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Ask Art: Why do you say the CEO needs to become a lean expert?
By: Art Byrne | February 15, 2018
Columns
A key first step for any CEO leading a lean conversion is to call 1-800-lean-consultant to find an expert to train the VP of operations and keep the boss informed. While this makes perfect sense in traditional management thinking, lean thinking is virtually the exact opposite, writes former CEO Art Byrne. That’s why the CEO must become a lean expert to successfully lead the transformation. Here, Art describes how he came to deeply understand and lead lean transformations. More »
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways – on a Valentine’s Day A3
By: Ernie Richardson and Tracey Richardson | February 14, 2018
Columns
The question lean practitioners Tracy and Ernie Richardson get more than any other isn’t about problem-solving, takt time, standardization, or their book. It’s about their “lean” marriage. More »
But when should we use design thinking or lean thinking?
By: Michael Balle | February 12, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba CoachI read your latest and very interesting Gemba Coach column comparing design thinking and lean thinking. But when should we use each? More »
Is there a crack in the model of continuous improvement?
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | February 9, 2018
Columns
Is this a case of déjà vu all over again? The Wall Street Journal says the sterling reputation of “Japanese manufacturing” or kaizen, is tarnished in the wake of several quality inspection scandals. But is this a kaizen crisis or a kaizen kerfuffle that we’ve experienced before? Editor Tom Ehrenfeld sorts it out. More »
Doing Versus Being – How Mindfulness Supports Better Lean Thinking, Part 2
By: Mike Orzen | February 8, 2018
Columns
Most companies don’t get the desired results from lean transformations, according to Mike Orzen, lean practitioner and LEI faculty member. Their people get stuck in stages 1, 2, or 3 of awareness, failing to reach level 4, "being.  " Learn how to go from "doing" lean to the more creative, less stressful state of "being" in the second of Mike's two posts on mindfulness. More »
Unique Industries Continue to Share and Learn from their Common Challenges: Fall 2017 LPPD Learning Group Activity
By: Matt Zayko | February 8, 2018
Articles
The Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) organized the second Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) Learning Group event of 2017, which brought together the diverse industries of sub-sea robotics, appliances, consumer electronics, automotive research, contemporary furniture and medicine. Here are some of their learnings. More »
3 Therapies to Purge the Healthcare “Tapeworm”
By: Eric Buehrens | February 7, 2018
Columns
LEI CEO Eric Buehrens, former COO and interim CEO of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has three suggestions for Amazon and its recently announced healthcare partners: focus on creating better value, use technology to improve quality and the experience of care, listen to the people doing the work. More »
The Lean Farm: Better Food, Productivity, and Profits -- with Less Work
By: Ben Hartman | February 6, 2018
Columns
Farming may be the next industry ripe for disruption. For example, Ben Hartman grew up on a 500-acre corn and soybean farm where success meant getting bigger every year – buy a bigger tractor, rent more land, build another grain bin. Today, applying lean principles, Hartman has a one-acre farm that is more productive and profitable than a five-acre spread. More »
Be a Better Coach; Learn to “Force” Reflection Part 2: Forcing Managers and Execs to Reflect
By: David Verble | February 1, 2018
Columns
Most of the people on your team don’t learn from practicing continuous improvement. The reason is that their brains are programmed by nature to skip the most important part of the PDCA method– reflection. It’s so important that you have to “force” people to reflect, according to David Verble, who learned to coach as a Toyota HR manager. In this two-part story, he shows you want to do and what to say to force reflection. More »
Be a Better Coach; Learn to “Force” Reflection, Part 1
By: David Verble | January 30, 2018
Columns
Most of the people on your team don’t learn from practicing continuous improvement. The reason is that their brains are programmed by nature to skip the most important part of the PDCA method– reflection. It’s so important that you have to “force” people to reflect, according to David Verble, who learned to coach as a Toyota HR manager. In this two-part story, he shows you want to do and what to say to force reflection. More »
Are Design Thinking and Lean Thinking the Same?
By: Michael Ballé | January 29, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,As a practitioner and advocate of design thinking, I’ve been curious about lean, but it seems to me we’re talking about the same thing: essentially developing a PDCA mindset in people. Isn’t that the case? More »
Thinking Fast and Slow and Lean with John Shook
By: John Y. Shook | January 25, 2018
Columns
On the 20th anniversary of Lean Thinking, John Shook delivered this Lean Talk on the principles the book introduced, how they developed over time, and the invaluable lessons the book still holds today. He also explores the concept of lean as a mindset and connects it to the models of thinking introduced by Daniel Kahneman in his book, "Thinking, Fast and Slow.  " More »
Fixing Lean’s “Sales” Problem
By: Jacob Stoller | January 23, 2018
Columns
When companies begin lean transformations, IT systems too often are viewed as obstacles. So, some lean thinkers may view Jacob Stoller, author of The Lean CEO, as having a checkered past. He used to sell IT systems. But the experience of selling to CEOs gave him a valuable skill that lean practitioners can borrow: how to sell to senior management. Here, perhaps as a way of making amends for his past life, he shares practical tips for selling lean. More »
Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn
By: Eric Buehrens and Alice Lee | January 18, 2018
Columns
Hear how a personal lean transformation supported a crucial organizational transformation following a financial crisis at a large medical center. In this unique Lean Talk, Alice Lee and Eric Buehrens revisit Eric’s lean journey to discuss its challenges and successes. More »
Doing Versus Being – How Mindfulness Supports Better Lean Thinking
By: Mike Orzen | January 16, 2018
Columns
Most companies don’t get the expected results from their lean transformations, according to Mike Orzen, lean practitioner and LEI faculty member. The reason is that people get stuck in stages 1, 2 or 3 of awareness, failing to reach level 4, being. Learn how to move from "doing" lean to the more creative and less stressful state of "being.  " More »
The 5 Diseases of Prioritization
By: Jim Benson | January 11, 2018
Columns
Prioritization is rarely a problem by itself. Instead, it’s a symptom of a set of illnesses: Swervy, Thickets, Costeoporosis, Planemia, Politicitis. Here’s the cure from “Doctor” Jim Benson. More »
Thank you, Tatsuro Toyoda
By: John Y. Shook | January 8, 2018
Columns
John Shook remembers the late Tatsuro Toyoda, former president of Toyota. More »
What would "process points" be in software development?
