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Address: 1526 K StreetSuite 250Lincoln, NE 68508

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Previous Issues of The Huddle


Center of Operational Excellence:

The COE serves as the training center for continuous process improvement across all state agencies. It currently certifies White, Yellow, and Green Belts in Lean Six Sigma to those looking to engage in process improvement. Its goal is to help agencies simplify processes, resulting in a more effective, efficient, and customer-focused government. The COE has recently created and opened its Kaizen room, located in the State Capitol. It is used for training events and process improvement meetings.



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State of Nebraska Belt Certification Numbers

COE Presents at NASCA Symposium - 6/6/18

The Center of Operational Excellence recently had the opportunity to present at the National Associations of State Administration Officer (NASCA) Symposium in Minnesota. Deputy Director, Don Arp, is seen in this photo leading a discussion on fact-based organization. NASCA helps States from across the U.S. determine best practices in innovative surrounding topics such as process improvement, business analytics, and fact based decision making.

GPS Summit Hosts Singh and Bridgmon - 6/6/18

Master Black Belt Matthew Singh and Black Candidate Andi Bridgmon were invited to speak at the Government Performance Summit hosted by the Performance Institute in Washington, D.C. in April 2018. This is part of a government focused initiative to discuss best practices, organized systems, and techniques used in government process improvement and organizational analytics. The Nebraska COE is helping as thought leaders on these topics at the highest level.

COE Invited to Speak at Iowa Lean Consortium - 9/29/17

The Center of Operational Excellence team was invited to speak at the Iowa Lean Consortium on process improvement sponsored by Claas, Inc. The Consortium also included a tour of Claas, Inc. where participants viewed how Claas has implemented process improvement into their facility including utilizing 5S Carts. Pictured is Claas’ strategic alignment messaging board, examples of their 5S Carts, and Matt Singh, COE Director, and Heather Behl, Process Improvement Coordinator - Department of Correctional Services.

Cohort 3 Enters Week Two of Intense Classroom Training - 7/21/17

Cohort 3 of Nebraska Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Candidates finished up their first week of class room training by exercising the basics of process mapping. This week they spent their time engaging in leadership skills, SIPOC development, Gantt charts, charter creation, process mapping, and several other exciting Lean Six Sigma tools.

Class of Green Belt and Executive Green Belts Graduates - 6/27/17

On June 27, 2017, the Center of Operational Excellence graduated a new group of nine Green Belts and three Executive Green Belts. Vertigo suede ballerinas Roger Vivier WUOQ9K826W

Wahoo Maintenance Team Organizes Work Area Using 5S Approach - 5/23/17

By utilizing the 5-S tools, a group of Department of Transportation workers in Wahoo improved their work area and implemented a visual work area where there is "a place for everything and everything in its place." They began by discussing the opportunities to improve the work space by eliminating material and movement waste from the mechanic's environment. They developed a map to reorganize and color code the work area, labeled over 300 items to enhance efficiency, and utilized the 5S approach of "Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain" for an organized work space. "Afterwards, it has really opened my eyes to all the wasted space and excess junk that we no longer used. After cleaning and organizing our work areas it has made our shop cleaner and more user friendly," said Allan Jansa, Highway Maintenance Crew Chief, Wahoo Yard.

Nebraska State Patrol IT Removes Duplicated Wifi Service - 5/23/17

In order to utilize wifi while working in the field, Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) troopers were using a HotSpot app on their phones to provide internet access to their laptops. As new technology became available, NSP IT started issuing laptops with the same wifi hotspot technology built in. Realizing troopers did not need this hotspot capability on both their cell phone and laptop, NSP IT began deactivating the HotSpot application. They were able to save $10 per unit per month, resulting in an annual savings of $7,920.

Department of Environmental Quality Swim Lanes - 3/31/17

Department of Environmental Quality’s Remediation work group embraces the power of visual management tools, like Swim Lanes, to help drive their business objectives.

DHHS Daily Huddle - 3/20/17

Samuel Malson, Economic Assistance TANF policy leader, implements daily huddles to discuss team obstacles and goals for the day. The team has also seen benefits related to the use of a tool called Swim Lane board. One of the best parts of the Swim Lane board is the visual it creates for everyone to see each day. It is a constant reminder of the larger projects the program is working on, helps keep the projects at the forefront, and keeps our focus on the big picture. Daily huddles provide a great opportunity to touch base as a team and briefly identify obstacles that may need additional time dedication. It is especially beneficial because not all team members are in the same office. The team uses Skype as the platform so all team members can see the board and each other. As Sam put it, “Many times, we all have so many projects going on, that if you do not work on something for a few days or talk about the project for a few days, there is a chance it could go by the wayside.”

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White Belt training is a one-hour session that introduces State of Nebraska team member to basic Lean Six Sigma concepts. The goal is to begin to help the recipient see waste in the process around them and have a basic level of understanding of how to combat that waste.

To affirm, for example, that scallops ‘are conscious of nothing’, that they get out of the way of potential predators without experiencing them as such and when they fail to do so, get eaten alive without (quite possibly) experiencing pain'…is to leap the bounds of rigorous scholarship into a maze of unwarranted assumptions, mistaking human ignorance for human knowledge. ( Sheets-Johnstone 1998 , p. 291)

Clearly, there is much disagreement about the emotional lives of other animals. The following questions can be used to set the stage for learning more about the evolution and expression of animal emotions: Our moods move us, so why not other animals? Emotions help us to manage and regulate our relationships with others, so why not for other animals? Emotions are important for humans to adapt to specific circumstances, so why not for other animals? Emotions are an integral part of human life, so why not for other animals?

Current research suggests that no one single theory of emotions can explain all of the psychological phenomena that are called “emotions.” Panksepp claims (1998 , p. 7), “To understand the basic emotional operating systems of the brain, we have to begin relating incomplete sets of neurological facts to poorly understood psychological phenomena that emerge from many interacting brain activities.” There is no doubt that there is continuity between the neurobehavioral systems that underlie human and nonhuman emotions, that the differences between human and animals emotions are, in many instances, differences in degree rather than differences in kind.

By remaining open to the idea that many animals have rich emotional lives, even if we are wrong in some cases, little truly is lost. By closing the door on the possibility that many animals have rich emotional lives, even if they are very different from our own or from those of animals with whom we are most familiar, we will lose great opportunities to learn about the lives of animals with whom we share this wondrous planet.

The future holds many challenges and perhaps surprises for those who want to learn more about animal emotions. The rigorous study of animal emotions will require harnessing the best possible resources. These resources include researchers in various scientific disciplines who provide “hard data” and anecdotes ( Bekoff 2000 ), other scholars who study animals, nonacademics who observe animals and tell stories, and the animals themselves. There is ample room for hard and soft science in the study of animal emotions. There are many worlds beyond human experience. There are no substitutes for listening to, and having direct experiences with, other animals.

I thank Colin Allen for comments on an ancestral draft of this essay and Jane Goodall for discussing many of these issues with me. Bernard Rollin, Donald Griffin, Rebecca Chasan, Janice Moore, Steve Siviy, and an anonymous referee provided numerous helpful comments for which I am deeply grateful.

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