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Value Stream Walk, Management Walk or….Just Walking Around?
By: James P. Womack | June 19, 2018
Columns
Gemba Walks can raise consciousness about problems and the possibilities for dramatic improvements, says Jim Womack. Or they can serve as a means of reinforcing the existing systems. He shares thoughts on how to walk--and see--with a lean mindset. More »
Do I have the right attitude during gemba walks?
By: Michael Ballé | June 18, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,How do I know if I have the right attitude during gemba walks? We’ve started doing those systematically, but I realize how many of our managers add to the pressure on associates rather than make things better, and maybe I do too. Any help? More »
Try These Three Deliberate Practices of Lean Coaching
By: Dan Prock | June 15, 2018
Columns
A lean coach doesn’t do PDCA; she or he has three deliberate practices that keep the PDCA gear rolling with a check, adjustment, new purpose and plan to do for kaizen experiments. A lean coach using these three deliberate practices is a perpetual motion machine of sustainable continuous improvement. More »
Lean 101 Learning Path
June 14, 2018
Articles; Forms and Templates
New to Lean Thinking & Practice and not sure where to start? Try LEI's Lean 101 Learning Path to help guide your learning. More »
Surviving CEO Change, Evolving Through Culture and Being a Humble Leader
By: Kiame Mahaniah, MD and John Y. Shook | June 13, 2018
Columns
Dr. Mahaniah was kind enough to sit down with LEI’s Chairman, John Shook to talk about growing up in different cultures, from the Congonese to the Quakers, and how he became a CEO in an organization trying to become lean, and helped keep that movement going. More »
Ask Art: Why Do People Reject Proof that Lean Works?
By: Art Byrne | June 11, 2018
Columns
Despite compelling proof, most people will find a way to doubt the power of lean to improve their particular work, shares Art Byrne, who argues that it is critical to press forward despite this natural and inevitably resistance. More »
What is your psychology of change?
By: Michael Ballé | June 11, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  Do you have a psychology of change? And if so, what is it? Where should we start? More »
Practical, Actionable Tips for Re-Engaging People with a Suggestion System, Part 2
By: Steve Ansuini | June 8, 2018
Columns
Companies, responding to surveys showing that a troubling number of people are disengaged at work, respond with perks like nap pods, rock walls, and free food. Suggestions systems get overlooked. That’s too bad because the whole point of a system done correctly is engagement. Here are some real-world tips on starting and sustaining a system from an experienced lean practitioner. More »
Practical Tips for Re-Engaging People with a Suggestion System
By: Steve Ansuini | June 7, 2018
Columns
Companies, responding to surveys showing that a troubling number of people are disengaged at work, respond with perks like nap pods, rock walls, and free food. Suggestions systems get overlooked. That’s too bad because the whole point of a system done correctly is higher engagement. Here are some real-world tips on starting and sustaining a system from an experienced lean practitioner. More »
What Are the Most Valuable Ways You Learned Lean?
By: Deborah McGee | June 6, 2018
Columns
Each approach to learning lean brings value into my work and improves my capabilities. There isn’t one way (for me) to get there. Each situation called for a different approach, and each approach to learning showed me a different dimension, making lean thinking more accessible, deepening my understanding and developing my practice, says Deb McGee. More »
JoePa and Other Biases to Avoid
By: Mark Reich | June 5, 2018
Columns
A recent viewing of the biographical film Paterno led LEI Senior Coach Mark Reich to reflect on the way many of us let biases filter our view of the facts More »
Can I change a company's attitude that people can't be trusted to do their jobs unless they are scared into complying?
By: Michael Ballé | June 4, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  A major assumption in lean thinking is (unless I’ve got it all wrong) is that people genuinely want to do a good job, and the only thing standing in their way is a poor system. In other words, it’s the assumption that most people have high inner motivation. But some (well, probably many) organizations act on the assumption that you can’t really trust anyone to do their job unless they are constantly controlled and scared into complying. It’s hard for me to see how lean can help any org without changing this assumption first .  .. or? More »
The Formula for a Successful Management System: LB * OS = MS
By: Jim Morgan | May 31, 2018
Columns
In order to reap the benefits of an effective management system it is important that the operating system and leadership behaviors be aligned and consistent, argues Jim Morgan. More »
Are You Managing By The Right Numbers?
