Lean Six Sigma

Please Join Us in Evolving The Next Seven Tools 0

Comment, Post, or leave a 3-Minute Video on Your Favorite Tool. Why do you like it?

(This is A Google Community: Next 7 Tools)

Community purpose: to explore, create, and perfect the next generation of continuous improvement tools that will lift the quality and effectiveness of organizations beyond 2020.

The first seven tools were published by JUSE over 40 years ago, and the new management tools are already 20 years old. Therefore, we think it is high time for us to take another look to see what new tools there are that can propel our organizations effectiveness and our careers. With your help we can do just that! Next7Tools

We want each person here to have the rare opportunity to share your ideas in a safe environment where respect for people is paramount, and where unique pragmatic ideas drawn from deep wells of tacit knowledge and experience are valued most. Our goal is to share best practices and things that really work with each other in this select community.

I have always encouraged manufacturing organizations that if they could learn the Seven Basic Quality they could go a long way in their improvement efforts. These tools were first emphasized by Kaoru Ishikawa, a professor of engineering at Tokyo University and the father of “quality circles.” The seven tools are:

  1. Cause-and-effect diagram (also called Ishikawa or fishbone chart): Identifies many possible causes for an effect or problem and sorts ideas into useful categories.
  2. Check sheet: A structured, prepared form for collecting and analyzing data; a generic tool that can be adapted for a wide variety of purposes.
  3. Control charts: Graphs used to study how a process changes over time.
  4. Histogram: The most commonly used graph for showing frequency distributions, or how often each different value in a set of data occurs.
  5. Pareto chart: Shows on a bar graph which factors are more significant.
  6. Scatter diagram: Graphs pairs of numerical data, one variable on each axis, to look for a relationship.
  7. Stratification: A technique that separates data gathered from a variety of sources so that patterns can be seen (some lists replace “stratification” with “flowchart” or “run chart”).

Excerpted from Seven Basic Quality Tools by ASQ Quality Press

In 1976, the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) saw the need for tools to promote innovation, communicate information and successfully plan major projects. A team researched and developed the seven new quality control tools, often called the seven management and planning (MP) tools, or simply the seven management tools. Not all the tools were new, but their collection and promotion were. The seven New (MP) tools, listed in an order that moves from abstract analysis to detailed planning, are:

  1. Affinity diagram: organizes a large number of ideas into their natural relationships.
  2. Relations diagram: shows cause-and-effect relationships and helps you analyze the natural links between different aspects of a complex situation.
  3. Tree diagram: breaks down broad categories into finer and finer levels of detail, helping you move your thinking step by step from generalities to specifics.
  4. Matrix diagram: shows the relationship between two, three or four groups of information and can give information about the relationship, such as its strength, the roles played by various individuals, or measurements.
  5. Matrix data analysis: a complex mathematical technique for analyzing matrices, often replaced in this list by the similar prioritization matrix. One of the most rigorous, careful and time-consuming of decision-making tools, a prioritization matrix is an L-shaped matrix that uses pairwise comparisons of a list of options to a set of criteria in order to choose the best option(s).
  6. Arrow diagram: shows the required order of tasks in a project or process, the best schedule for the entire project, and potential scheduling and resource problems and their solutions.
  7. Process decision program chart (PDPC): systematically identifies what might go wrong in a plan under development.

Excerpted from Nancy R. Tague’s Quality Toolbox ; Second Edition, ASQ Quality Press, 2004.

Today’s world has introduced more and more uncertainty. As a result it has forced us to get closer and closer to our customers. This reduces are reaction time and allows us to make better informed decisions. To do this, once again a new set of tools need to be utilized. This methodology has been introduced to us through the concepts of Design Thinking. I think this serves as a great starting point for the Next 7 Tools:

  1. Visualization: using imagery to envision possible future conditions
  2. Journey Mapping: assessing the existing experience through the customer’s eyes
  3. Value Chain Analysis: assessing the current value chain that supports the customer’s journey
  4. Mind Mapping: generating insights from exploration activities and using those to create design criteria
  5. Brainstorming: generating new alternatives to the existing business model
  6. Concept Development: assembling innovative elements into a coherent alternative solution that can be explored and evaluated
  7. Assumption Testing: isolating and testing the key assumptions that will drive success or failure of a concept
  8. Rapid Prototyping: expressing a new concept in a tangible form for exploration, testing, and refinement
  9. Customer Co-Creation: enrolling customers to participate in creating the solution that best meets their needs
  10. Learning Launch: creating an affordable experiment that lets customers experience the new solution over an extended period of time, so you can test key assumptions with market data

Excerpted from Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers (Columbia Business School Publishing).

