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Lean’s Midlife Crisis | Bob Emiliani

Lean’s Midlife Crisis | Bob Emiliani | Lean Self | Scoop.it

"It seems to be common knowledge that the Lean movement is now suffering from a midlife crisis. Lean movement leaders are perplexed at the widespread continuing emphasis on Lean tools, narrow focus on cost cutting, and the slow uptake of the “Respect for People” principle over the last 15 years. This is the outcome, despite determined efforts to inform people otherwise. I’m not surprised."


Via Michel Baudin
Jens R. Woinowski (leanself.org)'s insight:

While I agree with Bob's overall diagnosis of a midlife crisis for Lean, I object to a few details, the main one being his assertion that Lean descends directly from "Scientific Management," the brand under which Frederick Taylor sold his consulting services. 

 

As many do, Bob mentions Taylor and Gilbreth together, as if they were from the same school of thought, when in fact their approaches to people at work were polar opposites. While Taylor's explicit goal was to prevent workers from colluding to curtail output, Gilbreth's was to improve operations and make the work easier, based on films rather than just stopwatch time studies. It wasn't about policing bricklayers, but about presenting bricks at the right height so that they wouldn't have to stoop to pick up each one. 

 

The TPS/Lean approach to the design of individual workstations strikes me as in line with Gilbreth, not Taylor. And the all important flow dimension of TPS comes from neither. For external sources of inspiration, you need to look at Ford's mass production in the US and Junker's Taktsystem in the German aircraft industry. 

 

For a set ideas once arrayed as an all-encompassing approach or theory to be subsumed into common industry practice is not necessarily failure. Today, nobody explicitly references interchangeable parts technology -- known 150 years ago as "the American system of manufacture" -- not because it has failed but because it has become the standard way to design products and processes.

 

Also, while Taylor's approach to workers has been largely abandoned, his "functional foremanship" concept has provided the basis for the list of support departments found today in almost every manufacturing organization, if not for the way they are managed. 

 

If that were the future fate of Lean, it would be a success. If, however, the Lean label overwhelmingly continues to cover the diluted and distorted version of TPS that Bob calls "fake Lean," it is unlikely to happen. 

 

And 1988 is only the start of the Lean label. TPS-inspired improvement efforts had been underway for years already under names like JIT or World-Class Manufacturing. My own first exposure to the concepts dates back to 1980, and my first consulting gig in the field, to 1987. 

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Michel Baudin's curator insight, January 15, 12:43 PM

While I agree with Bob's overall diagnosis of a midlife crisis for Lean, I object to a few details, the main one being his assertion that Lean descends directly from "Scientific Management," the brand under which Frederick Taylor sold his consulting services. 

 

As many do, Bob mentions Taylor and Gilbreth together, as if they were from the same school of thought, when in fact their approaches to people at work were polar opposites. While Taylor's explicit goal was to prevent workers from colluding to curtail output, Gilbreth's was to improve operations and make the work easier, based on films rather than just stopwatch time studies. It wasn't about policing bricklayers, but about presenting bricks at the right height so that they wouldn't have to stoop to pick up each one. 

 

The TPS/Lean approach to the design of individual workstations strikes me as in line with Gilbreth, not Taylor. And the all important flow dimension of TPS comes from neither. For external sources of inspiration, you need to look at Ford's mass production in the US and Junker's Taktsystem in the German aircraft industry. 

 

For a set ideas once arrayed as an all-encompassing approach or theory to be subsumed into common industry practice is not necessarily failure. Today, nobody explicitly references interchangeable parts technology -- known 150 years ago as "the American system of manufacture" -- not because it has failed but because it has become the standard way to design products and processes.

 

Also, while Taylor's approach to workers has been largely abandoned, his "functional foremanship" concept has provided the basis for the list of support departments found today in almost every manufacturing organization, if not for the way they are managed. 

 

If that were the future fate of Lean, it would be a success. If, however, the Lean label overwhelmingly continues to cover the diluted and distorted version of TPS that Bob calls "fake Lean," it is unlikely to happen. 