By: Tracey Richardson | May 30, 2018
Columns
Knowing the key metrics to track will help you and your team start your learning journey, says Tracey Richardson. She shares the key figures that provide a foundation for growth and discovery. More »
Coaching the Uncoachable Comes Down to Rock Paper and Scissors
By: Dan Prock | May 29, 2018
Columns
Breaking out of a thinking cycle that is already too full to learn anything can be found in thinking about the game of rock, paper, and scissors, says lean coach Dan Prock. More »
Stability Before Innovation
By: James P. Womack | May 24, 2018
Columns
Given its foundational strengths of stable and robust product development, production, supplier development, and general management system, Toyota is well poised to deliver innovative solutions to primary challenges facing all automakers. It's a lesson for any company seeking innovation, says Jim Womack. More »
Mindfulness and Leading with Respect
By: Mike Orzen and John Y. Shook | May 23, 2018
Columns
Mindfulness is both more essential today than ever, and a foundation for organizational lean excellence. Here John Shook and Mike Orzen explore this theme. “The more lean thinking you do, the more mindfulness you’ll experience, and the more mindfulness you create, the more presence you’ll create…and the more lean thinking you’ll do.  ” More »
Why 'Yes Chef!' Is No Longer the Answer
By: Richard Vellante | May 22, 2018
Columns
In order to meet the changing demands of today's restaurants, chefs must learn to evolve from old-school methods of the "brigade system" and learn to be more mindful, holistic, and ask better questions, say Legal Seafoods Executive Chef Rich Vellante More »
Why don't I see any significant performance improvement from obeya rooms?
By: Michael Ballè | May 22, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  We’ve deployed obeyas all across our organization, but I can’t see any significant improvement in our results. We can better see which teams perform and which don’t, but the good teams stay good and the poor ones poor and I’m not sure the increased performance is worth the effort – are we doing something wrong? More »
Expanding Our Perspective on Lean, Part 3: Lean is a Practice in Search of a Language
By: Joanna McGuffey and Thomas Richert | May 18, 2018
Columns
To explore the idea that there may be other angles for understanding lean management than business or analytical perspectives, a group of lean management practitioners met with artists. Here’s what surprised them. More »
How to Create a Lean Management Book Club that Executives Will Actually Attend
By: Chet Marchwinski | May 16, 2018
Columns
At the start of a lean transformation, a continuous improvement leader convinced her division president that a book club would be a good way to introduce leaders to lean concepts. Here’s what she did to make the club interesting and valuable for its busy participants, including what worked and what didn’t. More »
Postcard from Nashville
By: John Y. Shook | May 15, 2018
Columns
John Shook looks back at the key theme of LEI's Nashville summit on the theme of how to be better employees. More »
Any thoughts about lean and Industry 4.0?
By: Michael Ballé | May 14, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  What about lean and digital? Any thoughts? And on Industry 4.  0? More »
Lean Roundup: Respect for People
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | May 14, 2018
Columns
Respect for People is one of the most abstract and yet most concrete tenets of lean, a guiding principle that informs how people work, coach, and lead. This roundup of writings reveals a wealth of perspectives on how lean thinkers convert this ideal into tangible ways of thinking and acting. More »
Finding a Lean Cure that Respects the Health of Healthcare Workers
By: Eric Buehrens | May 10, 2018
Columns
In his prognosis of the health care system, LEI CEO Eric Buehrens says we need to improve the work to remove waste and create value; and be advocates for enough “social heijunka” to ensure that resources going to that sector don’t impoverish frontline workers across our society. More »
Expanding Our Perspective on Lean Management, Part 2: Lean has its Roots in Spirituality
By: Joanna McGuffey and Thomas Richert | May 8, 2018
Columns
To explore the idea that there may be other angles for understanding lean management than business or analytical perspectives, a group of lean management practitioners met with artists. Here’s what surprised them. More »
Ask Art: Am I Showing Respect for People by Asking for Fast Action?
By: Art Byrne | May 7, 2018
Columns
Lean is a “learn by doing” exercise not a classroom training approach. The best method I know to achieve this is through a sustained high level of kaizen activity. You are trying to create a learning environment where everyone is constantly learning and contributing to the organization. Every time an improvement is made, learning occurs. The faster you go the more learning can occur. More »
Why does no one ask about production flow anymore?
By: Michael Balle | May 7, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,As I read lean posts and papers, no one seems to have problems like this anymore, but I am trying to convince my manager that we have a bottleneck in the production process and that we should have two work stations in parallel to improve the flow. What would be the lean argument for doing that? More »
Mapping a Reading List to Lean
By: Jim Benson | May 4, 2018
Columns
We humans want to see what is happening, understand how we and our colleagues best collaborate, solve problems, make good decisions, and have an insatiable desire to be better. This Lean reading list by Jim Benson steps outside the obvious texts and provides offerings with a foundation for these critical skills. More »
Respect the Customer By Respecting Your Worker
By: Mark Reich | May 3, 2018
Columns
Lean provides us with a different approach to this vicious cycle. Build a management system in your company that allows employees to make the best decisions for the customer (end user and next process). This shows respect for your people. More »
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