We appreciate all those members who choose to contribute to rich and meaningful conversations, and especially those who refer great prospective contributors to us as we co-create the Next Seven Tools. Please join us in evolving the Next Seven Tools. Now let’s open a discussion. Please start by introducing yourself and why you like this topic.

Comment, Post, or leave a 3-Minute Video on Your Favorite Tool. Why do you like it?

(This is A Google Community: Next 7 Tools)

Want to go on a Menlo Tour? 0

If you are in a lean organization, an IT business, a company practicing agile, or just a flat-out innovative company, chances are you’ve heard of Rich Sheridan and his company, Menlo Innovations. Menlo is attracting companies from around the globe, including Toyota, to learn about the Menlo Way and their crazy-unique business model that creates a "Joyful" experience for employees, customers, and vendors.

I had the opportunity to interview Rich and get a sneak preview of his upcoming Workshop in Indianapolis on August 26, 2014. LEARN MORE….

Session Description: Get a glimpse into Menlo Innovations joyful and disciplined “agile” methodologies that are the foundation on which we have built our business culture. This action packed day includes hands-on activities touching every aspect of Menlo’s internal processes. LEARN MORE….

Excerpt from the Podcast:

Joe: Can you give me a visualization of what I would see on a tour? I’m picturing two geeks out there at a desk, programming and I’m walking around and seeing all these pods. What would I see?

Rich: The first thing you would notice, when you walk in our front door or what you don’t see, that is there are no cubes, offices, walls, and gifted c-suite. Everybody’s out in one of those vilified open office environments. The ones that fast companies tell us are an idea born in the mind of Satan in the deepest caverns of hell. They tell us it doesn’t work and it, particularly, doesn’t work for introverts even though Menlo is filled with introverts as you might imagine.

People ask me, “Why is it that this open office environment works for Menlo and doesn’t seem to work for anywhere else?” I say, “Well, it’s pretty simple. We didn’t create an open office environment. We created an open culture and then we fit our environment to our culture.” I think that’s a key part of this. The next thing you notice is the aural part of it. I mean, the A-U-R-A-L, aural part of it. It’s noisy. This is like a noisy restaurant. People are sitting shoulder to shoulder. The team is in charge of the space. They fit it however they want. They can slide these lightweight aluminum tables around. They have pull downs from the ceiling. So, they can put the tables wherever they choose and the team chooses and has chosen for our history.

We’ve been in business for thirteen years now and still push the tables side to side and front to front. They want to be close to one another. They literally sit shoulder to shoulder in their pairs. Two people, one computer, working on the same task all day long together, talking with one another. Those pairs are energized. They’re communicating. They’re sharing. They’re challenging each other. They’re pushing each other along.

You have this wide open, high-energy, high noise environment; very visual as you can imagine. We pretty much have stuff on the walls everywhere. We ran out of wall space. We’re in the basement of a parking structure. We have all these huge pillars, cylinders and we started wrapping those with corks so we could put pushpin artifacts on the pillars as well. It’s bright. It’s airy. It has a very high ceiling. There’s just a lot of human energy in the room.

Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do

Special Marketing with Lean Book and Program offers on Facebook

Crowdsourcing The Next 7 Tools 0

Leave a 3-Minute Video on Your Favorite Tool. Why do you like it?

(This is A Google Community: Next 7 Tools)

Community purpose: to explore, create, and perfect the next generation of continuous improvement tools that will lift the quality and effectiveness of organizations beyond 2020.

The first seven tools were published by JUSE over 40 years ago, and the new management tools are already 20 years old. Therefore, we think it is high time for us to take another look to see what new tools there are that can propel our organizations effectiveness and our careers. With your help we can do just that! Next7Tools

We want each person here to have the rare opportunity to share your ideas in a safe environment where respect for people is paramount, and where unique pragmatic ideas drawn from deep wells of tacit knowledge and experience are valued most. Our goal is to share best practices and things that really work with each other in this select community.

Therefore, to ensure our community health your moderators will promptly prune any weeds before they can drown out sunshine or steal nutrients from the root system. Since we can all make a mistake, we aim for a balance with fairness and many times will try to coach and salvage a member rather than block and finally prune at last resort. Your best behavior is most appreciated.