 

And 1988 is only the start of the Lean label. TPS-inspired improvement efforts had been underway for years already under names like JIT or World-Class Manufacturing. My own first exposure to the concepts dates back to 1980, and my first consulting gig in the field, to 1987. 

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Want Your Employees to Work More? Let Them Set Their Own Schedules

Want Your Employees to Work More? Let Them Set Their Own Schedules | Lean Self | Scoop.it

New research shows that more freedom leads to longer hours.


Via SocialMediaRestaurants.com
Jens R. Woinowski (leanself.org)'s insight:

So that means on the other hand: if you are an employee (or self-employed) you need to take care of not to work overtime.

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How To Work Out Less And Still Look Younger!

How To Work Out Less And Still Look Younger!

 

Jens R. Woinowski (leanself.org)'s insight:

Wrong sport = motion waste...

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Habit Stacking in a Nutshell

Habit Stacking in a Nutshell | Lean Self | Scoop.it
I recently stumbled upon the book Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less by S.J. Scott. The concept is very simple but powerful.
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5 Burnout Symptoms That Sneak Up on You Over Time

5 Burnout Symptoms That Sneak Up on You Over Time | Lean Self | Scoop.it
Are you suffering from the early symptoms of job burnout without realizing it? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
New psychological research sheds light on the 12 stages of burnout—and I’ll recommend 5 of the sneakiest symptoms to watch out for.
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'Gods' Make Comeback at Toyota as Humans Steal Jobs From Robots

'Gods' Make Comeback at Toyota as Humans Steal Jobs From Robots | Lean Self | Scoop.it
Inside Toyota Motor Corp.’s oldest plant, there’s a corner where humans have taken over from robots in thwacking glowing lumps of metal into crankshafts. This is Mitsuru Kawai’s vision of the future.
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The Luck Factor: Wealth, Pareto, Bell – a Love Triangle?

The Luck Factor: Wealth, Pareto, Bell – a Love Triangle? | Lean Self | Scoop.it
Check the video to get insights about Wealth, Pareto, Bell, and the Luck Factor.
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The Think Zone: The Metric Is Not the Goal

The Think Zone: The Metric Is Not the Goal | Lean Self | Scoop.it
Jens R. Woinowski (leanself.org)'s insight:

"The goal shouldn't be to get a higher score. The goal should be to improve."

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5 Myths of Happiness Debunked. I May Have Fallen for #3.

5 Myths of Happiness Debunked. I May Have Fallen for #3. | Lean Self | Scoop.it
In The Myths of Happiness, psychology professor Sonja Lyubomirsky looks to the research to answer seminal questions about relationships, work, and money.
Namely, what makes us happy? And what doesn’t?
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Hope and Direction

Hope and Direction | Lean Self | Scoop.it
This is a guest post by Michael Carey (@MLCarey321). It originally appeared on his own blog (click here for the source). Thank you to Michael that he allows to republish here. Make change come true: connect hope and direction.
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How I Got Rid of My T-Shirt Collection

How I Got Rid of My T-Shirt Collection | Lean Self | Scoop.it
Do you take home t-shirts from your vacation or from special events? Then maybe you have an awesome collection of shirts. My advice: get rid of it, it is inventory waste.
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As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify

As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify | Lean Self | Scoop.it
Why do people feel so miserable and disengaged at work? Because today's businesses are increasingly and dizzyingly complex -- and traditional pillars of management are obsolete, says Yves Morieux. So, he says, it falls to individual employees to navigate the rabbit's warren of interdependencies. In this energetic talk, Morieux offers six rules for "smart simplicity." (Rule One: Understand what your colleagues actually do.)

