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collaboration on the Lean Post
Valuing The Tradition of Learning and Sharing Lean: a new WLEI Podcast
This new WLEI podcast, recorded live at the 2018 summit, features a panel discussion with Jim Womack and three lean converts on the value of sharing and learning lean.… More »
A Reflection on Competition
A meta-analysis of research shows that among the three main ways of achieving business goals, collaboration beats competition and individualism a little more than 50% of the time. Lynn Kelley, PhD, and a continuous improvement VP, discusses the research on achieving goals and personal career reflections about intense competition with co-workers.… More »
Advice from the Gemba: Getting More Suggestions without Incentivizing Employees
Improving the work is difficult, if not impossible, without suggestions from those who actually do the work. But in many companies, getting the workers to submit suggestions is a constant struggle. What could be the root cause(s) of this problem? Two lean practitioners weigh in with their thoughts.… More »
SBP Has a Helping Hand in Hurricane Harvey
Learn how SBP (formerly Saint Bernard Project) is using lean to help victims of Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters -- plus what you can do to help!… More »
Back to Basics: Jim Womack on Why You Should Never Create an A3 Alone
In this eletter from 2008, Jim Womack (in honor of the then-recent publication of "Managing to Learn") shares invaluable advice for a problem that too many A3 writers get hung up on. Read more to learn why you should never be a hero and try to write an A3 alone.… More »
7 Things Coaches Need to Get Over
"Over the years, I have noticed some common misperceptions about coaching effective problem solving skills and developing lean thinking," writes Mike Orzen. Read more to learn seven of them to improve your coaching practice.… More »
A3 Coaching: What Feedback Would You Give?
You be our coach: what feedback/coaching would you offer on our example A3? We'd like to hear from you!… More »
Enabling Fast and Innovative Product Development at Bose
Bringing products to market as quickly as possible is a key cornerstone of lean product and process development. With this in mind, Massachusetts-based audio-equipment maker Bose Corporation created a Rapid Prototype Development Center to improve collaboration, creativity, engagement, and ideation-to-market times. LPPD coach Katrina Appell now shares the secrets of the RPDC in this new case study… More »
Towards a More Perfect (i.e. Lean) Union
"Over the past few years, we have seen an upward trend in the number of government agencies and states beginning to explore and practice the “true” meaning of lean and lean transformation," writes Dr. Darlene Dumont. Learn why she suggests that the practitioners leading these efforts should network and share ideas amongst each other.… More »
How to Know If Your Team is Ready for Kaizen
"Do we even know what the Kaizen aim of “engaged employees” means, beyond the clichés?" asks lean coach Lesa Nichols. Read Lesa's tips for getting a read on your team and then genuinely involving all team members in meaningful work.… More »
Hazards at the Huddle Board: Away From Fast Thinking, Toward Disciplined PDCA
As more companies use the huddle board approach for continuous improvement, people need to be aware of the pitfalls involved. “Often what’s picked up as a problem may be a nuisance or an inconvenience," says David Verble. "There is an attempt to make a general link between these problems and the priorities of the company."… More »
Tough Empathy
"When grasping the situation we always focus in on the process... What about grasping the situation as it relates to the people?" writes Eric Ethington. "I’m talking about truly 'engaging the stakeholders' to the point where they WANT to be part of the improvement process."… More »
6 Ways to Lay the Groundwork for More Effective Meetings
"Even in organizations working hard in pursuit of lean production systems [and] employee capability development – the failure to host effective meetings is all too common," writes Thomas Stratton. "It’s a drag on productivity and a key source of frustration." Read more.… More »
Lean Thinking for Quicker Police Emergency Response Time
Bob Downing and Erin Magee reflect on the results of a collaborative project they worked on last year when their company was asked by the Newport News City Council to run a process improvement (kaizen) event for the Newport News Police Department.… More »
What “Co-Learning” Across Industries Looks Like in Practice
"In April, as part of a 2-day capstone learning event for Cardinal Health, we brought the newest wave of Lean Leader graduates together to visit various gembas to see examples of other companies undergoing lean transformations," writes McGuiness. "With proximity to Ohio and some key relationships in mind, the team headed for southern Michigan."… More »
Connecting Lean Thinkers With Nonprofits in Portland, Oregon
Matthew Horvat tells the story of Lean Portland, a lean community of practice connecting lean thinkers with nonprofit professionals in Portland, Oregon.… More »
Using Value Stream Management to Better Care for Stroke Patients
"To make value stream management really work, the most significant cause for transformation lay simply in the shifting of team members’ mindsets," writes Lori Smith. It’s been a long process, but over 5 years her team INTEGRIS has transformed the way they work. Learn what they did and read team members' feedback about the process in their own words.… More »
5 Ways to Help Every Team Member Contribute Ideas for Improving Work
"Engaging staff in problem identification and suggestions for improvement is essential for any organization," writes Dan Fleming, Continuous Improvement Manager at GBMP (Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership). "Yet most organizations don’t have a system that effectively encourages staff involvement." Learn how to create such a system with this short, helpful post.… More »
Crossing Silos: Connecting Disconnected Communities at LeanUX NYC
LEI’s John Shook will give a talk, “Lean is About Building an Organization That Learns to Learn" at this year's LeanUX NYC conference, April 15-19. I sat down with conference creator Will Evans to learn more about the UX community and what business and organizational problems the conference aims to solve.… More »
From Victim to Partner: The Evolution of a Manufacturing Development System
"Excellence in product development is not 'an engineering thing'; it is an enterprise thing," writes Jim Morgan. And it's helpful to think about manufacturing’s role in PD as something that evolves over time through four general stages until manufacturing becomes a fully participating partner. "Few companies evolve through all stages on their own... " Read more.… More »
Are You Serving "Internal Customers" or Your Real Customer?
