Management Improvement Carnival #48

I’m pleased to be hosting this edition of John Hunter’s Management Improvement Carnival. This concept aims to bring together some of the most intriguing blog articles from the past couple of weeks on topics relevant to quality, continuous improvement, and effective management. You can also submit your favorite management posts to John to be included in a future carnival.

Here are my picks for today:

  • With so much focus on Mumbai this week, Joe Munte’s post on the dabbawallas of Mumbai focuses on a illuminating and positive aspect of the dynamic city that provides lessons for effective management. This is a fascinating story about how a low-tech business built its brand reputation while simultaneously becoming exceedingly efficient. “What started as a service during the British colonial rule has evolved into a brand that symbolizes low cost innovation, teamwork, and brilliance in operational efficiency.” (11-30-2008)
  • In So What is Lean Six Sigma? Recruiting Lean provides an overview of the LSS approach to problem solving: “LSS is not just for manufacturing. It can be applied to any controlled business process, even complex processes, used regularly and systematically to achieve outcomes.” (11-30-2008)
  • What do you get when you cross Eric Schmidt (Google) with Gary Hamel (Management Guru)? A blog post by John Hunter reflecting on Management at Google, and featuring a video of Schmidt and Hamel chatting. I am a big fan of Google because they skillfully implement effective, agile quality systems in an environment highly conducive to innovation. I am also a big fan of Gary Hamel because he promotes the need to reinvent our fundamental concepts of management. Seeing both of them together was a treat.
  • Moritz Gagern at the Climate Policy Library presents Green Investments in Times of Financial Crisis. This is a long post, but definitely worth the reading if you’d like a policy-oriented view of what managers need to start contemplating for the future. Here’s a sample: “Environmental Policy must become the motor for innovations, because in this century ecology will become economy.”
  • Have you ever been frustrated by all those definitions for quality (e.g. the transcendent “you know it when you see it”, Crosby’s “zero defects”, Juran’s “fitness for use”, or the ISO 8402 definition)? Do you want to make sense of them, and understand how they relate to one another – and what that means for your business? If so, check out my 11-28-2008 description of Mitra’s model at A Dynamic Model of Quality Improvement. This really helped me make sense of all the facets of achieving and improving quality.
  • Keep it simple! Checklists and Change Programs by Crossderry is a couple months old – but I still like it. It provides a “useful reminder to avoid a common error made when PMOs first implement processes and controls – over-engineering” (10-11-2008)

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