Via Ex FromTheLeft
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The rise of dumb pay practices at America's largest corporations - Fortune Management

The rise of dumb pay practices at America's largest corporations - Fortune Management | Lean Self | Scoop.it
There’s a school of thought that “the market” sets the salaries for CEOs and low-wage earners alike. But that’s not the case.
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How is lean different from Taylorism? | Michael Ballé | LEI

How is lean different from Taylorism? | Michael Ballé | LEI | Lean Self | Scoop.it

"They are completely different indeed. They differ in their purpose, their practice and their outcomes. Lean is about self-reflection and seeking smarter, less wasteful dynamic solutions together. Taylorism is about static optimization of work imposed by 'those who know' on 'those who do.'"


Via Michel Baudin
Jens R. Woinowski (leanself.org)'s insight:
Yes, "Scientific Management" was just a marketing label for theories that weren't truly scientific but were instead based on a simplistic view of human nature. And Taylor's stopwatch time studies were just aimed at increasing production at every operation with no consideration of flow. 

I would, however, ask for a more accurate and complete story, starting with the timeline. It is easy to check. For example, Taylor couldn't have had many brilliant insights in "mid-nineteenth century" because he wasn't born until 1856. Also, the Toyota Production System originated before 1960. 

The time matters because everything changed in America between 1850 and 1900, as it did in Japan between 1930 and 1960. By 1900, the American manufacturing industry had sprouted companies with tens of thousands of employees, employing many non-English speakers straight from farms in Eastern and Southern Europe, with primary school educations at best. It is quite possible that the communication challenges with the work force played a role in shaping Taylor's perceptions.  

Toyota's post-war workforce was comprised of native Japanese speakers, like their managers, and, like their American counterparts, better educated than 50 years earlier. As a result, some management approaches could work with them that Taylor wouldn't have thought possible in 1900. 

The article also implicitly attributes Ford's mass production system to Taylor. The Ford people would disagree with this, but it is a common and deliberate confusion made by French unions. In their literature, words like "taylorism" and "toyotism" also  serve to create further confusion and paint both as ideological smokescreens used by evil employers. 

The article also omits some of Taylor's actual contributions. This includes technical work like the invention of high-speed steel and the theory of functional foremanship which, while never used as he prescribed, defined the list of support departments found today in just about any manufacturing facility. See Fairness to Frederick Taylor (http://wp.me/p3Jqq9-48up) and Lean's Midlife Crisis (http://wp.me/p3Jqq9-51NS).




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Michel Baudin's curator insight, March 9, 8:37 PM
Yes, "Scientific Management" was just a marketing label for theories that weren't truly scientific but were instead based on a simplistic view of human nature. And Taylor's stopwatch time studies were just aimed at increasing production at every operation with no consideration of flow. 

I would, however, ask for a more accurate and complete story, starting with the timeline. It is easy to check. For example, Taylor couldn't have had many brilliant insights in "mid-nineteenth century" because he wasn't born until 1856. Also, the Toyota Production System originated before 1960. 

The time matters because everything changed in America between 1850 and 1900, as it did in Japan between 1930 and 1960. By 1900, the American manufacturing industry had sprouted companies with tens of thousands of employees, employing many non-English speakers straight from farms in Eastern and Southern Europe, with primary school educations at best. It is quite possible that the communication challenges with the work force played a role in shaping Taylor's perceptions.  

Toyota's post-war workforce was comprised of native Japanese speakers, like their managers, and, like their American counterparts, better educated than 50 years earlier. As a result, some management approaches could work with them that Taylor wouldn't have thought possible in 1900. 

The article also implicitly attributes Ford's mass production system to Taylor. The Ford people would disagree with this, but it is a common and deliberate confusion made by French unions. In their literature, words like "taylorism" and "toyotism" also  serve to create further confusion and paint both as ideological smokescreens used by evil employers. 

The article also omits some of Taylor's actual contributions. This includes technical work like the invention of high-speed steel and the theory of functional foremanship which, while never used as he prescribed, defined the list of support departments found today in just about any manufacturing facility. See Fairness to Frederick Taylor (http://wp.me/p3Jqq9-48up) and Lean's Midlife Crisis (http://wp.me/p3Jqq9-51NS).




