LEAN 101, free

FREE, 10 AM, SATURDAY 1/11/20

Leaders, I’m going to review LEAN 101 tomorrow for anyone interested.

You will learn what good looks like when you use LEAN. I’ll cover basics on human behavior, change, seeing waste, doing 6S for workspaces, making & standardizing improvements and if there’s time we’ll solve a problem together.

I’ll be in Roseville from 10am to Noon. Anyone can attend so share it with operators, office staff or leaders.

There is no charge and coffee and donuts will be provided. Cheers.

If you want to attend, text me a note and if there’s room I’ll respond with directions, 248-881-3310.

Don Watza

Defective Thinking

I find the topic really funny. The topic of defective thinking. LEAN examines things in detail, one such thing is the “waste” of defects. In an automotive plant, where LEAN began, a defect is bad. Seeing a defect in a plant and removing it before it gets onto a car makes good sense. But, I apply all things LEAN to thinking, thinking of owners, and their teams especially.

Is Your Thinking Defective?

What is defective thinking? It’s when your actions are inconsistent with your goals. It’s when you do something you know you shouldn’t. It’s being selfish when you don’t want to be. These are easy examples of defective thinking. These are easy because defective thinking is broken thinking. The worst of defective thinking is ignoring the truth. This is the number one barrier to our own future aspirations.

Then, the question is, how do you fix something you can’t see or won’t look at? In the case of human behavior, it’s easy to see a defect in thinking in others, have you ever caught yourself wondering why someone else did something? How are we blind to the realities and truth in our own lives and why do we avoid wanting to see the truth? In the Christian faith, there’s a great phrase that asks this same question.

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?

Matthew 7

Climate Change, A Proxy for Defective Thinking?

Our thinking filters danger and also news. We should avoid danger. But, what if we filter news and information incorrectly? It might be hard for some to understand how they’ve been duped by the Climate change agenda. I’ll use in this article “climate change” as a proxy for defective thinking when examined using LEAN.

LEAN Requires People To Change Their Mind, But, doing that is Hard To Do.

If you have believed the climate change agenda then you have two things you have to change. 1st, you have to agree you might be wrong. This is the biggest problem for LEAN practitioners because people don’t admit they’re wrong easily. Executives and teams I coach will often engage in a sort of, “dup themselves” mentality.

Second, you have to be willing to see facts for what they are. Some like to say facts can be skewed, that’s really not true. Deep understanding of facts, always reveals the truth. I spent 30 years working in the details of Healthcare and answers were always revealed after digging. Now, working across many industries, in a manufacturing plant, when you take enough observations on a machine those details also reveal answers.

LEAN Root Cause, Stop: “Jumping To Conclusions”

In coaching teams, one of the most important early team learnings is to avoid jumping to conclusions. I’ve written about Mike Rother’s KATA PDCA research and publications. He is focused on teaching our youth and others how to use scientific thinking to make decisions.

When I coach executives and small business teams, it’s not a sometimes fact, it’s every time. Teams and individuals will skip over facts they need to make the best decision. As I observe it, when a few facts don’t line up with what they think an answer or solution should be, Executives or teams will ignore the facts and “jump-to-conclusion.” Mike Rother’s work tells us, the human mind automatically jumps-to-conclusion. But, this is a very real barrier to team and business success.

For most small business owners and teams, ignoring facts or jumping to conclusions can be very costly. This is what I see as “defective thinking.” LEAN problem solving develops the “current state” gathering facts, measurable, quantifiable facts. The goal of that is to allow a team or executive to see clearly the problem.

“Fall in love with the problem not the solution.”

From Gemba Academy, Ron Pereria with Saif Arshad, Podcast 286

Stopping a team long enough to examine details is hard. I’m using “climate change” as a proxy for seeing your thinking and to show how LEAN can problem solve. When I mention “climate change” do you already have an opinion? Did you make a judgment and already have your answer? Are you on one side or other? How did you form your opinion about “climate change,” did you “jump-to-a-conclusion?” If you are in agreement with either side of the climate change argument you’re guilty of “jumping-to-a-conclusion.”