Are teams in your organization working in silos? Do processes feel fractured? Do upstream or downstream steps occurring in different silos adhere to internal service level agreements? If so, Brent Hostler says, it's worth asking if you're team members may be striving to reach outcomes many steps removed from what your customer actually wants.… More »
Lean Principles Are Changing How the U.S. Recovers from Tornadoes & Floods
When the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina receded, they uncovered tens of thousands of homes in devastated areas such as St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, that needed rebuilding. But the subsiding waters also exposed a rebuilding process that needed rethinking.… More »
The Cure for Bad Meeting Syndrome
"Anyone who leads a group needs the ability to design and plan a meeting," writes Alice Lee. "This isn’t just something that happens; it’s a skill we must develop if we are to meet team objectives."… More »
How to Make Your Supplier Your Lean Partner
Lean practitioner Randy Dobbs says working with suppliers to improve the extended value stream of his company has been one of the most rewarding aspects of his career. Read Dobbs' advice on how to work effectively with suppliers.… More »
Communicating With Respect
Effective communication is key when it comes to lean learning. Give people too much information, too soon and you lose them, Alice Lee says. Give them too little, too late and they'll get bored. In both cases, you run the risk of people not feeling respected by you. Read what Lee suggests doing instead.… More »
8 Tips for “Passing the Baton” with Suppliers and Customers
In a relay, the winning team isn’t the one that runs the fastest leg, but the one that runs fastest start to finish without dropping the baton. In business, the winning supply chain isn’t the one with the most efficient operational silos, but the one that is most efficient end to end, especially at the handoffs.… More »
PDCA, BML, TMC: Learning Lean From Lean
"Lean, Lean UX, and Lean Startup – there' a lot of 'lean' out there," writes Matthew Savas. "Is this good or bad?" What's most important, Savas says, is an allegiance to true PDCA. What do you think?… More »
Closer Collaboration for a Leaner Planet
Roberto Priolo, editor of Planet Lean, makes the case for lean learning and collaboration across the globe.… More »
One Idea for Improving Hospital Emergency Room Care
Sami Bahri, dentist and author of "Follow the Learner: The Role of a Leader in Creating a Lean Culture," suggests an idea for improving hospital emergency rooms: level the workload across the ER and other departments.… More »
How Teaming Produces Execution-as-Learning
Amy C. Edmonson, Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, shares a concept she calls "teaming", a way of working that brings people together to generate new ideas, find answers, and solve problems across boundaries.… More »
Focus on Process, Set Free Great Minds
"So often when we map the current state of a value stream, and its problems and pain points are revealed, something wonderful happens... We laugh! Long-held, negative assumptions explode," writes lean coach and practitioner Tim Kane. Read more about how a focus on process helps people do good work together.… More »
We Called for Your Questions on Lean, Here's What Happened
Check out the conversations that happened during the Open Space session at this year's Lean Transformation Summit.… More »
Live Blogging the Lean Transformation Summit, Day 2
LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld continues his live blog of the Lean Transformation Summit, happening now in Orlando!… More »
Live Blogging the Lean Transformation Summit, Day 1
Unable to join us in Orlando? Check back here periodically throughout the day to follow Summit content here on The Lean Post.… More »
Reducing Wasted Motion at a Conference: Collaborative Note Taking
Mark Graban reflects on the pros and cons of collaborative note-taking at conferences and offers up an invitation/experiment to Lean Transformation Summit attendees.… More »
Thinking Outside the Pyramid
Machiavelli said it's better to be feared than loved. Lean practitioner Daniel Fisher rejects this idea and argues it’s better to respect people and be respected. Read why.… More »
Ask Art: How Should We Staff and Run Kaizen?
