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Jim Benson
If I have been on a decades-long drive to make work more flexible, Alton Brown has been on a similar one in the kitchen. There is no shortage of rants on his various shows about “unitaskers”......
    ‘Why are our changeovers taking so long?” If you’ve asked this question on the shop floor, more than likely you were met with blank stares by your employees. Open-ended questions like this are overwhelming, so employees try to find quick answers that don’t really address the problem. They don’t...
    I must confess up front that the title of this column is misleading. Similar to the Spoon Boy in the movie, The Matrix, I will say, “There is no lean problem or a Six Sigma problem. All these problems are our mental constructs of a perceived phenomenon.” A problem statement is...
    As some of you already know, I was in Ford Motor Co.’s corporate quality office during the early 1980s when, just after “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We” aired on NBC, we pleaded with W. Edwards Deming to help us out of a very bad place. One of the things I most remember about those times was that he...
    My favorite part of a recent podcast with James Clear, author of Atomic Habits (Avery, 2018), was the last five minutes, when he talked about a potential downside of good habits. When we decide to improve and create a new practice with the right cues and rewards, we form a new habit. But habits can...

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