Home > Knowledge Center

Knowledge Center

Media Format: Columns
Ask Art: Why Should I Be Able to Make Every Product Every Day?
By: Art Byrne | July 17, 2018
Working on the goal of "every product every day" helps all companies realize the benefits of lean as a strategy, says Art Byrne, by developing flexibility and responsiveness that ultimately delivers far more value to the customer. More »
Leadership and Having an Effective Plan
By: Andrew Quibell | July 16, 2018
You wouldn’t want to be known as a source of “fake news” but are you practicing More »
Yes, Lean is About Cost Reduction
By: Mark Reich | July 13, 2018
Why focus on cost reduction? Because many of the cost-saving kaizens of are simpler and require less engineering resources, and this type of kaizen motivates the production teams to try things on their own and develops their capability. This is an outcome of cost reduction activity, says Mark Reich More »
Build Awareness Through Seeing How Eliminating Waste Reduces Costs
By: Ernie Richardson and Tracey Richardson | July 12, 2018
As we grow our people we must continue to add new dimensions of thinking to engage them in their work and to empower them to always be looking for or trying new ideas, says Tracey Richardson. Building awareness of how to reduce costs forms a foundation for continued improvement. More »
Tending the Roots of Lean with Lean Farmer Ben Hartman
By: Matthew Savas | July 10, 2018
Matt Savas shares the Lean roots found at Ben Hartman's Clay Bottom Farm in Goshen, Indiana, illustrating the many ways that lean has eliminated waste More »
Five Tips on Lean Coaching
By: Lean Leaper | July 9, 2018
In advance of next week's coaching summit, here are some key coaching tips culled from content written by some of the presenters. More »
Thoughts on Coaching from John Shook and Edgar Schein
By: Lean Leaper | July 2, 2018
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 »
Lesson From Japan: Day Five
By: Lean Leaper | June 29, 2018
On this final set of shared lessons from Japan, our lean learners reflect on the spirit of kaizen and the notion of employees as assets. They learn more about why "To Toyota, kaizen is the same as breathing.  " More »
Lessons from Japan: Day Four
By: Lean Leaper | June 28, 2018
On day four of the Lean Learning tour in Japan, the participants share their lessons, which are tied to this theme: TPS kaizen begins with a question: “What problem are you trying to solve?” More »
Lessons From Japan: Day Three
By: Lean Leaper | June 27, 2018
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 »
Lessons from Japan: Day Two
By: Lean Leaper | June 26, 2018
A group of lean learners are touring world-class enterprises in Japan; here are postcards capturing their daily lessons gleaned from what they observed. More »
Lean Lessons from Japan: Day One
By: Lean Leaper | June 25, 2018
This week, LEI is in Japan with 19 eager learners. The purpose of this trip is not just to see Just-In-Time. The purpose is to understand the social and technical context that gave birth to and continues to develop lean. Please visit the Post for a daily selection of postcards that share what we are learning. More »
Sometimes Smaller is Better - and Better is Lean
By: Eric Buehrens | June 21, 2018
LEI CEO Eric Buehrens reflects on how lean relates to the deeply hopeful story of renewal, reconstruction, and citizen engagement in places that have been hard hit by deindustrialization, offshoring and all the changes that have adversely affected many regions of the United States over the last decades. More »
Value Stream Walk, Management Walk or….Just Walking Around?
By: James P. Womack | June 19, 2018
Gemba Walks can raise consciousness about problems and the possibilities for dramatic improvements, says Jim Womack. Or they can serve as a means of reinforcing the existing systems. He shares thoughts on how to walk--and see--with a lean mindset. More »
Try These Three Deliberate Practices of Lean Coaching
By: Dan Prock | June 15, 2018
A lean coach doesn’t do PDCA; she or he has three deliberate practices that keep the PDCA gear rolling with a check, adjustment, new purpose and plan to do for kaizen experiments. A lean coach using these three deliberate practices is a perpetual motion machine of sustainable continuous improvement. More »
Surviving CEO Change, Evolving Through Culture and Being a Humble Leader
By: Kiame Mahaniah, MD and John Y. Shook | June 13, 2018
Dr. Mahaniah was kind enough to sit down with LEI’s Chairman, John Shook to talk about growing up in different cultures, from the Congonese to the Quakers, and how he became a CEO in an organization trying to become lean, and helped keep that movement going. More »
Ask Art: Why Do People Reject Proof that Lean Works?
By: Art Byrne | June 11, 2018
Despite compelling proof, most people will find a way to doubt the power of lean to improve their particular work, shares Art Byrne, who argues that it is critical to press forward despite this natural and inevitably resistance. More »
Practical, Actionable Tips for Re-Engaging People with a Suggestion System, Part 2
By: Steve Ansuini | June 8, 2018
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 engagement. Here are some real-world tips on starting and sustaining a system from an experienced lean practitioner. More »
Practical Tips for Re-Engaging People with a Suggestion System
By: Steve Ansuini | June 7, 2018
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?
By: Deborah McGee | June 6, 2018
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 »
JoePa and Other Biases to Avoid
By: Mark Reich | June 5, 2018
A recent viewing of the biographical film Paterno led LEI Senior Coach Mark Reich to reflect on the way many of us let biases filter our view of the facts More »
The Formula for a Successful Management System: LB * OS = MS
By: Jim Morgan | May 31, 2018
In order to reap the benefits of an effective management system it is important that the operating system and leadership behaviors be aligned and consistent, argues Jim Morgan. More »
Are You Managing By The Right Numbers?
By: Tracey Richardson | May 30, 2018
Knowing the key metrics to track will help you and your team start your learning journey, says Tracey Richardson. She shares the key figures that provide a foundation for growth and discovery. More »
Coaching the Uncoachable Comes Down to Rock Paper and Scissors
By: Dan Prock | May 29, 2018
Breaking out of a thinking cycle that is already too full to learn anything can be found in thinking about the game of rock, paper, and scissors, says lean coach Dan Prock. More »
Stability Before Innovation
By: James P. Womack | May 24, 2018
Given its foundational strengths of stable and robust product development, production, supplier development, and general management system, Toyota is well poised to deliver innovative solutions to primary challenges facing all automakers. It's a lesson for any company seeking innovation, says Jim Womack. More »
Mindfulness and Leading with Respect
By: Mike Orzen and John Y. Shook | May 23, 2018
Mindfulness is both more essential today than ever, and a foundation for organizational lean excellence. Here John Shook and Mike Orzen explore this theme. “The more lean thinking you do, the more mindfulness you’ll experience, and the more mindfulness you create, the more presence you’ll create…and the more lean thinking you’ll do.  ” More »
Why 'Yes Chef!' Is No Longer the Answer
By: Richard Vellante | May 22, 2018
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 »
Expanding Our Perspective on Lean, Part 3: Lean is a Practice in Search of a Language
By: Joanna McGuffey and Thomas Richert | May 18, 2018
To explore the idea that there may be other angles for understanding lean management than business or analytical perspectives, a group of lean management practitioners met with artists. Here’s what surprised them. More »
How to Create a Lean Management Book Club that Executives Will Actually Attend
By: Chet Marchwinski | May 16, 2018
At the start of a lean transformation, a continuous improvement leader convinced her division president that a book club would be a good way to introduce leaders to lean concepts. Here’s what she did to make the club interesting and valuable for its busy participants, including what worked and what didn’t. More »
Postcard from Nashville
By: John Y. Shook | May 15, 2018
John Shook looks back at the key theme of LEI's Nashville summit on the theme of how to be better employees. More »
Show More »