"Unless you have some lean knowledge before you launch any kaizen, your traditional ('batch' rather than 'flow') thinking will overwhelm you at every turn," writes lean leadership expert Art Byrne. So just how do run an effective kaizen? Read more.… More »
Lean Labor Relations and The Customer First Principle
Here’s the scene: A production line at a car and truck manufacturing plant is stalling several times a day resulting in serious workflow issues. Read the true story about how a union rep, labor rep, line worker, and team member from production control worked together to get to the bottom of the issue.… More »
Ask Art: Will Lean Work for a Distributor?
Pairing distribution companies with Lean may seem counterintuitive to some. However author of The Lean Turnaround, Art Byrne, says this match actually makes perfect sense.… More »
One Year Later, How Toyota Has Helped Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts
There are few processes that are more critical to get right than those involved in disaster relief. Check out how Jamie Bonini and Lisa Richardson from TSSC have helped to improve food distribution processes for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.… More »
Catchball Helps Us Get Past We Versus They
When employees dread going to work every day, your company loses. Read what Tracey Richardson has to say about boosting workplace morale.… More »
Tee Up Your Continuous Improvement
Despite achieving success across all key metrics early on in their lean journey, ProMed Molded Products still experienced a lack of unity within their organization. Check out how they used game dynamics to increase staff engagement and drive improvement.… More »
More Evidence That ThedaCare Rocks
LEI coach Danielle Blais reflects on her recent gemba visit to the lean healthcare organization, Appleton Medical Center in Appleton, Wisconsin—a ThedaCare hospital widely known for its exceptional patient care.… More »
Adopt or Adapt? When Modifying Lean Makes Sense
One of the key decisions every lean coach, consultant, practitioner, and leader makes is when to fully adopt a particular lean practice or when to adapt it. But how do you make this decision? Author and coach Karen Martin draws from her experience to share her thoughts on the matter.… More »
Lean Writing Has a Gemba
What makes for good (lean) writing? What kind of writing are we looking for on The Lean Post? LEI senior editor Tom Ehrenfeld chimes in.… More »
Public-Private Partnerships Lead To More Effective Government in WA
Since 2012, Washington state government has received more than 2,000 hours of volunteer advice, training, coaching, and/or facility tours from 132 lean experts representing 51 organizations. Darrell Damron shares the story of this unique collaborative learning partnership.… More »
Designing Hospitals in Collaboration with Patients and Families
LEI coach Danielle Blais shares her reflections on a recent visit to Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, a hospital built from the ground up using lean principles.… More »
Long Live Process Improvement?
For many beginner practitioners, Lean seems like just another "flavor of the month" program. If it isn't communicated and taught well, Lean can be exactly this. In his first article for The Lean Post, LEI faculty member Greg Lane offers specific recommendations on how to avoid this pitfall and make Lean accessible and useful to all.… More »
Managing the Wisdom of the Many
"Lean organizations that depend on the qualities of rare individuals face multi-dimensional risks," writes Boaz Tamir, President of Israel Lean Institute. In his first piece for the Post, Tamir calls for the integration of individual capabilities and team synergy as we seek to build successful 21st century businesses.… More »
Why It's Time to Embrace Design Thinking
What do lean thinking and design thinking have to do with each other? What do practitioners in each field have to learn from each other?… More »
collaboration on Lean.org
Lean Thinking: A Look Back and a Look Forward
The meaning of lean thinking, how lean got its name, and an example of how it improved a grinding process By LEI President Jim Womack.… More »
Innovation Through Customer Collaboration
Lean Enterprise Institute faculty member Steve Bell shows you how to examine and improve your activities for learning the Voice of the Customer.… More »
Lead with Respect: Practicing Respect for People to Enable Engagement, Teamwork & Accountability
Building a great organization requires effective leadership. It turns out that leadership skills can be learned. A key element that is often misunderstood is what it means to lead with respect. This l… More »
Continuous Improvement Using Personal Kanban
A simple, effective management system for digging out of work -- and staying dug out -- to achieve higher quality, better productivity, greater job satisfaction, and peace of mind.… More »
LEI Workbook Set
A complete set of the LEI workbooks.… More »
Seeing the Whole Value Stream
For the tens of thousands of users of value-stream mapping at the facility level, Seeing the Whole Value Stream provides the logical next step, extending the field of view all the way up and down the … More »
Building a Lean Fulfillment Stream
This workbook explains step-by-step a comprehensive, real-life implementation process for optimizing your entire fulfillment stream from raw materials to customers, including practical insights into t… More »
How Teaming Produces Execution-as-Learning
Amy C. Edmonson, Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, shares a concept she calls "teaming", a way of working that brings people together to generate new ideas, find answers, and solve problems across boundaries.… More »
Focus on Process, Set Free Great Minds
"So often when we map the current state of a value stream, and its problems and pain points are revealed, something wonderful happens... We laugh! Long-held, negative assumptions explode," writes lean coach and practitioner Tim Kane. Read more about how a focus on process helps people do good work together.… More »
We Called for Your Questions on Lean, Here's What Happened
Check out the conversations that happened during the Open Space session at this year's Lean Transformation Summit.… More »
Live Blogging the Lean Transformation Summit, Day 2
LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld continues his live blog of the Lean Transformation Summit, happening now in Orlando!… More »
Live Blogging the Lean Transformation Summit, Day 1
Unable to join us in Orlando? Check back here periodically throughout the day to follow Summit content here on The Lean Post.… More »
Reducing Wasted Motion at a Conference: Collaborative Note Taking
Mark Graban reflects on the pros and cons of collaborative note-taking at conferences and offers up an invitation/experiment to Lean Transformation Summit attendees.… More »
Thinking Outside the Pyramid
Machiavelli said it's better to be feared than loved. Lean practitioner Daniel Fisher rejects this idea and argues it’s better to respect people and be respected. Read why.… More »
Ask Art: How Should We Staff and Run Kaizen?
