Waving Goodbye to 2013

Posted on December 31, 2013 | in ASQ Influential Voices, Sports | by
new years pug

I’m pretty sure I’m a little more excited about 2014 than this little fella.

In short, 2013 was a pretty tough year, both personally and professionally. Some really great opportunities presented themselves, while I also found there is a great deal of professional growth I still need to accomplish.

2013 saw some amazing participation opportunities come this way, including attending the ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement (and serving as a judge in ASQ’s International Team Excellence Awards competition) and being named as one of the new ASQ Influential Voices as a writer. I also got to meet consultant/author/blogger/keynote speaker Karen Martin – a big honor!

chad walters karen martin asq wcqi indianapolis the outstanding organization

Karen Martin, author of The Outstanding Organization

I was a guest for two podcasts:
– Mark Graban on the Lean Blog Podcast where we covered Lean and continuous improvement in sports
– An introduction to Lean with John Patrick of the Buzz on Biz radio show (local to Augusta)

I provided multiple guest posts to other prominent Lean bloggers:
– Moneyball and Hoshin Kanri for Matt Wrye’s Beyond Lean blog
Jon Spoelstra and Hoshin Kanri for Beyond Lean
The Power of Asking “What Do You Think?” for Mark Graban at Lean Blog

I also presented Lean and Kaizen at multiple functions and helped facilitate a Lean business plan workshop with CETi through the University of South Carolina.

This all in addition to blogging.

Of all posts authored in 2013, here are the five that either were most insightful, reflective, highest viewed, or potentially influential.

Lean or Sushi? – This is a quiz about determining whether a given Asian word or phrase is about Lean or a term for sushi. The purpose of the quiz is not about getting the vocabulary right as much as showing that knowledge of the concepts is more important than what it’s called. A Lean practitioner from Russia liked it and requested permission to translate it into Russian for his use. (Of course you can!)
What is Lean vs. Six Sigma vs. Kaizen? – It’s a question that individuals interested in continuous improvement ask when they are getting started. It definitely showed as it was the highest-trafficked post in 2013.
Anything about the Miami Marlins – This was the epitome of what a sports franchise should NOT do. I tip my hat to Jeffrey Loria for providing me with such fantastic post material.
MLB Eliminating Pension Plans – This post was linked by Rob Neyer of Baseball Nation, one of my favorite baseball writers. Thanks, Rob…even if you didn’t totally agree with me.
A Lean Look at the Baseball Jersey Manufacturing Process – This post was linked by Paul Lukas of Uni Watch, in the Ticker section.

I had three fantastic guest posts:
– Mark Graban on Rob Gronkowski’s back surgery and post-operation infections
– Mark Graban on Bryce Harper, warning tracks, and injuries from running into outfield walls
– Christina Kach on what Lean practitioners can learn from sports

I will share more insights as to the struggles of 2013, but it will be a building block for 2014. More to come.

Happy new year, everyone! 2014 can’t get here soon enough.

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