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My Goals for 2012

It is a brand new year.  I hope everyone enjoyed themselves over the weekend with plenty of football and food.

This is the first post of a new year.  I thought I would start with reflection of how I did with my goals from 2011.  Here is a recap of my three goals for the 2011:

  • Continue to blog for a full calendar and make it meaningful and thought provoking to my readers – I did it!  I made it a full calendar year and celebrated the 1 year anniversary of the blog.  I can’t believe I made it.  It was definitely a lot more work than I could have ever anticipated but it was worth it.
  • I want to meet more people from the blogshpere – Check.  Tim McMahon, Karen Wilhelm, James Lawther, and Christian Paulson just to name a few great people that I met during 2011 through the blog.  I look forward to meeting more people in 2012.
  • Make my first reaction to a problem to go and see – Pretty close to a full check.  Most of the time my first reaction is to go and see the problem, but it wasn’t 100% of the time.  I did do a lot better at this in 2011 though.

Now to my goals for 2012:

  • Expand the blog and bring new bloggers to Beyond Lean
  • Learn 3 new things from fellow bloggers that help me improve my work

What are some of your goals for 2012?  I would love to hear them.

Good luck in 2012!

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Blog Carnival Annual Roundup 2011 – Squawk Point

I have the honor of participating in this year’s Blog Carnival Annual Blog Roundup.  The roundup is hosted by John Hunter at the Curious Cat Management Improvement blog.

Today’s blog, Squawk Point, is the first of three blogs I will review.  The blog is hosted by James Lawther.  James is a middle manager that has held many roles within operations.

James approached me earlier this year about his blog.  I am glad he did because I hadn’t seen it before.  James does a very nice job of making his points clearly and with some humor and great analogies.

The blog is split into three categories: Operations Analysis, Process Improvement and Employee Engagement.

Operations Analysis touches on subjects such as Statistical Process Control.  One example is knowing when things have changed.

In Process Improvement, James takes on topics like Man vs. Machine.  When is it alright to ask a machine to do something in place of a man or to ask a man to co something instead of a machine.

James tackles Employee Engagement issues.  A great post was about how to measure employee performance.

If you haven’t read Squawk Point, I encourage you to give it a try.

Beyond Lean’s One Year Anniversary

It is hard to believe but it has been one year since my first post.  Over the last year, I have learned a lot.

I now have a much greater respect and appreciation for the regular bloggers out there.  I didn’t realize how much it takes to keep up with regular posts.  I only post 3 days a week and I feel swamped at times.  Also, the writer’s block can get frustrating.  Or just planning ahead for times I am out of the office or tied up in some work to schedule posts.  I don’t take any of that for granted anymore.

I have deepened my thinking on lean and business over the last year and the blog has helped me to deliver my thoughts more concisely.  I believe my writing skills have gotten better but I leave it up to  you to judge that.

Most importantly, I have enjoyed the writing and I have met a lot of new people through the blog.  Without the readers, I wouldn’t be writing.  Your support has been great and I appreciate it very much.  All of the comments you leave create a deeper and richer discussion and provides me with feedback on what is important to you.  Thank you.

So hear is to Year One in the books and Year Two kicking off.

Comments Are Important

I have been reading blogs for several years.  Now as a blog writer, I have come to appreciate the comment section.

In the past, I didn’t read the comments.  There was no reason for it.  I just didn’t take the time.  Now I understand the importance the comments can bring to a discussion.

The comments can be used to disagree with a point of view and bring a new perspective.  They can be used to clarify and add points to a discussion.  The more comments a post has the better the indication the topic was something that was important to the audience.

Great conversations and input happen in the comment section.  There are so many readers that have great points of view, but don’t have an outlet to be heard.  The comments provide an outlet.

Thanks to everyone that has commented and I look forward to more comments and discussions moving forward.

My Goals for 2011

It is now the new year.  I hope everyone had a safe and fun time over the holidays.  For most of us, it is back to work today.  Has everyone set goals for themselves this year, whether it is at home or at work?

I haven’t used the term New Year Resolutions on purpose.  I don’t like the connotation resolution has.  Most resolutions are thrown out the window by the end of January.  Plus, it says I need to completely change something I am doing.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but as a lean practitioner I am reflecting and changing on a constant basis.  Not just at the start of the new year.

So here are some of my goals for 2011:

  • Continue to blog for a full calendar and make it meaningful and thought provoking to my readers
  • I want to meet more people from the blogshpere
  • Make my first reaction to a problem to go and see

What are some of your goals for 2011?  I would love to hear them.  If you make them public and known, it can help drive accountability.

Good luck in 2011!

First Post

Over the past 10+ years I have been learning about lean while implementing and coaching others.  Along the way I have learned a lot from the many successes and failures that I have endured.  I have enjoyed every minute of it even though there are times when I want to beat my head against the wall.  Once I step back and reflect on why I am beating my head against the wall, I see it as an opportunity to change and improve.  Continuous learning is what I want to do.  Learn something new everyday and I will be growing and helping my company become more successful.

I not only learn from my implementations, but also from reading and education.  Over the years, I have become a regular reader of a few blogs like the Lean Blog, Evolving Excellence, Jamie Flinchbaugh, and All Things Workplace.  These blogs, as well as others, have helped me to grow in my understanding of lean.  You might see their influences in my blog writing.

I have multiple purposes for this blog.  One hope is to be able to spur reflection and thought in others the way other blogs have done for me.  I want others to understand lean and help dis-spell some of the myths and misunderstandings.

This blog also is meant as a way for me to continue to learn and grow.   I want others to post comments and challenge my thinking and create good dialogue.  Also, I want to grow in my written communication skills.  I’m an engineer by trade and if it isn’t numbers, then I am not the best at getting it down clearly and concisely.   Finally, I want to force deeper reflection on lean and how I see lean in the world around me.  I tried working on these by guest blogging at the Lean Blog, but I had no accountability so I did it a couple of times and then made excuses as to why I didn’t have time.  Having my own blog will hold me accountable for reflecting and working on my written communication skills.

I plan on posting a couple of blogs a week to get started.  I hope I can meet the goals and purposes that I want from the blog.  Please do not hesitate to send me feedback about the site, my writing, or anything else that is on your mind.

Let the fun begin!

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