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Expanding Our Perspective on Lean, Part 3: Lean is a Practice in Search of a Language
To explore the idea that there may be other angles for understanding lean management than business or analytical perspectives, a group of lean management practitioners met with artists. Here’s what surprised them.… More »
Expanding Our Perspective on Lean Management, Part 2: Lean has its Roots in Spirituality
To explore the idea that there may be other angles for understanding lean management than business or analytical perspectives, a group of lean management practitioners met with artists. Here’s what surprised them.… More »
Human Resources and Lean; It Really Is About People
Despite an expert’s exhortations to “do more kaizen, develop kaizen mind” this lean transformation failed. Find out why from someone who saw it happen and the lessons he never forgot.… More »
Your Consultant Doesn’t Have the Answers
Inspired by a true story from his tenure at the Toyota Production System Support Center, LEI Senior Coach Mark in a Lean Talks video explains a critical misconception about the roles of consultants and leaders.… More »
Fixing Lean’s “Sales” Problem
When companies begin lean transformations, IT systems too often are viewed as obstacles. So, some lean thinkers may view Jacob Stoller, author of The Lean CEO, as having a checkered past. He used to sell IT systems. But the experience of selling to CEOs gave him a valuable skill that lean practitioners can borrow: how to sell to senior management. Here, perhaps as a way of making amends for his past life, he shares practical tips for selling lean.… More »
A (Work) Pie in the Face to All Bad Jobs
Want Better Employees? Be a Better Employer… More »
ASK ART: “Why do you say lean is all about people?”
Lean is all about people, says author and former CEO Art Byrne, who has been successfully turning around companies for over 20 years. That means leaders must transform the way people think and act so everyone sees waste and has the skills to remove it. Such an approach leads to faster growth, higher profits, better quality, and lower costs. Here, Art offers practical advice and examples for why senior leaders should spend their time growing people, not figuring out ways to get rid of them.… More »
5S - The Way to Start Your Lean Journey…or Is It?
Many people think that a 5S implementation is the perfect way to kickstart a full lean transformation. It can be - IF you do it right. Years ago Dale Savage witnessed a lean disaster at his company that all started with a new 5S program. Find out what happened and how you can keep it from happening to your company.… More »
Advice from the Gemba: How Do People Accidentally Make Change Unsustainable?
The only thing tougher than change is SUSTAINING change, we often hear. But does sustaining change need to be SO hard? Is it naturally and universally borderline impossible? Or is it possible that we, as humans, accidentally make sustainability harder than it has to be? Four LEI faculty members weigh in with their thoughts.… More »
Advice from the Gemba: How Can I Change a Culture?
One of the most common questions asked by lean leaders is the question of culture change. How, they ask, can we change a firmly rooted culture to match our desired behaviors? As far as these four leaders are concerned, the answer is...by changing the work. Here are their stories.… More »
Ask Art: Why do you say the CEO needs to become a lean expert?
I realize that this is probably a shocking idea to most CEO’s since they are taught to manage in a traditional way—and are generally rewarded to do so.… More »
Lean Expansion: Spreading Lean from One Store to a Region at Starbucks
Scaling up is a challenge often talked about in lean circles. How can we best leverage our individual or small-scale wins to spread lean throughout the organization? LEI faculty and Director of Learning Karen Gaudet tackled this problem head-on during her tenure working at Starbucks. Here's her story of what she experienced and learned as she spread lean throughout her region of responsibility.… More »
Big Problems? Start Small
"In problem solving, we’re taught to ask a simple question, “Is this problem within my scope of control?” If yes, then we go after it. If no, then we escalate it to the next level of management. But for that to happen, I’ve learned it’s sometimes necessary to engage frontline team members in thinking about their work (steps, stuff, and time involved for transformation per a customer need) first."… More »
You Can't Know If You Don't Know
Recently LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook found an interesting blog by Dr. Helen Kales of the University of Michigan, musing on a powerful set of words that can mean everything in lean thinking. The set of words resonated with John too, and he now shares his thoughts on the value it holds in his latest piece for the Lean Post.… More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 16)
Our latest compilation of the best lean reads from around the web, this time featuring content from Forbes, Manufacturing.net, and The Association for Talent Development.… More »
The Problems Inherent in Change – and What You Can Do about Them
Anyone who's been involved in an organizational transformation knows that its challenges go well beyond resistance. Katrina Appell sheds some light on the deeper challenges presented by change management plus some helpful solutions for getting past them.… More »
Change Management: Is it Necessary?
