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Articles by Lean Leaper
Are You Learning to Learn Faster? A Conversation with Steve Spear
Learning to close the gap in our learning cycle is critical to keeping our promises and achieving our goals, argues Steve Spear in the recent WLEI podcast. Read more here and listen to the full conversation. More »
From Port to Plate: How Legal Sea Foods Is Improving Through Lean
Legal Sea Foods is working with LEI to help launch a movement to change everything about the way traditional restaurants work. Legal, a family business founded in 1950, with more than 30 locations, has been working with LEI for the past four years to change the way restaurants work. In everything from greeting and seating guests to re-thinking how they organize their walk-in coolers and schedule shifts, lean is having a huge impact on everything it does. More »
Five Tips on Lean Coaching
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 »
Fighting Poverty with Lean Product & Process Design at MIT D-Lab
D-Lab at MIT is using lean product and process design to help solve problems in the developing world, and are truly making the world a better place for all those involved More »
9 Tips for Better Design Reviews
Design reviews can be the heartbeat of a healthy operating system. Here are some tips are creating better design reviews. 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 »
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 »
Eric Buehrens Keynote at the 2018 Lean Transformation Summit
LEI CEO Eric Buehrens looks at ways that lean thinkers can help contribute to the future of work. More »
Jim Womack's Keynote Address from the 2018 Lean Summit
Catch the presentation of Jim Womack on the topic of how to develop better employees by becoming a better employer. More »
Your Favorite Lean Posts of 2017: A Lean Post Holiday Special
2017 has seen another terrific year of content on the Lean Post. Over the past 12 months we've released dozens of articles on the latest news, research, stories and tips from all of you, the members of the lean community. Today we share the top 10 most popular. More »
The Future of Lean Healthcare: A Faster Type of Transformation?
We all know that lean transformations take a long time to occur, and in some senses, they never end. But what if we could change that? What if there was a way to expedite lean transformations for those industries with an urgent need, like healthcare? Here's what the Lean Global Network is doing to explore that. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Top Mistakes Lean Leaders Make III
Mistakes are just a part of lean, even for leaders. Luckily they're also a great opportunity for improvement. Today three lean practitioners share mistakes they often see lean leaders make, plus the countermeasures to correct them. More »
From the Forums: SHOULD You Sweat the Small Stuff on Gemba Walks?
It's inevitable that as we Go and See, we'll notice many small, barely-noticeable mistakes happening in the work. But how to handle those mistakes? They may be small, but they're still mistakes - and you don't want to be seen as ignoring them. Join the discussion in the comments section! More »
The "Dimensions" of Lean
In this exclusive interview from the 2017 Lean Transformation Summit, LEI Director of Education Karen Gaudet shares her own take on the ages-old question, "Why do so many lean transformations fail?" More »
Getting Religious About Problem Solving
Have you ever heard of a lean transformation guided by scriptures? The people at LifeWayChristian Resources' distribution center in Tennessee have! Whenever possible, they use passages from the Bible to exemplify the principles in their lean training materials. Find out how. More »
Engagement and Elephants: How Lean Changed the San Diego Zoo
In this exclusive video from the 2017 Lean Transformation Summit, Director of Performance Improvement Jeff Foster dishes on some of his experiences implementing lean at the San Diego Zoo. More »
Daily Management, Daily Sustainment: The Remarkable Story of Lean Transformation at Lantech
Jim Lancaster attended the 2017 Lean Transformation Summit in Carlsbad, California to speak about Lantech's journey to create a daily management system. Today on the Lean Post we feature a video of his talk on the role of management in sustaining the gains of lean. More »
A3 Coaching: What Feedback Would You Give?
You be our coach: what feedback/coaching would you offer on our example A3? We'd like to hear from you! More »
Managing to Win: The Remarkable Lean Transformation of Phase 2
Revisit the enlightening case study of Phase 2's lean transformation in the face of losing its biggest customer, plus insider info from an interview with CEO Adam Prime. More »
Lean Quotes from "The Work of Management" to Inspire You and Your Team
For this special bonus content, check out these quotes from the new book, The Work of Management. We've included links for easy tweeting, so share away and get inspired to hone your own management systems. More »
Advice from the Gemba: How Can I Change a Culture?
