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) How Will Lean Shape the Post-Covid World? May 25, 2020
Featuring: Dan Jones and Tom Ehrenfeld

What will the world look like when Covid-19 recedes, and what role will Lean play? According to Lean Pioneer Dan Jones, Lean can play a key role in shaping the emerging economy in numerous ways—not simply boosting performance of legacy assets of mass production, but also helping to scale up new technologies much faster through several generations with user feedback. “Most significantly, it can mobilize the creative contribution of everyone, including users, to develop very different and sustainable systems for the futures” says Dan.

Tune in to this conversation between Dan and WLEI Podcast Host Tom Ehrenfeld for a chat about the potential role of Lean as we move into and beyond this current age.

(permalink) Practicing Steady Work for Lean Value with Karen Gaudet April 27, 2020

"What is the role of a lean leader, and what is the humbling daily work that goes into this task? How can one humbly assume the very ambitious role of leading others in earnest lean practice? And how does one prepare for heroic actions by creating a steady cadence of productive daily habits? These are the types of questions explored by Karen Gaudet in her new LEI book titled Steady Work. Tune in to her podcast with Tom Ehrenfeld here." 

(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, former 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. 

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