4th Annual Management Blog Roundup: Old Lean Dude

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 12-28-11

I have already reviewed John Hunter’s blog for the 4th Annual Management Blog Roundup. My next installment is of the blog Old Lean Dude. Old Lean Dude is from the funny and knowledgable Bruce Hamilton, head of the Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership and best known as the “toast guy” for his role in a video teaching kaizen through making toast.

I was finally able to meet Bruce while keynoting the Northeast Shingo Prize Conference, of which Bruce is a host. It was an enjoyable visit, I hope to work with him again in the future.

Let’s start this roundup with How Big are Small Ideas. Having a suggestion system limited and rewarding only big ideas might not be that helpful. Small ideas, built in volume through many contributors, matters. Bruce shares his personal experience and learning about this matter, as many of his posts are built upon.

Certainly, people learn to appreciate lean efforts at different rate of adoption. There will always be some doubters and some believers of lean. Bruce pointed these out in Chicken? by using Dr. Shingo’s parable. Here he pointed out that we shouldn’t be surprised if everyone doesn’t fall in love with a lean tool or concept immediately.  If we take time to understand and answer their objections they will be inclined to give it try, and this should be a cause of optimism.

Bruce also talks about the traditional management accounting in Insignificant Digits. Here, he emphasized that in many cases, the accuracy of measures is insignificant and so it is in traditional cost accounting. The confusion over precision and accuracy has always been a personal pet peeve of mine.

He shared another personal story about how a supervisor realized the difference between “complaints” and “ideas” in A Supervisor’s Greatest Discovery. A great example of kaizen and continues improvement application.

In addition to what he had stated on the Chicken? post, here’s another that talks about sets of people who viewed TPS and Lean application differently. In Rowing, Bruce uses Ryuji Fukuda’s example to group these people and give some advice on how to deal with each type.

In It’s Not Rocket Science, Bruce shared his learning and realizations upon applying Poka-Yoke, or error proofing, in his company, He shared 4 important lessons. I personally believe error proofing is an under-appreciated methodology and should be explored further.

I hope you’ll check out Bruce’s blog and return for more in 2012. Personally, I hope to work with Bruce again.