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 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
    • 0
  • 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
    • 0
  • 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
    • 0
  • 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
    • 0
  • The Truth is a Fearful Thing
    The Truth is a Fearful Thing

    Separate the problem from the person. Easy to say. Hard to do. But absolutely necessary if the kind of robust communication upon which good leadership depends is going to happen. And it has to start at the...

    • Posted December 13, 2016
    • 0
  • Comments that Kill Productivity
    Two Comments that Kill Productivity

    I’m sure all of us have heard variations of these two comments in conference rooms and on the floors of factories. I suspect many of us flinched when we heard them. And, if you’re like me through...

    • Posted November 9, 2016
    • 0
  • "No Problem" Is A Problem
    “No Problem” Is A Problem

    So here’s a short answer to the question, "How's Lean going to make my organization more competitive?" It's going to increase the degree to which your employees are fully engaged in their work, becoming energized problem-finders and...

    • Posted October 5, 2016
    • 0
  • 5S Just Isn’t Going to Work Here
    5S Just Isn’t Going to Work Here

    A Lean transformation must first address how employees think about their work environments and work processes before Lean tools like 5S and Value Stream Mapping can be applied. Experiences targeted at the elimination of waste, and simple...

    • Posted September 20, 2016
    • 0
  • Work Can Be Play
    Work Can Be Play

    The most productive individuals in any work environment are really at play, not at work, at least as we conventionally think about work. They love the game they’re playing. It energizes them. They’re continually thinking about ways...

    • Posted August 31, 2016
    • 0
  • Extracting Fear from the Workplace
    Extracting Fear from the Workplace

    Fear is a dark angel that hovers, unacknowledged, over many workplaces. When the stigma many of us attach to the term “problem” is removed one of the key drivers of fear will have been eliminated. Taking specific...

    • Posted August 17, 2016
    • 0