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Ken Eakin

Ken Eakin

Sr. Advisor, Operational Excellence, Export Development Canada

Ken Eakin is Senior Advisor, Operational Excellence, at Export Development Canada, a government-owned credit agency providing insurance, financing and market knowledge to Canadian exporters. Prior to working at EDC, he spent 13 years working in the container shipping industry, where he was first introduced to process improvement methodologies and earned his Black Belt. Currently he coaches executives in lean management systems.  Based in Ottawa, Canada, he is obsessed with translating lean theory into meaningful practice in a knowledge-work environment.

Articles by Ken Eakin
Does A Lack Of Physical Inventory Make Office Work “Different”?
While "waste" is easy to see and address in a factory setting, people working in an office environment have just as much to gain from learning how to reduce excess inventory and other forms of waste, says Ken Eakin. More »
What Ever Happened to Mura?
If we really want to dig down into the root causes of waste, we need to bring the two lost Ms of muri and mura back into the basic “Lean 101” curriculum and vocabulary, argues lean thinker Ken Eakin More »
Is There a Tradeoff Between Employee Morale and Productivity?
"Is there a tradeoff between employee morale and productivity?" is a question oft-discussed in lean circles. Ken Eakin has his own take on this ages-old question -- read more to see his answer. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Top Mistakes Lean Leaders Make II
Everybody makes mistakes, lean leaders included. Our previous list of mistakes made by lean leaders was the highest-performing installment in the Advice from the Gemba series - we now follow it up with a sequel. More »
Advice from the Gemba: The Most Frustrating Types of Waste (and How to Eliminate Them!)
If you've ever lost sleep over a particularly frustrating source of waste in your organization, you're not alone. Some forms of waste are easier to eliminate - others are so hard that they start to blur the line between "challenging" and "enraging.  " Today we feature three experienced lean practitioners with the most frustrating types of waste they've encountered, plus their favorite tips for eliminating them. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Keeping Senior Leadership Committed
The cost savings of lean are not always apparent in the short term. If your senior leadership was skeptical going into the transformation, this situation can easily make them lose confidence and pull the plug. What's the best way to keep them onboard and committed? Three lean practitioners share their thoughts. More »
Boatloads of Muda
Ken Eakin saw his fair share of waste during his 13 years in the ocean-shipping industry, especially in the transportation process. Now a lean coach, he looks back on some of the industry's most common wasteful practices and shares some lean tips and logic for avoiding them. If your lean work involves transportation, we're willing to bet you'll find something to relate to! Read more. More »