Search Results for: leadership

Your Fingers

"Everybody’s behavior makes sense to them at the time," says Dr. Aubrey Daniels, founder of the consulting company bearing his name. We can remove the mystery and superstition for why people do the "crazy" things they do (translation: things we don’t agree with). It’s not voodoo. It’s the consequences. "I just don’t understand why he won’t pick up his clothes. I end up picking them up every day." The answer to the question is right there. You just read it. When we don’t approve of someone else’s actions, and wish we knew how to change those actions, all we have to do is ask, "What happens for that person when he or she does that action?" If she keeps doing the same action, we know that a positive reinforcer (from some source) is fueling her behavior, keeping it running and running, no matter how much we detest that behavior. When Mike’s daughter was nine, he gave her a laundry basket for her closet. "Put your dirty clothes in here, Shawn. The day before you want clean clothes, take your basket down to the laundry room." Downstairs they went for a lesson. Using her fingers, not his, he taught her, "Here’s how to run the washer." And later, "Now … Continue reading

Poke Yoke: Video Game or Business Tool?

  Poka Yoke.   You think, "Isn’t that the video game my children play?"  No, that’s Pokemon, "Game Boy" game with cute animated characters.  The challenge of that game is to train your Pokemon (pocket monsters) to do non-lethal battle against other Pokemon.    Poka-Yoke is the Japanese term for "mistake-proofing."  Like the video game, the challenge is to see how skillfully you can mistake-proof the key tasks and processes of your business.    This means designing the product or the task so that it is difficult or impossible to do it wrong. Like the diesel fuel nozzle at the gas pump, purposely made too big to fit into a gasoline automobile.   How can you make the key tasks of your business easy to do correctly and difficult to do incorrectly?  Hospitals color-code certain medications to make it easier to identify the adult dosages from the child dosages.  Factories post instructions for each step of the job right at the work benches.  Airline pilots use checklists to follow for landing safely (which is too crucial to trust to memory).  Another technique is to remove any unneeded tools that could be used to do the task incorrectly.  If the job involves using wood screws to attach something, provide … Continue reading

The People Side of Lean/Six Sigma

“They’re not doing it. They’re no longer using the new process the team created just a few months ago at their Kaizen event. What’s going on?” Michael McCarthy explains . . . When a Lean Sensei or Six Sigma Black Belt leads a team to design an improved process, he or she believes that the project is completed. The fallacy is “when you do it once, you’re done,” like machinery repair. Your mechanic says, “Your brake pads were worn out. We replaced them. Done. Good to go.” The Lean or Six Sigma project is complete and the project leader tells you, “Your old process was worn out. We replaced it with a new process. Done. Good to go.” WRONG! You’re not done.