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lean and society on the Lean Post
Back-to-School Lean: Lunchbox Kanban
Lean thinking is just as impactful on the home front as it is at work. In honor of back-to-school season, LEI Learning Activities Manager Deb McGee shares her experimentations and learnings from transferring the work to the front line, freeing up time and building capability through lean thinking and practice -- her family's lunchbox kanban!… 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 »
Do You Practice Routine Personal Development?
Once we learn lean we often start seeing it everywhere, even in places we might least expect it. In this instance, Katie Anderson saw a connection to personal A3 thinking -- in a musician talking about how he practices the trumpet. Read more.… More »
Getting Religious About Problem Solving
Have you ever heard of a lean transformation guided by scriptures? The people at LifeWayChristian Resources' distribution center in Tennessee have! Whenever possible, they use passages from the Bible to exemplify the principles in their lean training materials. Find out how.… More »
Book Value: The Mental ABC's of Pitching
"With both the All-Star Game and our Lean Coaching Summit approaching, I got to thinking about ways that non-lean books offer insights into coaching and mastery," writes LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook. Read more… More »
Are You Prioritizing Efficiency Over Value?
A major element of lean is efficiency, but it's certainly not the ONLY element. While it may seem logical that customers value efficiency, an overreliance on speed can cripple the experience for them. Inspired by a rather painful experience at an orthopedic clinic, Cam Ford explores this further.… More »
Lean Roundup: Lean in the News
"While few business leaders seem to be discussing lean explicitly these days, there are certainly a great deal of tangentially lean conversations happening wherever you look," writes LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld. Particularly in the news - read more.… More »
Launching and Sustaining a Lean “Pop-Up”
"It’s not unusual for a lean leader or lean practitioner to feel alone, especially in a company or enterprise early in its lean journey," writes Doug Bartholomew. A growing trend amongst such lean leaders and practitioners is to start a lean pop-up, or a meeting of lean practitioner within a community. Bartholomew recently witnessed one of these pop-ups firsthand in Salt Lake City, Utah - here is his account. Read more and maybe get inspired to create your own pop-up!… More »
PDCA thinking and the NCAA March Madness tournament
"There is so much thinking that goes into this thing called 'Bracketology,' which gives sports fans a way to 'grasp the situation' of their favorite team (or the one they may be cheering for at tournament time)," write Tracey and Ernie Richardson. Ad a lot of that thinking may have more in common with lean than you might expect. Read more.… More »
A Thriving Community of Practice
"Lean theory and practice are thriving here in early 2017 with the arrival of a small but rich batch of new books," writes LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook. "These recent and upcoming books all bring new ideas and new stories that can help grow and energize the lean community..." Read more.… More »
A Sweeter Type of Lean
In one memorable lean project, Carlos Moretti found himself assisting a Brazilian sugar-cane supplier for the ethanol industry with a number of efficiency and quality problems. This is his story.… More »
An A3 Antidote to the Opiate Epidemic
Opiate use in America has been spiking at an alarming rate. Many healthcare organizations, such as the University of Michigan Medical School, are trying to fight the surge in use by controlling how many opioids they prescribe to their patients. Ryan Howard led a project to curb the number of opiate pills released to their community via the Medical School. Read more.… More »
Why We're Thankful For Lean
Thanksgiving is a time of year when Americans take a day to step back and appreciate everything they have to be thankful for. Here at the Lean Enterprise Institute, we're thankful for lean and how it makes things better around the world, every single day. Here's why.… More »
Cowabunga! Implementing Lean at a Surfing School
Lean is difficult for many companies to grasp at first, often due to the cultural shift. If the organization's people are used to a more laid-back, "looser" style of operations, the standards, metrics and procedures associated with lean may seem overwhelming and lead to resistance. Pacific Surf School of San Diego, Cali. was no exception to this all-too-common resistance. Here's Sammy Obara on how he managed to break through this resistance and save the school from imminent closure.… More »
Making Things Better - 5S-ing the Community
Do you use any lean tools to make your community a better place? Tony Heath has, ever since he was first sold on 5S many years ago. Here's his story.… More »
Put the 'i' Before the Apple
Apple is a company with a reputation for keeping its customers' needs at the forefront of its product development decisions. But according to Boaz Tamir of Israel Lean Enterprise, that reputation is starting to slip away after some poor recent moves. Read more.… More »
Is Lean Getting "Fat?"
