Author Archives: Mike Shipulski

Emotional Constraints on Innovation

“Constraint” is most often an excuse rather than a constraint. In fact, there are very few true constraints, with most of them living in the domain of physics. A constraint is when something cannot be done. It’s not when something is difficult, complex, or unknown. And, it’s not when the options are costly, big, or ugly. There are no options ...

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The Improvement Mindset

Improvement is good; we all want it. Whether it’s Continuous Improvement (CI), where goodness, however defined, is improved incrementally and continually, or Discontinuous Improvement (DI), where goodness is improved radically and steeply, we want it. But, it’s not enough to want it. How do we create the Improvement Mindset, where the desire to make things better is a way of ...

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Imagination is Dead

An Obituary by Dr. Mike Shipulski Anytown, Any Country – Imagination died on Friday, May 14, 2010, following a long and courageous battle with continuous improvement. Imagination was born in a time long ago in a place we no longer recognize. Nurtured by her parents Individualism and Free Thinking, Imagination had a wonderful childhood. As a youngster, she was known ...

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Who Owns Cost?

I’ve heard product cost is designed in; I’ve heard it happens at the early stages of product development; And, I’ve heard, once designed in, cost is difficult get out. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Nothing new here. But, is it true? Is cost really designed in? Why do I ask? Because we don’t behave like it’s true. Because was ...

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Our Misguided Focus on Patents

Is it patented? Can we patent that? We need a @#!$%& patent and we need it now! You hear that a lot these days. Everyone wants to be part of the new economy, the thinking economy, and patents are the key, right? No. Patents are the results of something – good, old-fashioned innovation.

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The Innovation Edict

There is a groundswell of interest in innovation across the planet. As historians know, the interest in innovation is cyclic, and this year it’s surely in vogue. Everyone wants more of it, even if we don’t know what it is – we want it. And we want it because we want it; it’s an emotional want. Never mind that we ...

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Should the Era of Six Sigma End?

Five percent here, three percent there. I’m tired as hell of continuous improvement. Sure there’s a place for it, but it shouldn’t be the only type of work we do. But, unfortunately, that’s just what’s happened in manufacturing. To secure the balance sheet, the pendulum swung too far toward continuous improvement. Just look at what we’re writing about – the ...

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