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Free Book and Discount Offer for Lean Leaders

Free Book and Discount Offer for Lean Leaders

Implementing Lean Organization & Leadership Dear Friends,  I have three online courses that I consider the core courses for implementing lean leadership and culture. I have published a book that corresponds with each of these three courses. I want you to not only...

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Coaching Leaders for Success

Coaching Leaders for Success

For the past several months I have been  focused on completing two related projects. Both focused on the development of coaching skills and your capacity to provide coaching to every leader and team. One is the publication of a book, The Lean Coach. The second is the...

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Blended Learning: A Model for Creating Lean Culture

Blended Learning: A Model for Creating Lean Culture

Lean implementation requires a change in culture. The change is to create the habits of continuous improvement, problem-solving and teamwork. For many companies, this is a struggle. While it is never easy, the blended learning model greatly increases the probability...

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Leadership Lessons from Donald Trump & Bernie Sanders

Leadership Lessons from Donald Trump & Bernie Sanders

As a student of leadership and history it is impossible to avoid a search for meaning in the current political theater. There are lessons for business leaders in the mental models exhibited by both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. How they solve problems can change...

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The End of Money as Power

The End of Money as Power

How many times have we heard that “money is power?” It is one of those cliches that has been spoken so many times that one assumes it must be true. Perhaps it was. In both the political and the business world there is a tectonic shift that is proving that what may have been true at some time in the past, is no longer true today. Understanding the on-going shift to other forms of power is essential to successful business and political strategy, now and into the future.

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Cuba, Lean and the Virtues of a Non-Standard World

Cuba, Lean and the Virtues of a Non-Standard World

We live in a world of standardization. Lean manufacturing or Toyota Production System is necessarily based on standardization, repeatable processes, identical parts, designed for ease of installation and reliability. But, what if every automobile was not the same as every other one and had its own story to tell? What if every car had a completely unique history and no two cars had the same parts? What if there were no replacement parts – no Autozone or NAPA, or dealership parts department? Welcome to Cuba!

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Leadership & My Prayer for New Year’s 2016

As a student of leadership I must offer my hopes and prayers for the coming year, and to do so I will defer to the wisdom of George Washington. It will be a critical year and those of us who give serious thought to the subject of leadership have a responsibility to speak out. I will avoid becoming overtly political, but this year will be dominated by politics. The subject of leadership and how or why voters choose leaders cannot be avoided.

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Agile Strategy Execution – Genealogy and Principles

Agile Strategy Execution – Genealogy and Principles

The principles and process of Agile Strategy Execution are derived from the proven experience of Toyota, Lean Startup, and Agile software development. Agile Strategy Execution is derived, not only from my experience in lean, but also from Lean Startup and Agile software development. I think it is worth considering the core principles that link these practices.

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Strategy Execution – The CEO’s Greatest Challenge

Strategy Execution – The CEO’s Greatest Challenge

Research by the Conference Board and by researchers reporting in the Harvard Business Review (March 2015) report that the execution of strategy is their greatest concern. The Conference Board’s recent Survey of CEOs revealed that chief executives are so concerned about strategy execution that they rated it as both their number one and number two most challenging issue. Agile Strategy Execution is a solution to the problem.

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Amazon versus The New York Times

Amazon versus The New York Times

I suggest that both Bezos and those interviewed for the Times article are honestly and accurately portraying the culture as seen through their eyes and their experience. Amazon is straddling the Barbarian and Builder/Explorer stage of my life cycle model. This is a good place to be in an external environment that is filled with rapidly emerging competitors and changing technologies. If you aren’t conquering you are probably about to be conquered!

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Drop the Debates, Begin the Dialogues

Drop the Debates, Begin the Dialogues

Imagine your CEO, each time he or she was challenged, turning on the person asking the question and proclaiming “you’re loser” or, “that’s because you’re stupid!” My mother, and probably your own, taught me not to call others names. Someone said “turn the other cheek.” Why in politics is this kind of response apparently acceptable to so many people when it should immediately be recognized as uncivil behavior and a disqualification for any public office?

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Donald Trump and the Essential Qualities of Leadership

The purpose of presidential campaigns is to put on display the qualities of leadership of each candidate so we may choose among them. But what are those qualities we seek, why, and do they match the needs of the age in which we live? If we were a corporate search committee we would want to align the strategic challenges of the firm with the competencies of the candidates.

