Category: Managing Change

George Washington, Unity and the Spirit of Party

We need to have a serious conversation, not simply about the budget or the healthcare law, all of which can be improved, but about the unity of the country and the spirit of party about which we were well warned in the infancy of this nation. Washington was passionate about this one principle of unity and he could see that the greatest threat to our country was not external forces, but internal division. He could see that division would lead to “parties” and those parties would develop a spirit that would be a cancer to the country.

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Lean & Meta Principles 2: Empiricism and Humility

The primary task of a manager is to think. The future success of the organization is dependent upon his or her ability to think clearly, critically, and creatively.

The greatest enemy of continuous improvement is arrogance, particularly on the part of leaders, and the opposite quality of humility is a requirement of learning and improvement.

In my previous post I introduced the idea that there are “big thoughts,” or over-arching cultural principles that are essential to creating a genuinely lean culture. I suggested that the principle of Unity was the first. The second is what I will call the principles of Empiricism and Humility.

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Lean and Meta Principles: The Unity Principle

Some companies have engaged in what they think are “lean implementations” by reducing lean to component parts and experimenting with one component over there, another over here, and a third somewhere else. That is guaranteed to fail. The very idea of reducing lean to its component parts fails to “get it.” I believe that the first principle of meta-lean is what I called in a previous book, The Unity Principle. Honda took this principle to heart and sought to apply it in their U.S. operations.

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Action Learning: Cycles of Learning are the Key to Developing a Culture of Continuous Improvement

The best methods and the best of intentions can easily fail unless we take into account how adults learn in our organizations. During World War II a process that has become known as Training Within Industry (TWI) and its...

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