tribal Knowledge usually retained by a “Spiritual Leader” can ultimately build and ultimately establish your Brand !!   That then becomes the vulnerability unless you know it, acknowledge it and finally harness it … in a positive sense.  That then becomes very powerful … if I lose them voluntarily (retirement) I can still reach out for coaching and asking them to return and influence but if I lose them involuntary (death … or remember people leave leaders not organizations) then I either lose it completely or I need to assume my competitor has just gained a significant advantage … so this week we look at Tribal Knowledge, Your Culture and how it all is molded together through your Spiritual Leaders …

But for fun and a bit of a primer enjoy this video and it may scare you if it resonates …

Venn diagram career choice analysis



This week’s Issue | 07/12/2020

The Covid-19 business model demographics are now truly starting to be defined and it is fascinating!  What started in March as was thought by many to be a short couple of week transition has now lingered into a multi-month impact that will most likely stretch into 2021 significantly … but still at the end, we cannot reflect in our rear-view mirror a return to normal.  But the demographics have truly stratified   …

We have the LEADERS that have managed to adapt to a new business model and are doing well …

The FOLLOWERS are complaint and holding on … some even may think that they are LEADERS but are being fooled by positive cash flow and will come crashing into a wall of reality when the landscape has been levelled.  They just have not yet realized they are living within a window of reprieve.

While the COMPLAINERS are still complaining like all of those restaurants that now have to close patios to accommodate snow removal … why are they so surprised that we get snow in the winter again this year?  And again need rent subsidy, wage subsidy and in general a life-raft to carry them through winter … when in reality they were handed a reprieve just long enough to give them time to adjust and pivot their business.

Innovation an d compliance can also have a sense of humour ….

Forgot your mask? | 22 Minutes – YouTube



This week’s Issue | 23/11/2020

I am prepping myself for an upcoming debate with an individual who will defend a critical Key Performance Indicator used throughout their organization that I am certain that most people within the organization really do not understand let alone can directly impact … but can diligently quote and will argue that they can impact …

So it goes back when you establish a Performance metric … what behaviors are you attempting to create?  How do you want your organization to react? And does it provide immediate feed-back or just a reflection in the rear-view mirror than will only cause grief to the person reporting and then become more stealth going forward on how to fake the number … so this week we explore on how to invert the Triangle ….

If you are unsure what kind of triangle operating model you are actually executing send me your KPI’s and I will provide you our simple feed-back …



This week’s Issue | 16/11/2020

Innovate or Evaporate !!! is becoming the new mantra of todays business especially in Retail.  Indeed those businesses that did not rely on “in-business” visits have continued to survive or in most cases survive (for example pizza delivery or drive-through at Mickey-D’s) while others are attempting to survive or at least carve a new niche within the business landscape … so while many have struggled between Leadership and Management a new trait within business is emerging  and are businesses scared or embracing this attribute of Entrepreneurship with their Team Members?

So give your little local retailer a break … the one that has not already built an E-commerce infrastructure forcing standardization globally with no personality, but rather the one that contributes to the ambiance of your community environment … please !!!



This week’s Issue | 09/11/2020

How easy we have it these days … if we stumble or need a greater understanding or to solve a problem … if Google or You-Tube cannot provide the answer most likely an answer does not exist.  Today we do not have to venture out to find Tribal Knowledge to solve our crisis …  But Tribal knowledge should not be dismissed since it does formulate within the fabric of our competitive edge … either ignore it,   try to eradicate it  or better yet, harness it and leverage it to your advantage !!!

I learned this in an interesting manner during our condo renovation.  The Resident Love Goddess decided that Glass features incorporated into the design would be stunning (which they are) and we engaged the services of a glass company that we have known for years.  Anyone can procure glass and most likely anyone can cut glass given the necessary technology (only inhibited by available cash, market need defining a good ROI) but the secret was in the final installation where we witnessed an abundance of Tribal knowledge in action.  The original template was an individual with whom I grown up with since we were both still in diapers but who stayed within the glass industry … as he templated he was in essence creating the installation process (the Sensei) that would be followed by the eventual installer (The Grasshopper), except in our case The Grasshopper also had many years of experience growing up inside the shop as a floor sweeper and eventually becoming a certified glassier … but in case certification meant nothing but Tribal Knowledge was everything.   It delivered an outstanding result and I hope the owner realizes how blessed he is due to his tribal knowledge and hopefully his progression plan will insure their dominance within the industry for years to come …

So let us explore the virtues of Tribal knowledge further this week …



This week’s Issue | 03/11/2020

We are still getting adjusted to life within the digital condo … who would have thought one would need an I.T. individual to make your abode livable and also thank goodness that most companies now have Tech Services available and staffed with real human beings or we would definitely be sunk.

As we have been wandering around getting adjusted this has required us to spend a lot of time with new and diverse suppliers.  I am now getting more convinced that those companies that utilize an employee to operate as an observer are the ones that are winning to capture market share and enhanced customer service.  Here in NA we are used to people that are being paid to be working … but sometime (many times) your investment will return more and higher returns by having an individual just observe … of course they will find an opportunity and will jump into a 30 inch view but if the organizational DNA triggers for another observer to fill the role the opportunity continues.

