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WLEI: Imagining A World Without Email With Cal Newport
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | August 2, 2021
Audio
How much of your work time do you spend doing actual work that leverages what you do best? And how much of your invaluable time and focus is chipped away by myriad distractions—of which the most pernicious might be email and its constant demand for your attention. In this episode of the Lean Enterprise Institute’s WLEI podcast, we speak with author Cal Newport about his newest book, A World Without Email, where he challenges us to rethink why we need to be constantly plugged into communication that seldom helps us produce valuable work.    Click here for a transcript of the conversation.  And be sure to browse through More »
WLEI: Creating Better Jobs and Better Work: A Podcast with Josh Howell and Sarah Kalloch
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | June 28, 2021
Audio
As we slowly emerge from the long pandemic, LEI and colleagues like the Good Jobs Institute are deeply committed to helping produce decent jobs. In this conversation, LEI President Josh Howell spoke with Executive Director Sarah Kalloch of the Good Jobs Institute about ways they are both working to help foster good work. WLEI Host Tom Ehrenfeld moderated this conversation.  Download a transcript of the conversation here.     More »
WLEI: Exploring When More is Not Better With Author Roger Martin
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | May 24, 2021
Audio
Roger Martin’s terrific new book When More is Not Better proposes concrete suggestions for broadening the economic gains from democratic capitalism. He critiques the concentration of wealth and power that decades of what he calls America’s Obsession with Economic Efficiency have generated, proposing tangible actions that business leaders, politicians, educators and citizens can take to address the problem.  In this conversation with WLEI Host Tom Ehrenfeld, Roger explores lean-adjacent measures that complement his message.   What operational, approaches might lean leaders consider pursuing in concert with his policy-based and systematic suggestions?  Download a transcript of this talk here.     More »
WLEI: Diving Deep to Discover the Value of Lean Companies with Cliff Ransom
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | April 26, 2021
Audio
Lean done right can dramatically boost the value of any enterprise over the long term, argues Cliff Ransom. For decades, Cliff has been analyzing the value of companies by researching and above all visiting them to suss out the integrity of their lean practice. His detailed reports (by his firm Ransom Research) on the performance of companies such as Danaher, GE, Fortive, and many others are closely followed by a passionate slice of the investment world. The following conversation drills down into the lessons learned from looking at public companies through lean-colored glasses.  Click here to download a transcript of the More »
WLEI: What's Your Problem? Framing for Success with Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg on the WLEI Podcast
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | March 22, 2021
Audio
Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg makes a bold promise in his new book, What’s Your Problem? (Harvard Business Review Press, 2020.  ) He seeks to upgrade people’s ability to solve problems by understanding how to solve the right problems. Learning to reframe problems can help people to stop chasing the wrong solutions, better understand what they are grappling with, and, in some cases find radically better solutions. Join us in listening to his insights on ways that everyone can boost their ability to solve the right problems.  Click here to download a full transcript of the conversation. More »
WLEI: Exploring the Continued Relevance of Lean with Womack, Jones, Gaudet, and Others in a Best-of Podcast
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | February 22, 2021
Audio
The global pandemic coupled with profound structural economic shifts are two daunting challenges reinforcing  the need for a powerful method of framing and facing crucial problems today. Over the past year, our monthly podcast WLEI has aired conversations with Jim Womack, Dan Jones, Karen Gaudet, and other thought leaders exploring the power of lean—and adjacent schools of thought—as a source of promising countermeasures.   Lean can help people face problems both large (reviving healthy enterprise in this economy) and small (clarifying tangible ways to create workplaces that respect their workers). Thinkers such as Dan Heath discussed the power of solving problems More »
WLEI: Diving Deeper into The Toyota Way with Jeff Liker
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | January 25, 2021
Audio
