Blog posts on respect for people

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  • Dilbert and Deming

    Dilbert can show the silliness that is common place in many workplaces, as just that – silly. Point 10 of Deming’s 14 points called on management to eliminate slogans.

    ...

    The text works well for me, but I think Dilbert provides a great service in pointing out the same idea that such slogans are silly and even harmful in a way many others find more accessible.

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  • Agile Software Development and Deming's Ideas

    It's one of the reasons for "people over process" and all that; they believe that a software developer should be respected. Yes, they should. Factory workers should be respected, too. Everyone should be respected. That's what Deming was talking about. So then the idea that Deming was trying to impose on software developers some rigid controls that they shouldn't be subject to is not so. And not only wasn't he doing that, he wasn't doing that to factory workers either.

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  • Performance without Appraisal

    In the short article Performance Without Appraisal: What to do Instead of Performance Appraisals, Peter wrote:

    Dr. Deming said of Performance Appraisals, “Stop doing them and things will get better.” He was correct. Many organizations, however, wonder what to do instead.

    For those that do require “some alternative” Peter included some good ideas in The Leader’s Handbook(see chapter 9 “Performance without Appraisal pages 293 to 368). This chapter has excellent material for any manager.

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  • W. Edwards Deming’s Seven Deadly Diseases

    Seven Deadly Diseases

    1. Lack of constancy of purpose
    2. Emphasis on short term profits (Overreaction to short term variation is harmful to long term success. With such focus on relatively unimportant short term results focus on constancy of purpose is next to impossible.)
    3. Evaluation of performance, merit rating or annual review (see: Performance Without Appraisal: What to do Instead of Performance Appraisals by Peter Scholtes).
    4. Mobility of top management (too much turnover causes numerous problems)
    5. Managing by use of visible figures, with little of no consideration of figures that are unknown or unknowable.

    continue reading: W. Edwards Deming’s Seven Deadly Diseases

  • How Toyota Turns Workers Into Problem Solvers

    This idea is simple. Creating an environment where this is actual the way things are, not just the way things are said to be, is difficult. That is why I believe so strongly in Deming’s management philosophy. The organization must be viewed as a whole. Benefits can be gained by adopting some concepts in a piecemeal manner. However, many benefits accrue only when the positive interactions between Toyota Production System (TPS – Lean) concepts occur (as systems thinking would predict).

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  • Performance Without Appraisal

    The comments on the mini-microsoft blog shows performance appraisal continues to be an emotional topic. People on opposite sides of the debate are very passionate.

    I admit it took me longer to accept Dr. Deming’s thoughts on performance appraisal than other ideas (and that is even with Peter Scholtes being a friend which gave me the opportunity to discuss the idea with him). So I understand it is not an easy concept to accept.

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  • Seven Leadership Leverage Points

    IHI has the courage to say one of the 3 sources for there hypothesis as “Hunches, Intuition, and Collective Experience.” While attempting to base plans on data and not hunches is good. Often you must make decisions without data. It is why Dr. Deming was so concerned with mobility of top management: that mobility means many managers don’t really understand what they are managing. Lean thinkers understand the value of having managers with deep knowledge of the areas they manage.

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  • Toyota Engineers a New Plant: the Living Kind

     

    Toyota’s vision:

    First, making things that benefit both people and the world as a whole.

    Second, as a member of society, we must fulfill our responsibilities to all stakeholders. We must provide to customers cleaner, safer, and more attractive products with excellent value. To shareholders, we must enhance share value through long-term and stable growth by increasing profits and paying appropriate dividends. With business partners, we must engage in fair business based on a spirit of mutual benefit.

    To our employees, we must provide a workplace where they can work with pride based on mutual trust and responsibility between labor and management, and respect for people.

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  • Management Training Program

    So I said to the Toyota executive, “You’ve only got two or three suppliers per category, and you never take bids. How do you know you aren’t being ripped off?” So this guy, who was around 60, gives me an incredibly frosty look and says, “Because I know everything.” Everything? “That’s my job,” he says.