By: Michael Ballè | January 8, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,Thank you for your previous column that has raised profound questions for me to work on with my software development teams. For example, what are our "process points"? How do we as lean managers enable thinking deeper together about them? What are the behaviors that encourage "better people to work better with each other to create better processes"? More »
Lean Principles Are the Bread & Butter of this Retail Transformation
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | January 4, 2018
Columns
Entrepreneurs explain how their chain of bakeries and retail stores used lean continuous improvement to profitably expand, engage employees, and meet growing customer demand for healthier products. More »
How Do I Tell Good Obeya Rooms From Bad?
By: Michael Ballé | January 3, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,Obeyas are popping up everywhere in our organization, and I don’t know what to look for to distinguish good from bad obeyas. More »
ASK ART: Can poetry be used as a tool for implementing lean?
By: Art Byrne | January 2, 2018
Columns
“Inventory is evil,” said King Arthur of kaizen. So he came to Dame Barbie with his plan. “You must make these horrid racks go away Or February 25 is your banishment day.  ” More »
Shaping Workflow Competencies with Human Capital
By: Shook, John | January 2, 2018
Articles
Leading IT firms gradually are shifting focus from acquiring the right talent to developing talent and focusing on how to grow people's capabilities, says John Shook, executive chairman at the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute, on pages 34-35 in this special workflow section of CIO Review. More »
Your Favorite Lean Posts of 2017: A Lean Post Holiday Special
By: Lean Leaper | December 21, 2017
Columns
2017 has seen another terrific year of content on the Lean Post. Over the past 12 months we've released dozens of articles on the latest news, research, stories and tips from all of you, the members of the lean community. Today we share the top 10 most popular. More »
Shook Addresses Current State of Lean Thinking After U.S-Turkey Tiff Compels Keynote Countermeasure
By: John Y. Shook | December 14, 2017
Columns
Indefatigable presenter John Shook quickly made this video as a countermeasure to being denied entry to Turkey, where he was scheduled to keynote an Istanbul conference. More »
A (Work) Pie in the Face to All Bad Jobs
By: John Y. Shook | December 12, 2017
Columns
Want Better Employees? Be a Better Employer More »
If lean really is about innovation, why does so much of it seem to be about logistics?
By: Ballé, Michael | December 11, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,If lean really is about innovation, why does so much of it seem to be about logistics, with truck preparation areas, leveling boxes, small trains, kanbans and so on? More »
The Time for Healthcare Leaders to Implement Lean Is Now – Stat!
By: Helen Zak | December 7, 2017
Columns
Pioneering healthcare leaders have demonstrated that lean applied to healthcare can help solve the problems of quality, delivery of care, and cost. It’s time for other leaders in healthcare to step up. Lean management is a necessity in healthcare, not a luxury. More »
Want Better Employees? Be a Better Employer.
By: John Shook | December 7, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Every nation in the world is on a quest to create more jobs. As they should be.  But, we don’t want just “jobs.  ” We want good jobs. Our friend Zeynep Ton offers a prescription for good jobs. Ton, MIT professor and author of the Good Jobs Strategy, has seen jobs from many angles. Growing up in her native Turkey, Prof Ton had the opportunity to observe tough but decent paying factory jobs. In her university research in the US, where the economy has steadily moved from manufacturing to the service sector, Professor Ton has observed with dismay the sad More »
Organization Follows a Lean-like Vision for Eradicating Poverty
By: Jacob Stoller | December 5, 2017
Columns
Meet the anti-poverty movement's Taiichi Ohno. More »
ASK ART: “Why do you say lean is all about people?”
By: Art Byrne | November 30, 2017
Columns
Lean is all about people, says author and former CEO Art Byrne, who has been successfully turning around companies for over 20 years. That means leaders must transform the way people think and act so everyone sees waste and has the skills to remove it. Such an approach leads to faster growth, higher profits, better quality, and lower costs. Here, Art offers practical advice and examples for why senior leaders should spend their time growing people, not figuring out ways to get rid of them. More »
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