• Culture – Stepping up toward engagement

    I have had some interesting and fun discussions with people about culture – stepping up toward engagement in different workshops I’ve facilitated. One thing that has struck me is how many people will think about a small part of an organization, like one of the sections within a division, recall several people in that section […]

  • Sunflower Leadership

    I grew up growing gardens.  On one end of the garden or another, we always planted a row of sunflowers.  We usually planted them to protect the rest of the garden:  maybe to attract birds away from food crops; maybe to provide shade to some of the more sun-sensitive plants. If you’ve never seen a […]

  • Thinking

    Thinking Have you ever tried to change someone’s mind about something when they were really certain about what they were doing or what they believed?  You know it’s impossible.  But frequently we talk about culture change in an agency or organization.  Culture is the collective way of thinking and doing things in a group.  In […]

  • Managing and Leading

    Managing and Leading In my Leadersights workshop, we talk a little about the differences between leadership and management.  There are lots of different takes on this age-old debate.  Many of us have “Manager” in our job title, and generally that means we have people who report to us and for whom we assign work, assess […]

  • Fear and Change “Management”?

    “Managing” change is not overcoming resistance, but overcoming fear. Change brings ambiguity and we fear the things we don’t understand.  With that in mind, “Do it or else” will never lead to real change.  When people question a change, that isn’t resistance; it’s human to need to understand why.  Leaders who pay lip service to […]

  • Changing Leader Behaviors

    With some excellent help, I’ve built a leadership development workshop (called Leadersights after my book) to provide a quick jumpstart to reenergize any organization’s leader development efforts.  We’re running it for 1400 plus leaders in a government agency in Arizona and getting great results.  I’ll be posting some of what is included in the workshop […]

  • concretehead

    What To Do When Your Lean Guy Is A Concrete Head

    Concrete head is an affectionate term applied by some old Japanese lean sensei to people in US companies who, though responsible for driving continuous improvement, were themselves resistant to change anything for any number of reasons.  I’ve run into this a few times, where the “lean guy” for a company is oppositional on any idea […]

  • Trust – A Necessary Component To Stay Competitive

    Without trust, organizations can’t function at a level required to remain competitive.  Those that don’t need to be competitive, like government agencies, are unable to deliver service as effectively because without trust, employees can’t do whatever they need to do to solve the problems that citizens bring to them. Without trust, there is usually fear.  […]

  • Satisfaction through Meaningfulness

    While science can’t seem to prove a causal link between happy workers and productivity, it’s nice to know that there are benefits beyond that to justify to leaders everywhere that we have to design work to be more satisfying for our workforce. I read a research report from Accenture that said more than half of […]

  • The Unlikely Leader

    I’ve been digging through old posts and found this one and believe it is still particularly relevant. I hope you agree. August 29, 2009. I was at my surrogate grandmother’s funeral yesterday, reflecting on her stories and on those others told about her. I never really thought of her as a leader, only as my […]

  • Stop Tim Wood from ruining your lean progress

    Today, let’s talk about Tim Wood. But first, some background. The origin of waste? Henry Ford identified dozens of types of waste in his operations and spelled them out in his book “Today and Tomorrow” written in 1926. In 1988, Productivity Press published Taiichi Ohno’s tribute book “Just-in-Time for Today and Tomorrow” in which Ohno […]

  • Lean for the future

    Lean thinking as we know it is probably insufficient to carry organizations into a future of intense global competition, insatiable consumption, environmental sensitivity, and social upheaval. In most cases, we simply practice a few lean concepts, often without understanding the underlying intent of those concepts, but we get a slightly better outcome and celebrate. We […]