Respect for People – Why and How

Two People in Shop Floor MeetingIn my previous post on “Respect for People” or “Respect for Humanity,” I gave you a bit of an introduction to this very challenging topic. In this second post of the series I will look at why you should have respect for others, and especially how you can show respect. However, especially the “how to …” part will be difficult.

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Respect for People – Introduction

One important aspect in lean manufacturing is “Respect for People,” or more correctly, “Respect for Humanity.” But while it is mentioned frequently in presentations and books on lean manufacturing, what it actually means is often glossed over. And it is not an easy topic to write about. There is no “5 Steps to Respect for People.” Sorry. I have been thinking about writing a blog post on respect for quite some time, but it is difficult to write something substantial rather than just some anecdotes. It runs the risk of quickly drifting off into general management and leadership behavior. Nevertheless, I managed to write a series of three blog posts on it. Well, anyway, here we go…

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How to Set Up a Shop Floor Meeting – Part 2

In my second post in this series on shop floor management I will look at more things that go into the team corner besides the tracked KPI. How do you manage your improvement activities? What organizational stuff should go in there? Hopefully this will help you make more successful shop floor meetings. In my next post I will also talk about what should NOT go into a team corner on the shop floor.

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How to Set Up a Shop Floor Meeting – Part 1

Regular meetings are necessary to keep yourself and others informed. This is also true for the shop floor. Many factories have set up meeting corners for the workers and their supervisors to meet. In this series of posts I would like to show you what you need for a successful shop floor meeting. This first post looks at the hardware and content of the team corner where the shop floor meeting usually happens, as well as the most important KPI that should be addressed in the team meeting.

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American Factory – Documentary of a Chinese Automotive Factory in the USA

A good manufacturing documentary on Netflix is American Factory. This movie follows an American automotive plant that closed some time ago, and was reopened by a Chinese car glass manufacturer. It documents the differences and problems between employees and management in general and the cultural clashes between Chinese management’s and American workers’ expectations in particular. It is in fact very similar to the 1986 movie Gung Ho, except Gung Ho is a fictional comedy, whereas American Factory is as real as it gets. Good to watch!

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Fictional Movie on US-Japan Automotive Culture Clash – Gung Ho

Michael Keaton in 2002

Recently I watched a few feature-length movies about automotive plants America. The first one is Gung Ho, a fictional comedy from 1986 featuring Michael Keaton. The movie shows a Japanese car maker purchasing a closed-down plant in the USA, and lots of cultural clashes that threaten to close down the plant again. While not Academy Award-worthy, it offers insights into the cultural differences between Japanese and US Industry, although often exaggerated on both sides for comical effect.

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