Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Curious Cat Management Review Carnival-Part 3

Good morning!  Writing this post while watching the IIHF World U20 Championships.  Great theater, especially with the lack of sanity in the NHL world but that's another story. It is also a great preview to the upcoming winter olympics in 2014. Today's review is of the Lean Pathways blog written by Pascal Dennis and Al Norval.  I consider Pascal Dennis the great Lean communicator.  I feel that his book, Lean Production Simplified, is THE book for anyone just delving into the world of Lean.

Let's start with a recent post. I discovered Mike Rother's Toyota Kata this year and I have to say it was one of those great books.  For me, when I talk back to the book while reading I know it is one that has an impact on me.  I don't consider this post the best review of the book but it is the most succinct. For 2013, if you can read only one improvement book, make it this one.

Another recent post, this time from Al Norval, talks about leaders going to the Gemba with a purpose AND exhibiting coaching and teaching behaviors, rather than directing behaviors.  There is a fallacy that to be a leader you have to be directive and delegative.  In fact, the more effective behaviors are the coaching and teaching ones.  I have seen more get down when a person who is having the problem determines the solution and is empowered to implement it. Leaders are best when they give direction and then step out of the way to allow subordinates the ability to execute. Further clarification comes from this August post.

I am going to end this review with a post that I think is the most important one for improvement practitioners.  Some of my fellow bloggers are zealots about a particular methodology, so much so that it sometimes detracts from the message. Al Norval's posting in July really answers this issue.  Why can't we all just get along?  Talking with my Dad last night about what I have done over the past 20 years in quality has been in some form or fashion, Lean, Six Sigma, Theory of Constraints, or George (the next new improvement methodology; just kidding).  When faced with a problem my job was to fix it.  I learned the concepts and then as I gained responsibility I had to learn to communicate these concepts. It was not until being paid to teach Lean and Six Sigma for the Navy did I get to put things together and say, oh, for  this situation I used lean, or that was like a Six Sigma project. Who cares!  We solved the problem, the customer was happy, we move on.  That to me should be the prevailing mentality:  understand all the tools, apply what fits best, regardless of whether we need some credit for a certification (stepping off the soapbox).

One more blog to review.  Talk to you soon.
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