Back a bit … Doc Hall revealed a stealth but powerful differenator used within the Toyota Production System to trigger Continuous Improvement … which also acknowledges that you can see but that does not mean that you are actually observing … learning to identify process and then mentally map it is a science not an art … so Taiichi Ohno’s stand in the circle exercise becomes really powerful.   Hence just a friendly nudge once again from a past issue to force you to pause and observe ….


Lean Thoughts

That 30 inch view or diversion?

This week’s Issue | 25/01/2021 As westerns we have been programmed that if we are not being busy (or acting busy) we likely are not providing any value … when in reality sometimes doing nothing and having to do nothing

Clean & Lean Office

This week’s Issue | 18/01/2021 Life is comprised of a series of processes and these processes consist of operations, tasks and sub-tasks … but do they add value?   As the world pivots due to Covid people are now sequestered in

CULTURE? Muscle Memory or DNA

This week’s Issue | 11/01/2020 Often companies adopt new methods in order to either adjust or change culture while attempting to improve communication.  But are method changes enough?   Your organizational culture was programmed at the start of your business and

MERRY CHRISTMAS — 2020

This week’s Issue | 21/12/2020 CONGRATULATIONS !!!  if you are reading this … well, you have survived and navigated around the obstacles of 2019 which I am sure that in some cases were major and others .. just a nuisance

Tribal Knowledge, Culture and Spiritual Leaders KNOW THEM, USE THEM

This week’s Issue | 14/12/2020 I believe there is a huge vulnerability with organizations are attempting to eliminate Tribal Knowledge by replacing it with “Standard Work” … now I truly believe in Standard Work or “latest Best Practice” to insure

POSITIVE CASH FLOW is a fog that makes you avoid improvement.

This week’s Issue | 07/12/2020 The Covid-19 business model demographics are now truly starting to be defined and it is fascinating!  What started in March as was thought by many to be a short couple of week transition has now

Are you brave to invert the TRIANGLE?

This week’s Issue | 23/11/2020 I am prepping myself for an upcoming debate with an individual who will defend a critical Key Performance Indicator used throughout their organization that I am certain that most people within the organization really do

Innovate or Evaporate !!!

This week’s Issue | 16/11/2020 Innovate or Evaporate !!! is becoming the new mantra of todays business especially in Retail.  Indeed those businesses that did not rely on “in-business” visits have continued to survive or in most cases survive (for

TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE … is a good thing !!

This week’s Issue | 09/11/2020 How easy we have it these days … if we stumble or need a greater understanding or to solve a problem … if Google or You-Tube cannot provide the answer most likely an answer does

Stand in a CIRCLE !!!

This week’s Issue | 03/11/2020 We are still getting adjusted to life within the digital condo … who would have thought one would need an I.T. individual to make your abode livable and also thank goodness that most companies now

Lean Thoughts

That 30 inch view or diversion?

This week’s Issue | 25/01/2021 As westerns we have been programmed that if we are not being busy (or acting busy) we likely are not providing any value … when in reality sometimes doing nothing and having to do nothing

Clean & Lean Office

This week’s Issue | 18/01/2021 Life is comprised of a series of processes and these processes consist of operations, tasks and sub-tasks … but do they add value?   As the world pivots due to Covid people are now sequestered in

CULTURE? Muscle Memory or DNA

This week’s Issue | 11/01/2020 Often companies adopt new methods in order to either adjust or change culture while attempting to improve communication.  But are method changes enough?   Your organizational culture was programmed at the start of your business and

MERRY CHRISTMAS — 2020

This week’s Issue | 21/12/2020 CONGRATULATIONS !!!  if you are reading this … well, you have survived and navigated around the obstacles of 2019 which I am sure that in some cases were major and others .. just a nuisance

Tribal Knowledge, Culture and Spiritual Leaders KNOW THEM, USE THEM

This week’s Issue | 14/12/2020 I believe there is a huge vulnerability with organizations are attempting to eliminate Tribal Knowledge by replacing it with “Standard Work” … now I truly believe in Standard Work or “latest Best Practice” to insure

POSITIVE CASH FLOW is a fog that makes you avoid improvement.

This week’s Issue | 07/12/2020 The Covid-19 business model demographics are now truly starting to be defined and it is fascinating!  What started in March as was thought by many to be a short couple of week transition has now

Are you brave to invert the TRIANGLE?

This week’s Issue | 23/11/2020 I am prepping myself for an upcoming debate with an individual who will defend a critical Key Performance Indicator used throughout their organization that I am certain that most people within the organization really do

Innovate or Evaporate !!!

This week’s Issue | 16/11/2020 Innovate or Evaporate !!! is becoming the new mantra of todays business especially in Retail.  Indeed those businesses that did not rely on “in-business” visits have continued to survive or in most cases survive (for

TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE … is a good thing !!

This week’s Issue | 09/11/2020 How easy we have it these days … if we stumble or need a greater understanding or to solve a problem … if Google or You-Tube cannot provide the answer most likely an answer does

Stand in a CIRCLE !!!

This week’s Issue | 03/11/2020 We are still getting adjusted to life within the digital condo … who would have thought one would need an I.T. individual to make your abode livable and also thank goodness that most companies now