Do you really need a spare tire?

Recently on LinkedIn, a connection of mine shared that he had taken the spare tire out of his car in an effort to increase gas mileage. His rationale (which has been proven by automakers), was that a lighter car would…

How to be Cheerfully Persistent

If you have a position that involves leading change, then at some point you’ve had to deal with opposition. This is very true for those of us who have taken a leadership role in leading Lean, since that is usually all about…

Lean and the Art of Garden Shed Repair

When we bought our house in 2003, it needed a lot of work. We have touched every wall, floor and ceiling at least once, and sometimes twice, as our family has grown and our needs and tastes have changed. Most…

Make a Mark; Don’t Leave One

In my 20 years in industry, I’ve had lots of bosses. LOTS. Sadly, I can count on one hand the number of those bosses who were good at their jobs, and only a select few of those actually taught me…

The Best Baked Ham You’ve Ever Had!

One day, Emma watched as her mother prepared dinner. Carrots and potatoes were boiling away on the stovetop as the mother took the ham from the fridge, put it on the cutting board, cut both ends off, then put it…

The Tale of Three Christmas Trees

Years ago, I was the Manufacturing Manager of a medical device company here in CT. Because we were such a small place, in addition to running the manufacturing floor I was also the defacto “facilities guy”. Anything even remotely related to the building…

Why You Don’t Go Hiking in November

Having grown up in rural Maine as the son of a deer hunter, November (rifle season for whitetail) was often highly anticipated. Endless amounts of preparation went into making sure everything was ready – rifles sighted in and cleaned, boots…

The KISS Principle

In the early 1960’s, teenager Chiam Witz knew one thing: he wanted attention from girls. After trying all the usual things that boys that age do, he watched the Beatles on television. After seeing the droves of screaming girls he…

The “New Normal” and why it’s not Lean

It was an average Tuesday and I was working as an engineer at a large Aerospace manufacturer here in Connecticut. My boss sent me an email asking me to follow up on something for him because his boss needed an answer quick,…

How to Gemba like Michael Bolton

It was an especially hot September afternoon in the plant in South Carolina where I worked as a Project Engineer. There was no air conditioning anywhere, and the sound of the presses banging out parts didn’t do much to make anything…