Prioritization is a Symptom

“How do we prioritize all this work?” “What are mechanisms you use to prioritize?” “What if I have a lot of options that are all equal?” These are all valid questions and prioritization is an important function of both home and professional work. However, we find most often that prioritization issues, like trust issues, are a symptom of deeper problems. … Read More

Jim BensonPrioritization is a Symptom

The Lean Brain, Post 3: Flow – You Can’t Step in the Same River Twice

Lean says: Manage Flow Your brain says: My work isn’t linear. My day is filled with interruptions and so I don’t have the “luxury” of flow. What’s at play here: Functional Fixedness. If there is one area where there’s not an obvious transfer of Lean principles from manufacturing to knowledge work, it’s understanding how flow can in fact be achieved … Read More

TonianneThe Lean Brain, Post 3: Flow – You Can’t Step in the Same River Twice

The Lean Brain, Post 2: Visualization Begets Alignment

Lean says: Map the Value Stream Your brain says: I’ve been doing this so long, it’s become second nature to me. The steps are right here – in my head. What’s at play here: Illusion of Transparency. Curse of Knowledge/Information Imbalance. Status Quo Thinking. Groupthink/False Consensus Effect. Availability Bias. It was day four of the value stream mapping exercise and … Read More

TonianneThe Lean Brain, Post 2: Visualization Begets Alignment

The Lean Brain, Post 1: Value is a Conversation

  Lean says: Define Customer Value Your brain says: I’ve seen this countless times before – I know what my customer needs better than they do. What’s at play here: Expertise bias. Overconfidence effect. Ivory tower syndrome. Ego. There’s an old story about a man standing along a riverbank. He doesn’t see a bridge, but he does see someone on the opposite bank fishing. “Hey!” he … Read More

TonianneThe Lean Brain, Post 1: Value is a Conversation

Introducing The Lean Brain Series by Tonianne DeMaria

While heading to a session at the most recent Lean Transformation Summit, I found myself confronted with signage that posed the following open-ended question: “All problem solvers must…” Given how the work we do at Modus Cooperandi focuses largely on the nexus between Lean for knowledge work, behavioral economics, neuroscience, and the teachings of W. Edwards Deming, one response in … Read More

TonianneIntroducing The Lean Brain Series by Tonianne DeMaria

Business Starts with Social and Succeeds with Respect

If you are reading this, you are likely human. Congratulations, I’m human too. Everyday we all wake up and wonder what the day will bring.  We wonder who we will meet, what conversations we have, and what we will do. We all want to do things. In business we have processes, we have bureaucracies, we have rules. We also have hopes, … Read More

Jim BensonBusiness Starts with Social and Succeeds with Respect

Distributed Teams not Distributed Silos

The notion of a successful distributed team seems like a wonderful, yet unobtainable dream. But stop and think, how often are your non-distributed teams successful? When have they been successful and why? It’s never because of your plan or because you hired the best people. It’s not because you got expensive new project management software. It’s not even because you … Read More

Jim BensonDistributed Teams not Distributed Silos

Consulting and Learning are Mutual

My favorite part about getting to interview @ourfounder is listening to the gratitude he has for his clients and what he learns from them. — mrsungo (@mrsungo) February 4, 2016 When you are a consultant or, worse yet, seen as a thought leader, people hire you expecting to know “the answers”.  At best what you actually know is paths to … Read More

Jim BensonConsulting and Learning are Mutual

Collaboration Interview with Nancy White

Without collaboration, we cannot have business. It’s the fundamental fabric for what we build, how we build it, and how we work with our customers. Collaboration is also the core of how to have a successful distributed team, which we teach about at Modus Institute. We took time to interview Nancy White an international practitioner (maven) in collaboration and getting … Read More

Jim BensonCollaboration Interview with Nancy White

Yes, Distributed Teams Can Be Successful: Announcing the Launch of Modus Institute

Distributed teams are notorious for causing managers and workers strife. We love the idea that we can work from anywhere, but isolation and communication breakdowns can play havoc with trust and alignment. Regardless of their challenges, distributed teams are not only here to stay, they are increasingly becoming the norm. In our work with clients the past few years, one … Read More

Jim BensonYes, Distributed Teams Can Be Successful: Announcing the Launch of Modus Institute