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) Creating Better Jobs and Better Work: A Podcast with Josh Howell and Sarah Kalloch June 28, 2021
Featuring: Josh Howell, Sarah Kalloch, Tom Ehrenfeld

As we slowly emerge from the long pandemic, LEI and colleagues like the Good Jobs Institute are deeply committed to helping produce decent jobs. In this conversation, LEI President Josh Howell spoke with Executive Director Sarah Kalloch of the Good Jobs Institute about ways they are both working to help foster good work. WLEI Host Tom Ehrenfeld moderated this conversation.  

Download a transcript of the conversation here 

(permalink) Exploring When More is Not Better With Author Roger Martin May 24, 2021
Featuring: Tom Ehrenfeld, Roger Martin

Roger Martin’s terrific new book When More is Not Better proposes concrete suggestions for broadening the economic gains from democratic capitalism. He critiques the concentration of wealth and power that decades of what he calls America’s Obsession with Economic Efficiency have generated, proposing tangible actions that business leaders, politicians, educators and citizens can take to address the problem.

In this conversation with WLEI Host Tom Ehrenfeld, Roger explores lean-adjacent measures that complement his message. What operational, approaches might lean leaders consider pursuing in concert with his policy-based and systematic suggestions?  

Download a transcript of this talk here 

(permalink) Diving Deep to Discover the Value of Lean Companies with Cliff Ransom April 26, 2021

Lean done right can dramatically boost the value of any enterprise over the long term, argues Cliff Ransom. For decades, Cliff has been analyzing the value of companies by researching and above all visiting them to suss out the integrity of their lean practice. His detailed reports (by his firm Ransom Research) on the performance of companies such as Danaher, GE, Fortive, and many others are closely followed by a passionate slice of the investment world. The following conversation drills down into the lessons learned from looking at public companies through lean-colored glasses.  

Click here to download a transcript of the conversation.

(permalink) What's Your Problem? Framing for Success with Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg on the WLEI Podcast March 22, 2021
Featuring: Tom Ehrenfeld, Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg

Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg makes a bold promise in his new book, What’s Your Problem? (Harvard Business Review Press, 2020.) He seeks to upgrade people’s ability to solve problems by understanding how to solve the right problems. Learning to reframe problems can help people to stop chasing the wrong solutions, better understand what they are grappling with, and, in some cases find radically better solutions. Join us in listening to his insights on ways that everyone can boost their ability to solve the right problems.

Click here to download a full transcript of the conversation.

(permalink) Exploring the Continued Relevance of Lean with Womack, Jones, Gaudet, and Others in a Best-of Podcast February 22, 2021

The global pandemic coupled with profound structural economic shifts are two daunting challenges reinforcing  the need for a powerful method of framing and facing crucial problems today. Over the past year, our monthly podcast WLEI has aired conversations with Jim Womack, Dan Jones, Karen Gaudet, and other thought leaders exploring the power of lean—and adjacent schools of thought—as a source of promising countermeasures. 

Lean can help people face problems both large (reviving healthy enterprise in this economy) and small (clarifying tangible ways to create workplaces that respect their workers). Thinkers such as Dan Heath discussed the power of solving problems completely--but more importantly, preventing them from happening in the first place. Author/coach Karen Gaudet explained how a disciplined system of standard work can create a workplace that is resilient enough to respond to unimaginable tragedy. 

And while tackling external problems is vital, many individuals also noted the need for lean to squarely face its own challenges. Jim Womack addressed the perennial misunderstandings attributed to lean when things fall apart. Mark Deluzio led a conversation with Art Byrne and Jim Womack about the struggle to spark meaningful lean adoption. And Dan Jones proposed powerful ways of rethinking lean for the future.  

These talks provide a wealth of insights for you to apply as practical tips—and ways to think deeper about your lean journey. 

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