4th Annual Management Blog Roundup: Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 12-27-11

I am again participating in the Management Blog Roundup, created by John Hunter of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog. You can see all the blog Carnival activity here. I will be reviewing 3 blogs, starting with John Hunter’s.


John’s blogging is very open, comes with a sense of curiosity about topics, adds a bit of intellectual rigor, and covers topics that do not get a lot of attention. I’ve liked his style both of writing and research, but also his open engagement of the broad continuous improvement community.

I’ll start with Taking What You Don’t Deserve, CEO Style. CEOs have a substantial impact on the business, and should be paid what they are worth. But the system is distorted. Every CEO wants to be in the upper-half, and with readily available info, salaries just continue to escalate out of control. John takes special aim at where this is particularly undeserving.

John and I are both strong advocates for improving manufacturing by improving the manufacturing skills gap, the single biggest threat to management in the U.S., probably even beyond tort and tax reform. John takes the view a step further. We’ve even debated this point, I believe over twitter, and I generally agree with his view. Check out Manufacturing Skills Gap or Management Skills Gap?

For those readers that want to dig a little deeper, John contributes to a 4 part series looking at Dr. Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge. I’ve enjoyed reading Dr. Deming for years. I don’t consider myself a Deming-ite, and believe like all men, he sometimes got it wrong. But that was rare.

Turning our attention to a guru of a different sort, John writes about Van Halen’s lean thinking. I love this example, because it’s a great way of building in a system control that determines if something might be wrong or not. I won’t spoil it, but I highly recommend reading (and thinking deeply about) Visual Management with Brown M&Ms. And if the story sounds too crazy to be true, it checks out on Snopes.

In Engage in Improving the Management System, John challenges people to shock people out of apathy and into action (my words), starting with “in-process indications of actual success in improving the management system.”

Finally, John and I are both avid users, as his track record demonstrates.