Effective Communication at Work – Part 2: Real Time Communication Tools

In our modern connected world, we have a cornucopia of available communication tools. In fact, there are so many choices it’s not always easy to choose the best option for our circumstances. Learning to choose the most appropriate means of communication consistently, will save time and lessen the stress for all parties involved. Real Time […]

Identifying the Biggest Waste to Increase Productivity

What comes to mind when we talk about waste? Some may think of things like wasted resources, such as water or energy. They may think of wasted materials, like lumber or steel or even scrap parts, which come off a production line. While these are all good examples of waste, they are not the major […]

Developing People – Part 1: The Plan is Worthless

Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”[1] What exactly did Eisenhower mean by this quote? Was it because he could care less about the plan? Maybe he cared about the plan but also felt the need to convey an important aspect or characteristic about plans in general.  Perhaps he cared […]

Lean Empowerment – Part 2: Setup Time Reduction

Recognizing Lean Opportunities With the introduction of each new part into production, someone must establish new setup procedures, tools and fixtures. In many cases, when a new process or part is first set up, the most efficient and effective steps are not immediately apparent. After running the new part for a period, opportunities for improvement, […]

Book Review – Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World

I first read the book “Out of Control” in 1996. In this practical and elegant compendium of contemporary philosophy, author Kevin Kelly explores the questions at the very core of our existence. Today, 17 years later, Kelly’s concepts are still stuck in my mind like I just read the book yesterday. Kelly begins by showing […]

The Remarkable Properties of Information

Serving as the foundation for all thought and communication, information is everywhere. Information creates a flowing connection between everything and everyone. Information is in constant motion with every thought we have, every word we speak, read, write and exchange. We can say information is a description, expression or explanation for literally anything and everything in […]

Is Risk Tolerance Decreasing for US Businesses and Workers?

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal [1] may lead one to believe both American small businesses and American workers are becoming more risk-averse. My question: “Is risk tolerance decreasing for US businesses and workers or are individuals and businesses simply faced with more potential hazards, possessing more severe consequences, than ever before?” Perhaps […]

Effective Communication at Work – Part 1: Choosing the Right Tool

Why do we communicate? There are many reasons. We may be seeking an answer to a question. We may want to give advice, share information or change someone’s mind about something. We may want to understand someone or we may want others to understand us. No matter what the reasons are and with so many […]

Lean Empowerment – Part 1: Sharpening the Saw

Empowering an organization with Lean methods is like sharpening the saw throughout the entire company. Once a company embraces Lean methods and is equipped with the tools in the Lean Toolbox, a new culture is born. Everyone within the organization begins to view their surroundings from a new perspective, embracing and encouraging continuous learning and continuous […]

A3 Sheets – Part 4: Framing Business Decisions

To recap, business storytelling has a purpose, typically to solve a problem or gain project approval. When storytellers and listeners have different expectations, misunderstanding and frustration are the outcome and nothing is accomplished. Both storytellers and listeners need help to resolve their communication issues. To improve communications at all levels, Toyota developed the A3 sheet […]