Content By Akhilesh Gulati

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By: Akhilesh Gulati

Isn't it the economy that's on everyone's minds? When will the economy pick up? Will we be able to survive until then or will we too become another company that used to exist? How do we ensure a stronger position when the economy turns around?

Alas, if only we had a crystal ball. Nobody does, but many of us have common business sense and the fortitude to act on it. It's called resilience.

Akhilesh Gulati’s picture

By: Akhilesh Gulati

We usually focus on lean and Six Sigma concepts as ideas for providing improvement. But there are many other approaches around the world that are insightful and worth noting as lessons learned for business and other organizations. For example, during the month of April 2009, an estimated 714 million Indians cast their vote, using India's unique electronic voting machines. And less than a year ago, President Obama used text messaging to reach millions of voters. What can we learn from these radical uses of technology?

Akhilesh Gulati’s picture

By: Akhilesh Gulati

Recently a strategy consultant was overheard saying she writes romantic novels. Look into many organizations and, although said in jest, it has more than a modicum of truth to it.

Akhilesh Gulati’s picture

By: Akhilesh Gulati

Those best adapted to particular conditions will succeed in the long run. This idea was invented by Herbert Spencer in Principles of Biology (University Press of the Pacific, 2002) to describe Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection of living species.

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By: Akhilesh Gulati

A physics exam question asked students to describe how they would use a barometer to measure the height of a skyscraper. One student who failed the test contested that his answer was correct. He was given a second chance to defend his position, verbally, to the professor. When the student didn’t answer right away, the professor challenged him stating that he didn’t have an answer after all. At this point, the student said that he had lots of answers, only he wasn’t sure which answer the professor wanted. He started by giving the following answers:

Akhilesh Gulati’s picture

By: Akhilesh Gulati

Akhilesh Gulati’s picture

By: Akhilesh Gulati

Since one of the pillars of lean thinking is the visual workplace, why hasn’t problem solving in the workplace been taken to the visual level?

Flowcharts are popular visual tools that can show what’s currently happening, what could be happening, or what should be happening—a great opportunity to show where there may be a disconnection between procedures and reality. A flowchart also provides a pictorial display of where problems occur and where and how proposed solutions may or may not solve the issue.

Akhilesh Gulati’s picture

By: Akhilesh Gulati

Remember way back when you knew Newton’s Third Law, how to do long division, how to solve quadratic equations, and the difference between mean, mode, and median? As quality professionals, we’ve probably all had to learn these basic concepts at some point in our careers. Do we remember them?

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By: Akhilesh Gulati

A recent conversation with the general manager of a manufacturer that was in the process of implementing lean methodologies provided insights as to their ongoing results. He was excited about what was happening in his company. Initiatives in the past had not been successful, and he now understood why, as well as why the employees and management blamed each other for the failures.

Akhilesh Gulati’s picture

By: Akhilesh Gulati

As a manager, one might imagine being a rider atop a horse. You cannot expect to force the horse to win by constantly pulling the reins, neither can you expect to win the race consistently by pushing the horse beyond its capability. The rider needs to influence its performance to win the race; after all, the horse is much stronger than the rider.