One of the most common questions asked by lean leaders is the question of culture change. How, they ask, can we change a firmly rooted culture to match our desired behaviors? As far as these four leaders are concerned, the answer is.  ..  by changing the work. Here are their stories. More »
Lean Quotes from John Shook to Inspire You and Your Team
We share with you some inspiring quotes from LEI CEO John Shook. 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 »
Managing to Create Problem-Solvers: A Lean Transformation Summit Roundup
Countless people have asked us over the years, "My organization can't be lean without a problem-solving culture. So how do I create one?" The answer: you first create the right management systems! This will be the prevailing theme at this year's Lean Transformation Summit -- here's a spotlight of our summit presenters and what they've published on this popular and fascinating topic. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Best Tips for Designing a Work Experience
When designing a work experience, the benefits of having an experienced coach to guide you cannot be overstated. In this installment of Advice from the Gemba, three of the Lean Global Network's best coaches offer their favorite tips for designing a work experience. More »
Advice from The Gemba: Basic Lean Tools with Huge Impacts
It's easy to get caught up in the hottest new lean trends, but it's important not to completely forget the fundamentals we first built our lean knowledge upon. Many of the most basic lean tools can have a deceptively large impact on your lean transformation goals. In the latest installment of the Advice from the Gemba series, three lean practitioners weight in with their favorite simple-but-powerful lean tools. More »
CLean and Green: How SunPower Used Lean to Address Sustainability
After years of lean practice, solar-device manufacturer SunPower wanted something more. They wanted to continue their journey of continuous improvement and become a more sustainable company, like the the products they sold. Their approach didn't just involve lean - it incorporated a sustainable economy model, creating a hybrid approach that they called "CLean.  " Read more. More »
Your Favorite Lean Posts So Far in 2016!
At this halfway point of 2016, the Lean Leaper takes us back for a look at the most popular pieces of the past six months. Take a look and see if you missed out on anything. More »
Mining Gold and Improvement Ideas at Kinross
Unless it changed how it did business, the fluctuating price of gold would determine the fate of Kinross, a Nevada gold mine with limited reserves. Watch this video to learn from LEI faculty member Ernie Richardson and Kinross Continuous Improvement Facilitators Vicente Ramirez and Deanna Hall how Kinross prospered by empowering its people. More »
Take Your Product Testing to the Extreme
Many of the principles of lean product and process development can seem counterproductive at first glance. For example, what if someone told you that the best way to see if a product will truly work.  ..  is to break it? That's exactly what Professor Larry Navarre of Kettering University tells his students, as part of his unlikely yet invaluable "Extreme Testing" concept. Read more. More »
Establishing Lean Healthcare Believers When Professional Society Allegiance Impedes Engagement
When implementing lean in a healthcare organization, it's not uncommon to encounter resistance from medical professionals set in their traditional ways. Resistance is natural in any lean transformation, but Kathryn Correia has pinpointed a root cause of healthcare lean resistance that goes much deeper than your standard skepticism. Read more. More »
Is there “mudagement” in your organization?
"Mudagement.  " What a strange word. But to Tony Lamberton, the concept behind that word has made all the difference in identifying invisible waste in his organization - and by extension, eliminating it through targeted coaching. Lean Post editor Cam Ford recently sat down with Tony to learn more about the concept of mudagement and the value it holds for all organizations: here is their interview. More »
Small Batch: Hand-Picked Articles from the Global Lean Community (Vol. 10)
Our editor's picks for the best recent articles from our sister publication, Planet Lean. This time we're sharing stories from Israel, Australia, and the United States. More »
How to Avoid Team Disinterest and Management Disappointment with Huddles
Team huddles are rapidly becoming a day-to-day staple in the lean organization. But too often the problem-solving aspect of huddles gets “fast-tracked” in favor of seemingly quicker and easier methods, according to David Verble, a Toyota veteran and Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) faculty member. Learn more. More »
Small Batch: Hand-Picked Articles from the Global Lean Community (Vol. 9)
Our picks for the best high-impact learning stories and columns from Planet Lean. More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 16)
Our latest compilation of the best lean reads from around the web, this time featuring content from Forbes, Manufacturing.  net, and The Association for Talent Development. More »
Small Batch: Hand-Picked Articles from the Global Lean Community (Vol. 8)
Our picks for the best high-impact learning stories and columns from Planet Lean. More »
In Case You Missed It...Scenes from the 2016 Lean Transformation Summit!
Missed our live blogging/streaming of the 2016 Lean Transformation Summit in Las Vegas? No worries! Check out this stream of images taken over March 17 and 18 at the Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa. Read to the end to find out where the 2017 Summit will be held! More »
You Decide: What Should We Live-Blog at the 2016 Lean Transformation Summit?
What do you want to see the Lean Post team live-blog at the Summit this week? Cast your vote here! More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 16)
Our editor's picks for the best lean news from around the web, this month from Harvard Business Review, FedScoop, and IndustryWeek! More »
Small Batch: Hand-Picked Articles from the Global Lean Community (Vol. 7)
Our picks for the best high-impact learning stories and columns from Planet Lean. More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 15)
Our editor's latest pics for great lean reads from across the web, this month from QualityDigest, IndustryWeek, and CIO. More »
Watch John Shook's Keynote at Lean Construction Institute's 17th Annual Congress!
