All posts by George Friesen

About George Friesen

George Friesen serves as Business Practice Leader - Lean Manufacturing for the Workforce Solutions Group of St. Louis Community College. He has led the College's Lean business practice area since 2000. Prior to joining the College, George worked for Maritz Performance Improvement Company. Over the past 35 years, he has served a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies, specializing during the past eleven years in Lean Manufacturing, focusing especially on the 5S System, Lean leadership and thinking processes, Value Stream Mapping, and Lean team building. George is a graduate of Washington University (AB), Webster University (MA), and United States Air Force Flight Training.
  • Yes, I Do Want to Come to Work
    Yes, I Do Want to Come to Work…

    A worker at a sheltered workshop once shared with me what I think couldn’t possibly be a better reason for coming to work. This one said it all. Wanting to do a good job. Wanting his company...

    • Posted September 19, 2018
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  • Why Do You Come to Work?
    Why Do You Come to Work?

    I’m sure we all agree that it’s very important to have employees who want to come to work and who take pride in the quality of their work. So how do we make it happen?

    • Posted September 5, 2018
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  • Einstein’s Gets Lean!
    Einstein’s Gets Lean!

    Nothing in our environment changes unless the thinking that created it changes. So how does this apply to me and to you? If you and I agree that our work environments are not perfect, and further agree...

    • Posted August 14, 2018
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  • Let’s Hear It for the Snitches!
    Let’s Hear It for the Snitches!

    From a very early age, you and I learned that being a “tattletale” or a “snitch” is one of the very worst things we could be. The cult of the cowboy, pervasive in our society and workplaces,...

    • Posted July 26, 2018
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  • A Lean Parable
    A Lean Parable

    Many attempts to implement Lean fail. Organizations “do the Lean tools” and discover that in relatively short order the use of these tools fades away. Why does this happen? There are two causes, and here's what you...

    • Posted July 17, 2018
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  • Nothing Beats Simplicity
    Nothing Beats Simplicity

    Start simple. Stay focused on taking the struggle out of everyone’s work. Let the power of Lean be experienced in simple ways. Nothing beats the power of simplicity.

    • Posted June 28, 2018
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  • Henry Ford: America’s First Lean Champion
    Henry Ford: America’s First Lean Champion

    "The ordinary way of doing business is not the best way." This statement gets right at the heart of the kind of thinking that drove the success of Ford Motor Company in the early part of the...

    • Posted June 19, 2018
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  • Quit Complaining!
    Quit Complaining!

    “We’re getting too many complaints in our suggestion box, I’m taking it down.” When managers personalize "complaints," or don't spend time on the floor listening to line workers on their ideas to improve work processes, it's a...

    • Posted June 6, 2018
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  • Knee-Jerk Management
    Knee-Jerk Management

    Knee-Jerk Management may feel good in the heat of battle but the anger or frustration or pain that triggers its use returns all too quickly and is more intense the second time around. There is only one...

    • Posted May 23, 2018
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  • The False Allure of Punishment
    The False Allure of Punishment

    The “punish ‘em when they’re not doing the right thing” mentality exists in far too many organizations despite the fact that it is a demonstrably ineffective way of driving improved performance. Given the ineffectiveness of the “punish...

    • Posted April 19, 2018
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