Professor Jeffrey Liker’s The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles From the World’s Greatest Manufacturer has proved to be one of the most influential books of the lean movement—and beyond. He has just published a revised second edition of this classic resource that brings new thinking and context to his explanation of what makes this system so dynamic and enduring. Liker explains his emphasis on what scholar Takahiro Fujimoto calls its “superior evolutionary learning capability,” providing more grit and clarity on topics such as its organic (not mechanistic) nature. Listen to him discuss these topics with LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld More »
WLEI: Making Lean Stick: A Podcast Conversation with Mark Deluzio, Art Byrne, and Jim Womack
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | November 23, 2020
Audio
The long-term success of companies like Danaher, Fortive, Herman Miller, Parker Hannifin and many others, have all validated the power of lean thinking and practice. But if that’s the case, why aren’t there more exemplars? And why do so many companies either intentionally misconstrue Lean, or fail to realize its full promise over time?Long-time Lean veteran Mark Deluzio has recently published Flatlined: Why Lean Transformations Fail and What to Do About It. Join him, Art Byrne, Jim Womack and host Tom Ehrenfeld in a wide-ranging conversation about the ongoing gap between operations at most companies—and an ideal Lean state.  Be More »
WLEI: Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn: A Conversation with Isao Yoshino and Katie Anderson on Experimentation and Learning
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | October 26, 2020
Audio
“It’s only a failure if you don’t learn,” says Mr. Isao Yoshino, who shared many key lessons from his career at Toyota with Katie Anderson, who based her new book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn on his experience and insights. Join us for a podcast with host Tom Ehrenfeld that explores the lessons gleaned from his career at Toyota.   Download a complete transcript of the conversation here.    More »
WLEI: Becoming the Change with John Toussaint and Kim Barnas
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | September 28, 2020
Audio
Lean has always promised great improvements for health care providers, but has there been a personal element that has been lacking to date? In this episode of WLEI, two healthcare giants, Kim Barnas and John Toussaint, will share a key insight from their new book Becoming the Change: they argue that personal transformation on the part of healthcare leaders plays a vital role in broader organizational change. Listen in for insights and advice on how to help your lean effort.  You can download a complete transcript of the conversation here: https://www.  lean.  org/Search/Documents/596.  pdf  More »
WLEI: Tapping Technology to Boost the Power of Lean: A Talk with Jeff Liker and Jim Morgan
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | August 24, 2020
Audio
Industry 4.  0 is not a disruptive force that makes TPS irrelevant, but rather can be an enabler that builds on lean culture and thinking.   What principles should lean companies prioritize as they introduce digital tools into their work? Lean thinkers Jeff Liker and Jim Morgan start with the basics of people, processes, and purpose. Listen in to their thoughts as they discuss the TPS-Industry 4.  0 mashup with Host Tom Ehrenfeld in this latest episode of WLEI.    You can read and download a complete transcript of the conversation here.      More »
WLEI: 5 Guiding Principles for Tailoring a Path to Lean Transformation
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | July 27, 2020
Audio
Over the past five years, the Lean Global Network’s Lean Healthcare Initiative has carried out extensive research in eight hospitals across five countries, and recently published the white paper, "5 Guiding Principles to Transform Healthcare.  " In this podcast, LEI Senior Coach and white paper co-author Alice Lee shares insights into the research conducted by this group of “tailors” (individuals who saw patterns and helped identify how to apply them). She expands on the five guiding principles they developed and explains how these insights were gleaned from healthcare organizations. The principles provide guidance for any chief architect in any organization looking for traction with More »
WLEI: How to Develop Emotional Agility At Work: A Conversation with Susan David
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | June 22, 2020
Audio
Regardless of how well you track tangible metrics in your workplace, neglecting underlying emotions has enduring costs, says Susan David, author of the best-selling book Emotional Agility. Many performance gaps are partly caused by human factors—underlying conditions that don’t necessarily show up on Pareto charts, yet have as much relevance and bearing on business outcomes as other common gaps that are identified as problems to address.   Join this WLEI podcast for a wide-ranging conversation about the need to acknowledge and “manage” emotions as a means of developing broader agility for your work team.     More »
WLEI: How Will Lean Shape the Post-Covid World?