"Yes, lean has successfully spread around the world and gone from manufacturing to nearly every other type of value stream," writes Brent Wahba. But on the flip side of the coin, that isn't necessarily an indicator of success. In fact, Brent believes that the rapid spread of lean has made us overconfident, "bloated," and blind. Read more… More »
Gemba Walking on Mars
Lean is all around us in our daily lives - including at the movies, as Lean Institute Brasil president Jose R. Ferro found out during a recent screening of "The Martian," starring Matt Damon. Find out what he noticed.… More »
Small Batch: Hand-Picked Articles from the Global Lean Community (Vol. 1)
A roundup of the best recent articles and case studies from our friends at Planet Lean - this time from Brazil, Iceland, and Poland.… More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads Across the Web (Vol.10)
Our latest picks for great lean reads across the web, this time from 99u, strategy + business, a hotel app company's blog, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and The ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value.… More »
Lean in the Real (Global Knowledge) World
Bella Englebach works in R&D for a global company. "When we develop a new product," she writes, "we’re pulling together all the knowledge about that product, [providing different pieces of it] to customers, regulatory authorities, and plants." Read Englebach's reflections on the challenges of creating knowledge flow across global, distributed teams.… More »
Rethinking Disaster Recovery on the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
As the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches on August 23rd-29th, read about how lean thinking is changing how New Orleans and the rest of the U.S. is recovering from disasters. Then read or bookmark the full case study.… More »
Book Value: The Lean CEO
Chet Marchwinski reviews Jacob Stoller's book, The Lean CEO, a first-hand testimony from business leaders contesting traditional management practices about everything from accounting to batch size, employee involvement, motivation, leadership, economies of scale, and a raft of other conventional methods… More »
Surfer Culture Meets Standardized Work
Can surfing instructors and students really learn standardized work? Read the surprising story of how lean coach Sammy Obara worked with Pacific Surfing School to improve their teaching process and better train new surfers (and what leadership had to do with it).… More »
Step 1: Open Mouth, Step 2: Insert Foot
Joshua Rapoza, Customer Strategy Officer at LEI, reflects on whether working longer hours necessarily means more productivity and the power of our words in motivating (or de-motivating) our team members.… More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads Across the Web (Vol.9)
Our picks for interesting lean reads, this time from Modern Healthcare, Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg View, and Nikkel Blaase.… More »
Lean, Agile, Joy
Rich Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations, shares his thoughts on why the lean software and lean manufacturing communities need each other.… More »
Design Thinking for Lean Practitioners
"You don’t have to look very far to see that lean problem-solving has a reputation of perfecting something that already exists..." writes Durward Sobek. "But in reality, lean problem-solving simply REQUIRES innovation because you are continually reinventing your systems and as we do this, we want to improve rapidly, not slowly."… More »
Leadership Stories From One of Lean's Fastest Growing Communities of Practice
On the heels of the Lean Healthcare Summit earlier this month in Dallas, Texas, we've gathered three stories in which leaders share their personal "why" for taking up lean practice and doing things differently.… More »
Lean Startup: The Most Revolutionary Idea Since SMED?
"From my view, Lean Startup is quite simply the most revolutionary idea to advance the way business is practiced since the birth of Lean," writes Sam McAfee. "It’s to product development what Shigeo Shingo’s Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) was for manufacturing." Read why.… More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads From Across the Web (Vol. 7)
Five recent articles from across the web to help you reflect on your organization's approach to lean transformation or your own approach to work. Which great lean reads would you add to the list?… More »
Training Within Industry for the 21st Century
"How about a program that does for senior leaders today what Training Within Industry did for Japanese management in the 50s?" ask Jeff Morrow and Patrick Graupp. "In this still young new century, we must take the wisdom of the past and apply it effectively to the challenges of the new age."… More »
TPS 2.0?
