Does Management Matter?
- factory operations
- regular maintenance and recording reasons for breakdowns
- standard procedures for operations
- quality control
- quality problems by type
- formalizing procedures to address defects
- determining optimal inventory
- human resources management
- performance based incentives
- sales and order management
Building A Learning Organization
Knowing how is partial knowledge; it is rooted in norms of behavior, standards of practice, and settings of equipment. Knowing why is more fundamental: it captures underlying cause-and-effect relationships and accommodates exceptions, adaptations, and unforeseen events.
Deming’s “Plan, Do, Check, Act”
Peter Senge’s 5 component technologies
- systems thinking
- personal mastery
- mental models
- shared vision
- team learning
Most discussions of learning organizations finesse these issues. Their focus is high philosophy and grand themes, sweeping metaphors rather than the gritty details of practice. Three critical issues are left unresolved; yet each is essential for effective implementation. First is the question of meaning. We need a plausible, well-grounded definition of learning organizations; it must be actionable and easy to apply. Second is the question of management. We need clearer guidelines for practice, filled with operational advice rather than high aspirations. And third is the question of measurement. We need better tools for assessing an organization’s rate and level of learning to ensure that gains have in fact been made.
Delivering bad news
- Start by listening. “How are you doing?” Don’t go straight to business.
- Explore perceptions. “How do you think you’re doing?”
- Legitimize emotions. Their feelings are valid.
- Don’t let your own emotions cloud the message.