Content By Kevin Meyer

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By: Kevin Meyer

One of the most powerful lean tools is called value stream mapping, a visual management method used to document the flow and creation of value in a process. The definition of a value stream is all steps—both value-added and nonvalue-added—that contribute to taking the process from raw materials to the customer. Value stream mapping can be used to understand and document the production floor, in-office processes, hospital surgical wards, and even at home.

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By: Kevin Meyer

Before you can improve something, you must first have a very clear understanding of what its current state is. Don’t assume you know what it is. Go to the gemba, be it the factory floor, the shipping and receiving area, your office, or even take a minute to focus on yourself, and observe what is going on. It is important that you get close to the action. The worst thing you can do is try to document the current state from a meeting in a faraway conference room.

Kevin Meyer’s picture

By: Kevin Meyer

Kevin Meyer’s picture

By: Kevin Meyer

To many people, lean manufacturing was invented in Japan and is synonymous with the Toyota Production System (TPS). They will tell you that the TPS is the manufacturing philosophy that enabled Toyota to effectively conquer the global automobile market by reducing waste and improving quality. While that is true, it is not the whole story. Lean has far deeper roots and broader potential.

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By: Kevin Meyer

Acquiring new knowledge and perspectives helps you grow within your general area of comfort or interest. To really grow, you need to stretch yourself outside of that comfort zone by learning or experiencing something completely different. In addition to acquiring the new skill, knowledge, or experience, you also create confidence in your ability to break boundaries. This can help you awaken to your true meaning.

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By: Kevin Meyer

Often we become so focused on fixing problems and resolving issues that our entire sense of reality shifts. We begin to live in a bubble that encompasses the negative and blocks the positive. Because they demand our attention, the negative aspects of work and life consume a disproportionate amount of our thinking, and eventually distorts our perceived reality.

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By: Kevin Meyer

“Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence—only in constant improvement and constant change.”
—Tom Peters

Kevin Meyer’s picture

By: Kevin Meyer

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Like most people, I maintain a fairly long to-do list of personal and professional projects. It’s a few pages long—especially the honey-do portion. Because the list can be intimidating, I need a good strategy to tackle it.

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By: Kevin Meyer

When many people go into the office, they start their day by chatting with some colleagues, checking their email, and surfing the net for a while. Then they start working on whatever project is due that day. Soon, however, they hear the sound of a new email arriving, which they promptly open, leading them to other tasks. Before they know it, the day is over and they still don’t have that project finished. This happens repeatedly, taking two days to complete a 30-minute task.