This past October, LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook delivered a keynote at Lean Construction Institute's 17th Annual Congress in Boston, Massachusetts. Watch a full clip of John's talk and read key excerpts from his presentation here. Don't forget to let us know your thoughts in a comment. More »
Small Chart, Big Impact: How a Simple Spaghetti Chart Led to Huge Wins at Thrustmaster of Texas
Sometimes the simplest lean concepts can make all the difference in ensuring a successful transformation. Marine-propulsion manufacturer Thrustmaster of Texas found this out after creating a spaghetti diagram to reveal possible waste in an assembly plant. Their findings were staggering - read more. More »
Small Batch: Hand-Picked Articles from the Global Lean Community (Vol. 6)
Our picks for the best high-impact learning stories and columns from Planet Lean. More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 14)
Our editor's latest pics for great lean reads from across the web, this month from Forbes, IndustryWeek, and The New Yorker. 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 »
Small Batch: Hand-Picked Articles from the Global Lean Community (Vol. 5)
Our picks for the best high-impact learning stories and columns from Planet Lean. More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 13)
Our latest collection of lean reads from around the web, this time featuring articles from The Wall Street Journal, the Cornell Chronicle, and ModernHealthcare.  com. More »
Your Favorite Lean Posts of 2015!
With 2016 fast approaching, we'd like to take a step back and reflect on the most popular Lean Post articles of 2015. Did your favorite(s) make the list? More »
Small Batch: Hand-Picked Articles from the Global Lean Community (Vol. 4)
Our picks for the best high-impact learning stories and columns from Planet Lean. More »
Goodyear's Great Year: An LPPD Success Story
Lean product and process development (LPPD) successes can be found at companies of every size and industry - such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Watch this video to hear new author Norbert Majerus describe the situation at Goodyear that prompted this transformation, plus the results that stemmed from it. More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 12)
Our latest compilation of lean reads from around the web, this time featuring articles from Stanford Medicine, the Association for Talent Development, and Insurance Business America magazine. More »
Small Batch: Hand-Picked Articles from the Global Lean Community (Vol. 3)
A roundup of the best recent articles and interviews from our friends at Planet Lean, this time from Spain, Israel and France. More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 11)
Our latest picks for great lean reads across the web, this time from 99u, Entrepreneur, and IndustryWeek. More »
Small Batch: Hand-Picked Articles form the Global Lean Community (Vol. 2)
Our picks for the best high-impact learning stories and columns from Planet Lean. More »
Small Batch: Hand-Picked Articles from the Global Lean Community (Vol. 1)
A roundup of the best recent articles and case studies from our friends at Planet Lean - this time from Brazil, Iceland, and Poland. More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads Across the Web (Vol.10)
Our latest picks for great lean reads across the web, this time from 99u, strategy + business, a hotel app company's blog, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and The ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value. More »
LEI's Lean Transformation Model Animated
Need a simple way of explaining lean thinking to your team? LEI has released a new animated video of how real lean change happens across five interrelated dimensions. Check out LEI's Lean Transformation Model to see if you're asking yourself and your team members the right questions. More »
Coaching: A Core Skill for Transformational Leadership
LEI's CEO and Chairman John Shook shares his keynote presentation from the sold-out 2015 Lean Coaching Summit earlier this week in Seattle. More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads Across the Web (Vol.9)
Our picks for interesting lean reads, this time from Modern Healthcare, Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg View, and Nikkel Blaase. More »
Born Lean Thinkers
Kids are born asking the right questions. Now if only it were so easy as adults. More »
Leadership Stories From One of Lean's Fastest Growing Communities of Practice
On the heels of the Lean Healthcare Summit earlier this month in Dallas, Texas, we've gathered three stories in which leaders share their personal "why" for taking up lean practice and doing things differently. More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 8)
Check out our picks for high value lean reads you may have missed - this time from Inc.  , Harvard Business Review, Planet Lean and more. More »
Lean is About Building Organizations that Learn to Learn
In April, LEI's John Shook spoke at the LeanUX NYC conference about how the lean movement has changed (and not changed) over time and what any community (user design or otherwise) needs to focus on in terms of leadership behaviors in order to build strong organizations that solve problems. Watch the video and read excerpts from his keynote. More »
John Toussaint on What a Complete System Transformation Looks Like In Healthcare
John Toussaint, CEO emeritus of ThedaCare and CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, shared his guiding principles for transformation in an article for Planet Lean recently. Read our picks for highlights from the interview and tell us what challenges and successes you're seeing in healthcare right now. More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads From Across the Web (Vol. 7)
Five recent articles from across the web to help you reflect on your organization's approach to lean transformation or your own approach to work. Which great lean reads would you add to the list? More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 6)