"There are varying views on the role of change management in a lean transformation," writes Katrina Appell. In her latest blog, she evaluates the opposing viewpoints and offers a viewpoint of her own for good measure. Read more.… More »
Just a Fish Stick: The Perils of Forcing Your Change Agenda onto Others
Change agendas may look good on paper, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're foolproof. Brent Wahba shares his thoughts on an oft-overlooked hurdle to change agendas that can save your next one from failure.… More »
change management on Lean.org
The Value Stream Manager
Read about and discuss the role of this cross-functional manager.… More »
Lean Beyond Production
Read how Lean Thinkers, using the same lean tools that worked in production, now are making improvements and benefits off the plant floor, in environments as diverse as an insurance company, academia,… More »
Leadership Q&A: John Wilson, executive vice president of manufacturing, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership: Wilson talks to the Lean Enterprise Institute about the executive's role in a lean conversion. Wilson offers his take on why some compani… More »
Leadership Q&A: Dr. Jack Billi, associate dean and associate vice president for medical affairs
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership: Jack Billi, M.D., associate dean for clinical affairs, University of Michigan Medical School, professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Educa… More »
Leadership Q&A: Dan Ariens, CEO of Ariens Co.
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership: In the late 1990s, Ariens Co.faced a blizzard of problems. The iconic maker of snow blowers, mowers, and string trimmers faced a cash-flow cri… More »
Nun and the Bureaucrat (Book & DVD), The
The remarkable story of how healthcare professionals found a powerful but unlikely cure for what ails hospitals and healthcare is clearly and invitingly told in The Nun and the Bureaucrat/Good News…Ho… More »
Where Lean Leadership Begins
As with all lean practice, leadership begins with grasping the current state. For lean leaders that means understanding the external business environment, the organization's internal environment, and … More »
Standardized Work: The Foundation for Kaizen
Standardized work is one of the most powerful but least used lean tool. Learn how documenting the current best practice (standardized work) forms the baseline for kaizen or continuous improvement.… More »
Managing Kaizen Events
The workshop is comprised of instruction, discussion, gemba tales (a.k.a. war stories), as well as forensic review of recently completed kaizen events, and small group exercises around pre-event plann… More »
LEI Workbook Set
A complete set of the LEI workbooks.… More »
Lead With Respect
In their third business novel Lead With Respect, authors Michael and Freddy Ballé reveal the true power of lean: developing people through a rigorous application of proven tools and methods. And, in t… More »
Mapping to See: Value-Stream Improvement Workshop
Mapping to See: Value-Stream Improvement for the Office and Services is a complete training solution created by some of the most seasoned veterans working in lean today. The value stream improvement p… More »
The Problems Inherent in Change – and What You Can Do about Them
Anyone who's been involved in an organizational transformation knows that its challenges go well beyond resistance. Katrina Appell sheds some light on the deeper challenges presented by change management plus some helpful solutions for getting past them.… More »
Change Management: Is it Necessary?
"There are varying views on the role of change management in a lean transformation," writes Katrina Appell. In her latest blog, she evaluates the opposing viewpoints and offers a viewpoint of her own for good measure. Read more.… More »
Just a Fish Stick: The Perils of Forcing Your Change Agenda onto Others
Change agendas may look good on paper, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're foolproof. Brent Wahba shares his thoughts on an oft-overlooked hurdle to change agendas that can save your next one from failure.… More »