Is it a cell? A handy-dandy checklist from GBMP to help you evaluate your work cells and formulate an action plan for improvement.
Attendees of GBMP’s premier annual event will learn how to engage the hearts and minds of employees to effect meaningful & sustainable improvement.
Thursday, March 07, 2019 - Boston, Mass. – The GBMP conference, coming October 23-24, 2019, to Hartford, CT turns its focus on recognizing the re-emergence of Total Employee Involvement as the key to unlocking the full benefits of Lean transformation.
In the early days of Lean implementation, company involvement of all employees at all levels was identified as the keystone to Lean. Total Employee Involvement (TEI) recognized the innate capabilities and desire of employees to solve problems and always make things better. Unfortunately, in the early 1990’s, as Lean tools were popularized, the focus on broad-based employee development and involvement diminished and was largely replaced by subject matter experts and swat teams. New jobs were created to concentrate the tasks of problem solving and improvement in the hands of just a small segment of employees. Today, organizations seeking to change their culture are recognizing that this must involve everyone.
Featured keynote presenters will include Jamie Bonini, VP TSSC at Toyota Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Art Smalley, author of the best-selling books A3 Thinking, Creating Level Pull & Four Types of Problems, Alan Robinson, author of The Idea Driven Organization and Ideas are Free, and Amy Ferrero, Head of Client Services, MassMutual Financial Services, each addressing management’s imperative to unleash the capabilities of every single employee, every single day.
Added Bruce Hamilton, President of GBMP:
“In my 40 years as a student and practitioner of Lean, Total Employee Involvement, TEI, is the single most important leading indicator for Lean Transformation. There is nothing more powerful than a committed and aligned workforce that embraces each day with the professional challenge to make things better than the day before. This is why we are dedicating the 15th annual conference to showcasing TEI leaders from all levels of the organization.”
The Northeast Lean Conference attracts more than 550 passionate Lean implementers every year, from the manufacturing, healthcare and service industries. Lean practitioners from the front lines to the back-office attend with the goal of networking, benchmarking, sharing and learning all things continuous improvement and Lean – to get the tools, knowledge, inspiration and confidence they need to bring their organizations to higher levels of operational excellence.
The annual event is ideal for executives and managers who play a role in driving Lean transformation and provides exceptional educational benefits to front line team members, CI champions and change agents from all functional areas of any organization.
For the first time, there will be more than 50 breakout sessions in six tracks:
If you would like more information about The Northeast Lean Conference and/or GBMP, please call us at 617-969-1396 or email usor visit the conference website. Exhibitor, speaker & poster presenter opportunities are still available but are filling up fast.
Last February I had the opportunity to observe healthcare providers up close and personal at one the world’s premier hospitals. “Who Cares for the Caregivers?” was written from the perspective of a patient in a cardiac step down unit, sympathetically surveilling care-givers’ as they grappled with many small problems in their workday. Here is another story from the 8th floor recovery area:
At 3:00 a.m., except for the sound of occasional call bells the floor was quiet. Nurses and assistants quietly made rounds to dispense meds, check vitals and draw blood. Patients were resting quietly. I was awakened suddenly by a bright light over my bed. “Oh, sorry,” the CNA apologized as she turned off the light, “wrong bed.” She then switched a second light on, hoping to hit the mark. Again, “Oops, sorry.” Because the order of the switches on the panel did not correspond to the order of the lights above the beds, searching for bed lights had become routine. I drifted back to sleep, amused at this particular guesswork problem. Guesswork isn’t really work as the noun implies; it’s waste. This was a defect, which caused frustration for the CNA and a little bit of discomfort for the patients. Clinic staff was just expected to remember the order. I smiled because I’d seen a similar problem many years before in a totally different setting.
In 2003, I been teaching a workshop at a local furniture manufacturer. A small corner of the company’s showroom had been cordoned off to act as our classroom. On the wall of our classroom was a light panel with eleven switches, each controlling a different area in the showroom and adjacent offices. As class began, to darken the classroom for projection, I flipped the switch that my intuition told me should correspond to the spotlights over my projection screen. “Hey, what’s going on?” came a question from the other side of the wall. “Sorry,” I replied as I hit the next switch for an instant and then the next, trying to turn off my lights and nobody else’s. After four tries, I finally got it right. While my class that day had nothing to do with visual control, we took a few minutes to label the switch panel, a simple way to address the rare occasion that all lights were not tuned on or off at the same time. “It’s a small thing,” I told the class, “but you’ll never have that problem again.”
Back to February 2018, later in the morning as my nurse was leaving her shift, I asked her about the light panel. “How long as it been this way?” Apologetically, she replied, “Forever. Sorry to wake you last night, I usually remember the order of the lights, but last night I forgot.” “You shouldn’t have to deal with a broken process,” I said, “why don’t you just label the switches?” She thought for a second and replied, “Good idea.” Before her shift was over, the two errant switches had been marked to clarify the lighting sequence over the beds. And, guess what? The following night lights were switched on without annoyance to staff or patients. When it was my turn for a visit from the CNA, I thanked her for fixing the problem. “It was a small thing,” she humbly replied. I thanked her again and responded, “Yes, but you’ll never have the problem again.”
How many “small things” does it take to change a person’s outlook – or to change an organization? What do you think?
Last year I had a short stay at one of Boston’s best hospitals. While I will be forever grateful for the excellent treatment I received while in their care, I wondered about a few systems that sat directly in front of my bed. So, I took a picture to share later. Here is what I saw:
My question here is not whether or not any of these systems were potentially useful, nor am I questioning any of the actions or performance of my excellent caregivers and support staff. My question is “How often do we audit systems that are supposed to be making us more productive?”
Recalling W. Edwards Deming’s 95/5 rule that 95% of the variation in the performance of a system is caused by the system itself and only 5% is caused by the people, if a system is not working as intended, what steps do we take to analyze and adjust? And what are the consequences to the system if we just set it and forget it? What impact to our employees and customers?
How often do you take stock of the systems that run your business? When you do, what are your discoveries? Please share a thought.
We hope you enjoy the ideas and news posted here, created by GBMP's team of Continuous Improvement Managers, Six Sigma Black Belts and passionate Lean Manufacturing educators.