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Coaching and The Caring Continuum

Coaching and The Caring Continuum

Coaching is becoming widespread in our organizations with many people claiming to be coaches, but with very different interests and skills. To those implementing lean management it is important to recognize that every manager at Toyota has a coach or mentor. The goals of the coach and the client should be in alignment. There are a number of ways to describe the continuum of relationships between coach and client: from short-term to long-term, from focused on today’s problems to developing strategic systems and culture, from low to high intimacy. For the sake of simplicity I will divide this continuum into three zones: the Blue, Green and Red Zones of Caring.

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Coaching and Culture Change: The Missing Link

Coaching and Culture Change: The Missing Link

If you go through my Team Leadership (Team Kata) course you will quickly be confronted with the strong suggestion that every manager and every team have a coach to lead them through the steps of lean implementation and to provide feedback to the leader and team. But, you ask, where are we going to get all these coaches? Here is a clear answer.

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How to Build Lean Systems of Organizational Learning

How to Build Lean Systems of Organizational Learning

The world of corporate training and development has yet to fully embrace the new reality of technology, online resources, and the need to integrate learning into the daily habits of all managers and team members. This requires a deliberate map of the learning process, eliminating waste, and breaking down silos.

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Toyota Kata, Team Kata, and Levels of Complexity

Toyota Kata, Team Kata, and Levels of Complexity

Implementing lean management, or any other change in the culture of organizations, requires a zoom lens to see the different levels of complexity required. Toyota Kata, lean tools, and other methods operate at some focal lengths and not at others. The well informed manager will have the ability to understand complexity and to use simple methods when appropriate. If you are photographer with only a 300mm lens you will miss a lot of great photos.

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The Coaching Kata and The Science of Positive Interactions

Neuroscience now confirms why both learning and motivation on the part of employees is optimized when the ratio of positive to negative interactions with managers lean toward four positives to one negative. Higher rates of negative interactions reduce learning, increase fear, increase avoidance behavior, rather than problem-solving and experimentation.

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The Coaching Kata

I developed my Team Kata Udemy.com training course to provide a solution to training a large number of people, self-paced and over an extended period of time. But, coaching is essential to the learning process. Here are examples of the coaching kata that follow well proven methods of behavior based training.

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Lean Training: An Efficient Solution

The problem for most organizations developing lean management is two fold: first, how to change the culture in a significant way, in a reasonable period of time; and second, how to provide the needed training to a large number of people in a consistent and quality manner. Team Kata is an effort to solve both of those problems.

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The Lean System of Motivation

The Lean System of Motivation

One aspect of lean that has not been given enough attention, in my opinion, is how lean is an organization wide system of motivation that creates a high performance culture. Too many lean implementations suffer from a focus on problem solving skills, but a failure to attend to the system or culture of motivation. Too many rely on the “they oughtta wanna” assumption which usually results in disappointment.

A highly motivated work force is not an accident. It is not the result of being in one part of the country or another, have having a union or non-union. It is the result of systematic efforts on the part of management to design and improve a system of motivation. The most effective systems optimize both an ennobling purpose, the social bonds of strong teamwork, and the availability of individual incentives. They all contribute unique elements to a holistic system of motivation.

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Abraham, Isaac, and the Ethics of Followership

In this post I would like to discuss the cultural root of obedience in the great church of our organizations and how we need to rethink the assumptions of loyal followership. Or to put it another way, a bit more disloyalty may be advantageous to the leader’s reputation and bank account.

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Social Capital: Families and Teams Form the Social Capital of Our Culture

Healthy families in which there is high trust result in high academic performance. This is “family social capital.” Similarly, the team at the first level is the foundation of social capital in the organization. This social capital is a key factor in generating continuous improvement and achieving high job satisfaction and retention of employees.

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Leadership Lessons from the Obamacare Crisis

In my opinion, it is obvious that the current state of our healthcare system is unacceptable and it is equally obvious that the way the new law has been implemented has been unacceptably clumsy.
The question I want to address is what are the lessons one can learn from this mess and if you were the CEO of this organization what would you do differently? My thoughts follow.

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