Lean and the eighth waste

Recently at King County there has been buzz about an article by Larisa Benson titled Reclaiming the People Side of Lean (Or How We Lost Respect)   In it, Benson argues that the fundamental principle of lean – respect for people – has been lost in translation. As lean spreads from manufacturing to other industries, more…

What’s your parenting, er, supervising style?

A book about parenting style has me wondering about supervision within the workplace. I don’t mean to suggest that parenting and managing are equivalent roles. But parenting and managing share two important characteristics: there is a power-dynamic inherent in the relationship; human beings are involved on both sides of that power-dynamic. And occasionally I’ve heard frustrated supervisors…

Invest in learning, not training

When we see a problem in the workplace, it’s common to land on training as a solution. We hope to eliminate waste, become effective managers, or learn to resolve conflicts with difficult coworkers. We look at our budget, hire a trainer, and have a great class. As a trainer, I love that solution. It funds work…

From conflict to transformational results

If you want to understand how to transform conflict into smarter results and stronger relationships, watch Alan Honick’s short film Seeing the Forest. It’s a story about transformation—from singled-minded management to inclusive leadership; from positional conflict to values-based collaboration; from focusing on discrete objects (trees) to seeing integrated systems (the forest ecosystem: trees, salmon, and let’s not forget the…

Move beyond staying positive

I recently spoke with a man struggling to stay positive within his workplace. Several months earlier he had committed to changing his attitude. He had spent too many years complaining with coworkers and leaving the office at the end of the day emotionally exhausted. He didn’t want to be part of the toxicity that permeates his work group anymore.…