Lean Accounting Summit Time
Getting close to LAS time. It is really the only serious gathering of folks pursuing the fundamental changes to your management processes needed to take lean to the next level - accounting and senior management centered, of course, but very valuable for anyone who is a part of the management team.
If you have never attended one, you should. It cannot help but change how you see the business. Use my name in the promo code when you register - WADDELL - and get 10% off. Orlando - September 13-14. Hope to see you there.
Tom Johnson's Reading List
"He [Robert Kaplan] concluded that American business school research and teaching contributed almost nothing to the most significant development in the business world over the last half century - the quality revolution." This from Confronting Managerialsim - How the Business Elite and their Schools Threw Our Lives Out of Balance. With a quote like that you know it has to be a good book. It was written by Robert Locke and J.C. Spender.
Locke, an academic mostly from The U of Hawaii with guest stints all over the place, also wrote Management From Hell - How Financial Investor Logic Hijacked Firm Governance (you gotta love a book with a title like that based on name alone).
I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. Tom Johnson recommended them to me, writing, "I now insist that all my MBA students read Confronting Managerialism. The other book, Management From Hell, is a shortened and more biting version of Confronting that is intended primarily for management audiences." That said, if I could have only read one of them, I would pick "Confronting Managerialism".
Undercover Bosses for Good Reason
Fernando Aquirre was shown the door at Chiquita - the banana outfit- the third Undercover Boss star to get the heave ho. Lean folks have to wonder juts how out of touch does a CEO have to be to be able to work side by side with the rank and file and not be recognized. Given that these folks pay $200K for the privilege of being the star of the show (at least that is what the show approached one CEO I know with) I have to ask just how ravenous are their egos to even want to be on the show. Out of touch or egos out of control - either way it is a surprise that all of them haven't been fired by now.
Lean - Kiwi Style
A few weeks ago I wrote about some New Zealand companies having a great deal of success selling right into the USA's back yard. Here is a pretty cool video describing one of them - Oasis Engineering in Tauranga:
If Auto Can do it Why Not Everyone?
A pretty cool interactive graphic showing the evolution of the auto supply chain can be found ...
The customer may, in fact, be right
I thought everyone knew there are two cardinal rules in business: (1) The customer is always right; and (2) If the customer is ever wrong, refer back to rule #1. Turns out this is innovative thinking in some circles, as the Wall Street Journal considers customer-centric business as something of a revolution.
They write, "It's why marketers still talk about customers as "targets" they can "acquire," "control," "manage" and "lock in," as if they were cattle. And it's why big business thinks that the best way to get personal with customers on the Internet is with "big data," gathered by placing tracking files in people's browsers and smartphone apps without their knowledge—so they can be stalked wherever they go, with their "experiences" on commercial websites "personalized" for them."
Sadly, the WSJ seems to be right - customer centered business may be something of a novelty. Good article!
Hope you all have a great weekend!