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Bill Waddell Q&A from Santiago Velasquez

[Update: fixed Santiago's name!] My friend and fellow continuous improvement knowledge seeker, Santiago Velasquez, has posted a transcript of an interview he did with Bill Waddell at a recent Houston APICS meeting. Special Q&A with Bill Waddell.

I recently had the pleasure of doing a special Q&A session for the APICS Chapter with the one and only Bill Waddell, about continuous improvement and the challenges that lie with it.

Some of the topics covered in this transcript include:

  • How to get started (in continuous improvement)
  • What kinds of organizations can make it work?
  • Resistance to change
  • Short term fixes vs. Long-term journey
  • Competing (with China)
  • Is software needed?

He says a number of things that make me sit up a little straighter and ponder for a minute. In particular, there are a couple questions along the lines of "How do I do continuous improvement in an environment that doesn't appear to support it." He question is fairly consistently, "you can't."

Waddell is clearly of the mindset that continuous improvement is a journey. It's part of the fabric of an organization and cannot be successful as a one off improvement event. That said, it is also necessary to get moving, as some of the best teaching happens in situ.

Should we benchmark?

Forget you ... and the list you rode in on