Check out five recent articles from across the web that you may have missed and we recommend! What are your picks for good articles or videos worth sharing? Please add them in the comments below.
1. “Don’t Hire Smart People, Hire Smart Learners” by Penny Herscher for Inc.
“Brittle behavior, defensiveness and blaming kill a team’s ability to solve complex problems together,” writes Herscher. “When you are changing quickly and learning a market (which is a continuous process when growing fast) it is important that everyone on the team can learn from the facts that are emerging. When things don’t turn out exactly as planned (which they never do), don’t look for who/what to blame; just get on with finding the next solution.” We couldn’t agree more. Except we might also say just get on with making sure you’re solving the right problem.
2. “You Need an Innovation Strategy” by Gary Pisano in Harvard Business Review
“Without an innovation strategy, different parts of an organization can easily wind up pursuing conflicting priorities—even if there’s a clear business strategy,” writes Pisano. “Sales representatives hear daily about the pressing needs of the biggest customers. Marketing may see opportunities to leverage the brand through complementary products or to expand market share through new distribution channels. Business unit heads are focused on their target markets and their particular P&L pressures. R&D scientists and engineers tend to see opportunities in new technologies. Diverse perspectives are critical to successful innovation. But without a strategy to integrate and align those perspectives around common priorities, the power of diversity is blunted or, worse, becomes self-defeating.”
3. “Do you have a KPO? How do you measure its value?” by Tracey Richardson
LEI faculty member Tracey Richardson shares her advice on how to create an effective Kaizen Promotion Office. In this very practical post, Richardson answers common questions from lean community members like, What is the role of the KPO?, What is the right mix of internal and external hires? Who should the KPO lead report to? and how is the KPO best organized?
4. “First Things First: Senior Leader Behaviors” by Marta Karlov on The Center Point blog
Reflecting on her 10+ years experience working with leadership teams within healthcare organizations, Karlov shares what she’s heard as the most common organizational and cultural challenges to lean thinking and practice. On culture change, she writes: “The senior leadership teams I have met with realized that in order to change the culture within their organizations, they needed to start with themselves, and more specifically with their own behaviors and relationships.”
5. “Spreading the Lean Word: How Can we Yokoten Successfully and Help Others Apply What We’ve Learned at the Gemba?” by Jim Womack for Planet Lean
In his second column for Planet Lean, Jim Womack explains the meaning and significance of the word and principle yokoten. “On one level yokoten is just another of those Japanese words that some members of the lean community find so irritating; a linguistic relative of kaizen and andon and heijunka and obeya…” But what yokoten is really about, Womack says, is “the horizontal transfer across Toyota and its suppliers of TPS thinking and successful methods.”