We appreciate all those members who choose to contribute to rich and meaningful conversations, and especially those who refer great prospective contributors to us as we co-create the Next Seven Tools. Please join us in evolving the Next Seven Tools. Now let’s open a discussion. Please start by introducing yourself and why you like this topic.

Leave a 3-Minute Video on Your Favorite Tool. Why do you like it?

(This is A Google Community: Next 7 Tools)

Layout for Hoshin Kanri Planning in Lean Sales and Marketing 0

If you have not listened to this podcast with Art Byrne, you should.

Podcast: Lean as your Business Model w Art Byrne Transcript: Lean as a Business Model

The Lean Turnaround: How Business Leaders Use Lean Principles to Create Value and Transform Their Company

Review layout for Hoshin Kanri Planning in implementing Lean in Sales and Marketing

PDF Download

I believe an organization should evolve into Hoshin Kanri versus implementing it. As a result, I purposely left this section with the least amount of content. most Hoshin Kanri books are filled with literature about the tools such as SWOT, SOAR and the previous Lean Tools mentioned. They will also fill the pages with understanding strategy, vision, benchmarking and other management tools. My thoughts are that you should take The Path of Least Resistance. Most often your existing process is not all that broken and if you want to introduce change, you need to tweak around with it rather than jump headfirst. The success of the practice of SDCA and PDCA throughout the organization will ultimately determine your success in Hoshin Kanri. Few things can be done on a Macro level that were unsuccessful at the micro level.

David Anderson is a thought leader in managing effective technology development. He leads a consulting, training and publishing business at David J, Anderson & Associates. David may be best known for his book, Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business.

David takes an evolutionary approach to change. An excerpt from a podcast with David:

The whole Kanban thing really came about from the challenge of people resisting change. I was looking for ways of pinpointing root causes of problems. I found that introducing a full system where we’re limiting the work in progress, was a way of addressing quite commonly occurring problems. Problems with committing on something too early, making commitments where there was a great deal of uncertainty.

So under conditions of uncertainty, people were committing too early, and a Kanban system was a way of deferring commitment until much later, Lean people might say, “the last responsible moment.” And also controlling a lot of the variability in the flow of work through the limiting of work in progress, the understanding of different types of work and different classes of service and setting capacity allocations for those, controlling interruptions and disruption.

Eliminating the uncertainty and delaying commitment until later, the net result is much more predictable delivery. Those problems were commonly occurring, so implementing a Kanban system was like a point solution for an incremental improvement. And then, from that, we discovered that Kanban systems catalyze further changes. They provoke conversations about other problems, and we get this evolutionary change emerging.

Kanban has been a lot about perhaps not managing change but trying to avoid biting off too much change. And, in general, I’ve felt that there’s been a problem with organizations, executives particularly, the corporate magpies, they get excited about shiny objects, like new process solutions that promise a nirvana of projects, correctly prioritized and delivered on time, within a very reasonable budget and perhaps ever shrinking budgets.

They go after these exciting sounding results, often trying to achieve too much too soon, and their organization just doesn’t have a capability to absorb and manage all the change that they desire. They really want the outcome, but getting there is beyond their capability.

Podcast: Change is Best when it Evolves EBook: Transitions should Evolve not be Managed



Tuning an Organization 0

When implementing Hoshin Kanri, I think Robert Fritz’s example of an Orchestra provides a unique perspective. From his book The Path of Least Resistance for Managers, he states:

An orchestra tuning is a self-organizing system; in other words, it is a complex created by incalculable numbers of occurrences that arc self-gene rated and self-arranged. There is no plan to the multitude of event! that occur, but they form predictable and consistent sound patterns.

What can we say about this organization? In many ways, a tuning orchestra fulfills many of the important criteria often described as essential to organizational success:

  • It has a common purpose (to tune each instrument to a common pitch).
  • Each individual takes personal responsibility for fulfilling that purpose.
  • Each member is a highly trained professional, fully capable of performing any task required.

However, this organization—the orchestra—is predictably limited in its ability to produce music within the self-organizing system that tuning produces. When we listen to an orchestra tuning up. we can recognize it for what it is. We do not confuse the tuning with the music about to be performed. If the evening consisted of hours of musicians tuning, we would are want our money back.

But after a short lime, the musicians become quiet. The conductor comes to the podium. The baton is raised, and with the first down-beat the musicians produce music that is far more interesting, structurally and emotionally complex, dramatic, and moving than any sounds that came I from the orchestra when they were tuning.