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | May 25, 2020
Audio
What will the world look like when Covid-19 recedes, and what role will Lean play? According to Lean Pioneer Dan Jones, Lean can play a key role in shaping the emerging economy in numerous ways—not simply boosting performance of legacy assets of mass production, but also helping to scale up new technologies much faster through several generations with user feedback. “Most significantly, it can mobilize the creative contribution of everyone, including users, to develop very different and sustainable systems for the futures” says Dan.  Tune in to this conversation between Dan and WLEI Podcast Host Tom Ehrenfeld for a chat More »
WLEI: Practicing Steady Work for Lean Value with Karen Gaudet
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | April 27, 2020
Audio
"What is the role of a lean leader, and what is the humbling daily work that goes into this task? How can one humbly assume the very ambitious role of leading others in earnest lean practice? And how does one prepare for heroic actions by creating a steady cadence of productive daily habits? These are the types of questions explored by Karen Gaudet in her new LEI book titled Steady Work. Tune in to her podcast with Tom Ehrenfeld here.  "  More »
WLEI: Preventing Problems by Thinking Upstream: A Talk with Author Dan Heath
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | March 23, 2020
Audio
“We should shift more of our energies upstream personally, organizationally, nationally, and globally. We can and we should stop dealing with the symptoms of problems again and again, and start fixing them.  " So writes author Dan Heath in his terrific new book Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen, which has just been published.    This conversation between LEI editor Tom Ehrenfeld and Dan explores the practical applications of the upstream mindset, and; given the timing, explores how upstream thinking is all the more relevant in our current pandemic.    More »
WLEI: Why You Need A Product Focus for Enterprise Transformation
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | March 16, 2020
Audio
In his talk from the 2018 Designing the Future summit, former Rivian COO and LEI Senior Advisor Jim Morgan discusses how Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) serves as an enterprise activity that can engage the entire organization and improve operations and growth. LPPD's principles and practices will result in better products, argues Morgan, who shares the following key ideas:People firstUnderstand—then executeDesign new value streamsCreate a framework of successConstantly learn and improveEstablish an effective management systemDownload a transcript of this talk here.  Read more from Jim by checking his previous articles:Creating New Value and A Lesson in FundamentalsAre You Building More »
WLEI: Lean in the Time of Coronavirus
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | March 9, 2020
Audio
In times of crisis, lean offers a stable approach to healthy work. Furthermore, as Jim Womack notes in this podcast with Tom Ehrenfeld, foundational lean practices such as just-in-time supply chains are not—and have never been—liabilities in a time such as today’s coronavirus outbreak. Misguided stories about the woes of JIT are as misguided today as they were when they appeared during avian flu, SARS, and other legitimate medical events that required large supplies of emergency goods. Womack also talks about the lessons to be found in Karen Gaudet’s book Steady Work as they relate to having a stable work environment that More »
WLEI: On the Job with Tom Root, Managing Partner of Zingerman's Mail Order
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | March 2, 2020
Audio
Spoiler alert! The food you just ate is not fresh. It was "sourced" longer ago than you'd imagine. And since that time, it's been handled in batch after batch. The same can be said for many lean transformations - one batch of improvement activity after another. Zingerman's Mail Order has been reducing batch sizes for 15 years, acting as a sort of "model line" for the entire food industry. Tom Root and Josh Howell discuss ZMO's lean transformation and their many lessons learned, searching for useful takeaways for you the listener.    More »
WLEI: 35. Designing the Future: A WLEI Podcast with Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and former COO Jim Morgan
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | February 17, 2020
Audio
If you do not yet know the company Rivian you will undoubtedly know it very soon.  In 2019 Rivian made waves in the auto industry by announcing two “electricadventure vehicles”, the R1T – an electric pickup truck - and the R1S - an electricSUV. Both vehicles are expected to launch in the United States later thisyear and globally in 2021. Rivian is also developing a fleet of electric deliveryvans to fulfill a 100,000-unit order placed by Amazon. In the last twelvemonths the electric vehicle company has raised 3 billion dollars.  Listen in to hear how R.  J. and Jim are bringing this vision to life. More »
WLEI: 34. What’s the Problem: Andrew Lingel Discusses Transforming a Family Business through Knowledge, Grit, and Outrage
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | February 10, 2020
Audio
Andrew Lingel, President of United Plastic Fabricating, discusses leading lean transformation of a family business through knowledge, grit, and outrage.  Learn more:Learn more about UPF's transformation at the 2020 Lean Summit, April 6-7 in Carlsbad, CA.  Download the PDF transcript for this episode. More »
WLEI: 33. On the Job with Ron Kelner, President and COO of the Deublin Company
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | February 3, 2020
Audio
Ron describes the Deublin Company's business system built with lean thinking that puts human development at the center.  Learn more about Deublin's Lean Transformation at the Lean Summit 2020, April 6-7, 2020.  Download the podcast transcript here. More »
Steady Work (Audiobook)
By: Karen Gaudet | February 3, 2020
Audio; Books
Transforming frontline operations in a retail chain the size of Starbucks is a story in itself. This book goes further, investigating how lean thinking addressed huge demand fluctuation in a retail environment across thousands of stores, and then how baristas and managers in Newtown, Connecticut used that system to get them through the worst week imaginable. It is a deeply personal story with global relevance. More »
WLEI: 32. Coachable: A Model Story, Coaching Work Improvement
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | January 27, 2020
Audio
As this series continues to explore the implications and dynamic of “coaching” in a business environment, Bryant Sanders models the mindset and techniques for coaching work improvement to develop people. Bryant draws on 26 years Toyota experience to facilitate his coaching techniques with a team in the field leading to a dramatic improvement in the work. He walks us through the story from deciding where to focus, to earning the team’s trust, facilitating reflection solidifying the what and the why and then leveraging one another’s strengths to upskill the team and eliminate difficulty and waste in the work. An excellent More »
WLEI: 31. CEO Transition – an obstacle or an opportunity?