"Unless you have some lean knowledge before you launch any kaizen, your traditional ('batch' rather than 'flow') thinking will overwhelm you at every turn," writes lean leadership expert Art Byrne. So just how do run an effective kaizen? Read more.… More »
Lean Labor Relations and The Customer First Principle
Here’s the scene: A production line at a car and truck manufacturing plant is stalling several times a day resulting in serious workflow issues. Read the true story about how a union rep, labor rep, line worker, and team member from production control worked together to get to the bottom of the issue.… More »
Ask Art: Will Lean Work for a Distributor?
Pairing distribution companies with Lean may seem counterintuitive to some. However author of The Lean Turnaround, Art Byrne, says this match actually makes perfect sense.… More »
One Year Later, How Toyota Has Helped Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts
There are few processes that are more critical to get right than those involved in disaster relief. Check out how Jamie Bonini and Lisa Richardson from TSSC have helped to improve food distribution processes for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.… More »
Catchball Helps Us Get Past We Versus They
When employees dread going to work every day, your company loses. Read what Tracey Richardson has to say about boosting workplace morale.… More »
Tee Up Your Continuous Improvement
Despite achieving success across all key metrics early on in their lean journey, ProMed Molded Products still experienced a lack of unity within their organization. Check out how they used game dynamics to increase staff engagement and drive improvement.… More »
More Evidence That ThedaCare Rocks
LEI coach Danielle Blais reflects on her recent gemba visit to the lean healthcare organization, Appleton Medical Center in Appleton, Wisconsin—a ThedaCare hospital widely known for its exceptional patient care.… More »
Adopt or Adapt? When Modifying Lean Makes Sense
One of the key decisions every lean coach, consultant, practitioner, and leader makes is when to fully adopt a particular lean practice or when to adapt it. But how do you make this decision? Author and coach Karen Martin draws from her experience to share her thoughts on the matter.… More »
Lean Writing Has a Gemba
What makes for good (lean) writing? What kind of writing are we looking for on The Lean Post? LEI senior editor Tom Ehrenfeld chimes in.… More »
Public-Private Partnerships Lead To More Effective Government in WA
Since 2012, Washington state government has received more than 2,000 hours of volunteer advice, training, coaching, and/or facility tours from 132 lean experts representing 51 organizations. Darrell Damron shares the story of this unique collaborative learning partnership.… More »
Designing Hospitals in Collaboration with Patients and Families
LEI coach Danielle Blais shares her reflections on a recent visit to Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, a hospital built from the ground up using lean principles.… More »
Long Live Process Improvement?
For many beginner practitioners, Lean seems like just another "flavor of the month" program. If it isn't communicated and taught well, Lean can be exactly this. In his first article for The Lean Post, LEI faculty member Greg Lane offers specific recommendations on how to avoid this pitfall and make Lean accessible and useful to all.… More »
Managing the Wisdom of the Many
"Lean organizations that depend on the qualities of rare individuals face multi-dimensional risks," writes Boaz Tamir, President of Israel Lean Institute. In his first piece for the Post, Tamir calls for the integration of individual capabilities and team synergy as we seek to build successful 21st century businesses.… More »
Why It's Time to Embrace Design Thinking
What do lean thinking and design thinking have to do with each other? What do practitioners in each field have to learn from each other?… More »
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