Jim Morgan and Jeffrey Liker chime in on Toyota's announcement of their TNGA program (Toyota New Global Architecture). "The impetus for TNGA is not the recall crisis," they say, "but rather Toyota’s history, with a push added by the Great Recession... Toyota is constantly working on the next generation of fundamental product and process innovations and occasionally we get a snapshot." Read more.… 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 »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 6)
Check out five recently published articles we think may help you improve your work or think about your work differently - this time from Forbes, The New York Times, Industry Week, Harvard Business Review, and Medium. What great lean reads would you add to the list?… More »
Latondra Newton on the Toyota Production System and Social Innovation
The success of Toyota’s lean management principles in manufacturing, healthcare, product development, and other areas is well known and well documented. Now the company is applying these concepts to social innovation in order to give back to society. Read more in Chet Marchwinski's interview with Toyota's Chief Social Innovation Officer, Latondra Newton.… More »
Building as Product
"A building project, although it has many different moving parts and players, is a product. It’s a uniquely different product than a car, airplane, or toaster... But it’s a product," writes Baris Lostuvali. "And it’s a product that desperately needs a better process and sociotechnical system and process for coming to be."… More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads From Across the Web (Vol. 5)
Check out our editors' picks for 5 high value lean reads you may have missed, this time from Industry Week, the blog at ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, MIT Sloan Management Review, 99u, and Planet Lean.… More »
Look Around You, Find Your Lean Inspiration
After an awful experience with an online travel agency and way too much time spent trying to fix an error the company made, Planet Lean editor Roberto Priolo reflects on why experiences like these are all too commonplace. "There are many examples out there showing us that another way to deliver customer value is possible," writes Priolo, citing plenty of examples.… More »
Sam MacPherson on the Green Beret Way to Develop Leaders
Training leaders to perform at high levels during a lean transformation or in the Army’s vaunted Green Berets has more in common than you think, according to retired Special Forces commander Sam MacPherson. Chet Marchwinski sits down with MacPherson to talk leadership and learning.… More »
The Case for Lean Thinking in Retail and Service Organizations
Josh Howell, senior coach at LEI, recently joined Ron Pereira at Gemba Academy for podcast conversation on coaching, lean thinking for retail and service organizations, and what respect for people really means. Check out some of the highlights here.… More »
Gather the Facts: How Does Your Organization View Lean?
It’s worth asking, what's your organization's REAL, honest perception of Lean? Do you hear words and phrases like engagement, problem solving, learning, "making my job better than now", and "empowered to bring forth ideas"? If not, Eric Ethington has some good advice on how to you may want to proceed.… More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 4)
LEI editors share an interesting assortment of lean-themed and lean-related articles from across the web, this time from Harvard Business Review, strategy + business, Planet Lean, Mashable, and the "Startup Lessons Learned" blog.… More »
Jim Womack and Dan Jones on the Evolution and Future of Lean
At the UK Lean Summit last month, Roberto Priolo caught up with Jim Womack and Dan Jones to talk about the current and future state of the lean movement. Watch the full interview or read key insights from Womack and Jones.… More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 3)
LEI editors have gathered another five articles that either teach us something new about lean practice or show us where lean thinking is being applied (or might be applied) today. This edition features picks from Harvard Business Review, The New Yorker, Fortune, The Atlantic, and Planet Lean.… More »
Public Service: Lean's Next Frontier?
John O'Donnell and Lex Schroeder share the thinking behind LEI's new Public Service Value Network and invite you to contribute to a new and fast-growing community of practice.… More »
“Learning from Manufacturing” Versus Learning To Think Differently
Beau Keyte talks lean thinking and practice in non-manufacturing settings. "The big challenge now isn’t to learn lean thinking the way any other company learned it," he writes. "It’s to understand how to effectively grasp the problems you and your organization are trying to solve."… More »
Lean Thinking On Purpose
Katrina Appell reflects on a provocative op-ed by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times from earlier this year and asks some big questions of lean thinkers. Are we sharing what we know about lean in a way that's accessible? As a lean community, in what ways are contributing to society?… More »
Book Value: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Is clutter at work or at home getting you down? LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld reviews Marie Kondo's new book, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and reflects on what it can teach us about lean practice. "The point is not to be tidy as endgame," he writes. "The point is to tidy up in order to get to where you want to go."… More »
The Five Poisons of Big Company Disease
What's "big company disease"? The tendency of any large company to worry about clearly defined territories, rules and procedures, and integrated systems more than a passion for quality or the kaizen spirit. Michael Ballé explains.… More »
What Should Lean Mean to Us?
Brent Wahba offers lean beginners a few tips for how to be most impactful. "If you are working on how to begin your situational Lean journey," he writes, "what is the gap between your current mental model of Lean and what Lean needs to be to deliver success in your specific circumstances?"… More »
Just-In-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads From Across the Web
We're trying something new on the Post rounding up some of the best or more interesting lean-themed articles from around the web. Our goal? Make the work of the larger lean community more visible.… More »
Is it Possible to Transform Healthcare (Leaders)?
Check out Alice Lee's slides from her talk "Is it Possible to Transform Healthcare (Leaders)?" last week in Cambridge, MA at the Lean Enterprise Institute. Lee unpacks vague words like "transformation" and "innovation" in healthcare and shares her personal "why" for striving to change things for the better.… More »
John Shook on Where Lean Thinking and Practice is Headed Today
LEI's John Shook shares his view of how and where lean thinking can be used most effectively today. Insights on everything from how to apply lean to your own unique work situation and organizational context to how lean can help solve social problems to staying innovative for the long haul.… More »
Lean Product Development is About Thinking Horizontally in a Vertical World
Check out the blog from Day 2 of the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange (North America) conference in Durham, North Carolina. Excerpts from Jim Womack's keynote and more.… More »
Lean on Steroids: Why We Should Rely On Physical Measures, Not Financial Ones
"Lean has led me to question core business models, period," writes Doc Hall. "But while Lean focuses on improving a company’s existing business model... I’m interested in how a company can help communities of people, in all their messiness, live better while using much less."… More »
Remembering Jim Harbour
"We in the Lean Community stand on a lot of shoulders. One broad pair belonged to Jim Harbour, who passed away last Saturday at age 86." Read Jim Womack's tribute to the former Ford and Chrysler executive and auto industry analyst.… More »
Too Much Information Can Destroy Effective Management
"A lean organization minimizes the amount of unnecessary 'junk' information and increases the amount of 'gold' (value-producing) information that is necessary for knowledge creation," writes Boaz Tamir.… More »
Lean Government
"We in the Lean Community have no standing on whether a government should regulate any activity or provide any service," writes Jim Womack. "We can only make the humble suggestion that better decisions can be reached if the debate starts with a clear statement of the actual problem, followed by a structured process to identify and test countermeasures."… More »
Beyond Lean: Towards Compression Thinking
"Lean thinkers make things better by framing issues as Problems," writes Doc Hall. "Yet today our great challenges transcend corporate Problems. The core Problems confronting the entire global community call for thinking that goes beyond what we consider 'Lean.'"… More »
Opportunity Lost?
President of Lean Institute Brasil, José Ferro, gives us the background situation on the World Cup and tells us about the problems and opportunities it presents for Brazil.… More »
Taiichi Ohno Was a Hairdresser
"In the lean community, we talk about 'gaps' – the difference between where we are now and where we either should be or want to be. Ironically, however, we rarely talk about Lean’s gaps," writes lean coach Brent Wahba. What gaps do you think we need to solve to make Lean more valuable and more likely to stick around?… More »
Food Bank For New York City and Toyota: Unlikely Partners in Innovation
Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City, will tell the story about Food Bank's partnership with TSSC at next week's Lean Transformation Summit in Orlando!… More »
Customers Should Determine the Businesses of the Future, Not the 1%
"We set up entrepreneurs to fail when we put all the emphasis on pitch day and the amount of money raised, instead of rewarding companies for sales and customers acquired," writes entrepreneur Nathan Rothstein.… More »
Which Will Prevail: Batch Thinking or Worker Leadership?
For most of two centuries, batch and queue production was the golden key that opened the factory doors of mass production and led many nations to untold wealth. In his first piece for the Post, Fred Stahl tells us why we must discard batch thinking and understand "worker leadership" in order to innovate for the 21st century.… More »
Think TED Talks Meets Lean Learning + Jim Womack
Enjoy TED talks? How about your own lean version of this, with other Summit attendees, and LEI Founder/lean thought leader Jim Womack?… More »
The Best Lean Post Articles 2013: Editors’ Picks
A roundup of high value-added stories you may have missed from The Lean Post in 2013, but should bookmark for a rainy (or polar vortex) day, plus some great lean reading and learning from around the web.… More »
The Fight for the Meaning of Lean
"It seems like every one and their dog is doing Lean," writes Michael Ballé. "But what 'Lean' are we talking about? Is it the 'to develop products we need to develop people' Lean... Or is it the 'improve productivity to reduce costs' Lean corporate types like. Or both?"… More »
The Next Frontier: Lean Government
On a recent trip to Saskatchewan Dan Jones went looking for a Canadian healthcare example but in the process he stumbled upon what he believes is the next lean frontier: government.… More »
Is Lean Getting Lost in Translation?
As we struggle to learn together as a global lean community, what’s more important, lean “orthodoxy” (pure TPS) or lean integrity (true to the fundamentals, but adapted for specific purposes and situational)?… More »
Managing to Reboot Leadership
"Despite sweeping changes to the business environment and real threats to organizational sustainability, too many managers remain stuck in traditional management roles and systems," writes Boaz Tamir. Read why Tamir thinks this new, disrupted business reality calls for lean thinking.… More »
How Lean is Ruining My Life
Since you began learning about Lean, have you noticed it's nearly impossible to get through a day without seeing opportunities for improvement everywhere? LEI Coach Danielle Blais can relate.… More »
A Connecticut Yankee Machinist in Toyoda’s Castle
“Culture matters,” John Shook tells us in his post about Charles A. Francis, an American who worked for Toyota group founder Sakichi Toyoda in the early 1900s, “but never let stereotypical views of national character be used as an excuse to not do the right thing.” Read this remarkable story of a missing piece to the larger story of continuous innovation in process technology between the United States and Japan over the past 150 years.… More »
Why Social Entrepreneurship is Dead
Despite all the hype, entrepreneur Nathan Rothstein (of Project Repat) believes social entrepreneurship is dead. Read what he recommends for those of us looking to make a social impact through business.… More »
Lean TV & Movies: Who's the Leanest of Them All?
We want to identify the most lean tv/movie characters of ALL TIME, and we need your help.… More »
What comes after Lean?
Lean practice is an ongoing process, it never ends. But what are we learning about the field? What comes after Lean in terms of emerging schools of thought? Michael Ballé shares his thoughts.… More »
What problem are you trying to solve?
As human beings, are we basically “programmed” to produce blanket solutions that typically only address symptoms of problems, never to discover what causes problems in the first place? Olga Flory, Director of Education at LEI, wrestles with this question from product development to foreign policy decisions, in her first piece for The Lean Post.… More »
Reason #27 Why Your CEO Is Just Not That Into Lean
You know the value of Lean, but maybe your boss or a key member of the senior leadership team doesn't. To get more traction and support, Brent Wahba suggests framing your lean efforts in terms of strategies for creating more value.… More »
What's Really Underlying the Protests in Brazil?
The world looked on as protests and subsequent violence swept Brazil earlier in June. José Ferro explains the state's response and asks us to think more deeply about the real problems Brazil is facing.… More »
lean and society on Lean.org
Value-Stream Mapping in a Make-to-Order Environment
Tips from LEI author Mike Rother on applying value-stream mapping and continuous flow in high-variety, custom manufacturing environments.… More »
Shigeo Shingo's Influence on the Toyota Production System
Isao Kato was in a good position to observe the early development of the Toyota Production System, the model for lean production. He developed training material at Toyota under Taiichi Ohno, regarded … More »
Donald Berwick: Curing the Healthcare System
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is a not for profit organization that is a leading figure in healthcare process improvement and innovation. This article and accompanying video interview… More »
Value-Stream Mapping
In a special article for SME's Manufacturing Enginering, Jim Womack, founder and chairman of the Lean Enterprise Institute, explains the purpose and process of  value-stream mapping with examples from… More »
Implementing Standardized Work at ThyssenKrupp in Brazil
A case study prepared by the Lean Enterprise Institute Brazil focuses on implementing standardized work at two work stations in a ThyssenKrupp, Brazil, auto parts plant. The article includes an overvi… More »
The Nun and the Bureaucrat (Book & DVD)
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 »
Webinar: How to Lead With Respect
How to Lead With Respect webinar featuring Michael Ballé… More »
Coaching for Development - Structured Coaching Using A3 Thinking
This workshop will take participants through a unique version of the A3 thinking process, modified to facilitate and foster personal development. We will also discuss key coaching and leadership skill… More »
Boot Camp at Herman Miller
This five-day course uses a combination of classroom learning and simulation to cover core concepts of the Herman Miller Performance System, including waste, time observations, problem solving, standa… More »
Toyota Culture
Toyota Culture examines the “human systems” that Toyota has put in place to instill its founding principles of trust, mutual prosperity, and excellence in its plants, dealerships, and offices around t… More »
Training to See Kit: A Value-Stream Mapping Workshop
The Training to See kit enables you to take people through the exercise of selecting a product family, mapping its current state to identify root causes of waste, mapping a leaner future state, and de… More »
Learning to See / Seeing the Whole Value Stream Set
This is a special discounted combination package of the classics Learning to See and Seeing the Whole Value Stream.… More »
“Learning from Manufacturing” Versus Learning To Think Differently
Beau Keyte talks lean thinking and practice in non-manufacturing settings. "The big challenge now isn’t to learn lean thinking the way any other company learned it," he writes. "It’s to understand how to effectively grasp the problems you and your organization are trying to solve."… More »
Lean Thinking On Purpose
Katrina Appell reflects on a provocative op-ed by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times from earlier this year and asks some big questions of lean thinkers. Are we sharing what we know about lean in a way that's accessible? As a lean community, in what ways are contributing to society?… More »
Book Value: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Is clutter at work or at home getting you down? LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld reviews Marie Kondo's new book, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and reflects on what it can teach us about lean practice. "The point is not to be tidy as endgame," he writes. "The point is to tidy up in order to get to where you want to go."… More »
The Five Poisons of Big Company Disease
What's "big company disease"? The tendency of any large company to worry about clearly defined territories, rules and procedures, and integrated systems more than a passion for quality or the kaizen spirit. Michael Ballé explains.… More »
What Should Lean Mean to Us?
Brent Wahba offers lean beginners a few tips for how to be most impactful. "If you are working on how to begin your situational Lean journey," he writes, "what is the gap between your current mental model of Lean and what Lean needs to be to deliver success in your specific circumstances?"… More »
Just-In-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads From Across the Web
We're trying something new on the Post rounding up some of the best or more interesting lean-themed articles from around the web. Our goal? Make the work of the larger lean community more visible.… More »
Is it Possible to Transform Healthcare (Leaders)?
Check out Alice Lee's slides from her talk "Is it Possible to Transform Healthcare (Leaders)?" last week in Cambridge, MA at the Lean Enterprise Institute. Lee unpacks vague words like "transformation" and "innovation" in healthcare and shares her personal "why" for striving to change things for the better.… More »
John Shook on Where Lean Thinking and Practice is Headed Today
LEI's John Shook shares his view of how and where lean thinking can be used most effectively today. Insights on everything from how to apply lean to your own unique work situation and organizational context to how lean can help solve social problems to staying innovative for the long haul.… More »
Lean Product Development is About Thinking Horizontally in a Vertical World
Check out the blog from Day 2 of the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange (North America) conference in Durham, North Carolina. Excerpts from Jim Womack's keynote and more.… More »
Lean on Steroids: Why We Should Rely On Physical Measures, Not Financial Ones
"Lean has led me to question core business models, period," writes Doc Hall. "But while Lean focuses on improving a company’s existing business model... I’m interested in how a company can help communities of people, in all their messiness, live better while using much less."… More »
Remembering Jim Harbour
"We in the Lean Community stand on a lot of shoulders. One broad pair belonged to Jim Harbour, who passed away last Saturday at age 86." Read Jim Womack's tribute to the former Ford and Chrysler executive and auto industry analyst.… More »
Too Much Information Can Destroy Effective Management
"A lean organization minimizes the amount of unnecessary 'junk' information and increases the amount of 'gold' (value-producing) information that is necessary for knowledge creation," writes Boaz Tamir.… More »
Lean Government
"We in the Lean Community have no standing on whether a government should regulate any activity or provide any service," writes Jim Womack. "We can only make the humble suggestion that better decisions can be reached if the debate starts with a clear statement of the actual problem, followed by a structured process to identify and test countermeasures."… More »
Beyond Lean: Towards Compression Thinking
"Lean thinkers make things better by framing issues as Problems," writes Doc Hall. "Yet today our great challenges transcend corporate Problems. The core Problems confronting the entire global community call for thinking that goes beyond what we consider 'Lean.'"… More »
Opportunity Lost?
President of Lean Institute Brasil, José Ferro, gives us the background situation on the World Cup and tells us about the problems and opportunities it presents for Brazil.… More »
Taiichi Ohno Was a Hairdresser
"In the lean community, we talk about 'gaps' – the difference between where we are now and where we either should be or want to be. Ironically, however, we rarely talk about Lean’s gaps," writes lean coach Brent Wahba. What gaps do you think we need to solve to make Lean more valuable and more likely to stick around?… More »
Food Bank For New York City and Toyota: Unlikely Partners in Innovation
Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City, will tell the story about Food Bank's partnership with TSSC at next week's Lean Transformation Summit in Orlando!… More »
Customers Should Determine the Businesses of the Future, Not the 1%
"We set up entrepreneurs to fail when we put all the emphasis on pitch day and the amount of money raised, instead of rewarding companies for sales and customers acquired," writes entrepreneur Nathan Rothstein.… More »
Which Will Prevail: Batch Thinking or Worker Leadership?
For most of two centuries, batch and queue production was the golden key that opened the factory doors of mass production and led many nations to untold wealth. In his first piece for the Post, Fred Stahl tells us why we must discard batch thinking and understand "worker leadership" in order to innovate for the 21st century.… More »
Think TED Talks Meets Lean Learning + Jim Womack
Enjoy TED talks? How about your own lean version of this, with other Summit attendees, and LEI Founder/lean thought leader Jim Womack?… More »
The Best Lean Post Articles 2013: Editors’ Picks
A roundup of high value-added stories you may have missed from The Lean Post in 2013, but should bookmark for a rainy (or polar vortex) day, plus some great lean reading and learning from around the web.… More »
The Fight for the Meaning of Lean
"It seems like every one and their dog is doing Lean," writes Michael Ballé. "But what 'Lean' are we talking about? Is it the 'to develop products we need to develop people' Lean... Or is it the 'improve productivity to reduce costs' Lean corporate types like. Or both?"… More »
The Next Frontier: Lean Government
On a recent trip to Saskatchewan Dan Jones went looking for a Canadian healthcare example but in the process he stumbled upon what he believes is the next lean frontier: government.… More »
Is Lean Getting Lost in Translation?
As we struggle to learn together as a global lean community, what’s more important, lean “orthodoxy” (pure TPS) or lean integrity (true to the fundamentals, but adapted for specific purposes and situational)?… More »
Managing to Reboot Leadership
"Despite sweeping changes to the business environment and real threats to organizational sustainability, too many managers remain stuck in traditional management roles and systems," writes Boaz Tamir. Read why Tamir thinks this new, disrupted business reality calls for lean thinking.… More »
How Lean is Ruining My Life
Since you began learning about Lean, have you noticed it's nearly impossible to get through a day without seeing opportunities for improvement everywhere? LEI Coach Danielle Blais can relate.… More »
A Connecticut Yankee Machinist in Toyoda’s Castle
“Culture matters,” John Shook tells us in his post about Charles A. Francis, an American who worked for Toyota group founder Sakichi Toyoda in the early 1900s, “but never let stereotypical views of national character be used as an excuse to not do the right thing.” Read this remarkable story of a missing piece to the larger story of continuous innovation in process technology between the United States and Japan over the past 150 years.… More »
Why Social Entrepreneurship is Dead
Despite all the hype, entrepreneur Nathan Rothstein (of Project Repat) believes social entrepreneurship is dead. Read what he recommends for those of us looking to make a social impact through business.… More »
Lean TV & Movies: Who's the Leanest of Them All?
We want to identify the most lean tv/movie characters of ALL TIME, and we need your help.… More »
What comes after Lean?
Lean practice is an ongoing process, it never ends. But what are we learning about the field? What comes after Lean in terms of emerging schools of thought? Michael Ballé shares his thoughts.… More »
What problem are you trying to solve?
As human beings, are we basically “programmed” to produce blanket solutions that typically only address symptoms of problems, never to discover what causes problems in the first place? Olga Flory, Director of Education at LEI, wrestles with this question from product development to foreign policy decisions, in her first piece for The Lean Post.… More »
Reason #27 Why Your CEO Is Just Not That Into Lean
You know the value of Lean, but maybe your boss or a key member of the senior leadership team doesn't. To get more traction and support, Brent Wahba suggests framing your lean efforts in terms of strategies for creating more value.… More »
What's Really Underlying the Protests in Brazil?
The world looked on as protests and subsequent violence swept Brazil earlier in June. José Ferro explains the state's response and asks us to think more deeply about the real problems Brazil is facing.… More »
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