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Thinking About the Why of the What of Problem-Solving
When we talk about problem-solving, what we’re really talking about here is creating adaptive capacity, the deep capability of an organization to tackle anything that comes its way, any obstacle that comes between you and where you want to go. Tackling problems one by one is what gives an organization capability for deep adaptability.… More »
Jishuken, Part Two: The Power of Self-Learning
Consider Jishuken to be an intensive effort to drive individuals and the organization to a higher level, says Mark Reich, noting that if done right, this practice should push everyone to do more and more, improving in cycles of intense, focused effort with something that leaves a strong residue of kaizen spirit behind and allows the company to sustain.… More »
Getting Out of the Habit of Telling
In this engaging talk at the Lean Transformation Summit in Nashville, Katie Anderson talked about learning how to keep from telling others what to do.… More »
Ugly Babies, Silent Enemies and Other Short Stories from a Continuous Improvement Conference
Besides the lessons, challenges, and results that belong to a company’s lean transformation, there are personal journeys as well. Here’s a summary of some we heard at a recent conference.… More »
Thoughts on Coaching from John Shook and Edgar Schein
Excerpts from an in-depth conversation between John Shook and Ed Schein on the nature of coaching, humble inquiry, and the dynamics of organizational improvement through people.… More »
Lessons From Japan: Day Three
Is Toyota improving productivity or developing people? What we saw today suggests not just that the answer is both but that the two are inseparable, especially when it comes to jishuken.… More »
Practical Tips for Re-Engaging People with a Suggestion System
Companies, responding to surveys showing that a troubling number of people are disengaged at work, respond with perks like nap pods, rock walls, and free food. Suggestions systems get overlooked. That’s too bad because the whole point of a system done correctly is higher engagement. Here are some real-world tips on starting and sustaining a system from an experienced lean practitioner.… More »
What Are the Most Valuable Ways You Learned Lean?
Each approach to learning lean brings value into my work and improves my capabilities. There isn’t one way (for me) to get there. Each situation called for a different approach, and each approach to learning showed me a different dimension, making lean thinking more accessible, deepening my understanding and developing my practice, says Deb McGee.… More »
Why 'Yes Chef!' Is No Longer the Answer
In order to meet the changing demands of today's restaurants, chefs must learn to evolve from old-school methods of the "brigade system" and learn to be more mindful, holistic, and ask better questions, say Legal Sea Foods Executive Chef Rich Vellante… More »
Lean Roundup: Respect for People
Respect for People is one of the most abstract and yet most concrete tenets of lean, a guiding principle that informs how people work, coach, and lead. This roundup of writings reveals a wealth of perspectives on how lean thinkers convert this ideal into tangible ways of thinking and acting.… More »
Respect the Customer By Respecting Your Worker
Lean provides us with a different approach to this vicious cycle. Build a management system in your company that allows employees to make the best decisions for the customer (end user and next process). This shows respect for your people.… More »
The Quiet Factory
Could noise be considered another waste to be reduced in the system? Matt Savas ponders the implications of a Toyota factory that has set a goal of lowering the decibel level to help with a key strategic goal.… More »
Learning to Teach the Soft Side of Lean
If there’s one common theme among virtually any failed effort, it boils to a failure to engage people in the purpose, says Tracey Richardson. That's why before any industry or functional area attempts (beyond manufacturing) to learn lean thinking, the people leading the work must gain the mutual trust and respect from your workers by walking the walk.… More »
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 »
Developing People Not Robots Through Karakuri
"Karakuri demonstrates that Toyota’s working currency is brainpower, grown through rigorous problem-solving and mentors who challenge their students," writes Matt Savas, "The wallet takes a backseat to the brain."… More »
Learning and Teaching Lean with Tracey and Ernie Richardson on the Lean Podcast WLEI
Hear Tracey and Ernie share how they learned lean while working together on our new podcast WLEI… More »
Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn
Hear how a personal lean transformation supported a crucial organizational transformation following a financial crisis at a large medical center. In this unique Lean Talk, Alice Lee and Eric Buehrens revisit Eric’s lean journey to discuss its challenges and successes.… More »
Advice from the Gemba: Making Repetitive Tasks More Exciting
Repetitive tasks can create a drag on workers' morale and motivation as boredom sets in, and a disillusioned workforce will seriously hamper your lean efforts. So how do you keep repetitive tasks from becoming a source of discontent for your people? Three lean practitioners share their thoughts.… More »
How We A3 at Goodyear
Just as lean is situational, A3s are situational too - companies like Goodyear have a variety of types of A3s that they use based on the specific challenge that is being faced. Four Goodyear insiders share more.… More »
Raised by Toyota: A Question and Answer with Tracey and Ernie Richardson
In this extended interview, Toyota veterans Tracey and Ernie Richardson share how they learned at the source, explain how they apply their lessons widely (including their personal life), and speculate why this system called lean could just as well be called...our J-O-B.… 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 »
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 »
Are You Training People to Think or to Follow a Checklist?
