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.
  • Which is it? We or they?
    Which is it? We or they?

    If a desire to do quality work isn’t an integral component of what a worker thinks and feels, quality work won’t happen. Pride in work is the foundation of quality work. What are the actions that a...

    • Posted July 19, 2017
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  • Transforming Success into Failure
    Transforming Success into Failure

    What causes false starts with the tools of Lean manufacturing? Experience has taught me that there are three common causes.

    • Posted June 28, 2017
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  • Success Can Be Dangerous
    Success Can Be Dangerous

    When things are going smoothly and a lot of money is being made, we start to believe that today will last forever. It won’t. Further, when things are going smoothly and a lot of money is being...

    • Posted June 7, 2017
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  • The High Cost of Low Trust
    The High Cost of Low Trust

    Low trust has a very high cost. It drives down employee engagement. It damages productivity. It limits profitability. The bedrock of employer lack of trust is fear. Fear drives mistrust and showing mistrust makes employees untrustworthy. Want...

    • Posted May 24, 2017
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  • The Power of Corporate Myths
    The Power of Corporate Myths

    They literally define the character of the organization. Some of these stories exert a very positive influence over employees. Other stories exert a very negative influence over employees. They demotivate employees. They destroy a commitment to quality....

    • Posted April 20, 2017
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  • Awesome! Well, Not Really
    Awesome! Well, Not Really

    Weak processes. Disengaged employees. A perfect formula for failure. These two are the most common, and most destructive, forces that are at work in all too many work environments.

    • Posted March 28, 2017
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  • The Instant Pudding Myth
    The Instant Pudding Myth

    W. Edwards Deming was once asked to share the secret for creating a highly productive organization. The person making the request told Deming that he would pay whatever the price might be for this secret. And here’s...

    • Posted February 22, 2017
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  • Pete Lived Quality and Pete Loved His Work
    Pete Lived Quality and Pete Loved His Work

    What drives employees to do consistently high quality work and to be happy while they're at work? What it takes is a leadership team, the members of which consistently demonstrate that they respect their employees and need...

    • Posted February 7, 2017
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  • Is it “Our Company” or “Their Company”?
    Is it “Our Company” or “Their Company”?

    One of the first things I listen for when working with a new client is how their employees refer to the company for which they work. If they refer to it as “our company,” that tells me...

    • Posted January 24, 2017
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  • Do You Value Your Employees?
    Do You Value Your Employees?

    Should all companies value the knowledge and creativity of their line workers? Absolutely. Do employees need to know this? Absolutely. And when this happens, what will the outcome be? Work processes will continuously improve, driving significant gains...

    • Posted January 11, 2017
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