I found a good article by another practioner, Bill Waddell, at his Manufacturing Leadership blog. I’ve never met Bill but he’s a good writer and I used to check out another blog he wrote for (and maybe still does), Evolving Excellence., to see what he had written lately. He and I went a few rounds in the comment section of some of his posts (I tend to have a more sanguine view of labor organizations and the public sector than he does) but his articles were always thoughtful and well written. (He, like me, can be very tough on management and leadership.)
This article is a good example. When I saw the title, The Irrelevance of Minimum Wage, I was ready to go another round or two with him. Then I read the article and found myself in complete agreement.
He rightly calls manufacturers to task:
“The same thing is true with the braying from the old school manufacturers about their perceived inability to find skilled workers. All depends on the skills. When they see workers as merely that “set of hands” they are right. Lean companies, however, see it a bit differently…”
Bill correctly points out that too many companies see their workers, not as sources of strategic advantage, but simply as costs that need to be minimized.