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25 FREE Continuous Improvement Tools and Templates

25 FREE Continuous Improvement Tools and Templates | Lean Self | Scoop.it
During my time working with some of the most successful companies on the planet I’ve amassed a collection of Kaizen templates that I’d love to share with you.There are other people online selling similar things for $10 each so that’s around $250 worth of continuous improvement templates you can have absolutely free.They are hosted for download in my members only process improvement community Compass Business Club.If you are a member just log in and find them in the ‘Templates’ section.If you aren't a member just yet you can get a free trial account HERE Not

Via Steven Bonacorsi
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What Skydivers and Jeff Bezos Can Teach Us About Leading Fulfilling Lives

What Skydivers and Jeff Bezos Can Teach Us About Leading Fulfilling Lives | Lean Self | Scoop.it
With a little tweak to your thinking, you can create a life that channels risk-taking into productive, fulfilling pursuits—without risking everything in the process.
Frans Johansson tells this story in his illuminating book, The Click Moment.
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20’000 users: Free Android App CardBoard Index Cards

20’000 users: Free Android App CardBoard Index Cards | Lean Self | Scoop.it
I’m happy to announce that CardBoard Index Cards has been dowloaded by 20’000 users! What else? It has a solid 4 star rating on Google Play now from 169 user ratings.
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Reviving How To Make Things | The Lean Thinker

Reviving How To Make Things | The Lean Thinker | Lean Self | Scoop.it
Almost three years ago I wrote “Don’t Lose How To Make Things.” In that post, I wanted to emphasize the risks of losing your expertise in the techn
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What is the Opposite of Your House Rules? (Exercise)

What is the Opposite of Your House Rules? (Exercise) | Lean Self | Scoop.it
Have you done the last exercise and created value driven familiy/team/house rules? Today I offer you the opportunity to discover what the opposite would be. But:I do not mean what you would want to avoid.
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Take Part in the “Worst Waste” Reader Survey

Take Part in the “Worst Waste” Reader Survey | Lean Self | Scoop.it
I’m sure you have read a lot about waste and the waste types in Lean. I would like to know a little about your view on waste.
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What “Virtuous Cycles” and “Zero Days” Have to Do With Building Better Habits

What “Virtuous Cycles” and “Zero Days” Have to Do With Building Better Habits | Lean Self | Scoop.it
Virtuous cycles are the opposite of vicious cycles—and they’re the foundation of building good habits.
Find out how you can harness the power of positive loops.
Have you ever been caught in a negative feedback loop?
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How to Defeat Burnout Syndrome Before It Kills Your Passions

How to Defeat Burnout Syndrome Before It Kills Your Passions | Lean Self | Scoop.it
Nearly everyone who puts him or herself on the road to burnout syndrome does it because it’s what we’ve been taught to do with our lives.
When the psychological cost of adapting to change is too high, we cling to the Herd.
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The abc of ‘Kaizen’ and ‘Hoshin Kanri’ | kenyaNews247.com|Updated continuously every minute of everyday

His job as a consultant, he explains, is to help minimise activities or events that don’t add value to work....

Via Steven Bonacorsi
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7 Tools for Lean Content Marketing

 There are many components of developing a successful and impacting lean content strategy, including testing different types of content, repurposing content for various platforms, building a community contribution program, and curating existing content. 

Working with a lean content methodology for almost an entire year has allowed me to discover many useful tools to ensure that your content comes with both the lowest cost and highest impact possible, and I’d like to share some of them with you.


Via Ally Greer
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Ally Greer's curator insight, May 13, 2014 4:55 PM

What tools do you use to keep your marketing lean?

Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, May 13, 2014 8:33 PM

There are a lot of useful tools to help your content marketing efforts. Here's a selection that is specifically aligned with the principles of lean content.

Emmanuel 'Manny' Gigante's curator insight, May 20, 2014 11:23 PM

woohoo more tools