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.
  • The False Allure of Complexity
    The False Allure of Complexity

    The allure of complexity blurs vision. There’s something about the way in which we human beings think that leads us to an infatuation with complex solutions. But they don't drive continuous improvement. The only way we’re going...

    • Posted December 6, 2017
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  • Too Many Cowboys, Not Enough Pit Crew Members
    Too Many Cowboys, Not Enough Pit Crew Members

    Organizations that employ a lot of pit crew members are productive and profitable. Organizations inhabited by a lot of cowboys aren’t. And it all starts with WIIFM, “What’s in it for me?”

    • Posted November 8, 2017
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  • My First Grade Teacher Practiced Lean Management
    My First Grade Teacher Practiced Lean Management

    My first grade teacher spent very little time seated behind her desk. She knew that the only way to know how her workers were performing was to observe them in action. We respected Miss Tinnin because we...

    • Posted October 19, 2017
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  • The Highly Corrosive Nature of Distrust
    The Highly Corrosive Nature of Distrust

    Highly successful companies recognize that building high degrees of trust and its corollary, respect, are crucial to their success. So what can a company’s management team do to develop an organization in which trust is one of...

    • Posted October 3, 2017
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  • Problem-Solver or Thought-Starter?
    Problem-Solver or Thought-Starter?

    A question all leaders of Lean Transformations should ask themselves: Am I primarily a problem-solver or a thought-starter? Problem-solver is the wrong answer. Triggering the creativity, knowledge, and intelligence of line workers must be the primary job...

    • Posted August 23, 2017
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  • 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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