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The Power of One Page
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) In times of tumultuous change brevity is king. Blah, blah, blah…doesn’t cut it when revenue is non-existent and investors are jittery. Endless PowerPoint decks, no matter how slick, are tiresome and wasteful. The four-hour meeting that goes nowhere is downright irritating. Less is more remains the cardinal rule in music, art, […]

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Toyota’s New Rivals & ‘ Life and Death Battle’
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) We are in a ‘life & death battle’ against our new rivals, Akio Toyoda Mr. Toyoda is not talking about Volkswagen, GM or Audi…he means Google & Waymo, Uber, Lyft and the rest. Ironic, no? After seven decades of unparalleled (analogue) excellence, the world’s greatest manufacturer is facing a mortal threat […]

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Singapore FinTech Festival & the Shape of Things to Come
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) Just back from a splendid week in hot, sticky & smart Singapore and the FinTech Festival. Despite the jet lag, I thought I’d send out a quick note, with more to follow (when I’m vertical again.) I took in as many Innovation Labs as I could, talked to umpteen start-ups and […]

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Is Five Why Analysis Too Simplistic for Complex Problems?
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) A common question, especially in industries that are just now learning the Lean Business System. Problem solving is a kata – a set of core forms that we practice over & over, hopefully under the guidance of a capable sensei. When practicing the problem solving kata, we pull in the tools […]

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The Trouble with Corporate Clichés
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) “Think outside the box” “Ducks in a row” “Low-hanging fruit” “Let’s take this off-line” Why do these and other corporate clichés make us cringe so? Well, they’re often used by lazy people to express stale, tired thinking. If we haven’t thought about something deeply, why burden people with inanities? If we […]

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Digital Transformation – the Critical Questions
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) Digital is eating the world, as they say, and every industry is feeling it. How do you steer a digital transformation? How do you decide on a purpose and strategy, and deploy a course of action? We need to translate the eternal questions of strategy to suit our new terrain: What’s […]

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Design Thinking and the PDCA Cycle
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) To everything there is a season In a world of tumultuous and endless technological change, Design Thinking has rightly become a core methodology. In many industries, we can no longer confidently claim that we understand the customer’s problems. An thus, we can no longer define Value with any certainty. A generation […]

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If It’s Not Simple, It’s BS
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut, “any scientist who can’t explain to an eight-year-old what he’s doing is a charlatan.” This principle is especially true in strategy, perhaps our most human management activity. Artificial Intelligence & Robotics can eventually handle many jobs, but can they make & deploy strategy? Can they motivate a […]

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Scatter – Our Nemesis
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) Big Company Disease has many causes. One of the most subtle is our inability to ‘wrap our arms around’ the PDCA cycle. Myriad improvement cycles begin – but they become fragmented: Group A develops the Plan, Group B deploys, Group C checks the Plan, and Group D adjusts it. I call […]

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Neither Too Rigid, Nor Too Loose
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) When it comes to fundamentals like Strategy, Management System, Standardized Work, Quality in the Process and the like, it’s easy to become rigid and even doctrinaire. After all, these are the concepts that underlie TPS, the ‘world’s most powerful production system’. In the circumstances, we’re right to be doctrinaire, aren’t we? […]

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The Four Levels of Visual Management
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) Lean is about making problems visible, and visual management is a core methodology. You can’t fix what you can’t see! There are four levels. Here they are in order of increasing power: Level 1 – Tells only STOP signs are a good example. In our neighbourhood, people blow by them all […]

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The Four Levels of Visual Management, Part 2
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) Last time I talked about making problems visible through the four levels of visual management. I described Levels 1 and 2, which have comparatively low power. Today, our topic is visual management Levels 3 and 4 – the most powerful: Level 3 – Organizes Behavior Home positions for tools & equipment […]

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Lean Hotels
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) Lean in the service industries is a frequent topic in this blog. The great hotel chains — Ritz, Hyatt, Marriott, Westin, Disney and others — are superb Lean companies. Marriott’s Twelve Guiding Principles of Leadership and Customer Service, for example, reads like a Lean manifesto: Continually challenge your team to do […]

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Visual Management in New Product Development
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) Lean thinking is moving out of the factory — downstream into sales, logistics and order fulfillment, and upstream into finance, marketing and New Product Development (NPD). We’re often asked, how do you apply the fundamentals in these areas? For example, how might you apply visual management in NPD? A good first […]

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Lean, Leadership & Ethics, Part 1
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) Been reflecting about each of these lately, and how they relate. But what’s Ethics got to do with anything? We’re in a proverbial knowledge economy. The market caps of, say, Google, Facebook and Apple, dwarf that of Toyota. Google, Facebook and Apple have comparatively little in physical capital. ‘All’ they have […]

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What is Courage & How does it relate to True North?
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) Let me build on my earlier blog on Lean, Leadership & Ethics The ancients defined Four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Temperance, Justice and Courage. Courage — the capacity to overcome fear — is perhaps the most admired. In Getting the Right Things Done, I defined True North, our strategic and philosophical purpose, […]

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Needs-based, outcome-oriented, continuous, open
leansixsigma.co.business

(Updated May 30th with new home page copy) It’s the week of the Open Leadership Symposium (I landed in Boston yesterday). To celebrate, a quick refresh of the Agendshift home and about pages, both starting with an updated banner: The ‘open’ is new. A short explanation (the about page has more): That’s all! See you […]

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Martin, this one’s for you
leansixsigma.co.business

A week ago we were trying process the impossible – the news that friend, colleague, encourager, and debating partner Martin Burns had suddenly passed away. Starting with one from Martin’s wife Lucy, here are some touching tributes: Lucy Burns Dave Snowden Chris Matts Chris McDermott Chris Corriere Gordon McMahon Sal Freudenberg In the light of […]

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