We have witnessed a transformation from unharnessed potential that reached a status quo to focused potential fulfilling its promise. What made the difference? Not talent, dedication, skill, professionalism, resources, energy, and attention to detail, for there was no change in these characteristics.

In business, we often hear the call for more of these very qualities. “Our organization needs more dedication, attention to detail, a higher skill level, more professionalism, more resources, more energy.” These certainly are useful and important qualities to have in an organization. But, as we can see from our orchestral example, by themselves, these factors are not enough. The composer and the conductor provide vision, leadership and a profound understanding of structure that enables the resources of the orchestra to be put to good use.

The musical score is the most dominant factor. An orchestra with a conductor but without a score would hardly be more productive than the tuning-up exercise. In fact, an orchestra can play a score without a conductor, although usually not as well. So the composer’s role is supreme. Rut the best score, unperformed, does not reach its height of fulfillment either. The composer, the conductor, and each musician performs a unique function within the music-making process. The separation of function allows each individual to serve the performance of the music. At its best, the orchestra is one of the finest examples of organizational control—the ability of a group of people to join together and accomplish their collective purpose through their shared efforts. Control is multiplied throughout the organization by combining clarity of a unifying principle (score) with competence of personnel (musicians) and leadership skills (conductor).

An organization can be as highly professional as the world’s best orchestras once it becomes well-structured, with a thematic unifying principle that is consistently reinforced throughout its various activities, To learn the lesson of the orchestra, we must move away from self-organizing systems that produce limited status-quo results and into a highly composed system that is capable of superior performance.

In the podcast featuring Ari Weinzweig, CEO and co-founding partner of Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Zingerman’s Community of Businesses (ZCoB) has annual sales of over $40 million. ZingTrain, a consulting and training company shares Zingerman’s approach to business with like-minded organizations from around the world, and offers a variety of management training seminars in Ann Arbor, as well as customized workshops and presentations at client sites.

Highly Recommend:Podcast: The Aroma of a Good Vision

eBook; The Lean Business Practices of a Deli

An excerpt from the podcast:

Joe: A big part of your organization has become Zing Training. What started that? Did you just wake up one day and say, “Gee, we need to bottle this up?”

Ari: ‘Well, we opened in ’82, and then in ’93, Paul and I spent about a year writing a new vision for the business. When we opened, we were very clear about our vision. And actually the first natural law of business, I think, is organizations that have a clear vision of greatness are going to have a better shot at succeeding. So when we opened in ’82, we were very clear in our minds and what we wrote down that we only wanted one deli. We didn’t want a chain or replicas. We knew that we wanted something that was unique to us and not a copy of something from New York, or Chicago, or LA.

We knew that we wanted really great food and service but in a very accessible setting, and that we wanted a really great place for people to work, and to be bonded into the community. By ’93, so 10, 11 years in, I mean, we kind of had done that. In that, we had filled in, expanded twice on the site that we’re on.

We’re in the historic district, so it’s not easy to do that. We kind of had, I guess in hindsight what would be the equivalent of an organizational “midlife struggle.”

I don’t think it was a crisis, because we weren’t crashing, but we weren’t really clear on where we were going. We had achieved what we had set out to do despite going against the odds. So we spent about a year coming up with our next vision, which we wrote out.

It was called Zingerman’s 2009, so it was for 15 years into the future. That vision outlined that we would have a community of businesses all here in the Ann Arbor area, because we like to be connected to what we’re doing.

Each building should be a Zingerman’s business, but each would have its own unique specialty. So that way, we could grow but keep the deli unique, and do other things. And we would only do a business when we had a managing partner or partners in it that would own part of that business and have a passion for whatever that business did, and be connected to it every day going for greatness.

And after we wrote that vision and rolled it out, then Maggie Bayless??who we had known at the restaurant?? she had been, I mentioned a waitress there. But she had gone back to school and gotten her MBA at Michigan, and wasn’t that thrilled with the corporate world, but loved training.

She read that vision. She came to us and said, “Well, what about doing a Zingerman’s training business?” That’s how it started, then we worked on it for a while and opened it up in 1994.”

I have written about Zingerman’s many times and in fact, Ari’s book, Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service, provided the service outline for a retail operation that I was part of for several years. Several mindmaps and more details are in this blog post, PDCA Cycle of Zingerman’s Deli.

