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Media Format: Articles; Case Studies; Columns; eLetters; Forms and Templates; Videos and Webinars
Is it really necessary for a sensei to act obnoxiously? 
By: Michael Ballé | February 17, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  Is it really necessary for a sensei to act obnoxiously?  More »
Rivian: The Electric-Vehicle Company Taking the Auto Industry by Storm
By: Josh Howell | February 17, 2020
Columns
In this podcast, Rivian Founder and CEO R.  J. Scaringe and COO Jim Morgan discuss the challenges of forming a bold electric car company from scratch. Starting with nothing a decade ago and now fueled by billions of dollars and more than 1000 employees, the company is set to launch two "electric adventure vehicles" domestically later this year. More »
Respect for People Means Taking Care with Your Questions
By: Karen Gaudet | February 14, 2020
Columns
Asking effective questions is an art in and of itself, says Karen Gaudet, in this excerpt from her new book, Steady Work. Of the many skills required of a leader through a lean transformation, to ask questions of others when you seek to understand a certain problem or situation can make or break the outcome. More »
The Value of A Visual Schedule is Developing Shared Understanding
By: Katrina Appell | February 12, 2020
Columns
People closest to the work should understand it best, so they are in the best position to share what the work is including what they need from others on the team, argues Katrina Appel; this enables the team to put together a realistic schedule that they believe in. More »
Do you find yourself surrounded by uneven workflows?
By: Jean Cunningham | February 11, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Do you find yourself surrounded by uneven workflows? Of course you do, it is natural. Almost everything has ebbs and flows. And when it comes to customer demand, it is impossible to completely control the real rate of demand.    More »
My managers are focused on monthly sales and quarterly profits – how can a lean guy like me interest them in quality?
By: Michael Ballé | February 10, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  My managers are focused on monthly sales and quarterly profits – how can a lean guy like me interest them in quality? More »
What’s the Problem: Andrew Lingel Discusses Transforming a Family Business through Knowledge, Grit, and Outrage
By: Matthew Savas | February 10, 2020
Columns
In this What's the Problem podcast with Matt Savas, President Andrew Lingel of United Plastic Fabricating shares how he helped lead a transformation in this family business that makes polypropylene products primarily for the fire industry. More »
Transcript for the WLEI Podcast: What's the Problem, Andrew Lingel, President of United Plastic Fabricating, discusses leading lean transformation of a family business through knowledge, grit, and outrage.
By: Matt Savas and Andrew Lingel | February 9, 2020
Articles
Transcript for WLEI Podcast: What's the Problem, Andrew Lingel, President of United Plastic Fabricating, discusses leading lean transformation of a family business through knowledge, grit, and outrage.    More »
Share Best Thinking Rather than Best Practices
By: Karen Gaudet | February 7, 2020
Columns
Lean Coach Karen Gaudet argues that Best Practices don't always align with Best Thinking, and suggests that "the next time you find yourself sharing a solution developed by someone else, first ask the critical question 'Is the problem the same?'" More »
Steady Work (Chapter 1)
By: Karen Gaudet | February 7, 2020
Articles
Transforming frontline operations in a retail chain the size of Starbucks is a story in itself. This book goes further, investigating how lean thinking addressed huge demand fluctuation in a retail environment across thousands of stores, and then how baristas and managers in Newtown, Connecticut used that system to get them through the worst week imaginable. It is a deeply personal story with global relevance. More »
Steady Work (Introduction)
By: Karen Gaudet | February 7, 2020
Articles
Transforming frontline operations in a retail chain the size of Starbucks is a story in itself. This book goes further, investigating how lean thinking addressed huge demand fluctuation in a retail environment across thousands of stores, and then how baristas and managers in Newtown, Connecticut used that system to get them through the worst week imaginable. It is a deeply personal story with global relevance. More »
Steady Work (TOC)
By: Karen Gaudet | February 7, 2020
Articles
Transforming frontline operations in a retail chain the size of Starbucks is a story in itself. This book goes further, investigating how lean thinking addressed huge demand fluctuation in a retail environment across thousands of stores, and then how baristas and managers in Newtown, Connecticut used that system to get them through the worst week imaginable. It is a deeply personal story with global relevance. More »
How Working In Oncology Has Reframed Failure and Success
By: Carlos Frederico Pinto | February 5, 2020
Columns
Doctor Carlos "Fred" Pinto and his colleagues at IOV in Brazil have learned that resilience emerges when applying lean thinking consistently to support better care for patients with cancer. More »
How Ron Kelner Helped Build A System of Improvement at Deublin
By: Josh Howell | February 3, 2020
Columns
In this podcast, Deublin COO Ron Kelner shares with Josh Howell the long learning journey of his company as it pursues lean, moving beyond creating a foundation of tools-based improvement, and towards developing a business system with problem-solving and people development at its core. More »
Isn’t the obsession with problem solving unnecessarily negative and depressing?
