WLEI - Lean Enterprise Institute's Podcast

WLEI PodcastWLEI is the official podcast of the Lean Enterprise Institute.

You will hear stories from lean thought leaders, lean practitioners, and adjacent communities in various industries on many topics such as problem solving, coaching, leadership, meaningful work and more.

If you have a question you’d like answered on a future podcast, show feedback, or an idea you’d like to share, please send it to pod@lean.org.

(permalink) Preventing Problems by Thinking Upstream: A Talk with Author Dan Heath March 23, 2020
Featuring: Dan Heath and Tom Ehrenfeld

“We should shift more of our energies upstream personally, organizationally, nationally, and globally. We can and we should stop dealing with the symptoms of problems again and again, and start fixing them." So writes author Dan Heath in his terrific new book Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen, which has just been published. 


This conversation between LEI editor Tom Ehrenfeld and Dan explores the practical applications of the upstream mindset, and; given the timing, explores how upstream thinking is all the more relevant in our current pandemic. Please listen in, and stay tuned until the final minutes of this podcast: Dan makes a special offer to all you listeners!

(permalink) Why You Need A Product Focus for Enterprise Transformation March 16, 2020
Featuring: Jim Morgan and Tom Ehrenfeld

In his talk from the 2018 Designing the Future summit, Rivian COO and LEI Senior Advisor Jim Morgan discusses how Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) serves as an enterprise activity that can engage the entire organization and improve operations and growth. LPPD's principles and practices will result in better products, argues Morgan, who shares the following key ideas:

  • People first
  • Understand—then execute
  • Design new value streams
  • Create a framework of success
  • Constantly learn and improve
  • Establish an effective management system

Download a transcript of this talk here.

Read more from Jim by checking his previous articles:

Also check out his book Designing the Future and learn more about the 2020 Designing the Future summit.

(permalink) Lean in the Time of Coronavirus March 9, 2020
Featuring: Jim Womack and Tom Ehrenfeld

In times of crisis, lean offers a stable approach to healthy work. Furthermore, as Jim Womack notes in this podcast with Tom Ehrenfeld, foundational lean practices such as just-in-time supply chains are not—and have never been—liabilities in a time such as today’s coronavirus outbreak. Misguided stories about the woes of JIT are as misguided today as they were when they appeared during avian flu, SARS, and other legitimate medical events that required large supplies of emergency goods. Womack also talks about the lessons to be found in Karen Gaudet’s book Steady Work as they relate to having a stable work environment that enables people to not think about the work—but to already have that mindfulness built in, so they can simply serve other humans in the moment, at a time of great need. 

Related articles/content:

(permalink) On the Job with Tom Root, Managing Partner of Zingerman's Mail Order March 2, 2020
Featuring: Tom Root and Josh Howell
Spoiler alert! The food you just ate is not fresh. It was "sourced" longer ago than you'd imagine. And since that time, it's been handled in batch after batch. The same can be said for many lean transformations - one batch of improvement activity after another. Zingerman's Mail Order has been reducing batch sizes for 15 years, acting as a sort of "model line" for the entire food industry. Tom Root and Josh Howell discuss ZMO's lean transformation and their many lessons learned, searching for useful takeaways for you the listener.
(permalink) 35. Designing the Future: A WLEI Podcast with Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and COO Jim Morgan February 17, 2020
Featuring: RJ Scaringe, Jim Morgan, Matt Savas, Josh Howell

If you do not yet know the company Rivian you will undoubtedly know it very soon.
In 2019 Rivian made waves in the auto industry by announcing two “electric
adventure vehicles”, the R1T – an electric pickup truck - and the R1S - an electric
SUV. Both vehicles are expected to launch in the United States later this
year and globally in 2021. Rivian is also developing a fleet of electric delivery
vans to fulfill a 100,000-unit order placed by Amazon. In the last twelve
months the electric vehicle company has raised 3 billion dollars.

Listen in to hear how R.J. and Jim are bringing this vision to life.

Reference links:

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