ATJ Blog Post #4

Make Things Better!

… It’s all about creating more value… by creating and delivering more value!  It’s also about evolutionary improvement that is done so well that everyone can be inspired to ‘Make Things Better’.

This uncertain & competitive world tends to reward companies whose processes have evolved to become respected as sustainable platforms that a company can trust and build upon.  Those we watched usually had disciplined ‘laser-like’ visions that ensured everyone valued a ‘Make-Things-Better’ way of thinking & doing things.  In this Blog, In Praise of Evolutionary Improvement”, gives thought to an emphasis on evolutionary improvement enriched by everyone’s contributions.

But with the process and technology ‘over-choice’ we live with, it is wise to have a discipline that deals with those ‘Shiny Objects-of-distraction’ that deflect value-adders from their ‘Job-One’ priorities… which would normally be their commitment to building a Make Things Better culture…  the very thing winners must have to build their competitive futures.

Lots of people make a good living helping others to Make Things Better.  Pause for a moment.  Imagine the benefit to your organization if such thinking came in-house and became everyone’s commitment every day of the week.  Check out Good Reads: The Lean Strategy (The missing link?) – the latest book from Dan Jones & colleagues.  According to Art Byrne, retired CEO of The Wiremold Company, he sees it as a rare book “co-authored by four of the best Lean thinkers”.  He sees it as “a must-read business book for senior executives“.  Want to guess the title of its first chapter?  It’s “Make Things Better”.

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The ATJ Hogg-Blogg Post #4

Articles: In Praise of Evolutionary Improvement.  Thoughts on avoiding distracting ‘Shiny Objects’ to concentrate on evolving solid, stable & sustainable processes to build upon that everyone understands.

Good Reads: The Lean Strategy.  A timely book by four top Lean thinkers for those who may see it as the Missing Link in creating competitive advantage; unleashing innovation; and delivering sustained growth.

Resources To Build With: An accumulating list of selected & proven books, articles, links, and resources as recommended by Readers & ATJ.

Learning Events:  A continuing list of learning events recommended by Readers & ATJ.

About the ATJ Hogg-Blogg:   Who we are – Our Vision/Mission – Contact information – What you can expect.

ATJ Sign-Up:  …for the rest of the team! 

Author: hogg-blogg

Farm Boy, Technologist, Engineer, Professor, Dept Mgr. OCAM CAD/CAM Centre. Began Lean HPM Consortium. Founded HPS with partner Bob Kerr to Develop Consortia in Canada, US & Australia. Awarded Queen's 75th Silver Jubilee Medal for Mfg. in Canada. Chaired 2008 AME Intl. Conference; Life Member AME & SME; AME Hall of Fame; McCulloch Lifetime Achievement Award. Dave & Bev live in Penticton.

2 thoughts on “ATJ Blog Post #4”

  1. Thanks Dave, the energy you’re pouring into Lean thinking and doing is charging all of our batteries.

    I would like to ask if any of your readers are familiar with Lean in an R&D environment. In particular, I’m wondering about two new technologies that are beginning to impact our economy: (1) electric and/or autonomous self-driving vehicles and (2) the commercialization of space. The first category is sponsored by large corporations, the second by wealthy entrepreneurs with strong a strong vision and a passionate commitment.

  2. Hi Hal, Thanks for your kind words… we all need our batteries to be on “Continuous Charge” Yours is a great question… I do not think many understand how far lean has made inroads into NASA, Agriculture, Mining, etc. – and of course Automotive (where of course it is huge). It is in every other realm of human endeavor. The area least penetrated may well still be Education. Here its implementation appears fragmented as many of the teachers are “pre-lean” but that too is changing but slowly. I would love to hear from any readers where Lean is now a player in their R&D activities (Takers??). Musk at Tesla is sure using Lean as his electric car plant is fittingly located in the old Freemont California Toyota plant… appropriate because Toyota, going into bankruptcy in 1950 seized on Lean as its saviour. It was all drawn from Henry Ford’s 1914 Flow Manufacturing innovation which launched the Model T. – and the world.

    But back to your comment of self driving technology. I will bet, that looking at all the suppliers feeding in their innovations and products into self driving vehicles – and the commercializing of space – many will have come from many many suppliers who have committed to lean to win their contracts. Incidentally, I spent time in a Mississauga plant who was making real manifolds for the very real Mars vehicle which is under very real construction now. Guess what I am trying to say is that Lean is applied company by company – and when someone looks at a product it may not appear to be ‘leaned’ but the suppliers who won the contract knew how to exploit lean. The big guys do play a big role and always have – loved the way NASA has driven lean and new technology into manufacturers all over the world by demanding the inclusion of 3D printing technology for assemblies, rocket nozzles and other parts. These parts are now being made by different companies in the US which is a NASA commitment to diffuse new technology into the infrastructure.

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