    Reading “Because I know everything” brings to mind an arrogant blowhard to many in America (I think). Probably because most who would say that, are arrogant blowhards. But when someone has worked (a Toyota executive or a baker) for 40+ years in the same area those words can have quite a different meaning than a 31 year old MBA working in his third industry. Managing with constancy of purpose and long term thinking can make a big difference.

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  • Appreciation for Bill Hunter

    I frequently receive kind words from people who knew my father. A recent note:

    I just thought I’d let you know how much I enjoyed your dad’s class as a grad student in 1979 at UW-Madison. I’m sure you’ve heard many comments like this, but I’ll add one more. He was a delightful and entertaining prof who clearly loved his subject. He made an impression on me one day by asking us a question about the British comedy radio program, The Goon Show, which I had heard. I think I was the only member of the class who raised his hand. After that moment, I always felt a special bond with him, because I thought it was great that he appreciated the wacky humor of that show.

    I received a wonderful education at UW and your dad was no small part of it.

     

     

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  • Superior Customer Experiences Start with Respect for Employees

    Oakley found that there is a direct link between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction, and between customer satisfaction and improved financial performance. Employee satisfaction is a key antecedent to employee engagement. He also found that organizations with engaged employees have customers who use their products more, and increased customer usage leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction.

    This is not a zero-sum game. Good managers grow the pie so all the stakeholders can get more benefit (customers, investors, employees…).

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  • Toyota Manufacturing Powerhouse

    Unusual among automakers, “they don’t hide a lot,” Coventry said. “It’s like going to the Super Bowl and having the opposite side throw their playbook on the table. It’s as if they feel they can still beat you on the field.”

    Toyota has greatly advanced management practice worldwide through their actions.

    In a reflection of Toyota’s team-oriented approach, its executive pay is paltry by U.S. standards. Analyst Ron Tadross at Banc of America Securities estimates the total annual compensation of Toyota’s CEO at under $1 million – about as much as a vice president at GM or Ford Motor Co. makes in a good year.

    The executive pay crisis in America is a symptom of the failure of American management to understand their role. Executives are part of the system and have acted shamefully in allowing obscene pay for a few while claiming they must force others to suffer (due to “the market”).

    continue reading: Toyota Manufacturing Powerhouse

  • Excessive Executive Pay

    The excesses are so great now they will either force companies to:

    1. take huge risks to justify such pay and then go bankrupt when such risks fail (and some will succeed making it appear, to some, that the pay was deserved rather than just the random chance of taking a large risk and getting lucky).
    2. make it impossible to compete with companies that don’t allow such excesses and slowly go out of business to those companies that don’t act so irresponsibly
    3. hope that competitors adopt your bad practice of excessive pay (this does have potential as most people are corrupted by power, even across cultural boundaries). However, my expectation is the competitive forces of capitalism going forward are going to make such a hope unrealistic. People will see the opportunity provided by such poor management and compete with them.

    As long as the pay packages were merely large, and didn’t effect the ability of a company to prosper that could continue (slicing up the benefits between the stakeholders is not an exact science). The excesses recently have become so obscene as to become unsustainable.

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  • Google: Ten Golden Rules (2005)

    The suits inside Google don’t fare much better than the outside pros. Several current and former insiders say there’s a caste system, in which business types are second-class citizens to Google’s valued code jockeys. They argue that it could prove to be a big challenge in the future as Google seeks to maintain its growth.

    Google really is doing things differently. One way you see it is that some of those used to being the most powerful players complain that they don’t get respect at Google, at Google the engineers rule. Um, maybe they shouldn’t complain too loud, maybe the reason Google is doing better is they focus on the Gemba (where value is added to the customer).

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  • Process Improvement of the Order Fulfillment Process

    Shipping an international order now takes about 35 seconds, down from 3 minutes, and can be done by anyone, whether or not they have SQL and Mail Merge skills. Domestic orders are even faster since they don’t need customs forms. Most of all, it’s all really fun.

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