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The Lean Post
Sharing how the world is making things better through lean.
Art of Lean on Situational Leadership, Part 1: An Introduction
Continuing his Art of Lean series, Art Smalley is back with a new topic and five parts, all focusing on situational leadership. In this first part, Art takes you through this topic's history and delves into specific cases and steps within this process, from diagnosing the situation to partnering for performance. More »
Let's Celebrate Work
Let's Celebrate Work
Is your work meaningful or menial? LEI Senior Advisor John Shook challenges us to aim to make all work meaningful by building our businesses based on the work itself and prioritizing the means over the ends. More »
Tips for Following Through on Improvement Plan Execution
There is a critical difference between follow-through and follow-up during the A3 problem-solving process as David Verble, a veteran lean management coach with 30+ years of hands-on experience with A3s, explains. More »
How to Engage Everyone to Create a “Continuous Innovation Machine”
In a presentation to hundreds of engineers at a Fortune 100 manufacturer, Jim Morgan, an engineering PhD and former product development executive, explained what distinguishes Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) from traditional methods of innovation. Morgan, who now is senior LPPD advisor at the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute, cited which of LPPD's three elements was paramount. More »
Develop Your People Patiently Rather Than Rely on Super Taylorism
Lean starts with quality, argue the authors, who note that by worrying about and improving quality, we are also reducing both the cost of our misconceptions and the real cost of our products - by developing our people. More »
Looking at 5 Easy Steps to Simplify the A3 Process
Taking on an A3 can be daunting, and Eric Ethington is here to remind you that this is normal, but preventable. He has five great steps for you that will make the process easier from the jump start to the first draft of your A3. More »
How Cascading A3s Deploy Responsibility to Think as Well as Assign KPIs
During a recent virtual workshop on how to use the A3 problem-solving methodology, a CEO asked how to cascade A3s down through every level of the company to link specific initiatives and strategic goals. Below is the answer from workshop instructor David Verble, during a follow-up conversation with the CEO and the company’s organizational development vice president. More »
How the Hoshin Kanri Process Coupled with Coaching Drives Lean Transformation,” Part 1
Learn about some of the intangibles you'll need to know to execute an organizational transformation using hoshin kanri. More »
Standardized Work is a Goal To Work Toward, Not a Tool to Implement
Standardized work can be an ugly thing in the hands of control-oriented bureaucrats and a beautiful thing when it enables creativity and continuous improvement, says Jeff Liker, adding that enabling bureaucracy takes more effort, but it is worth it. More »
Make Using Lean Thinking to Help Solve Societal Problems Your New Year’s Resolution
The nation needs lean thinkers and practitioners to apply their problem-solving prowess to address issues of national concern. More »
Taking Time for a Year-End Reflection with the Most Popular Lean Articles, Podcasts, and Videos of 2020
This year's content featured plenty of guests, returns from lean legends, and handfuls of ways that lean has been applicable in 2020. More »
How to Optimize the Use of Staff Skills and Time by Making Capacity Visible: An Example from Accounting
Learn how a Finance and Accounting team used lean thinking to make capacity visible, which, in turn, helped it better manage workload and deliverables, reduce individual work overburden, and improve the team’s ability to fully use their skills. More »
Remembering Norman Bodek, the “Miraculous Life” of an Author, Teacher, and Publisher of Groundbreaking Business Books
Called “Mr. Productivity” and the “Godfather of Lean,” Norman Bodek began 41 years ago translating and publishing groundbreaking books by the Japanese managers who had developed what would come to be called lean management. He died December 9, 2020, age 88. More »
Lean-n-Food: Reimagining an Industry in Crisis
What is a restaurant in the post-pandemic world? LEI's Karen Gaudet and Josh Howell are exploring this and other questions with an international group of industry leaders who are lean practitioners. Here they frame the current problem, and share the work of their team in tackling the daunting challenges. More »
The Lives of Your Grandchildren Depend on Innovating New Healthcare Models
Renowned healthcare transformation experts examine what it will take to reinvent healthcare models through innovation and propose a new process for finding them. More »
Art of Lean on Work & Waste, Part 8: Processing
Art of Lean on Work & Waste, Part 8: Processing
Understand the two aspects of the waste that requires a careful understanding of customer requirements. Watch the final part of an eight-part series focusing on the seven classic forms of waste from the Toyota Production System by Art Smalley, president of Art of Lean, Incorporated. More »
How Lean is Apple?
How Lean is Apple?
Apple may not worship at the altar of lean, but a close look at its operations and strategy show clear resonance with established lean principles. More »
Improve Continuously by Mastering the Lean Kata
Lean is about learning, say Rose Heathcote and Daryl Powell. Learning to find real problems, learning to face the limits of our current knowledge in light of these problems, learning to frame the gaps as learning challenges, and finally, learning to form and share actionable solutions. As such, lean is really about learning-to-learn. More »