Podcast: Transforming Healthcare thru Lean eBook: Transforming Healthcare with Lean eBook

Amazon: On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry

Patrick Lencioni is one of my favorite authors. One of his books, Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable…About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business (J-B Lencioni Series)advocates the structure of a daily check in. He says the keys to make it successful are don’t sit down, keep it administrative and don’t cancel when someone can’t be there. It is important to share the news. I highly recommend the book and the outline of the four different types of meetings he discusses: Daily, Weekly Tactical, Monthly Strategic, and Quarterly Review. Having frequent short meetings simply keeps everyone on track. Sharing daily activities and schedules allows you to not operate in a vacuum and the knowledge of a team is always more powerful than the knowledge of an individual.

Listen to a tip from Patrick about improving team communication:

Patrick’s book is great in audio: Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable

Using Multiple PDCA for a Grander PDCA 0

Hoshin Kanri is a Lean Organization’s method to set mid to long term management plans. We prioritize our resources and activities by involving members through a method called catchball. Though it seems an easy process to understand most organizations design their systems based on the structure of the organization. It is a reason that Six Sigma may be better suited for the typical hierarchy structured command and control organization. It is also, why the catchball approach is very difficult for most organizations.

Catchball was explained before, but a few details that I felt worth mentioning. Managers in a hierarchy structured organization believe that not having a detail process will hinder getting their plans enacted. They also are hesitant sending their well-thought out idea and creating a free for all atmosphere around it. It often may be the fear of losing control. What they will find is that as you play catchball, the further you go down in the organization, the more tactical the feedback is. People want leaders to lead. In the same vein, most people want to do a good job. How to implement your idea, vision is often contained within the tacit knowledge of your organization. Catchball makes that knowledge explicit. Prioritizing activities and resources are best left to the parts of the organization that is closest to the job to be done.

An organization is structured into functional areas and each area is given a mission to efficiently reach the organization’s purposes. In Hoshin, we prioritize these activities to achieve company vision and targets. The Hoshin at each department level clarifies strategies and targets to reach these targets (macro and micro PDCA). This way problem identification at the place of work is needed to study these problems, develop improvement measures needed to reach targets. The team leader or manager takes on responsibilities to clarify the measures needed to achieve the Hoshin targets based on the workplace mission. Workplace mission is demonstrated in the question “For whom and what type of value added products and services should be provided?”

Another way of viewing this process is that you are incorporating multiple PDCAs into a grander PDCA. This ensures that checks and follow-ups are made during implementation of Hoshin so that the whole organization is moving in one direction with team members driving the initiative versus management. The entire organization is one large PDCA cycle with a defined target. Each division and other layers create specific targets with the appropriate activities to achieve these.

As a result leading indicators rather than lag accountability measures can be created. Leading indicators are not easy to create. Many times they are only known by the people doing the work. Another way to think about this is that leading indicators are at the level of individual or the team’s process, the activity that they do.

Bonus Material: Adam Zak, co-author of Simple Excellence: Organizing and Aligning the Management Team in a Lean Transformation details the role of senior management in achieving a successful transformation to organizational excellence. Maintaining a focus on the big picture, the book explains what value streams are and how to use them to structure your business to align everyone with the things that matter most. It boils constraint management down to its practical terms and lays out a sound approach to accounting that enables everyone to spend money where it adds value and to stop spending money where it doesn’t.

Podcast: The Lean Thinker on Value Enhancement (Lean)

eBook: Lean thinking on Value Enhancement eBook

The The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals is one of my favorite books and workshops, I have attended. the best workshops I have ever attended and overall some of the best training I have ever received. It is staggering some of the numbers that they quote such as:

What is happening in your organization?

    1. How many people on your work team know the organization’s most important goals? 58%
    2. How many people on your team know how they’re doing on those goals? 35%
    3. How many people know exactly what they are supposed to do to help achieve the organization’s most important goals? 54%
    4. Does your team consistently plan together to achieve their most important goals? 47%

This is a video preview of Store 334, a video featured in FranklinCovey’s Leadership and Execution workshops. Grocery Store 334 had its share of troubles. When manager Jim Dixon got everyone clear on the store goal, he thought his work was done. But only when everyone was accountable for the goal and empowered to make decisions did things start to change.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution:

