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Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC)

September 2010 Blog Posts (47)

Similarities between Jerry Maquire’s mission statement and Mikel Harry’s thought process?

In the movie, “Jerry Maguire”, Tom Cruise plays a 35-year-old…


Added by Mark M. Clark on September 30, 2010 at 4:55pm — No Comments

One of Alabama's Greatest Economic Development Advocates will be Missed


Perhaps one of Alabama's greatest advocates and assets to economic development and industrial recruitment recently announced his departure. Neal Wade, the Alabama Development Office's director for over seven years, and his staff have arguably done more to promote, develop, and recruit major industries and suppliers to the state than any of his predecessors since the office was created in 1969. Under Neal's leadership,… Continue

Added by David Mixson on September 30, 2010 at 8:00am — No Comments

Are There High Quality Manufacturing Jobs Left in the U.S.?

Employment in manufacturing as a share of total US employment has fallen from about 33% of US jobs in 1950 to about 10% today. Some of the decline can be explained by the way the data is calculated. For example, many functions previously done within manufacturing companies and previously counted as manufacturing jobs – packaging, transportation, professional services, publishing, warehousing – are…


Added by Walker Jackson on September 29, 2010 at 6:07pm — No Comments

Don't De-Motivate Your Team Members

I was listening to the book Drive by Daniel Pink – Great read on intrinsic motivation – At the end of the book he referenced a reading list and one of the books Pink mentioned was Good to Great by Jim Collins – A book and author that we agree with and frequently reference – Good To Great has the premise that you get the right people on the bus, wrong people off…


Added by Hank Czarnecki on September 28, 2010 at 11:30am — No Comments

ATAC's 2011 Open Enrollment Course Offering Schedule Now Available

ATAC's 2011 Open Enrollment Course Offering Schedule is now available. You can download a pdf copy here. The schedule provides the course descriptions, month offered, cost and various other details. However, you will need to visit our "…


Added by Mitch Emmons on September 27, 2010 at 8:00am — No Comments

Reprimanding Inappropriate Behaviors

Have you as a manager ever had to reprimand an employee? Do you dread it when it does need to happen? Reprimanding employees is rarely a fun experience, for either party, but it needs to be done. If you fail to reprimand employees when necessary, you could be "enabling" inappropriate behavior, and this can be dangerous in a variety of ways.…


Added by Brian Flynn on September 27, 2010 at 5:00am — No Comments

Patient-Centered Radical!

In July, Dr. Donald Berwick was appointed by Barack Obama to hold the top position over Medicare and Medicaid Services. Before accepting the position, Berwick was the President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement which passionately focuses on improving the healthcare system. Berwick uses Lean methodology to get results. One way of doing this is by establishing a sense of urgency through challenging goals such as his "100,000…


Added by Terri Lawrence on September 26, 2010 at 9:31pm — No Comments

The Curse of the Billy Goat

With the baseball season winding down and heading into the post season, it made me start thinking about how some teams perform well year after year without all the “talent” in the world…


Added by Rick Battye on September 25, 2010 at 9:50am — No Comments

Stages of Continuous Improvement Commitment -- Where are you?

(from The State of Manufacturing 2009, Enterprise Minnesota)

Four stages of commitment are identified:

Truly Advanced: 5% of…


Added by Walker Jackson on September 24, 2010 at 4:41pm — No Comments

Lean Healthcare Recommended Reading List - Revised 9-24-2010

Our Lean Healthcare Team has updated ATAC's recommended reading list for healthcare professionals. This list is a great start to gain the basic understanding of why and how the lean production philosophy can and should be applied in the healthcare industry.

The complete reading list is also attached on pdf format at the end of this post for download.…


Added by Henry Burdg on September 24, 2010 at 3:41pm — No Comments

Your process is talking-Is anyone listening?

I’ve been to companies that were collecting process data usually through the Quality Department and the data were being stored in file cabinets. Everybody that I talked to was happy to collect data and put in file cabinets. No one was doing anything to analyze the data to understand the process to reduce waste or defectives.…


Added by John David Hayes on September 24, 2010 at 8:27am — No Comments

Drivers of Innovation Success-Part 4 (Skilled Workers)

As we continue looking at the Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) drivers of innovation success, we look at the impact of skilled workers on the innovation process. According to BCG’s survey to over 1,000 respondents, a skilled, educated workforce is the single most critical element of innovation success and the hardest to acquire. Simply put, innovation requires capable and skilled people.

And yet U.S.…


Added by David Mixson on September 23, 2010 at 2:44pm — No Comments

PR for leaders

When you hear the acronym "PR," don't you normally think about advertising?

As a leader, we need to think about PR in a different way. The P stands for process and the R stands for results.

We can choose to set workforce expectations and behaviors by what we emphasize. If we focus only on the results, we tell the organization that the ends justify the means, creating a firefighting culture.

If we focus only on the…

Added by David Hicks on September 22, 2010 at 3:04pm — 1 Comment

Chuck Yeager and the sound barrier

Chuck Yeager is a retired major general in the…


Added by Mark M. Clark on September 21, 2010 at 10:54pm — No Comments

Six Sigma training helping Boise fine tune processes

Boise Inc. manufactures a wide range of specialty and premium paper products, containerboard and corrugated products, imaging papers for office and home, printing and converting papers, newsprint and market pulp.

The company has partnered with Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC) for a number of years to provide Six Sigma training for green belt and black certification. Its in-house continuous improvement projects have resulted in…


Added by Mitch Emmons on September 20, 2010 at 8:00am — No Comments

Situational Leadership – 4 Leadership Styles

When it comes to supervising others across the spectrum of developmental stages, two key factors are identified in terms of supervisory behaviors: Directive and Supportive. These two key factors are combined into four leadership/supervisory styles. These are described as:

S1 (high directive/low supportive): You define the roles of those members and volunteers you supervise. You tell them what tasks to do and how, when, and where to do them. Problem-solving and decision-making are initiated… Continue

Added by Hank Czarnecki on September 19, 2010 at 7:17am — No Comments

Lean Healthcare Needs A Burning Platform

We are all familiar with the Gulf of Mexico deepwater rig explosion and massive oil leak. It was a horrible and unfortunate accident, but it did have a positive impact. The extensive devastation demanded immediate attention and focus on the existing processes and culture in order to rapidly improve them. Basically, the failing system lead to swift and immediate improvements to the…


Added by Terri Lawrence on September 17, 2010 at 4:47pm — 2 Comments


Some people spent their Summer at the beach, some traveled, and others were filled with fresh cut grass and backyard barbeques. All smart ways to whill away the Summer … I’m not so smart. I accepted a design challenge to create a brand and introduce that brand at an Expo within 90 days, starting May 25, 2010 and manning the Expo booth on August 20, 2010.…


Added by Mark Smith on September 17, 2010 at 2:24pm — 3 Comments

What’s Good for the Goose Is Good for the Lean Manager

When I first began my Lean Journey I was a manager of a production control department and I remember a short article in a magazine (the magazine name I do not remember) that stated facts about a flock of geese. It made such an impression…


Added by Rick Battye on September 17, 2010 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

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