LEAN Facts Not Fiction

If we pause our “jumping-to-conclusion” answer and look at the facts we might have to be honest and say we don’t have all the “climate change” facts. If you’re able to pause your thinking and not defend your thinking then you have a chance at real solutions. This is 100% of the time an early hurdle for LEAN teams and Executives, that is skipping the facts.

Why is that? We have to measure before problem-solving. This allows us to see what’s really true about the problem. This eliminates the Executive or ego centered-one-person-instant-solution. Second, we remove any hidden agenda that distracts or overshadows the truth. It builds a teams capability to work and solve tough problems together.

LEAN Current State

LEAN simply calls it, “current state.” Focus on measures, data, facts, or history. Acknowledge how data and measures are gathered have no mysteries in the team. There is always a hidden agenda or influence, talk about where that is entering the facts and details. In our proxy, “climate change” there are many agenda’s on both sides of the argument and both sides of the argument distract us from the truth.

How might we fix that using LEAN? Many ways to get better facts on climate change. There’s no shortage of facts and research. Just like the big data world for Smal Businesses, there’s plenty of data but how do we organize it to tell the story of the current state? We could measure and plot each actor, author, publisher on “climate change” and the dollar funding they receive and where those dollars come from.

LEAN Mapping

We could put down for “climate change” the current state in the context of the past. LEAN does this using a mapping method where we use the customer as the person who writes the check. Before solving for “climate change” we should make it crystal clear in a mapping, maybe a heat map that shows the underlying funding of research and publications. This would be an example of falling in love with the problem. Which is to say, examine the problem or current state enough that it is obvious.

LEAN Asks 5 Why Questions

LEAN uses questions to drill into “root cause” and asking “why” a few times begins to reveal details of the root cause. This process of root cause analysis is a very engineering mindset. Understanding the current state by asking Why a few times would help define “climate change” better than all the emotion of “who is right.” That’s the ego end of things. I’ve quoted below Mann Vs Ball. Clearly, a lot of arguing over who is right.

For me, I’d start with, asking, “why did the scientific community tell us we were going to have the next ice age in the ’70s, they scared us as a youngsters, but now, all of a sudden, the same scientific community stated global warming, but wait, now it’s climate change!” How would you ask “why” to provide a root-cause?

LEAN Has a Process That Focus’ On Facts

Is there

The Court Agreed With The truth?

Did you know a 10-year court battle in Canada has been raging? It’s over the accuracy of data used to inform the “climate change” culture and news. The “hockey stick” data relied upon in the early 2000s may be incorrect (Mann won’t release his detail). This video was recorded in 2018, the guest speaker is the person who was sued by Mann. Ball won because Mann would not give his details or analysis (court verdict, August 2019). Ball is a professor of climate who calls out the climate change agenda and its data as a hoax. After 10 years of court, the Canadian court agreed with him that Mann has delayed providing the facts. The court awarded Ball court costs.

Here’s the link, https://youtu.be/ksMYjzWSlI4, it’s worth the 15-minutes to watch him explain why he was skeptical when he heard the word, consensus used to describe the scientific agreement, “Consensus has nothing to do with science.” He’s had 3 lawsuits against him, he has spent $600,000 for speaking out and how he’s been intimidated by the left is why others don’t speak out. They, the left, marginalize him and the left intimidate him because he disagrees and has proof.

Defective Thinking Ignores The Truth

LEAN loves the truth. It promotes good decision making based on the truth. It endeavors to find measures and data that support the realities of the problems you face, at home, at work, or in life. I find just this exercise to be a good one for executives and shop floor workers. It seems the facts the “climate change” debate needs is still an open discussion.

I know a lot of Science People, Is someone able to explain this detail?

My Own Thoughts on “Ice-Age, Warming, Climate Change”

I’ve had a long disagreement with the science proposed for global warming and now climate change. Why do I think “climate change” is silly and disagree with it? If you lived through the ’70s, you know that the science community proposed, by Carl Sagan, who was the bright science talent of the ’70s, scared me when I was student. They warned of the coming ice age. Quote and link to that and video from that below.