  1. Discipline 1: Focus on the Wildly Important – Human beings are wired to do only one thing at a time with excellence. The more we narrow our focus, the greater the chance of achieving our goals with excellence. Discuss what must be done or nothing else will matter. Using a tool called the Importance Screen, learn how so identity and narrow all of the possible goals down to 2 or 3 critical things that must be done with excellence. Learn how to create a ” line of sight” from your goals to the company goals.
  2. Discipline 2: Create a Compelling Scoreboard – People play differently when they’re keeping score. Work through a process of identifying specific measures for those goals that have been identified in Discipline 1. Understand the difference between “leading” and “lagging” indicators. Using a tool called the Measurement Builder, create a team “scoreboard” that informs and motivates everyone contributing to the achievement of the goal(s}.
  3. Discipline 3: Translate Lofty Goals into Specific Actions – To achieve goals you’ve never achieved before, you need to start doing things you’ve never done before. Using an entrepreneurial model, challenge the group to identify new behaviors that will result in new (better) outcomes. Learn the methods for finding the best behaviors by identifying where they might already exist in your or other’s organizations, or by brainstorming and then creating the best behaviors that don’t currently exist anywhere. These new behaviors are then translated in to very specific activities on a weekly basis which, when completed, will help to achieve the larger team goals.
  4. Discipline 4: Hold Each Other Accountable – All of the Time – Knowing others are counting on you raises your level of commitment. Understand where you and your team are on the “scale of commitment” regarding the goal, and what you can do to increase the level of commitment to the goal. Address the actual practice to be used (WIG Session) in keeping the team engaged and focused on the top goals. Focus on four critical elements of this process; 1. Meeting is about the WIG’s, 2. “Triage” Reporting. 3. Finding 3rd Alternatives, 4. Clearing the Path for each other.

My Preferred Method for Engaging Change 0

What makes Hoshin so unique over other planning methods is the effort that is put into the cascading effect of the Hoshin plan. This effect is called “Catchball”. Catchball drives the strategic planning process into every level of the organization and every employee and provides them the opportunity to define how they will contribute to that success.

Catchball(PDCA) works like this:

  • (Plan) Leaders set the strategies and targets. The team members, made up of the people closest to the work to be improved, put a plan together to make it happen. Ideas are tossed back in forth and open debate is encouraged and expected. Agreement is reached and a plan comes together with a defined course of action and responsibilities.
  • (Do) Continuing dialogue takes place. “Are we on track? Do we have the time and other resources required? What are we learning that needs to be incorporated into the plan?” Changes are made as a result of this dialogue.
  • (Check) The leader or the preceding layer monitors and is responsible for the outcome. The leader resolves confusion and helps at key points acting very much like both a coach and a manager during the process.
  • (Act) Continuous review and discussion will keep the team on target. The goals are accomplished as a result of interaction not because of a prescribed method.

HeirarchyThis is the secret of Hoshin Kanri and I believe the preferred method for engaging change. Most processes are built around the existing organizational structure depicted in the top of the picture. Targets and measures are set and many times a mandate on how we will achieve them. Hoshin Kanri through the use of catchball develops a more collaborative structure (depicted on bottom left) and as a result an easier method for change and even more importantly sustainability.

This is not about relinquishing control. It is about gaining more control over implementation. Collaboration does not insure the best answer gets enacted. It typically insures that something does get enacted. It takes away that paralysis from planning. No longer are we trying to gather buy-in to get something accomplished, but rather change is being driven from the bottom up with a sense of joint accountability. The best answer becomes the best implementable action. Eventually through continuous improvement a better answer will surface than was originally conceived.

Recently, I have been challenging the traditional hierarchy of organizations. I have found it limiting when trying to develop new collaborative structures internally and externally. Dan Pink provides a nice example on an empirical basis.

(Video is an excerpt from Daniel Pink’s TED-Global talk of July 2009.) The members of many companies today practice routines related to traditional, formulaic management concepts like “ROI decision making” and “management by results,” but such routines — and the mindsets and organization culture they produce — may not be well suited for today’s crowded, less-predictable marketplaces.

Paul Yandell is a manufacturing and supply chain specialist with strong skills in identifying and eliminating waste and improving operational performance. His particular strengths are building infrastructure to support turnaround and growth situations, building and leading teams in total quality environments and he is bilingual (Spanish).

Podcast: Transforming Lean thru Middle Managers   eBook: Leading Lean from the Middle

Policy Deployment aka Hoshin Kanri

Patrick Lencioni pinpoints the issue of group behavior in the final book of his popular corporate fables trilogy. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable tells a story and teaches lessons about using leadership to inspire real teamwork.

Patrick has a complete Five Dysfunctions of a Team Workshop Deluxe Facilitator’s Guide Package that is outstanding and can be a great start for not only sales and marketing but your entire organization.