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The Journey to True North

Dr. Suess & Continuous Improvement / People Development

Jul 23, 2022 | Posted by Matt Elson

[Many apologies…it has been a while since I posted a new blog!] Sometimes, a little humour goes a long way! I received this excellent poem from a leader that I have been learning with (along with the rest of the True North Thinking Inc. team).  This is how she imagined a conversation / collaboration would […]

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Cardboard City, Materials Presentation & Kitting and Improving Plant & Cell Layouts

Mar 11, 2022 | Posted by Matt Elson

I had a great discussion and opportunity for information sharing not long ago…and they say that a picture is worth a thousand words. So, here’s some action from front-line #kaizen activities, focused on: 1) “Cardboard City” (standardized work, machine design and layout improvement method); 2) Improvements to delivering materials into production environments; 3) Improvements to […]

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Leadership = Mentorship

Jun 2, 2021 | Posted by Matt Elson

Developing others is perhaps the most important role of leadership. A leader: – sets the vision (with strong focus on WHY) – builds systems and process that distribute responsibility & authority for problem solving and decision making – leads by setting an example, being knowledgeable and by coaching & teaching We have standardized methods for […]

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[From The Archives!] Building A Culture of Learning

May 6, 2021 | Posted by Matt Elson

[This was originally posted on Canadian Metalworking, here] A Culture of Continuous Improvement and Innovation Many consultants, lean books and conferences/seminars tend to put a lot of emphasis on “tools”.  These tools can include  things like work standards, value stream mapping, 5S, kanban, andon, heijunka box, etc.  Alternatively, continuous improvement is about building the capacity […]

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Keep Improvement Simple!

Apr 29, 2021 | Posted by Matt Elson

We were taught a very simple rubric from my very days at #Toyota and from the coaches at #TSSC.  Keep improvement simple, verify through experimentation, then standardize / stabilize, and repeat.  Accordingly, our approach is always to use simple, hand drawn sketches, notes, tables, charts and graphs.  There is no sense in making them pretty (in a […]

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