4 January 2012 Lean Coffee Notes

Topics discussed:

1. Creating desire/excitement and change
How do you create a sense of urgency that’ll get people to always want to improve? There are a lot of people that are just comfortable in what they’re doing and don’t see a reason to improve. What’s wrong with being comfortable? It’s fine if there’s no competition or pain. That’s where consultants are good because they can come in, cause some pain and then leave without blame.

Senior leadership needs to put in sweat equity.
There are two types of behavior:
Model I behavior is the most likely paradigm to be operating at this time.
Model II behavior represents a healthy, but seldom used alternative
The ideal goal would be to get people from from model 1 to model 2 behavior. Chris argeris book. Would like to have mostly intrinsic staff? That’s utopian. Motivation for creative work vs manufacturing? Really no need for unmotivated people.
Excerpt from

There are 2 types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsically motivated people get their motivation from being told what to do. Intrinsically motivated people like to take risk and motivate themselves?

Recommended Reading on this topic:
The Ropes to Skip and the Ropes to Know- Studies in Organizational Theory and Behavior (Wiley)
excerpt from Amazon: The material deals with issues central to life in an organization – issues of how the culture of an organization functions. Incorporated throughout are numerous examples of behaviors and decisions with real consequences that can enhance or impede careers. Business professionals will also discover the unwritten rules of organizations, such as the impact of stereotypes.

On Organizational Learning – Chris Argyris

2. Is Mike Rother’s Toyota Kata a good book for a book group?
If the goal is to develop the people and processes in your company to be more productive an instill the want to continuously improve. An easier read is as an introduction might be The Toyota Way. It’s more more anecdotal than Toyota Kata.

The impression I got was that Toyota Kata is a fantastic book and worthy of reading in a book group, but it might be a little dry or too advanced of a book to start with. It might still be a good choice if those reading the book are already familiar with some lean concepts and are using tools like Kanban.

Questions to ask when choosing a book. What kind of book would speak to people that are not process geeks? What are people in the book group frustrated about and want to fix?

Additional recommendations that might be easier to start a book group with:
The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production– Toyota’s Secret Weapon in the Global Car Wars That Is Now Revolutionizing World Industry

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The Lean Manager: A Novel of Lean Transformation

3. Deterministic vs Probabilistic
This is an argument that has been going on in the kanbandev groups. I haven’t read the thread, so this was a little over my head and my notes may not be helpful.

scrum is good for unknowns – probabilistic
Kanban works if there’s no uncertainty – deterministic

Even in deterministic environment like manufacture, small batch still works.

All projects have all levels of complexity at all times. Doing XP results in good code, but you need different techniques to determine what’s going to be the new features and future of product.

4. Intrapraneur
Steve Holt is consultant inside Boeing (working for Boeing). Not an outside hired consultant, but an intrapraneur. You don’t get to choose clients. Groups come to him for solutions after they’ve have tried all possible things instead of coming to him at the beginning. Since he works for the company, he’s pressured and expected to fix the problems that come to him or he’ll get the blame. How can he get in the loop with these groups at the point when he’s most helpful (before there’s a big problem). Sometimes the intrapraneur is stuck with supporting outside consultant work that is left behind when the consultant leaves, but the intrpraneur didn’t have any input at the beginning. Since he works for the company, that seems to be less credibility than an outside consultant. How do you change this behavior?

Suggestions: AT&T tried social changes where the intrapraneur team put in a strip mall and separated from the big company. It provided a small company feel and gave an impression that they were more like outside consultants working for themselves (not the company).

Look into trying the Premortem Tool if you can get in early. Call in the Dev team at the beginning of a new project. Tell the team that the project about to happen was a big failure. Write stickies on what the team perceives went wrong.

Taken from an article about the Premoretem tool:
Pre-mortem strategic analysis uses hypothetical descriptions of company successes and
failures several years into the future to stress-test assumptions about the current strategy
and business environment. By forcing participants to reverse-engineer strategic actions that
would lead to these (often radical) endstates, the tool challenges participants’ beliefs about
current strategy and broadens understanding of future possibilities.

5. What’s inspiring you these days?
Why Plans Fail: Cognitive Bias, Decision Making, and Your Business by Jim benson.

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions> by Dan Ariely

Mike Rother’s Toyota Kata (see notes above)
The Lean Manager (see notes above)

Taking a new job in sales. Out of comfort zone.

Adam’s excited about his sailboat and building a great racing crew.

The Air and space museum. Just thinking about how they carved a flying machine out of wood.

New years Resolution to get rid of all sticky notes in the house

Topics we didn’t get to:
Measuring effectiveness of training
Group works card pack – fractals – design patterns
Scaling kanban
Game night – kanban game scheduling
Building mgmt buy in and commitment –
Starting a coaching support group. Will be starting soon. Cat will organize and post to Lean Coffee email list.

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