“During the 1970s the media promoted global cooling alarmism with dire threats of a new ice age.”


How can the world be threatened by an ice age in the 70’s, and now, worried about warming 50 years later? That didn’t make sense when I first started to hear about global warming in the ’90s and it doesn’t make a bit of sense now. If you’ve shared my view, you now have the proof to share with others using this post to say, Dr. Tim Ball wins in the Canadian court.

Dr Tim Ball’s Stats Are

LEAN uses the truth as a basis for making decisions. Sounds like the entire climate thing could use a refresh in the area of what is true.

The agenda on both sides could be resolved and the planet and people would be a better place if we did our homework and looked at the truth. I don’t want to jump in with my own answers because we have enough of that. But, the “climate change” issue isn’t going to get resolved sufficiently until we have better answers and that won’t come until we look at the truth more closely.

Care For the Planet Demands The Truth

For those who care about the environment, we should ask more questions before choosing a side. We need a better public discussion that everyone can embrace. I’m saying we should care about the environment solution enough to want the facts not “jumping-to-conclusion” as we see in the press. Dr. Tim Ball says, we need to care for the earth, it’s our “nest.”

Share your thoughts.

LEAN Is The Future of Management

Change is worth the effort of change, it is why I love LEAN. Change defines life, work, and all people. Ironically, we all want tomorrow to be predictable. The rate of change in business is advancing quickly. It means disruption in that daily predictable life. What is disruption you ask? Check out Industry 4.0 for that well-detailed answer. The article quoted here is a good one, the point is preparation will require Small Business Owners to see the change coming. And, if they do see it, the Small Business Owner should embrace LEAN. The author proposes the retraining of employees as the answer and should have been more clear with LEAN as the answer.

Small Business Owners should embrace LEAN

Have your heard the phrase, “boil the ocean?” While this is true, it’s hardly the end game. How do you pick what’s next, or where to focus? I like the metaphor to describe both the size of the problem and also the number of problems Small Business Owners face. Often owners feel overwhelmed because it seems like they must “boil the ocean” to achieve the future.

Continue reading “LEAN Is The Future of Management”

Top 50 Start-ups

Great Linkedin article on top 50.

Why this list of companies is better than other lists of upcoming companies? Because the data Linkedin has available makes for a more clear sense of reality. At least, that’s what they say.

I’m building the office back-room for a Start-up on my current project and I’ve done Start-ups before. It’s fun to see what’s possible.

2018 Top 25 Startups


My favorite 3 companies and their industry disruption:
– Puls, Puls sends a technician to a customer’s door within an hour to fix a broken phone screen or hook up that Nest thermostat.
– InVision, focusing on gaps in the product design workflow, like reliance on tools and lack of real-time collaboration, it has garnered 4 million users.
– Coinbase, bitcoin frenzy catapulted 6 year old wallet and cryptocurrency has 500 employees and 20 million accounts.

My observation of the 2018 Top 25 Startups is the number of financial service and HR disrupters this year. Again, like last year, no healthcare disrupters in the list. A final thought, Industry 4.0 is here and this list is evidence that every company owner needs to pay attention to the rate of change and what it means for their business.

2017 Top 50


My favorite companies and their industry disruption:
– Aryaka Networks, your Verizon and Comcast bills will go down.
– Pinterest, gone hightech is tackling machine learning and AI. I didn’t see that coming.
– GRAIL, Bio-technology with $1 Billion of Bill Gates’ money, that has to be on the list.
– CourseRA, providing education to get underemployed back in the game. Nice.
– Uptake, using sensor data to make decisions, this is coming age of internet connectivity, everything and everyone will be connected.
– Wish, direct access to product manufacturers (many in China), if Americans are the low cost consumers they’ve proven to be this will do well.

There were no healthcare disrupters, hmmmmm.

What companies are your favorite?

LEAN Process Product Dev

Rapidly innovating for customer value is happening now. The old way of management by shoot from the hip, command and control, top down management is out.

Using LEAN basics and integrating LPPD as the latest new shiny new tool small business owners must adopt a way to answer the tough customer market questions more quickly.

Check out this LEAN Enterprise Institute video: