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True North Thinking Inc.’s Friends & Favourites – 16 April 2014

Apr 16, 2014 | Posted by Matt Elson

This is the weekly (or there abouts) list of our favourite articles, blogs and generally cool stuff from the interweb.

(We’re shamelessly “borrowing” this idea from our good friend and fellow student of TPS, Joel Gross.  Please check-out Joel’s excellent site, blogs and articles here.  Thanks Joel!)

Operational / Continuous Improvement / TPS:

Why You Should Jump to Solutions, by Joel Gross.  ”The following statement contains controversial advice and may not be suitable for all Lean practitioners:  When solving problems, I deliberately choose not follow the established order.  In fact, I start by jumping right to solutions.  And you should, too!

Is Lean a Waste Elimination Program or Striving for Excellence, by Jeffrey K. Liker.  ”The real challenge is to replace the old habits of people that focus on today’s problems, quick resolution, with little learning with a set of skilled routines to systematically improve toward clear targets.”  We like this article because it opens the discussion around where “lean” as gone off track…a subject that we frequently discuss.

Value-Stream Mapping, Kaizen Blitzes, Jishuken , by Michel Baudin.  ”The American literature on Lean gives the impression that all it takes to implement it is Value-Stream Mapping (VSM) and Kaizen Blitzes. Mention these to Toyota people, however, and you may be surprised that they have never heard of them, and certainly not as part of the Toyota Production System (TPS) that Lean is based on.”


We’re all leaders AND Followers, by Mike Bonn.  ”Are leaders born or made?  I don’t believe it’s either.  As with elite athletes, some leaders are naturals and some have to work hard to become good leaders.”

Don Knauss of Clorox, On Putting Your Followers First , by Adam Bryant.  ”I had been up since 5 in the morning, and I was pretty hungry. I started walking over to get in front of the line, and this gunnery sergeant grabbed my shoulder and turned me around. He said: “Lieutenant, in the field the men always eat first. You can have some if there’s any left.” I said, “O.K., I get it.””

Social Media:

48 Significant Social Media Facts, Figures and Statistics Plus 7 Infographics , by Jeff Bullas.  ”Apparently there are 600 million more people that own a mobile phone compared to those who own a toothbrush.”

6 Ways to Compare SproutSocial and HootSuite , by Jenny Silard.  ”Social Media, once dismissed as the next teen fad, has quickly become a marketing tool essential to meeting business demands with regards to branding, networking, reach, and development of B2C relationships and, consequently, customer tenure.”

Hope you enjoy the list!  Feel free to leave a comment, or send me a note to continue the conversation!


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