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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 Seafoods 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
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 »
Leadership Q&A: Dr. Jack Billi, associate dean and associate vice president for medical affairs
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership: Jack Billi, M.D., associate dean for clinical affairs, University of Michigan Medical School, professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Educa… More »
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 »
The Lean Dentist Webinar Follow-Up Questions & Answers
After reviewing all the questions that we couldn’t get to during the webinar with Dr. Sami Bahri, several key themes emerged, such as lean leadership and how lean tools, such as one-piece flow (or in … More »
Lean Transformational Leadership Webinar - Follow-up Q & A and Reading List
During the Transformational Leadership webinar, many of you asked for the list of related books and articles that presenter Jim Luckman cited. He has provided the list as a chart at the end of his ans… 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 »
Kaizen: the Culture of Continuous Improvement
This workshop is an introduction to the Kaizen Teian or Kaizen methodology which promotes the sustainable continuous improvement as a daily way of life for every member within the organization. The cl… More »
The Work of Management
Lancaster tells an inspiring and practical business story in his new book, The Work of Management (2017, Lean Enterprise Institute). It’s a close-up, candid look at Lancaster’s personal transformation… More »
Perfecting Patient Journeys
Perfecting Patient Journeys is a guide to value-stream improvement for leaders of healthcare organizations who want to implement lean thinking and engage employees in solving problems in order to deli… 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 »
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