Appreciating Systems

Appreciating Systems for Genuine Efficiency
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#Lean & Nonviolent Communication #nvc

I just read a bunch of pages on Nonviolent Communication (The Wikipedia page’s good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_Communication) and it occurred to me that practising it as a coach to help people communicate at the frontiers of teams, inside a process, or maybe better teach it to team leaders, would help a lot with efficiency during pass over (moments where the product passes from one team to the next).

Indeed, isn’t A3 and nemawashi supposed to achieve something like what NVC does?

NVC has four components that should all be expressed in any form of communication. And I think it goes well with maintaining continuous improvement:

  • Observations (well, this one is obvious: Lean Six Sigma is mostly about facts, facts & facts!)
  • Needs: how to express a need or listen to a need – should these be clarified, we’d go really further than just complaining about others. Have you expressed your needs clearly recently? Further, isn’t genchi gembutsu (with clients AND suppliers/internal teams) a way to get closer to the real needs?
  • Feelings: what unmet needs provoke in people, and how to express it.
  • Requests: when they’re clear and made after feelings, needs and observations have been done properly, it’s all the more probable that requests will be fulfilled, or if not, that other solutions will be found.

I think it would go a long way toward improving the chances of Lean sticking where it’s been presented if (1) teams where taught and experienced a bit in NVC and (2) coaches (and management) were practicing NVC during exchanges with other parties. Here are two examples:

For an executive talking to the whole organization, it would help if s/he clarified the observations related to how the balanced scorecard is going (finance, processes, people and learning), expressed the feelings raised because of that (fear, sadness or maybe joy or hope), what the corresponding needs are to further improve the situation and then the request would flow more naturally to employees who would then have the rationale to move on into continuous improvement (including middle management that would be much more informed in order to balance the work between “doing the job” and “improving the job”).

For a team leader, factual observations of errors coming from the previous team and what needs are unfulfilled because of the team’s purpose, would help explain they current feelings about what’s going on and consequently express a clear and justified request to their partner team, in order to raise efficiency of the process at border crossing .

What’s more, I feel a clear nonviolent communication would definitely allow each participant to answer in the best way that would work for themselves, making the resulting exchange all the more solution-focused!

Using Emergence to Scale Social Innovation

I just discovered this astounding article from Wheatley and Frieze on Using Emergence to Scale Social Innovation.

I do think the way social networking is done today is broken – or immature to say the least. How are we supposed to create working networks and provoke emergence the way Wheatley explains it, if we stick to groups of people?

What’s important in a network: the people that make it of the contributions they make?

When you look today at the way social networks work, you see communities of people, connected through people. IMHO, that’s not the way it’s supposed to work (it may be flattening to one’s ego to have loads of followers, but I challenge you to find any real usefulness in this kind of network).

Indeed, we can see people intuitively knowing this fact since they tend to agregate around dedicated web sites on specific topics. Look at Google Groups, LinkedIn groups or even Facebook groups! What connect these people are the topics around which they network. Yet, one topic alone isn’t enough. How are the topics connected?

The power isn’t in the @ (how people are now mentionned, such as @nicolasstampf for instance, but in the # (hash tag: the way topics are mentioned). Yet, today, social networks are organized around people. When you want informations about some #topic, you need to find your @people to identify when some #topic has been mentioned. Or to search a whole social network for these mentions (eg. Twitter). How inefficient is that?

Workshop by @DReinertsen in october in Paris, France – rebate code here

July 7th, 2013 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , , ,

Don Reinertsen will facilitate a workshop in Paris, France on October 1st and 2nd on The Principles of Product Development Flow (see his corresponding book on Amazon).

When one wants to apply Lean principles outside manufacturing (Lean Office, Lean IT or Lean Product Development), the work of Don is of great value. He’s explaining the science behind waiting queues, variability, feedbacks and centralized control.  This allows to go beyond traditional R&D or classical Six Sigma oriented toward reducing variability or even beyond some of Lean tools not well adapted to knowledge work.

Here’s a summary of his book:

The Principles of Product Development Flow will forever change the way you think about product development. Reinertsen starts with the ideas of lean manufacturing but goes far beyond them, drawing upon ideas from telecommunications networks, transportation systems, computer operating systems and military doctrine. He combines a lucid explanation of the science behind flow with a rich set of practical approaches. This is another landmark book by one of the foremost experts on product development.

On October 1st and 2nd, right before the Lean IT Summit 2013 (where I’ll be speaking too), Don Reinertsen will for the first time propose a workshop of two days, in english, to investigate the principles of product development flow.
To seize this opportunity, we’re offering you a 13% rebate on the standard workshop price bought before August, 31th. In order to benefit from this rebate, use coupon code “yisy-stampf-13%-discount-ghqmpzue” where buying your ticket from here: http://www.weezevent.com/formation-appliquez-les-principes-du-flux

Reblog: Most Workers ?Hate Their Job? (Are Disengaged); #Lean & #Kaizen Can Help

June 25th, 2013 Posted in Lean, Strengths Tags: , , , , ,

Mark Graban wrote an excellent blog post about Gallup’s recent survey of strength usage at work… or lack thereof. Only 30% of people really are engaged at work, which means 70% of them are not engaged or actively disengaged! I’ve seen past reports for other countries (UK and Australia namely) and the results are similar. I haven’t seen results for France, but I guess they would be similar.

Mark’s point is that Lean can help with increasing engagement at work. I would even dare to say that it can make employees thrive and flourish provided it’s done for good reasons (improve work conditions and serve clients better, in this order, then money will follow).

I couldn’t agree more. Read his post here:
http://www.leanblog.org/2013/06/most-workers-hate-their-job-are-disengaged-lean-can-help/