This month I’m remembering the life and work of David Mann, who passed away in late December. He was one of those Michigan lean people who had a big effect on me, although I only met him once, in passing, at a conference. That big effect was through his book Creating a Lean Culture: Tools to Sustain Lean Conversions. It helped me and Andre more skillfully support a couple of lean projects back in the day, including the one where I saw that when it all worked, it really worked. So, thanks, David.
Ruth Malan shared a free systems thinking (“systems seeing”) month-long daily journal. She encourages you to work through it, spending ~15 minutes on each daily exercise:
Finally, Anne-Laure Le Cunff’s “The Science of Learning to Let Go” is one of those pieces I’m still thinking about a month after reading.
(If you like that, and want something short enough to carry with you forever, contemplate Tilopa’s Six Nails.)
Mike Rother posted a thing that included a citation from Ignorance and Surprise: Science, Society, and Ecological Design by Matthias Gross and I immediately picked up a copy. (Ever since I encountered one of the key concepts of my consulting practice in a tossed-off back page column about fish scientists in a 1995 ecology journal, I know to pay attention to these people (ecologists).)
I owe Mike and his outfit more detailed notes on this book, but for the moment let me share this amazing illustration. I give you the “house of the unknown” ↓
The ecological interventions (or experiments) Gross is concerned with tend to happen in “the real world” instead of a laboratory. And that’s the ledge I use to climb up into this book. Kaizen is the choreography that happens in order to allow people to make improvements to their own “real world” work and relations. I think we can learn a lot from this book’s framework about how people respond to various kinds of surprising conditions or discoveries.
On the site
Recent changes @ improvesomething.today:
- Added to the Junk Drawer → a placeholder for LinkedIn carousel postings I’ve been doing. These mostly reiterate items from the site, but in a format people seem to enjoy.
- Some changes to e-mail newsletter delivery, formatting, and list membership that hopefully go smoothly. (If you’d like to join, unsubscribe, or change delivery of the e-mail newsletter, this is the link.)
I recommend The Center for Humane Technology’s free, self-paced, multi-mode course, “Foundations of Humane Technology.”
If you design or make decisions about technology products or experiences, you might take a couple of afternoons to work through this material. The shift you’ll grapple with:
And the course: