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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 »
How Lean Changed My Work: Lean Without Knowing It
Last month LEI sent out an email asking the lean community how lean changed their work. For Jeremy Venable of Shell Chemical, lean not only helped him redefine his work, but helped him get recognition and a new job too. Read more.… More »
Research, Reflections, and Challenges: John Shook's Closing Keynote of 2016
At the end of every Lean Transformation Summit, Lean Enterprise Institute Chairman and CEO John Shook gives his traditional closing keynote. He shares his observations and thoughts on the lean community plus learnings and advice to keep our lean efforts strong until the next Summit. Here's what he shared with us last year - has it helped you since?… 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 »
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 »
Reflections on Hansei
For many of us, Japanese lingo has become synonymous with lean. But according to Dan Markowitz, this just makes things harder, because "rather than making it easier by using language, examples, and metaphors that people can relate to, we tend to use Japanese, the language of Toyota." Read more.… More »
Kaizen Means You Care
"Lean leaders, and lean consultants (like me), often talk about the organizational benefits of kaizen: lower costs, bigger profits, shorter lead times, higher quality, etc.," writes Dan Markovitz. But at the same time, we never want to forget that there is a human element of kaizen. In his latest piece for the Lean Post, Dan shares a touching real-life story of this oft-overlooked side of kaizen.… More »
Boatloads of Muda
Ken Eakin saw his fair share of waste during his 13 years in the ocean-shipping industry, especially in the transportation process. Now a lean coach, he looks back on some of the industry's most common wasteful practices and shares some lean tips and logic for avoiding them. If your lean work involves transportation, we're willing to bet you'll find something to relate to! Read more.… More »
Malpractice in the New England Journal of Medicine
Several weeks ago, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article by two physicians bashing lean and questioning its effectiveness. LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook found the piece full of holes and misconceptions and now shares his thoughts on the piece in the form of a rebuttal.… More »
It's the Productivity, Not the People
In one memorable lean project, Craig Stritar found himself on a large fish-processing vessel in the Bering Sea that was plagued by poor productivity levels. The supervisors insisted that inadequate staffing was the problem - Craig begged to differ. His transformation would require a specialized approach, in which he would not be able to use any lean terminology. Find out how he did it.… More »
Every factory needs a value stream map – even Santa's
Ever wondered what the world's most efficient factory is? With a takt time of less than one-third of a millisecond, we may have found our first-place winner. Clues: it's at the North Pole, has over 1.9 billion customers, and is run by a jolly old man with a white beard and red suit. Think you know which factory we're talking about? Check out this fun VSM from Jordan Kempler of Texas and see if you're right.… More »
Is There No Other Lean Exemplar Than Toyota?
"I believe that while Toyota isn’t the only lean exemplar out there," writes Michael Ballé, "it still gives us a flawless example of what lean truly is – a definition that is so often misunderstood. Let us try to disentangle the matter." Read more.… More »
The Terrible Quest for Best
It seems like everyone strives to be the best at what they do. But, Josh Rapoza wonders, why would you even want to be best? Isn't it better to always be improving, rather than settling for what we perceive as "best?" Read more.… More »
Ford’s Focus: Lean Lessons from the Recession's Greatest Success Story
After listening to Jim Morgan talk about Ford Motor Company's lean turnaround strategy during the Great Recession, Cam Ford (no relation) muses on how it could hold an important lesson for companies today, regardless of size or industry.… 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 »
Lean Thinking and My Navy Experience
When you think of lean organizations, does the U.S. Navy come to mind? Probably not, but it's an organization with a rich history of lean thinking and practice. Navy veteran and lean practitioner Mark Minukas reflects on the lean lessons he learned from his service and how they helped shape his career.… 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 »
Lean Physician, Heal Thyself!
"We [need] to equip people with the right tools to address the problems they must solve," writes Phil Coy. "New software is emerging that is designed to reduce waste in the process of lean transformation itself... to reinforce lean principles of pull, flow, takt, and leveling."… More »
PDCA, Fitness Apps, and Using Social Media to Improve Our Health
"Health isn't about always being perfect," writes lean coach Tracey Richardson. "Just like in our organizations, we all have imperfect days. It’s how we change our process to meet expectations that is important."… More »
Why Meaningful Improvement Requires a “Growth Mindset”
Ever feel frustrated, constricted, or powerless to do the right thing in your organization? Katrina Appell says it all has to do with whether or not we work in an "enabling" bureaucracy or "coercive" one.… 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 »
Born Lean Thinkers
Kids are born asking the right questions. Now if only it were so easy as adults.… More »
Let the Work Define the Process
We’re all short on time, but think for a moment with your team about the real work to be done in any process you’re working on or design you’re creating. Are you building from past experience or actual customer needs? Are you building from past experience or building to solve problems?… More »
Enabling Change Through the Power of Story
Roberto Priolo, editor of Planet Lean, shares why not just reflection, but writing (and storytelling) is so helpful for the lean practitioner. In short, a good story - writing, reading, or hearing it - helps us remember and therefore retain new learning.… More »
The Lean Power Stance
"Yoga is more than the physical movement of postures," writes Rachael McKay, an industrial engineer at lululemon athletica and yogi. "As a result of [practicing], we are more adept to deal with life’s challenges and the constant state of change. Likewise, a successful lean culture is more than just the tools and industry standards required to do the work. It’s a mindset."… More »
Getting a Jump on Unplanned Changes
Andrew Quibbell, veteran of the auto industry, uses graphic recording to share lean concepts. Here's a visual of how Quibbell teaches change point management on the shop floor.… More »
Do the Words You Use Create Clarity or Chaos?
"If words matter, shared understanding of words matters even more," writes Cindy Priddy. "The word coach reaches much further back than the image of a man in a track suit. When I am reminded of a coach as a mode of transporting people, I begin to think more deeply about where teams are today and where it is they are trying to go."… More »
No Change is Easy: The Starbucks Siren Steps into
Dunkin Donuts’ World of Orange and Pink

Lean is about a willingness to experiment and if necessary, change our approach to our work and our daily routine. Lisa Adams, a lean coach at Liberty Mutual, shares a personal story about adjusting to a MAJOR change in her daily routine: her coffee. After moving to Boston from Sacramento, Adams had to to switch from Starbucks to Dunkin' Donuts. Read what happens next.… More »
LEI Quits the Lean Business, Says “Lean is Too Hard"
"It was a very organic change,” a rep from LEI said. "We think our community members will be excited about it."… 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 »
Pi-Day, Robots, and the Joy of Making Things
"Pi is a symbol that is easily recognized and fun to celebrate once a year when it falls on its calendar equivalent of 3/14," writes Jim and Mary Morgan. "Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a company could be recognized as a symbol of lean product and process development excellence and celebrated for its existence at least once per year as well?"… More »
Counteracting the Big Project Blues
Lean thinking is well and good, Erin Urban says, but often it takes time to see the real fruits of your labor. "Not all improvement projects are low hanging fruit or easy wins," she writes. "What do you do (and how do you keep your team motivated) when it feels like your goal is getting farther away?"… More »
Three Types of Lean
"We’ve all heard 'Lean is great for 'that' company, but not for the business I lead,'" says Chris Vogel. Learn more about applying lean thinking in a manufacturing environment, a service environment, and in sectors that are mostly about decision making.… More »
Sharks & Tortoises
"A small number of firms have grown spectacularly in revenue, employees, and stock price by using [lean] to execute crisply on tactics," writes Jeff Morrow, describing lean sharks. "And then there are tortoises: bullet-proof firms like Toyota and its supply network... practitioners of 'go slow to go fast.'" Read more about what these two types of lean companies might learn from each other.… 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 »
And the Best Articles from 2014 Are...
Two weeks ago we asked for your favorite Lean Post articles of 2014 and the results are in!… More »
'Twas the Night Before Kaizen
Merry Christmas and happy holidays from all of us at the Lean Enterprise Institute!… More »
Vote for the Best Lean Post Articles of 2014!
The end of the year is fast-approaching, so we’re taking a moment to reflect on the best Lean Post articles of 2014. Vote for your favorite articles and in two weeks we'll reveal the winners!… More »
Innovation at Smartphone Speed
Ever wonder what it takes to make those smartphone chips? Learn how IBM continuously improves smartphone technology using lean thinking (whether or not they ever call it lean).… More »
Digital Marketing: What's the Problem?
"Digital marketers need to make sure their departments are working together and that [users] are brought into the decision-making process early and often," writes Matt LeVeque. But creating a sound digital marketing strategy requires looking at the state of your current strategy with all of its problems (something people struggle to do). Read more.… More »
Lean Thinking and Information Flow
"Most of my career has been spent on making the production floor more efficient, i.e. the delivery of a product," writes Mary Morgan. "I remember how relieved I felt when I could finally spend time learning and teaching methodologies to improve the delivery of information."… More »
What Does "Waste" in Government Processes Mean Anyway?
"It is commonplace in the US Federal Government to see placards and signs admonishing us to be on guard for instances of 'Fraud, Waste, and Abuse (FWA)'... [Whole] offices are devoted to reporting FWA violations," write James Phillips and Willie Journigan. But what constitutes waste in government processes? How do you identify and tackle it?… More »
Show Up On Time (And Other Instructions from a Cook)
Lean practitioner Matt LeVeque reflects on the concepts of 5S, (JIT) Just-in-Time, and "respect for people" throughout history.… More »
Accidental Soccer Coach
When she's not working on graphic design projects, LEI's own Lory Moniz now coaches her son's soccer team. The assignment got her thinking about continuous improvement and "leading without authority."… 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 »
Distilling Lean Ideas Down to Their Essence
Andrew Quibbell, lean leader and VP of a global enterprise, loves teaching lean concepts. Finding PowerPoint wholly ineffective at communicating lean thinking, he's begun drawing lean concepts to spark conversations on the shopfloor. How do you share lean concepts with your team?… More »
Summer Reading
LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld picks his favorite lean books you might want to take to the beach with you this summer.… More »
Mixed Model Work at the Office
In manufacturing, running a mixed model reduces the risk of overproducing any one product and lowers finished "good" inventory. What are the benefits, if any, of using this mixed model approach at the office?… More »
Problem Solving Fast and Slow
"There are many paradoxes about the Toyota Production System," writes Ben Root. "Speed is certainly one of them. 'Do it slowly, but quickly.'" Read more.… More »
Leaning Up Baby
Olivia Talman, a former intern at The Lean Enterprise Institute, knew problem-solving was important, but wasn't sold on Lean at first. In her first piece for the Post, she tells us when Lean began to click.… More »
Value at the Imperial Grill
"The Imperial Grill was a lean enterprise, and my folks, lean thinkers, though they would simply call it common sense," writes Pascal Dennis. In his first piece for the Post, Dennis shares the powerful business lessons he learned growing up at his family's Greek diner.… More »
A Simple Question Without An Easy Answer
Our understanding of Lean (and how best to talk about what it is with others) evolves over time, just like our capability to practice it.… More »
Which Side Are You On?
"Lean is based on developing every person’s kaizen mind," writes Michael Ballé, "not asking them to thoughtlessly apply a best practice that was invented far from their real world." Read more.… More »
The Difference a Visual Cue Makes
At work and off the clock, visual cues and andons keep us safe and aware of what's going on at all times. How do you use visual cues to alert yourself and others to problems and/or improve your work?… More »
Mura, Muri, Muda in the Kitchen
Emmanuel Jallas demonstrates variation, overburden, and waste through the simple/not-so-simple challenge of breaking an egg.… More »
Game On! Maybe Lean Can Be Fun
Lean is counterintuitive for most of us, and learning a new way of working at all is just challenging, no matter what. What do we do? LEI graphic designer Lory Moniz suggests playing more games if we want to get serious about lean learning.… More »
No Such Thing As a Funny Lean Joke?
Does a good lean joke exist? LEI staffer Josh Rapoza really wants to believe it's possible for Lean and humor to come together.… More »
Learning Through Struggle
LEI coach Danielle Blais reflects on one of the most frustrating (and ultimately, most rewarding) coaching moments she's experienced so far in her career.… 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 »
Monozukuri Through Hitozukuri
Michael Ballé reflects on what it really means to "make people before parts" and introduces two more lean terms that just so happen to be Japanese.… More »
Using Lean to Take Farming to the Next Level in Denmark
"When you start to think and work systematically with Lean (rather than just off the cuff), looking for waste becomes fun," writes Susanne Pejstrup. "You see opportunities for improvement everywhere." (Even on the farm).… More »
Show Me the Money!
In his latest piece for the Post, Michael Ballé writes, "If we don’t get better at showing explicitly where the gains of lean thinking and practice lay, why should managers listen?"… More »
Reading the Signs
How often does your organization settle for an inferior process design or process fix, bandaged together with labels and signs? Lean coach Eric Ethington tells us why this is pretty much always a bad idea.… More »
Super Bowl 2014: It's All About the Coaching
LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld gets ready for the super bowl the only way he knows how: looking for lean metaphors and lessons from sports.… More »
What To Do When Executives Think Continuous Improvement Smells Fishy
Top executives are smart, but they don't always see the value of continuous improvement efforts. And continuous improvement professionals don't always communicate that value well to senior executives.… More »
The Best of The Lean Post 2013: Top Posts
It's time to look back on the best posts of 2013 (as determined by you, Lean Post readers). Which articles did you expect to make the list? Which articles didn't make it that you hoped would?… More »
The Finals! Who's the Leanest in TV and Film
As we come to a close of the Lean in TV & Film Tournament, let's reflect on this experiment. What worked and what didn't? What kind of information can we take away? Share your thoughts!… More »
Problem Solving the Airlines
Rarely are process problems so clear as during the holidays! Have ideas for how to improve your air travel experience? Lean coach Danielle Blais does, too. Read more about what we can learn from travel stress!… 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 »
It's the Final Four in the Who's Lean in TV & Film Tournament!
The Who's Lean in TV & Film tournament is getting down to the wire. You decide who goes head to head in the finals.… More »
Who's Lean in TV & Film: The Final 8 Contenders
The Who's Lean in TV and Film tournament has been narrowed down to the great 8. The list includes lean characters like Captain Picard and Sheldon Cooper. It's anyone's game at this point so every vote counts.… More »
In Lean and On the Green, Adaptability is Key
What parallels can be drawn between lean learning and achievement on the golf course? The concept of continuous improvement is certainly one, but Francesco Possio sees more.… More »
Who's Lean in TV & Film: Round 2 Voting Continues
The winners of weeks 3 and 4 of the Who's Lean in TV & Film tournament includes Captain Picard, Mr. Miyagi, and Willy Wonka! Your votes will determine who moves on to the next round!… 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 »
Who's Lean in TV & Film: Round 2 Voting
Week 5 of the Who's Lean in TV/Film tournament includes the winners from the last 4 weeks going head to head with each other. Your votes will determine who moves on to the next round!… More »
Who's Lean in TV & Film: Week 4 Voting
Round four of the Who's Lean in TV/Film tournament includes contestants such as Willy Wonka, Dexter, and Honey Rider (from Dr. No). Your votes will determine who moves on in the tournament.… 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 »
Who's Lean in TV & Film: Week 3 Voting
The next round of who's Lean in TV/Film! Your votes will determine who moves on in the tournament. Picard vs. Spock, Monk vs. Columbo, Holmes vs. Watson, and Miyagi vs. Friday!… More »
Who's Lean in TV & Film: Week 2 Voting
Week two of the Who’s Lean in TV and Film tournament kicks off with lean contestants such as Indiana Jones and Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory.… More »
Vote! Who's More Lean: MacGyver, House, ... Snoopy?
Who do you think is more lean: MacGyver or House? Vote in the first four battles of the “Who’s Lean in TV & Film” tournament and make your opinion count.… More »
The Lean Approach To - But I REALLY, REALLY Want a Kitten!
Robert Martichenko, author of Everything I Learned About Lean I Learned in First Grade, is now experiencing the effects of Lean in his household. Check out his daughter Abbey’s lean approach to getting a kitten.… 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 »
The Nominations Are In: Lean in TV & Movies
Before we jump into the who’s been nominated list, let’s take a moment to consider why are we doing this lean tv/film characters tournament at all.… More »
The Problem with the US Open
What do Roger Federer, ESPN, and the US Open have to do with problem solving?… More »
Talking Lean with a Neuroscientist
How do we turn large, complicated, risky projects into catalysts for learning and innovation? Lean IT expert Steve Bell reflects on this question after an unexpected conversation with a neuroscientist.… 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 »
PDCA: The Scientific Method or the Artistic Process?
What does lean have to do with art? Lean practitioner and sculptor Karyn Ross says the two really aren't so different at all. What do you think?… More »
Lean Starts With the Need to Achieve
"The first step in a lean implementation is to identify employees with an intense desire to achieve," writes lean practitioner Kevin Kobett. Do you agree? What is the relationship between lean practice and ambition?… 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 »
A Total Shift in Mindset
Lean thinking isn't easy to put into practice, particularly for beginners. Ghassan Saleh, lean engineer at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, Maine, shares his advice for what to keep in mind when you're just getting started.… More »
A Good Night’s Sleep
How often do you find yourself jumping to a solution without understanding the problem? If we're really interested in solving problem, we have to slow down.… More »
When is technology in healthcare actually valuable?
Technology should support the worker (and the patient), not vice versa. Co-author of the book Perfecting Patient Journeys, Judy Worth, gives us the current state of healthcare technology and reminds us what we should be thinking about if we want to use technology well.… More »
Chickens and Eggs
The Leaper chimes in on an age-old question.… 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 »
Be Prepared to Change Your Habits
LEI Coach Danielle Blais likens lean learning to something we all know something about: starting a new exercise routine or health regimen. Are you interested in a lean "quick fix" or are you interested in long-term, sustainable change?… More »
Lean Glasses
A lean take on the half-empty, half-full question.… More »
lean musings 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 »
Step 4, Skills to Coach for Development: Facilitating Reflection for Learning and Improvement
This program will explore the nature and importance of reflection and give you opportunities to learn and practice the basic skills for leading the process of reflection. As with the other programs … 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 »
Mura, Muri, Muda in the Kitchen
Emmanuel Jallas demonstrates variation, overburden, and waste through the simple/not-so-simple challenge of breaking an egg.… More »
Game On! Maybe Lean Can Be Fun
Lean is counterintuitive for most of us, and learning a new way of working at all is just challenging, no matter what. What do we do? LEI graphic designer Lory Moniz suggests playing more games if we want to get serious about lean learning.… More »
No Such Thing As a Funny Lean Joke?
Does a good lean joke exist? LEI staffer Josh Rapoza really wants to believe it's possible for Lean and humor to come together.… More »
Learning Through Struggle
LEI coach Danielle Blais reflects on one of the most frustrating (and ultimately, most rewarding) coaching moments she's experienced so far in her career.… 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 »
Monozukuri Through Hitozukuri
Michael Ballé reflects on what it really means to "make people before parts" and introduces two more lean terms that just so happen to be Japanese.… More »
Using Lean to Take Farming to the Next Level in Denmark
"When you start to think and work systematically with Lean (rather than just off the cuff), looking for waste becomes fun," writes Susanne Pejstrup. "You see opportunities for improvement everywhere." (Even on the farm).… More »
Show Me the Money!
In his latest piece for the Post, Michael Ballé writes, "If we don’t get better at showing explicitly where the gains of lean thinking and practice lay, why should managers listen?"… More »
Reading the Signs
How often does your organization settle for an inferior process design or process fix, bandaged together with labels and signs? Lean coach Eric Ethington tells us why this is pretty much always a bad idea.… More »
Super Bowl 2014: It's All About the Coaching
LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld gets ready for the super bowl the only way he knows how: looking for lean metaphors and lessons from sports.… More »
What To Do When Executives Think Continuous Improvement Smells Fishy
Top executives are smart, but they don't always see the value of continuous improvement efforts. And continuous improvement professionals don't always communicate that value well to senior executives.… More »
The Best of The Lean Post 2013: Top Posts
It's time to look back on the best posts of 2013 (as determined by you, Lean Post readers). Which articles did you expect to make the list? Which articles didn't make it that you hoped would?… More »
The Finals! Who's the Leanest in TV and Film
As we come to a close of the Lean in TV & Film Tournament, let's reflect on this experiment. What worked and what didn't? What kind of information can we take away? Share your thoughts!… More »
Problem Solving the Airlines
Rarely are process problems so clear as during the holidays! Have ideas for how to improve your air travel experience? Lean coach Danielle Blais does, too. Read more about what we can learn from travel stress!… 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 »
It's the Final Four in the Who's Lean in TV & Film Tournament!
The Who's Lean in TV & Film tournament is getting down to the wire. You decide who goes head to head in the finals.… More »
Who's Lean in TV & Film: The Final 8 Contenders
The Who's Lean in TV and Film tournament has been narrowed down to the great 8. The list includes lean characters like Captain Picard and Sheldon Cooper. It's anyone's game at this point so every vote counts.… More »
In Lean and On the Green, Adaptability is Key
What parallels can be drawn between lean learning and achievement on the golf course? The concept of continuous improvement is certainly one, but Francesco Possio sees more.… More »
Who's Lean in TV & Film: Round 2 Voting Continues
The winners of weeks 3 and 4 of the Who's Lean in TV & Film tournament includes Captain Picard, Mr. Miyagi, and Willy Wonka! Your votes will determine who moves on to the next round!… 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 »
Who's Lean in TV & Film: Round 2 Voting
Week 5 of the Who's Lean in TV/Film tournament includes the winners from the last 4 weeks going head to head with each other. Your votes will determine who moves on to the next round!… More »
Who's Lean in TV & Film: Week 4 Voting
Round four of the Who's Lean in TV/Film tournament includes contestants such as Willy Wonka, Dexter, and Honey Rider (from Dr. No). Your votes will determine who moves on in the tournament.… 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 »
Who's Lean in TV & Film: Week 3 Voting
The next round of who's Lean in TV/Film! Your votes will determine who moves on in the tournament. Picard vs. Spock, Monk vs. Columbo, Holmes vs. Watson, and Miyagi vs. Friday!… More »
Who's Lean in TV & Film: Week 2 Voting
Week two of the Who’s Lean in TV and Film tournament kicks off with lean contestants such as Indiana Jones and Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory.… More »
Vote! Who's More Lean: MacGyver, House, ... Snoopy?
Who do you think is more lean: MacGyver or House? Vote in the first four battles of the “Who’s Lean in TV & Film” tournament and make your opinion count.… More »
The Lean Approach To - But I REALLY, REALLY Want a Kitten!
Robert Martichenko, author of Everything I Learned About Lean I Learned in First Grade, is now experiencing the effects of Lean in his household. Check out his daughter Abbey’s lean approach to getting a kitten.… 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 »
The Nominations Are In: Lean in TV & Movies
Before we jump into the who’s been nominated list, let’s take a moment to consider why are we doing this lean tv/film characters tournament at all.… More »
The Problem with the US Open
What do Roger Federer, ESPN, and the US Open have to do with problem solving?… More »
Talking Lean with a Neuroscientist
How do we turn large, complicated, risky projects into catalysts for learning and innovation? Lean IT expert Steve Bell reflects on this question after an unexpected conversation with a neuroscientist.… 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 »
PDCA: The Scientific Method or the Artistic Process?
What does lean have to do with art? Lean practitioner and sculptor Karyn Ross says the two really aren't so different at all. What do you think?… More »
Lean Starts With the Need to Achieve
"The first step in a lean implementation is to identify employees with an intense desire to achieve," writes lean practitioner Kevin Kobett. Do you agree? What is the relationship between lean practice and ambition?… 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 »
A Total Shift in Mindset
Lean thinking isn't easy to put into practice, particularly for beginners. Ghassan Saleh, lean engineer at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, Maine, shares his advice for what to keep in mind when you're just getting started.… More »
A Good Night’s Sleep
How often do you find yourself jumping to a solution without understanding the problem? If we're really interested in solving problem, we have to slow down.… More »
When is technology in healthcare actually valuable?
Technology should support the worker (and the patient), not vice versa. Co-author of the book Perfecting Patient Journeys, Judy Worth, gives us the current state of healthcare technology and reminds us what we should be thinking about if we want to use technology well.… More »
Chickens and Eggs
The Leaper chimes in on an age-old question.… 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 »
Be Prepared to Change Your Habits
LEI Coach Danielle Blais likens lean learning to something we all know something about: starting a new exercise routine or health regimen. Are you interested in a lean "quick fix" or are you interested in long-term, sustainable change?… More »
Lean Glasses
A lean take on the half-empty, half-full question.… More »
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