Content By Kevin Meyer

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By: Kevin Meyer

Often we become so focused on fixing problems and resolving issues that our entire sense of reality shifts. We begin to live in a bubble that encompasses the negative and blocks the positive. Because they demand our attention, the negative aspects of work and life consume a disproportionate amount of our thinking, and eventually distorts our perceived reality.

Kevin Meyer’s picture

By: Kevin Meyer

“Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence—only in constant improvement and constant change.”
—Tom Peters

Kevin Meyer’s picture

By: Kevin Meyer

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Like most people, I maintain a fairly long to-do list of personal and professional projects. It’s a few pages long—especially the honey-do portion. Because the list can be intimidating, I need a good strategy to tackle it.

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By: Kevin Meyer

When many people go into the office, they start their day by chatting with some colleagues, checking their email, and surfing the net for a while. Then they start working on whatever project is due that day. Soon, however, they hear the sound of a new email arriving, which they promptly open, leading them to other tasks. Before they know it, the day is over and they still don’t have that project finished. This happens repeatedly, taking two days to complete a 30-minute task.

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By: Kevin Meyer

Nearly three decades ago, one of my first bosses pulled me aside. I forget the underlying incident except that I had somehow screwed up, and he bluntly told me to “sweat the details.” I clearly remember it to this day, and it became one of the defining pieces of advice I have ever received. It was also a lesson in the power of immediate feedback vs. waiting for the annual review.

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By: Kevin Meyer

As I was researching the remarkable similarities between lean and Zen for my book, The Simple Leader  (Gemba Academy, 2016) one of the most interesting—and meaningful—was the concept of the beginner’s mind.

Taiichi Ohno said, “Observe… without preconceptions and with a blank mind.”

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By: Kevin Meyer

Few people realize how employee policy manuals, usually given to you on your first day and then mostly forgotten, shape an organization’s culture and thereby its fundamental performance.

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By: Kevin Meyer

During  the past few years I’ve been working hard on cultivating positive habits. New habits can be powerful. But habits can also create barriers that limit our perspective, which can hinder kaizen, creativity, and even our knowledge of ourselves. We’ve all found ourselves in the proverbial “rut” at times. Sometimes we just need a break to re-center, recalibrate, recharge, or readjust our horizons.

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By: Kevin Meyer

Those of us in the lean world are accustomed to discussing "flow"—where work is performed in an even manner to reduce mura or lack of regularity, one of the three forms of waste. Activities are synchronized, layouts are optimized, resources are available exactly where and when they are needed, and the pace is set by true demand. The operation just hums along creating value for the customer. Well, "just" is a bit of a misnomer as we know how difficult achieving flow can be.

Kevin Meyer’s picture

By: Kevin Meyer

My lean journey of more than 20 years has changed my life in many ways, perhaps none as pervasively as recognition of and disdain for waste.

Along with respect for people, waste awareness has changed my career, leadership style, and personal life. Observing waste has led to a life of increasing minimalism, which isn’t necessarily a bare-bones existence but one where every activity and object creates value or joy. Let’s take a look at some specific areas of impact.