The most influential source material for this blog:
The definitive work and precursor to all books about “Lean”.
If you want to understand Lean Enterprise, read this book first!
Matthew May takes us back to fundamentals of the original Toyota Production System, and shows how to apply them in various environments.
In Chapter 15 he presents the best entry-level journey through Six-Sigma I’ve ever seen.
He sets a high but achievable standard for the qualities, skills and habits an Innovation Leader must deploy to be successful.
I have found no better guide out there on how to be an effective actor (change agent) in the work place.
An inspiring book for anyone who wants to provide products (or services) that are “simpler, cheaper, and more reliable and convenient than established products.”
Encouraged me to continue writing software, and refine the user experience by watching people use the product.
If you are trying to figure out how to get a group of people to adopt your new technology, this book explains how to do it (along with any other type of innovation).
A structured approach to driving process change and achieving expected results. I use 4DX to drive internal reform campaigns that help maximize the benefits of new tech and processes.
The next three books are quick reads with some excellent ideas for innovators.
Describes “the Adjacent Possible” – similar to Hayek’s catallaxy – how one change opens up many new possibilities.
Describes the importance of creating work environments as “Liquid Networks” – where there is so much natural interaction across workgroups and functions that new ideas are colliding, competing, and being completed via peer interaction – producing the fuel for rapid and continuous improvement.
New tech and processes should empower people to focus on “forging relationships rather than executing transactions, tackling novel challenges instead of solving routine problems, and synthesizing the big picture rather than analyzing a single component.”
Reminded me to pay more attention to the user experience – discoverability, beauty, ease of use – in the software I write.
Quotes Tim O’Reilly that the company with the best “architecture of participation” will innovate fastest; also, products should “get smarter the more people use them.”
“To make your organization as competitive as possible, maximize the opportunities to collaborate with as many smart people as possible outside your organization.” A company needs some star players and a star operating system to achieve a signature identity in the marketplace.
Books that opened my eyes to complex systems, how to model and influence them – using data structures and visualizations.
Considering when it was written, this is an eye-opening, mind-bending read, with wonderful examples from nature, on the topics of synchrony, absorption, circadian rhythms, initial state measurement, strange attractors, excitable media, and “small world” networks.
Got me thinking about how these dynamics might work in a human community.
In “The geographic Beauty of a Photographic Archive,” the authors reference Tufte and Kernighan’s principles of very condensed data visualizations, which help validate my approach to push the entire system map on the page, then “Hover for more detail; click if you want even more.”
A truly mind-altering experience was reading Jeff Jonas’ and Lisa Sokol’s “Data Finds Data”. I believe the simple approach for machine learning they outline in this chapter could be a cornerstone method for at least a generation. The article introduced me to the concepts of semantically reconciled directories, persistent context, reconciliation algorithms, and most of all – the importance of capturing opportunity for machine learning in every human/machine transaction in real time.
A wonderful book on complex system dynamics – focusing on our global financial system. Describes how synchrony among financial actors creates fragility. For someone trying to figure out how to build software to help “control” a complex manufacturing environment, this book shares many salient principles.
It also helped me realize we are moving toward a post-ERP manufacturing world – that we need systems with “complexity metrics,” that can understand the strength of connections between people, problems, resources and constraints, in order to create a digital environment of orchestrated, laser-focused team problem solving that maximizes the value throughput of the organization.
It is strange how a book about financial markets applies so well to business process design for a diversified industrial business.
The pursuit of stability is madness! Our systems must be anti-fragile (benefit from adversity) if they are to thrive and remain relevant for the foreseeable future.
“Why Do This?”
(Counter example: consumergoods.edgl.com/old-magazine/Welcome-to-the–Beyond-ERP–Era!–Bernard-Goor,-Oracle53051.)