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PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act), DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control), 8D, … These are all problem solving methodologies and I’m sure there are many ‘experts’ out there that will argue the finer points of each and how one is better than the other. However, I believe they are all virtually the same. They are Read More …

Waste Goggles??

How many of our competitor’s workers does it take to change a light bulb?  Answer:  Four, one to hold the light bulb and three to turn the ladder.  You have most likely heard this joke in some form, and it is only funny until we look around our work environment and see our own jobs Read More …

DON’T MISS THE OBVIOUS

Last month I spent two mornings instructing 53 high school juniors in financial education.  It was gratifying to volunteer my time to provide an important topic to impressionable high schoolers.  It was also an interesting experience for me. Even though I have four kids, this was my first time in a high school classroom since Read More …

‘ExStream’ Thinking

Value stream thinking, as I mentioned here, provokes thought.  “The value stream includes all of the activities, materials, people and information that must flow and come together to provide your customer the value they want, when they want it and how they want it.”[1]  If we agree with this definition, we understand that a value Read More …

Provoking Thought

Why are quotes used so often when trying to explain something? Quotes are succinct. Quotes, from people who understand the topic, take a complex idea and boil it down to the core. They provide simplicity and are thought provoking. Here are a few of my favorites that are relevant to continuous improvement. Next time (in Read More …

The Power of a People-Centric Culture

You may spend 95% of your time going straight when driving in your vehicle, but it’s the turns you take that determine where you will end up.  And so it is in business.  Straight and smooth is the key, however it’s the few calculated turns that your company takes that will make most of the Read More …

Distraction . . . the Antidote

What is the most important skill for the 21st century?  Not possessing this skill is costing your company over $10,000 per employee every year. If you have 100 employees, this is costing your company $1M dollars a year; not at the top, but on your bottom line.  Lacking this skill is like a thief robbing your Read More …

The Great Un-Leveler

If you were given the choice to save time or money, which would you choose? Most people focus on money. However, how you spend your time is much more important than how you spend your money. Money mistakes can be corrected. But lost time is the most egregious waste; a minute lost can never be Read More …

Are You Too Busy?

Take Five CI just completed a condensed version of our Continuous Improvement (CI) leadership training with 20 area business leaders.  During this time I was reminded of some key benefits to CI, which when you are deeply ingrained in CI, you sometimes forget how important they are.  As this group of leaders prepared to present Read More …