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How to fix the dreaded performance review with lean

A couple years ago, The Washington Post ran a headline, “Study finds that basically every single person hates performance reviews” (2014).  It’s funny because it’s true, but also because we don’t need research by a team of university psychologists to tell us that; we already know everyone hates performance reviews.  What many people in business…

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Want employee engagement to stick? Start at the top

“Your title gives you claim to the throne of our country, but men don’t follow titles, they follow courage.” – William Wallace, Braveheart   It is a beautiful thing when employees are engaged in their work and are committed to continuous improvement.  Those two things, engaged employees and continuous improvement, often seem too good to…

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Need help with lean? Practical tips from single parents

Who is the greatest superhero?  Batman?  Hulk?  Superman?  Someone else?  I’d argue that single parents are by far the greatest superheroes, the things they do never cease to impress me.  A single parent faces some of the toughest situations on the planet on a near-constant basis, often with little to no help.  At least the…

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When great perks fail: winning conversion to employee engagement

This is the third article in a three part series on employee engagement.  The  first article began a case study of a company that focused almost exclusively on boosting its benefits and perks in hopes that it would lead to happy employees and customers.  When we consulted with the company we found there was a…

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When great perks fail: 3 ways to boost engagement now

In a previous article I told the story of a company that poured a lot of resources into programs and perks that would raise their employee satisfaction scores. After an initial boost in overall satisfaction, they found that employees quickly came to think of the perks as entitlements, and their satisfaction scores grew stagnant.  After…

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When great perks fail: What you should know about engagement

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering.” –Yoda   I once consulted with a company whose initial idea on employee retention and engagement was something of a spin on Yoda’s famous “path to the dark side” quote; let’s call it their “path…

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Changing the Culture of Waste

The U.S. Ambassador to an African nation asked his facility manager to order four flower pots for the embassy; nothing fancy, just four plastic flower pots. He came back and said, on second thought; order a truck load of them since there is a lot of money left in the facilities budget and it should…

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The Simple Truth About Lean Transformation

Is your business struggling with getting your product to the customer on time? Do you have a process that produces inconsistent results and sends defects to your customer? Do you need to find a way to cut cost because you can’t raise your price? All of these questions and more can be answered by using…

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How to Resolve Conflict over Employee Involvement

There is a war taking place in corporate America.  In some ways it’s good that it is taking place but it does not change the fact that it is difficult.  One side of the battlefield are those who are of the opinion that the employee is the expert and should have the final say in…

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5s Is The One Foundation For A Triumphant Lean Culture

The Problem “5S is the foundation of Lean Implementation”.  You hear it over and over again, in each training seminar, during Kaizen events, or when managers come down on operations because the work area or office is a wreck.  So everyone knows that 5S is the foundation, but can anyone say why?  No, for the most…

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