Category: Organization Design and Process Improvement

Transformational Change vs. Continuous Improvement

(The following was published yesterday in Industry Weeks Continuous Improvement Newsletter.) It may sound like sacrilege to hear someone say that continuous improvement may not always be the right answer. Of course, it is the...

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“Respect for People” and “The Design of the System”

Michel Baudin, a fellow blogger and author, posted a video link of a panel discussion that included Jeffrey Liker (The Toyota Way, Toyota Leadership) in which British consultant John Seddon makes the comment that “This respect for people stuff is horse shit.” Seddon argues that what leads to improvement is the system and not an intervention to respect or deal better with the people. Respect for people is the result, not only of personal patterns of communication, but also the result of the nature of the system.

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Transformational Change Management

Getting to Lean – Transformational Change Management is now available on Amazon.

There is continuous improvement, and then there is transformational change. Transformational change involves rethinking the whole-system of the organization, creating alignment to the external environment and among the internal subsystems of the organization.

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Creative Destruction and Transformational Change

This is about lean management and organizational change. It is about adaptation to disruptive technology and markets. The ability to adapt your organization’s capabilities to changing technology and markets is, in itself, a core competence required of every organization today. And, continuous improvement will not get you there. Disruptive technologies and markets require transformational change, revolutionary rather than evolutionary, not simple problem solving or continuous improvement.

The lean management process or Toyota Production System is founded on continuous improvement. But that continuous improvement is built on top of a stable platform that is aligned with a relatively stable market. Cars still have four wheels, for the most part still have an internal combustion engine; but, they don’t fly and they don’t travel over the Internet. But, what if technology completely disrupted the business model. And, how do you transform to adapt to disruptions?

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Quality of Work Life and the Toyota System

Books on lean management and the Toyota Production System are too often presented as if this system has been a virtual heaven of production efficiency and worker satisfaction. In the author’s enthusiasm, questions about...

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