Hats off to Good Management in 2020
A great deal has been written and spoken on the importance of leadership in leading people through the pandemic, including by yours truly. However, there is also something to be said for the importance of management. Good, effective, focused, and diligent management through this pandemic has been essential for manyRead More
Words Make Meaning
The language and names that we select and use matter. They help add context or perspective to the object or task and can affect the accessibility of ideas and connection between ideas. For example, when Starbucks started scaling, they used different words for drink sizes, from Tall to Grande toRead More
Drucker Institute’s / Wall Street Journal Best Managed Companies
The Wall Street Journey released their inaugural Management Top 250, a list of the best managed companies. It is based on the research of the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University, releasing a much larger list and their scoring in this table Amazon tops the list, followed by Apple andRead More
Finding Improvement in the Margins [Lessons from the Road]
There are connections in every organization. Some are easily seen while others are not. But, look closely and you will find them. In the recent column I wrote for IndustryWeek I examined the waste that often occurs in these connections. It is in these connections, in the margins, that thereRead More
Management is a role. Leadership is an act.
My friend John Hunter who’s mix of insight and intellectual integrity has been a strong role model in the blogging world of continuous improvement. His Curious Cat Management Improvement blog is a great tribute to its own name, and John’s comments often embarrass me by going deeper than my ownRead More
Are you working on the right problems?
Lean is not all about waste, despite what we see in most definitions and applications. If it were about one thing (which oversimplifies things) it would be about problem solving, at all levels of the organization. We take problem solving for granted. Why? Because we’ve been doing it since weRead More
10 Management Traps – and How to Avoid Them
Recently Steve Minter of Industry Week interviewed a range of people for an article he titled 10 Management Traps – and How to Avoid Them. The ten traps he lists are: 1. Not ‘Nipping it in the Bud’ 2. Squelching the Flow of Bad News 3. Doing Drop-Down Work 4.Read More
The Fine Line Between Micro-Management and Surfacing Problems
Not many people want to be the victim of micro-management. And most managers don’t espouse operating that way. But not all micro-management is created equal. As organizations pursue lean effort,s I see a tension between making problems visible and micro-management. Many organizations are very sensitive to anything that feels likeRead More
Valid or reliable – take your pick
Last week we had an interesting conversation. It started as a discussion about projects, particularly how you make sure you projects are going in the right direction. Ideally, you should choose how you’re going to be measuring yourself before, during, and after the project. If you wait to the endRead More
Forget SMART Goals – Do you have DUMB goals?
A lot is written and taught about developing SMART goals. I wrote about the topic earlier this year when everyone was developing their annual goals in the post Forget the New Year’s Resolutions. There are mistakes in developing goals that I find far too common. Let’s call them DUMB goals.Read More