Monday, August 11, 2014

Reprise: The Fog of Big Company Disease

By Pascal Dennis

Last time I talked about Big Company Disease and suggested that a key symptom is The Fog…

(It’s fun capitalizing it, and reminds me of a goofy same-name horror movie.

A pal & I have had great fun making up horror movie titles related to, ahem, other atmospheric emissions.)

Joking aside, the Fog is deeply frustrating and debilitating. Here are some symptoms:

Your purpose is unclear. You're not sure who your customers or suppliers are.

You don't know if you're ahead or behind.

You can't see your biggest problems.

So you spend a great deal of time in the "spin cycle".

Life becomes unpleasant so you naturally look for someone to blame.

You buffer the chaos with capacity -- your time.

Eventually, you burn out.

The leader’s most important job, in my view, is making the current condition visible – by gradually dispersing the Fog.

Visual management, standardized work and other core Lean tools are terrific enablers.

Lean principles & thinking are even better.

Best regards,



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