Monday, September 6, 2021

Walt Disney -- Lean Thinker

By Pascal Dennis (bio)

The other day I was again leafing through Bob Thomas’ fine biography of Walt Disney.

Walt's remarkable imagination, shone through, as did his energy, optimism and decency.
But there was something else too...

Walt Disney was a consummate Lean thinker.

He practiced the fundamentals every day, including visual management, go see, leader standard work and strategy deployment. is contributions to visual management are legendary. He invented story-boarding, for example, the visual approach to movie-making -- and so much else.

He practiced Go See every day. "I see myself as a little bee," he said. "I go from one area of the studio gathering pollen and sort of stimulate everybody." As a result he had a deep grasp of the situation and was able to articulate strategy in compelling ways.

The creation of Disneyland in the early 1950's was a brilliant example of Strategy Deployment. Walt began with a clear and compelling vision which he articulated through images (story-boards). His vision was informed by extensive travel and research into amusement parks around the world. He knew what worked and what didn't work. As ever, he grounded his vision in concrete experience.


Then he put together an exemplary team, deployed elements of the plan to each team leader and checked progress with visual tools and leader standard work. A remarkable leader indeed.

It strikes me, again, that what we call "Lean" is just good business.

Best regards,

Pascal




In case you missed our last few blogs... please feel free to have another look…

Do We Manage Our ‘Screens’ - Or Do Our Screens Manage Us? - Part 3
Do We Manage Our ‘Screens’ - Or Do Our Screens Manage Us? - Part 2
Do We Manage Our ‘Screens’ - Or Do Our Screens Manage Us? - Part 1
In Praise of Depth



Monday, August 23, 2021

Do We Manage Our ‘Screens’ - Or Do Our Screens Manage Us? - Part 3

By Pascal Dennis (bio)

Last time I asked how to manage our screens, so as to avoid a dreadful dumbing down of society?

As always, countermeasures depend on a
  1. Clear objective and understanding of the gap, and
  2. Good grasp of the situation gained through experience, as well as, reflection
Let me build on my musical example.

What should be happening?
  1. Pascal wants to make music that’s enjoyable for both himself and others (forced) to listen to it
  2. Pascal wants to build his capability to play the piano
What’s actually happening?
  1. Yamaha’s splendid keyboards allow Pascal to create enjoyable music – without the slog of daily practice
  2. Pascal’s capability does not grow
Clearly, to meet both objectives – enjoyable music, and greater musical skills – I need more than splendid technology.

I need to find a capable teacher/sensei who will guide me to greater competence through the old, old way, (well described by Dan Coyle in The Talent Code):


Our Learning Recipe (Talent Code):
  1. Go slow,
  2. Stop and fix (mentor), and
  3. Repeat
Which is exactly, what I’ve done. The past year, Jay and I have worked through piano fundamentals & I’m way more capable than I was.

In summary, anchored in the eternal learning paradigm, the talent code, if you will, our screens are a blessing.

They can accelerate our progress in any skill. (For example, I can watch Nat Cole on Youtube performing a tune I’m learning.)

Disconnected from the talent code, they can make us stupid.

Caveat emptor.

Best,

Pascal




In case you missed our last few blogs... please feel free to have another look…

Do We Manage Our ‘Screens’ - Or Do Our Screens Manage Us? - Part 2
Do We Manage Our ‘Screens’ - Or Do Our Screens Manage Us? - Part 1
In Praise of Depth
The Fog of Big Company Disease



Monday, August 9, 2021

Do We Manage Our ‘Screens’ - Or Do Our Screens Manage Us? - Part 2

By Pascal Dennis (bio)

I asked this question last time and suggested our screens manage us, more than we manage them.

What’s the impact? Depth – we lose the ability to concentrate. As a result important skills can atrophy.

Here’s a non-business example. Music is my avocation and my office is home to keyboards and guitars.

(If I don’t play every day, I don’t feel right.)

Yamaha, that splendid organization, has done wonders with guitar, piano and keyboard technology. (That entire industry is full of marvelous companies – Kawai, Casio & others)


In fact, my Yamaha keyboards allow to simulate an entire band or orchestra. Yamaha literally makes me a one-man band.

Why then should I practice guitar and piano?

In the same way, recording technology can automatically fix out-of-pitch singing.

Why then should we learn how to sing well?

I can go on, of course. My computer corrects my spelling and grammar. Why then should I learn to spell and put words together into coherent sentences?

What to do? How to avoid a dreadful dumbing down?

More next time.

Best,

Pascal




In case you missed our last few blogs... please feel free to have another look…

Do We Manage Our ‘Screens’ - Or Do Our Screens Manage Us? - Part 1
In Praise of Depth
The Fog of Big Company Disease
What is a Team?



Monday, July 26, 2021

Do We Manage Our ‘Screens’ - Or Do Our Screens Manage Us? - Part 1

By Pascal Dennis (bio)

Trust y’all are enjoying the summer, as I am.

I've recently completed my latest book project, and I’ve cut back my travel, so I begin my days in the garden.

Of course, I bring my ‘screens’ with me, Pad & phone, which gives me pause.

Do we manage our ‘screens’ – or do they manage us?


Have we learned how to use our marvelous technology – or is it using us?

The answer to each question is clear, is it not? We’ve not learned how to use our tools yet, and they are dominating us.

Stand in any city part on a beautiful summer day. What do you see?

People enjoying the sunlight, shooting the breeze on a park bench, relaxing? NOT…

More likely, our poor fellow citizens are peering into their screens, oblivious to their fellows and the world around them.

Don’t want to be misunderstood. I’m as prone as the next person to this modern malaise.

(In our family, we’ve set some basic standards to blunt the effects, with some success.)

Why does it matter?

Our screens’ distracting influence can shorten our attention span, and weakens our ability to concentrate.

And yet, our screens also bring the world into our consciousness. We get a much better grasp of the ‘global chessboard’ and our part in it.

Technology, poorly understood and carelessly used, is a Faustian bargain. We gain a great deal, but risk losing something even more important.

Again, I don’t wish to be misunderstood. We can’t go back to an idyllic past before screens, (which wasn’t so idyllic anyhow.)

But we need to reflect on how our technology helps & hinders us, so we can reap the benefits, while avoiding the pitfalls.

Anyhow, I’m going back into the garden.

No screens this time – just my guitar…

Best,

Pascal




In case you missed our last few blogs... please feel free to have another look…

In Praise of Depth
The Fog of Big Company Disease
What is a Team?
Target, Actual, Please Explain