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.
  • 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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  • Anger, Respect, and Productivity
    Anger, Respect, and Productivity

    Showing respect for workers makes all the difference in worker attitudes and product quality. And why is showing respect for workers of such supreme importance? Because not showing respect triggers anger (that great enemy of productivity and...

    • Posted April 5, 2018
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  • Yogi Berra: Lean Management Guru
    Yogi Berra: Lean Management Guru

    Yogi knew that if he wanted to improve his hitting he had to move far beyond blaming himself. He had to carefully analyze, with the help of coaches, all aspects of his work process, hitting a baseball....

    • Posted March 20, 2018
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