Check out five recently published articles we think may help you improve your work or think about your work differently - this time from Forbes, The New York Times, Industry Week, Harvard Business Review, and Medium. What great lean reads would you add to the list? More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads From Across the Web (Vol. 5)
Check out our editors' picks for 5 high value lean reads you may have missed, this time from Industry Week, the blog at ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, MIT Sloan Management Review, 99u, and Planet Lean. More »
Three Lean Healthcare Success Stories From Across the Globe
Read a summary of 3 lean healthcare stories from the Lean Global Network, including reflections on what seems to make lean work in a healthcare setting. We've gathered stories from two hospitals in China and Spain, and another from a large, multi-organization public healthcare system the New York. 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 »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 3)
LEI editors have gathered another five articles that either teach us something new about lean practice or show us where lean thinking is being applied (or might be applied) today. This edition features picks from Harvard Business Review, The New Yorker, Fortune, The Atlantic, and Planet Lean. More »
Lean IT at Toyota Motor Europe
Pierre Masai, VP of Information Systems and CIO at Toyota Motor Europe, fields questions on the unique needs of the IT customer as well as the connections between Lean and Agile at the Lean IT Summit earlier this fall in Paris. 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 »
Just-In-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 2)
Check out our editors' picks for great lean reads you may have missed, featuring stories from The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Harvard Business Review, and our friends at Lean Enterprise Academy (UK) and Planet Lean. More »
Happy Halloween
The lean leaper shows us his scariest idea for a costume yet. More »
Just-In-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads From Across the Web
We're trying something new on the Post rounding up some of the best or more interesting lean-themed articles from around the web. Our goal? Make the work of the larger lean community more visible. More »
John Shook on Where Lean Thinking and Practice is Headed Today
LEI's John Shook shares his view of how and where lean thinking can be used most effectively today. Insights on everything from how to apply lean to your own unique work situation and organizational context to how lean can help solve social problems to staying innovative for the long haul. More »
How Lean Tools Support the Principle of Respect (Part 2)
We first met Andy Ward when he was struggling to save his plant from closure in The Lean Manager. Since then he's helped lead a lean transformation; and recently, in Lead With Respect, play sensei to Southcape Software CEO Jane Delaney as she aims to transform her people through the use of lean methods and practice. In this interview Ward shares what he has learned. More »
How Lean Tools Support the Principle of Respect (Part 1)
We first met Andy Ward when he was struggling to save his plant from closure in The Lean Manager. Since then he's helped lead a lean transformation; and recently, in Lead With Respect, play sensei to Southcape Software CEO Jane Delaney as she aims to transform her people through the use of lean methods and practice. In this interview Ward shares what he has learned. More »
Ron Pereira and Jim Morgan Discuss the Power of Lean Product and Process Development
Check out excerpts from Gemba Academy's podcast with Jim Morgan on core lean product and process development concepts, what makes "LPPD" different from traditional product development, and what the lean idea of "respect for people" really means. More »
Leadership Then and Now
John Shook and the Leaper look toward the future of leadership. More »
Lean Change Is Organizational and Personal
"Lean management is less about providing the right answers than asking the right questions and exploring those questions by engaging others in experiments to learn through doing," John Shook reminds us. Learn more from a talk Shook recently gave to the LEAN UX community. More »
Do CEOs Matter?
Journalist Jacob Stoller sits down with LEI's own John Shook to discuss just how important the role and support of the CEO is in the success of a lean transformation. More »
3 Ways to Follow the 2014 Lean Transformation Summit
This week over 400 people will be gathering in Orlando for LEI's Lean Transformation Summit. This year's theme? Improve the Work, Develop the People. Can't join us in person? Not to worry. Here are three ways to follow the Summit and learn with the lean community. More »
Dr. Allen Ward on Lean Product and Process Development
In this classic video, the late Dr. Allen Ward, a lean product and process development (LPPD) pioneer, gives a talk on the remarkable benefits of LPPD. More »
Jim Morgan on Creating the Future
Jim Morgan speaks about creating the future at the 2014 Lean Summit in Brazil. 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 »
Solving Problems Across Political Divides
On Tuesday, the US Government shut down for the first time in 17 years. What opportunity for lean thinking does this present? Read what LEI's COO John O'Donnell has to say. More »
Happy Birthday Eiji Toyoda!
Toyota enthusiasts know how tremendously influential Eiji Toyoda has been to the development of Toyota and its revolutionary management system. Perhaps his story will never be fully told, but Eiji, a former president and chairman of Toyota, could be the most important figure in all the rich history of the company’s evolution. More »
Chickens and Eggs
The Leaper chimes in on an age-old question. More »
Lean Glasses
A lean take on the half-empty, half-full question. More »