Training Article

Dick Wooden’s picture

By: Dick Wooden

Iran across the book, Successful Human Relations: Principles and practice in business, in the home, in government (Harpercollins, 1952) while browsing older books about relationship development from William J. Reilly, who also wrote The Law of Intelligent Action (Joanna Cotler Books, 1945). His books have proved notably successful in applying in a popular way the findings of psychology to the everyday problems of business, social, and personal life. In Successful Human Relations he discusses in basic terms the attitudes that can make your relationships with others more pleasant and productive. The book is filled with concrete examples of typical problems in human relations and their solutions.

“Accept the solution which has the largest number of advantages and the fewest disadvantages.”

—William J. Reilly

MIT Sloan School of Management’s picture

By: MIT Sloan School of Management

Traditional corporate hierarchies tend to rely on static design. There’s the CEO at the top, followed by directors and managers. Red tape and inefficient processes can bog down decisions. 

Dynamic work design is a more effective method of managing workflow, especially intellectual work, says MIT Sloan senior lecturer Donald Kieffer. Using four underlying principles, it defines two distinct types of work for both physical work and intellectual work: “factory” and “studio.” Kieffer began his career as a pieceworker on a factory floor and rose to become vice president of manufacturing excellence at Harley Davidson.

In his MIT Sloan Executive Education course, “Implementing Improvement Strategies: Dynamic Work Design,” Kieffer offers practical tools and methods for sustainable improvement efforts of any scale, across industries. These tools and methods are from work Kieffer conducted with MIT Sloan professor and associate dean Nelson Repenning.

Knowledge at Wharton’s picture

By: Knowledge at Wharton

Volatile markets, challenging consumer demands, and the technological disruptions resulting from digitization and Industry 4.0 are producing unprecedented rates of change. In response, companies have worked to increase organizational agility, hoping to foster innovation and shorten go-to-market cycles. Yet organizational experiences and sociological conditioning often impede true agility.

As a result, many of these efforts fall short of their objective to manage the uncertainty generated by change. But another movement—mindfulness—can help companies overcome these challenges.

Mindfulness is a centuries-old idea that has been reinvented to address the challenges of our digital age. In essence, mindfulness describes a state of being present in the moment and leaving behind the tendency to judge. It allows one to pause amid the constant inflow of stimuli and consciously decide how to act, rather than react reflexively with ingrained behavior patterns. Mindfulness, therefore, is perfectly suited to counterbalance the digital-age challenges of information overload and constant distraction.

Mike Richman’s picture

By: Mike Richman

On the May 4 episode of QDL, we discovered that love is a key component to winning a Baldrige Award, learned how to be more efficient at work, and discussed how great art helps us to really see our processes. Here is an up-close look:

Undersecretary of Commerce and NIST Director Walter Copan Presents Five Organizations with Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

2018 Baldrige winners Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, Stellar Solutions, City of Fort Collins (CO), Adventist Health Castle, and Southcentral Foundation were honored to receive their awards at last month’s “Quest for Excellence” conference.

How Productive Are You?

In this piece from MIT Sloan School of Management, lecturer Robert Pozen demonstrates how certain habit impinge on workplace efficiency. His Pozen Productivity Index (the test for which will take you an efficient three minutes or so) shows how productive you really are.

Mark Rosenthal’s picture

By: Mark Rosenthal

A couple of weeks ago I posed the question, “Are you overproducing improvements?” and compared a typical improvement “blitz” with a large monument machine that produces in large batches.

I’d like to dive a little deeper into some of the paradoxes and implications of 1:1 flow of anything, improvements included.

What is overproduction, really?

In the classic seven wastes context, overproduction is making something faster than your customer needs it. In practical terms, this means that the cycle time of the producing process is faster than the cycle time of the consuming process, and the producing process keeps making output after a queue has built up above a predetermined “stop point.”

If the cycle times are matched, then as an item is completed by the upstream process, it is consumed by the downstream process.

If the upstream process is cycling faster, then there must be an accumulation of work in progress (WIP) in the middle, and that accumulation must be dealt with. Further, those accumulated items are not yet verified as fit for use by the downstream process that uses them.

Mary Hallock’s picture

By: Mary Hallock

In lean we talk about “seeing the waste” and using visual tools. Many of us who use these terms  have had a lot of training in engineering, manufacturing, and other highly technical areas. However, the skills needed to “see” problems may lie more firmly in the study of art.

I recently read an article about some forward thinking companies that are creating art programs to help them identify safety problems. Why would we want to do this? When we are trying to see waste opportunities or see safety opportunities we should be asking ourselves:
What do I see?
What does it mean to me, other workers, and productivity in the area?
What should I do about it?

If we understand concepts in art education, we may be able to overcome some of the biases that we all have when we are observing what is taking place on the shop floor. The following are some of those biases:

Harry Hertz’s picture

By: Harry Hertz

The greatest challenge I have each year when I return from the Baldrige Program’s annual Quest for Excellence Conference is prioritizing the most important messages for me and my organization, whether that is my work organization, volunteer organization, or—yes—my family (this one might be stealth). There are always so many great ideas that I know I will not succeed at implementing any of them unless I select only a few for action. The 30th anniversary conference was no different. I returned energized and started organizing my thoughts.

My process begins with seeking thematic highlights and also capturing one or two individual gems of wisdom that I heard from individual speakers. Maybe these will help you set some of your priorities, even if you were unable to attend the conference. Maybe my reflections from this year’s conference will also encourage you to attend the Quest for Excellence Conference next year and discover your own themes.

Scott Berkun’s picture

By: Scott Berkun

The great surprise for people with good ideas is the gap between how an idea feels in their minds and how it feels when they try to put the idea to work.

When a good idea comes together, it feels fantastic. Good ideas often come with a wave of euphoria, a literal dopamine high, and we’re joyously overwhelmed by it. It’s natural in that instant to overlook the dozens of questions that must be answered to bring the idea to life. We easily postpone those questioning thoughts, believing that if we can come up with the big idea, surely we can conquer all the little problems, too. An epiphany is a powerful experience, but the myth of epiphany is that it alone is all you need.

Bruce Bolger’s picture

By: Bruce Bolger

Grace Swanson, vice president of human capital at Accumold, a leading micro-molding plastics injection company located just outside Des Moines, Iowa, knows the field of standards well. Her company has certifications in ISO 9001 for quality management, ISO 14001 for environmental management, and ISO 13485 for medical devices. She believes that ISO 10018 for quaity management of people involvement and competence, could have a significant effect on quality management, as well as on implementating other ISO standards.

Marin Hedin’s picture

By: Marin Hedin

Limiting first-year medical residents to 16-hour work shifts, compared to “flexing” them to allow for some longer shifts, generally makes residents more satisfied with their training and work-life balance. It also makes their training directors more dissatisfied with curtailed educational opportunities, a new study from the New England Journal of Medicine has found.

For the study, investigators from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania surveyed and tracked the activities of thousands of first-year residents in 63 internal medicine training programs nationwide. The study—which is part of a five-year effort funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)—also found that shift-length regulations have no effect on the residents’ activity or test of medical knowledge scores one way or the other.

Syndicate content