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Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC)

October 2012 Blog Posts (8)

What should Management be doing in an Economic Downturn?


I read an article written by Ronald D Snee and Roger W Roles in the Quality Progress, May 2009 that was true then and also true today.  I summarized the article below.

The more I learn and read about W, Edwards Deming the more I like him.  We could have been best buddies.  Ed said: “survival is not mandatory”.

This is not hard to determine when you are in a “downturn”.  Money is extremely tight and projects are scares.  Money is only being spent on what…


Added by John David Hayes on October 31, 2012 at 2:25pm — No Comments

How do we get more companies to use Lean Six Sigma (LSS)?



I’ve read articles lately that imply that LSS aren’t working for companies.  An example was given that Motorola, GE and Bank of America have not out preformed the market during the time they were using LSS.  Since LSS is not the only factor in running a profitable business; such things as a poor economy, actions of the competition and bad decisions made by Management are factors in this equation.  My question would be where would…


Added by John David Hayes on October 30, 2012 at 5:01pm — No Comments

How do organizations create a servant leadership culture?

Recently, I ran across an article in Industry Today entitled “Servant leadership sustains Competitive U.S. Manufacturing Advantage.” I started digging deeper into the article to understand specifically about how servant leadership benefits manufacturing organizations. The article’s main thesis is that one thing your competitors, both globally and locally, cannot copy is the development of your leadership. By increasing servant leaders in your organization, they “will organize,…


Added by Jay Clark on October 29, 2012 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Lean 101

What I see in American Industry today is focusing on the tools of lean vrs. teaching team members why we want to be a globial leader in our industry. I believe once team members buy in on why we want a lean culture then we can teach the tools. I think we've got it backwards.

Added by Charles C. Hunt on October 22, 2012 at 11:38am — No Comments

Creativity through Servant Leadership

Is manufacturing a product as LEAN as possible the end goal of a manufacturing leader? Are there other leadership skills needed in order to help make LEAN and Six Sigma more effective? The answer to these two questions points to the same area. By looking closely at the act of leadership through quality movements, the key point is that servant leaders in manufacturing not only build Lean processes for manufacturing their products, but they do so through actions that create the right…


Added by Jay Clark on October 19, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Six Sigma will not work as a continuous process improvement tool without Management support


Reference:    Journal of Operations Management 25(2007) 918-93, Article: “Method and context perspective on learning and knowledge creation in Quality Management.”  By Adrian S. Schoo, Kevin W. Linderman and Roger G. Schoder.

We are all looking for an approach to problem solving that will not only work on the first two or three projects will survive the test of time and be the continuous improvement approach for our process or service.  The big question is how…


Added by John David Hayes on October 16, 2012 at 12:42pm — No Comments

Adversity brings out strong leadership

Today, I am blogging as I am traveling through Asia meeting with clients. In my stop in Hong Kong, I was surprised at the reports in the local newspaper. The outlook of China’s economy is not optimistic over the next few years, and businesses are faced with increased pressure due to the economic slowdown. Because of the adversity, we now see a regular occurrence of breakdowns in supplier relationships like between Apple and Foxxconn, in U.S. government restrictions on Huawei and ZTE, and in…


Added by Jay Clark on October 12, 2012 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Expanding Traits of Humility in Organizations

In today’s blog, I am sharing the last two traits of a humble leader. The last few weeks I have been building a case for the importance of humility in your organization. My hope is that you understand that “humility is the only way to resolve the conflicts and contradictions of leadership” (Kouzes & Posner, 2007, p. 347). Humility is the great equalizer to the disruptive tendencies of leadership, and exhibiting humility as an…


Added by Jay Clark on October 5, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments

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