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Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC)

October 2010 Blog Posts (42)

Healthcare Reform: Does your Leadership Team have what it takes?


Added by Terri Lawrence on October 31, 2010 at 2:59pm — No Comments

2011 Open Enrollment course offerings are now online, registration is open

Just wanted to post a note to let our Virtual Community know that the 2011 Open Enrollment Course Offerings are now online and registration is open.

Click here.…


Added by Mitch Emmons on October 31, 2010 at 8:30am — No Comments

Cam Newton Leadership

After the Auburn-LSU football game, I was taking the shuttle (bus) back to my car and I overheard a man on the bus say “Cam Newton has good leadership traits”. This comment bothered me and my first thought was that Cam Newton is a leader. Cam comes out before the game and gets the fans excited and he praises his fellow teammates and he has contributed greatly to the success…


Added by John David Hayes on October 29, 2010 at 2:49pm — No Comments

Difficult Problems Usually Contain Significant Interactions

Dorian Shainan once said that cause and effect diagrams are useless in solving difficult problems. I’m not sure if he really meant that literally, because his three most popular problem-solving heuristics (Component Search, Paired Comparison, and Variable Search) require that you start out with some probable causes. These causes can be easily derived from the cause and effect diagram. And furthermore, his heuristics might be…


Added by Mark M. Clark on October 29, 2010 at 12:46pm — No Comments

Drivers of Global Manufacturing Competitiveness

What makes a globally competitive manufacturer regardless of where they are located? Deloitte and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness surveyed over 400 chief executives and senior manufacturing executives worldwide to develop their 2010 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index. The study found that the key factor in driving manufacturing competitiveness is access to talented workers capable of supporting innovation. This factor lead other factors thought to impact competitive manufacturing… Continue

Added by David Mixson on October 27, 2010 at 2:51pm — No Comments

The Green Domino Effect

E3Economy, Energy and Environmentis a coordinated federal and local technical assistance initiative that is helping manufacturers across the nation adapt and thrive in a new business era focused on…


Added by Walker Jackson on October 27, 2010 at 2:26pm — No Comments

Lean Leadership - 5 Practices

I ran across The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, These five practices resulted from an intensive research project to determine the leadership competencies that are essential to getting extraordinary things done in organizations. Thought they were completely aligned with the leadership principles taught in the Alabama Operations Management Institutes –…


Added by Hank Czarnecki on October 27, 2010 at 10:32am — No Comments

Service Agreements as Standards

In our lean coaching roles with ATAC, we frequently encounter companies struggling with multiple problems. Problems may be classified as either physical or transactional.

Physical problems include equipment downtime, long changeovers, inventory issues, and operational issues. These problems have better defined solutions due to their physical nature. The transactional problems often appear as interruptions in the communication flow between departments and are much harder to… Continue

Added by David Hicks on October 27, 2010 at 8:30am — No Comments

Health and Wellness in the Workplace

As the end of the year approaches, and the holiday season begins to kick in, my mind starts to shift gears a little to the many activities associated with the holiday's. This is also a time when employers and employees start to shift gears a little. They plan holiday parties, and employees are busily running around finishing up year-end work and trying to take care of the personal and family business that occurs around the…


Added by Brian Flynn on October 25, 2010 at 5:00am — No Comments

Is your Hospital Staff in Pain?

When you walk through the halls of your facility, are you seeing signs of suffering from hospital leadership and staff? One of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definitions of pain is, "acute mental or emotional distress or suffering."

One reason this is seen in healthcare professionals and staff is due to…


Added by Terri Lawrence on October 24, 2010 at 10:34am — No Comments

Conflict Is Inevitable, But Combat Is Optional

In the previous blog, we discussed Inattention to Results as one of the Five Dysfunctions that hold management teams back from working and solving problems as a team. This blog will focus on the next Dysfunction – Fear of Conflict:…


Added by Rick Battye on October 23, 2010 at 9:34am — No Comments

Where are the Accountants?

That question has perplexed me since I began examining organizations that have implemented lean. Being an accountant myself, I assumed the accounting function was being left off the lean team purposely by the operations management team. I could not blame the OPS team for ignoring the accountants. Who are we? We are the people that keep telling everyone they are over budget and that we are concerned about the unfavorable variances being generated. Supporting the lean organization requires us to… Continue

Added by DeWayne L. Searcy on October 22, 2010 at 12:43pm — 2 Comments

Leadership Communication Skills

Have you ever agonized over a presentation or email, wanting to make sure it is clear, only to have it completely misunderstood? The vast majority of problems in organizations stem from communication and accountability deficits.…


Added by David Hicks on October 21, 2010 at 4:59pm — No Comments

Rolled Throughput Yield versus First Pass Yield

Bill Smith, an engineer at Motorola, introduced his Rolled Through-put Yield theory in the late 80’s. He showed that process yield is very similar to product reliability. Process reliability can be calculated by multiplying the yields of the individual components of a process. Applying that to a sequential process….in order for an entire process to be successful, all the steps of the process must be successful. This is important because…


Added by Mark M. Clark on October 21, 2010 at 3:42pm — No Comments

Do you have a problem at your medical facility that could harm patients?

About 3 years ago, I started a Lean Healthcare program at ATAC, Auburn University. I worked on a Lean Healthcare program that would get rid of the 8 wastes of Lean Healthcare and would also help solve problems at a medical facility that could harm patients. These were not original actions because Lean…


Added by John David Hayes on October 21, 2010 at 3:41pm — No Comments

Green Headlines

General Electric plans to cut freshwater use 20% through reuse efficiencies in its commercial and manufacturing processes.

Anheuser-Busch, by adopting efficiency efforts,…


Added by Walker Jackson on October 20, 2010 at 8:27am — No Comments

Who Makes a Better Leader, an Introvert or Extrovert?

Who makes a better leader, an introvert or extrovert? My guess is that if you asked a group of people, the majority would describe an effective leader as very driven, results oriented, and outgoing. In other words, an extrovert. Some suggest that CEO is short for Charismatic, Effusive, and Outgoing; kind of like Richard Branson, the head of the Virgin Group.

Contrast this with the calm and observant, introverted CEO that doesn't attract the attention of an extrovert. Perhaps… Continue

Added by David Mixson on October 18, 2010 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Insanity Got You Down?!

We’ve all heard Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity as, "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Unfortunately, a lot of frustrations comes from this very type of insanity. For Senior Leaders, it can easily happen while transforming a traditional hospital into a Lean hospital. Leadership can sometimes…


Added by Terri Lawrence on October 15, 2010 at 6:12pm — 1 Comment

Negative Deviation versus Day One Deviation Problems

In their book entitled “The Rational Manager”, Chuck Kepner and Ben Tregoe suggest that there are two types of problems. The first is what they call a Negative Deviation Problem. A negative deviation problem is described by the following scenario. Suppose that a process was performing up to its expectations during most of its past. However at some point, the process started performing below expectations. The shift downward could have been…


Added by Mark M. Clark on October 15, 2010 at 4:05pm — No Comments

“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team” – John Wooden

In the previous blog, we discussed the Absence of Trust as one of the the Five Dysfunctions that hold management teams back from working and solving problems as a team. This blog will focus on the next Dysfunction – Inattention to Results:

This is the ultimate…


Added by Rick Battye on October 15, 2010 at 1:59pm — 1 Comment

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