"Without attention to why continuous improvement is important, the purpose behind [PDCA], when tools should be used, and when to apply ideas," Erin Urban writes, "we're training change agents to do nothing more than follow a checklist." Urban offers recommendations for how to improve training programs and invites your ideas, too.… More »
The Human Element of TWI (Training Within Industry)
"When I’ve taught the TWI courses in countries all over the world, from India to Malaysia to Mexico to Germany, everyone understands and embraces these concepts because the focus on humanity is universal," writes Patrick Graupp. "These concepts transcend differences in culture and economic barriers."… More »
Ask Art: How Much Lean Training Should We Be Doing?
Why aren't more companies successful at Lean? Art Byrne says it has to do with an over-focus on planning and not enough learning-by-doing. "They don’t trust that a rapid kaizen approach is still the most effective way to become a lean enterprise," he writes.… More »
training on Lean.org
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 »
Leadership Q&A: John Wilson, executive vice president of manufacturing, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership: Wilson talks to the Lean Enterprise Institute about the executive's role in a lean conversion. Wilson offers his take on why some compani… More »
The Roots of Lean: Training Within Industry and the Origin of Japanese Management and Kaizen
LEI CEO John Shook, the first American employee to work at Toyota’s headquarters in Japan, tells a story about struggling to adapt Toyota training materials for use by Americans who would soon b… More »
Training Recommendations for Implementing Lean
In the first part of this substantial paper, former Toyota Training Manager Marek Piatkowski offers his insights about the unique training style at Toyota and then recommends training modules for impl… More »
Aligning the Right Behaviors with Your Business Objectives
This hands-on workshop gives you a simple, practical method to scrutinize your business objectives against the traits and behaviors needed to achieve your objectives. To reinforce the training, you’ll… More »
Lessons in A3 Thinking: What Porter Learned in Managing to Learn
Understand the work, thinking, and leadership behind the A3 process -- not only what goes into the storyboard boxes.… More »
Value-Stream Mapping Workshop Participant Guide
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Training to See Kit: A Value-Stream Mapping Workshop
The Training to See kit enables you to take people through the exercise of value-stream mapping, from selecting a product family, to mapping its current state to identify root causes of waste, mapping… More »
Advice from the Gemba: Making Repetitive Tasks More Exciting
Repetitive tasks can create a drag on workers' morale and motivation as boredom sets in, and a disillusioned workforce will seriously hamper your lean efforts. So how do you keep repetitive tasks from becoming a source of discontent for your people? Three lean practitioners share their thoughts.… More »
How We A3 at Goodyear
Just as lean is situational, A3s are situational too - companies like Goodyear have a variety of types of A3s that they use based on the specific challenge that is being faced. Four Goodyear insiders share more.… More »
Raised by Toyota: A Question and Answer with Tracey and Ernie Richardson
In this extended interview, Toyota veterans Tracey and Ernie Richardson share how they learned at the source, explain how they apply their lessons widely (including their personal life), and speculate why this system called lean could just as well be called...our J-O-B.… 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 »
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 »
Are You Training People to Think or to Follow a Checklist?
"Without attention to why continuous improvement is important, the purpose behind [PDCA], when tools should be used, and when to apply ideas," Erin Urban writes, "we're training change agents to do nothing more than follow a checklist." Urban offers recommendations for how to improve training programs and invites your ideas, too.… More »
The Human Element of TWI (Training Within Industry)
"When I’ve taught the TWI courses in countries all over the world, from India to Malaysia to Mexico to Germany, everyone understands and embraces these concepts because the focus on humanity is universal," writes Patrick Graupp. "These concepts transcend differences in culture and economic barriers."… More »
Ask Art: How Much Lean Training Should We Be Doing?
Why aren't more companies successful at Lean? Art Byrne says it has to do with an over-focus on planning and not enough learning-by-doing. "They don’t trust that a rapid kaizen approach is still the most effective way to become a lean enterprise," he writes.… More »