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | January 20, 2020
Audio
Too often, a change in executive leadership can bring a lean transformation to a grinding halt.    But that has not been the case at Lynn Community Health Center (LCHC).  Within two years of the start of their lean journey, LCHC CEO Lori Abrams Berry announced her intention to retire.  The immediate reaction from the LCHC community was concern that her departure would impact the progress made on advancing lean thinking and practice with improved outcomes and engagement of its team members. Instead, the impending CEO transition was embraced as a challenge, a gap to tackle.    Learn how LCHC More »
WLEI: 30. On the Job: My Personal Turning Point--Reflecting on a Decade as a Lean Coach
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | January 14, 2020
Audio
Josh Howell shares his decade-end reflections, focusing on why he left Starbucks in 2013. His reasons may surprise you. He also interrogates the question, “If a company discontinues a formal lean initiative, or lean program, or lean team, does that mean its lean implementation has failed?” Related Articles:Josh's Eletter: My Personal Turning Point: Reflecting on a Decade as a Lean Coach"What Did I Transform Today?"Lean Coaching SummitVideo: Inside the Tryer Center, the Starbucks Lab Where Anything is Possible  More »
WLEI: 29. What’s the problem: A conversation with Pat Greco on transforming education through rapid problem solving
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | January 6, 2020
Audio
Pat Greco In 2011, Dr. Pat Greco began as the superintendent of the Menomonee Falls School District in Wisconsin. She faced no shortage of problems: a suspension rate seven times higher than the state average, performance gaps across income and race, cost overruns, and a failure to meet performance goals defined under the No Child Left Behind Act among others. Not to mention a new administration was upending collective bargaining for public sector employees instilling fear within the teachers she was setting out to lead.   By the end of her tenure she had led the school district to rank as one of the More »
Lean Accounting Podcast from OSU MBOE
December 31, 2019
Audio
It's a common misconception that lean in accounting equates to merely a cost-cutting tool. In this podcast from the Ohio State University Master of Business Operational Excellence program (MBOE), LEI Chairman Jean Cunningham discusses a broader model of lean in accounting with Aravind Chandrasekaran, Academic Director of MBOE. Through improved decision-making and impact on the five different "levers" of financial outcomes, Cunningham discusses the impact of lean accounting on value creation. More »
WLEI: 28. Coachable: Creating the Environment for Effective Coaching
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | December 23, 2019
Audio
December 23, 2019Featuring: Deborah McGee and Jeff SmithAs this series continues to explore the implications and dynamic of “coaching” in a business environment, Jeff Smith reveals the importance of the learning environment for impactful coaching. Jeff draws on 22 years experience within the Toyota Production System and recalls his coaching experience at New United Motor, and later as a coach in many organizations. We talk about coaching in the front office as well as shop floor, engaging with problems using A3 thinking, and mechanisms to signal abnormal conditions inherently perfect for effective coaching moments.  We invite your thoughts and experiences about More »
WLEI: 27. Dying for a Paycheck? Must work be toxic for employees, and how can a more sustainable approach emerge?
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | December 16, 2019
Audio
In his new book Dying for A Paycheck, Stanford University Graduate School of Business Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer argues that there is an overwhelmingly compelling case to be made that the workplace profoundly affects human health and wellbeing, and that these psychosocial stressors have gotten worse in recent years. His book vividly details how the costs are enormous to both individuals and to companies and to society. He believes that If we're going to address this, we need to see the problem and its enormous scope. In this podcast Pfeffer shares thoughts with LEI editor Tom Ehrenfeld on potential countermeasures to More »
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