John Hunter
Photo of John Hunter at Arches National Park
    • Secrets of the World's Best Companies - I agree that management is much more complex than books or simple theories claim. I think one of the great difficulties people have in evaluating management concepts is that the complexity (and interaction) makes it very difficult to evaluate. Still, I think great management ideas are found in the thoughts of leading management thinkers.   continued
    • Smokeless Stove Uses 80% Less Fuel - There is little question finding engineering solutions that serve to reduce health risks are often much better than trying to deal with the health consequences after people are sick. So providing safe drinking water, for example, will do more for health than increase spending on medical care to treat those who get sick.   continued
    • Lean and the Theory of Constraints - I believe the theory of constraints view is helpful but can be misleading since often the interdependencies within the system mean that it is not true that "optimizing non-bottlenecks will introduce waste"   continued
    • No More Lean Excuses - I know of two companies that provide this level of phone support: Canon and Crutchfield. I am sure there are others. I am much more likely to buy from them if I have a choice.   more
    • Lean Thinking and Management - we need to find ways to improve the success of management improvement going forward. I agree we would be much better off if we could come up with ways to speed up the adoption of better management. But I really think we need to focus on how to be successful and then worry about speeding it up.
    • Deming and Toyota - I believe Toyota applied Deming's ideas to create a management system and continued to develop that system to create the Toyota Production System (also known as lean manufacturing). I believe a convincing argument can be made for Toyota following all of Deming's 14 points.   continued
    • Six Sigma Won't Fix Bad Management? - Like most management concepts how it is applied varies tremendously. If one just uses some tools that are part of the "Six Sigma tool kit" (mostly tools from TQM and the like) then you might improve bad management only marginally.
      But if you read the work of Roger Hoerl, Soren Bisgaard, Forrest Breyfogle III... and learn and apply what they talk about as Six Sigma you will definitely have to address bad management practices.   more
    • Saving for Retirement - Savings for retirement is difficult mainly because of our trouble planning for the long term, it is not at all a complex problem. The fable of the ant and the grasshopper illustrates this point very simply and it is really that simple. People need to do a better job of applying the lessons from that story to their retirement savings.   continued
    • Innovative Technology and Engineering Education - The NSF is funding many excellent concepts with good results (see examples below). Still the opportunity is there for these efforts to be much more effective with a better use of the internet in my opinion. I think there would be great benefit to funding several grants that would then serve as advisers and provide technical support to creating a much richer result for teachers and students. continued
    • Cease Mass Inspection for Quality - Deming's point 3 is "Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place." (Out of the Crisis, 1982). I think Toyota's improvement of the system to build quality into the product is exactly what Deming had it mind.   continued
    • Smokeless Stove Uses 80% Less Fuel - There is little question finding engineering solutions that serve to reduce health risks are often much better than trying to deal with the health consequences after people are sick. So providing safe drinking water, for example, will do more for health than increase spending on medical care to treat those who get sick.   continued
    • Not Lean Retailing - Nothing is wrong with major decisions being made by the leaders but the article leaves the impression many non-major decisions are centralized too. That is a problem for those who believe in management improvement ideas including lean thinking.   more
    • Theory in Practice - Those who only think about theories don't accomplish much. And those that don't have theories don't either. To achieve success, theories need to be put to the test and modified as evidence shows flaws in the theory. continued
    • Made in the USA - More evidence of the benefits of "lean manufacturing," though it seems they are getting only a few benefits (reduction of waste, faster resupply of "hot items") and they may well not know about lean thinking. By studying and applying lean ideas they should be able to reduce the 45 day turn-around time. more
    • Innovation at Toyota - Investing in innovation is risky. If successful, the benefits can build a competitive advantage that is difficult for others to eliminate. However, others will try and if you fail to execute well those benefits can disappear quickly. Toyota shows few signs of letting others catch up. more
    • Global Manufacturing Data by Country - read more
  • Country
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • United States
  • 1,781
  • 1,779
  • 1,876
  • 2,012
  • Japan
  • 991
  • 929
  • 1017
 
  • China
  • 507
  • 551
  • 638
  • 754
  • Germany
  • 421
  • 449
  • 545
  • 613
  • United Kingdom
  • 280
  • 283
  • 322
  • 378
  • Visible Data - Take the time to find the important measures and then don't keep data hidden in some drawer or computer file out of people's view and therefore out of mind. Post the important data for everyone to see. Review the data as changes are made and see that the changes had the desired result. Update the measures when appropriate (for posting visibly - you will of course be measuring more than the few measures that belong on measurement boards)... continued
  • Organization, Systems and Culture - Useful, innovative new management ideas are great. But far too much effort is placed in trying to package "systems" (or copyrighted terms) as some new breakthrough in management when most often they offer little of value. This article points to a number of very useful sources, in my opinion such as: The Leader's Handbook.   continued
  • Phony Science Gap? - There has been a Science gap between the United States and the rest of the world. That gap has been between the USA, in the lead, and the rest. That gap has been shrinking for at least 10 years and most likely closer to 20. It is debatable whether the USA is falling behind other countries. I don't think reasonable people would argue the relative position of the USA to others has been declining. continued
  • Deming Seminar and Conference - The Deming Institute is also presenting a seminar, How to Create Unethical, Ineffective Organizations That Go Out of Business, 24-26 April, 2006 in Boston. I will be co-presenting the seminar. Let me know if you sign up. continued
  • Change is not Improvement: We trained hard... but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion; inefficiency, and demoralization
    continued
  • Toyota Production System: Take 2 - The tools of TQM, lean manufacturing, TPS, six sigma... are useful. But the extraordinary gains are made when the entire system is geared toward improvement. more
  • Management Excellence - I think the question of what other companies have management practices worth studying is interesting. The answer could be very helpful as others could learn from what those companies do. There are at least two difficulties in identifying the: 1) defining what set of criteria would indicate successful organizations 2) most often even companies that are doing many things well leave much to be desired (so picking organizations worth studying can be difficult and even once that is done deciding which practices to credit for the success is often mostly a matter of opinion). continued...
  • Great charts - Karl Hartig displays some excellent charts that he created (for the Wall Street Journal) on his web site. The charts seem very similar to what would result from applying Edward Tufte's ideas. Rarely do I see charts that do such a good job of visually displaying data. The lack of such effective visual display of information is another example of how much improvement could be made just by applying ideas that are already published. more...
  • Management Improvement Leaders - Thought leaders in management improvement: Russell Ackoff, George Box, Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Gary Hamel, Edward de Bono, James Womack and Daniel Jones continued...
  • Zero Defects - I agree that eliminating defects that get to customers (and even those that don't) is wise. But I think that doing so is the result of continually improving your processes. I do not believe you succeed by declaring your goal to be zero defects. You succeed by creating a culture of never ending improvement, of customer focus, of fact based decision making, of learning, of "empowerment"... more
    Post by Norman Bodek - "I want to thank John Hunter for his excellent comments on zero defects and maybe for somethings it is difficult to be perfect."
  • The Public Sector and Deming - Actually Deming did acknowledge that the United States government was not designed to be as efficient as possible. From page 198 of Out of the Crisis "Government service is to be judged on equity as well as on efficiency." He then quotes Oscar Ornati "We have forgotten that the function of government is more equity oriented than efficiency oriented." continued
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