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The Best of The Lean Post 2013: Top Posts

by Lex Schroeder
January 9, 2014

The Best of The Lean Post 2013: Top Posts

by Lex Schroeder
January 9, 2014 | Comments (3)

When we launched the Post in June, we wanted to create a vibrant community of writer-practitioners, all sharing stories and learning from each other. So we published established authors/thought leaders alongside emerging authors and insightful community members who took the time to put pen to paper.

What we got was a predictable and unpredictable mix of material, with articles generally falling into one of three categories: thought leadership, practice-based how to's, and conversation starters. LEI faculty member Tracey Richardson, author Michael Ballé, and lean thought leader Dan Jones established a frequent presence for themselves on the Post, while Manager of On-Site Education at LEI and lean coach Danielle Blais by far created the most discussions on the Post, snagging 3 of the top 10 most popular article slots. Interestingly, our best community member stories came in from lean practitioners out there transforming healthcare.

So, without further ado, here are our top 10 posts from the past year, as determined by you, our readers:


Top 10 Posts of 2013 (# of views)

10. Why It's Time To Embrace Design Thinking In this piece, Jane Bulnes-Fowles identifies the points of overlap and potential synergy between lean thinking and design thinking communities and suggests ways these two communities might learn from each other.


9. Why Starting with a Model Area Is Key to Lean Need more advice on just how to get started with your lean improvement efforts? Danielle Blais can help. Hint: Don't try to build Rome in day.



8. No, Really… Go to the Gemba We use and hear the word gemba A LOT in lean circles. Our readers loved how Danielle Blais explained why going to the gemba is essential for meaningful lean learning and improvements to take place.

7. Ask Art: How do I get senior leadership on board? Since the Post launched, lean icon Art Byrne (formerly CEO of The Wiremold Company and author of The Lean Turnaround) has shared a handful of practical columns sharing straightforward advice for lean leaders tackling common, challenging problems. This column represents one of many aimed at one particularly vexing issue: without the active support of top leadership any lean initiative will fail. How do we get them on board?

6. Alice Lee on the Challenges and Rewards of Applying Lean to Healthcare In this candid video, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center VP of Business Transformation Alice Lee shares the challenges she's faced bringing Lean to healthcare. Her insights reveal why lean healthcare is such a tough challenge, yet one with huge benefits.

5. Book Value: The Mental ABCs of Pitching After the Red Sox won the World Series (yeah Boston!), John Shook reviewed one of his favorite lean-without-being-overtly-lean books and people loved it. To which I say… sports metaphors forever!

4. What Do Effective Leaders Do Every Day? GTS4 Again, Tracey Richardson makes lean thinking and practice relatable and actionable. Are you an executive or change agent and fan of lean principles, but aren't sure where to start? This article will be useful to you.

3. Be Prepared to Change Your Habits The title says it all. The conversation this piece by Danielle Blais generated is one we'll be continuing at LEI and out there in the community. Just how do you most effectively change habits? pick up new ones? Lean thinking says you have to "act your way to a new way of thinking," not the other way around. What do you think?


2. Leading and Learning The Toyota Way Toyota veteran and LEI faculty member Tracey Richardson managed to distill years of learning into this very thoughtful article on what lean leadership is really about. This was a hit with LEI newsletter readers and also made the rounds on social media.



1. Lean Glasses Our readers couldn't get enough of this cartoon. When time is of the essence and everyone has plenty of work to do each day, it turns out "short, fun, and to the point" really does help people wrap their heads around Lean.


Which posts did you particularly enjoy that didn't make the list? Which post was your all-time favorite and why? Which posts were most interesting and which posts actually helped you do your job?

Stay tuned for editors' picks coming soon!

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily represent the views or policies of The Lean Enterprise Institute.
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3 Comments | Post a Comment
Tracey Richardson January 10, 2014
1 Person AGREES with this comment
Great post Lex, hopefully the lean community will continue to create a "pull" and tell us what they want to hear and learn about!  Thanks to everyone that helps make this site a success!! Tracey

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Danielle McGuiness January 10, 2014
2 People AGREE with this comment
Though I enjoy reading all of the comments, my favorites were from "How Lean is Ruining my Life" post. People spend a lot of time thinking about efficiency in their day and the comments were hilarious. I had a lot of laughs reading them- so thanks!

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Alice Lee January 13, 2014
5 People AGREE with this comment
I enjoy the collection of thinking in The Lean Post and look forward to every new entry.  Thank you for a very interesting inaugural year!

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Is Lean Getting Lost in Translation?
'Twas the Night Before Kaizen
A Good Night’s Sleep
A Total Shift in Mindset
Accidental Soccer Coach
Be Prepared to Change Your Habits
Boatloads of Muda
Born Lean Thinkers
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