By: Michael Ballé | February 3, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  Isn’t the obsession with problem solving unnecessarily negative and depressing? More »
Transcript for the WLEI Podcast: On the Job with Ron Kelner, President and COO of the Deublin Company
By: Josh Howell and Ron Kelner | February 2, 2020
Articles
Read the transcript from the WLEI Podcast: On the Job with Ron Kelner, President and COO of the Deublin Company, airing February 3, 2020, featuring: Josh Howell and Ron Kelner.  Listen to the podcast here » More »
Light Students’ Fire for Learning Through Teaching Lean
By: Laurie Burney, Associate Professor of Accounting, Baylor University Editor, Advances in Management Accounting | February 1, 2020
Articles
One of the greatest motivations for teaching for me is when I have a tangible impact on students’ thinking and learning. While traditional management accounting fits mass production processes, to add value in a lean organization, management accountants need to “buy in” to how our roles must adjust to be part of the decision-making team where we can transition beyond the bean counter or gatekeeper characterization.    More »
After Lean Progress, Fighting the Challenges of Backsliding
By: Nicolas Chartier | January 31, 2020
Columns
After accepting the tough challenge of reducing deliver lead-time, CEO Nicolas Chartier and their entire team learned "to react at the first sign of backsliding and grit our teeth and never, never agree to lower the bar.  " More »
Why We Believe that Pull Flows Are Too Often Overlooked
By: Lean Sensei Women | January 29, 2020
Columns
In this incisive series of articles on the essential value of pulled flow, the lean sensei women argue, in the words of Catherine Chabiron, that pulled flows are not just a manufacturing fad. It is the only way we know to dig deeper into our jobs, collaborate better, and eventually face all the real problems. More »
The Eight Wastes of Lean
By: Jean Cunningham | January 28, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Originally there were seven wastes identified by Taiichi Ohno for the Toyota Production System. As lean evolved into the rest of the enterprise and around the world, an eighth waste, non-utilized talent, was identified. I and others use an acronym, “DOWNTIME”, to help remember the wastes. More »
Coachable: Facilitating Peer-to-Peer Coaching for Effectively Spreading Knowledge
By: Deborah McGee and Bryant Sanders | January 27, 2020
Columns
Join the ongoing conversation on coaching by listening to this new episode of the Coachable podcast series, as Deb McGee talks with Lean Coach Bryant Sanders about techniques and perspectives on enrolling support and facilitating measurable improvement in your work. More »
Template of Job Breakdown Sheet
January 24, 2020
Forms and Templates
Job breakdown sheets are created to list the steps and highlight the main factors or key points that go into completing a job. It also provides reasons for these key points. More »
Working Hard...For One Minute
By: Orest (Orry) Fiume | January 24, 2020
Columns
Anyone who doubts the ability of their people to work hard in enacting change--or who blames problems on their "people" should look hard in the mirror, says lean veteran Orry Fiume. More »
Ask Art: What happens when standard cost accounting meets takt time?
By: Art Byrne | January 22, 2020
Columns
Trying to become a lean enterprise while retaining traditional standard cost accounting is an exercise in futility. It was developed for a steady state environment and is obsolete once a company changes to a lean “continuous improvement” strategy, says Art Byrne. It is therefore important to understand that one of the first things you need to do in your lean turnaround is to replace your standard cost approach with lean or “plain English”accounting. More »
Are morning team huddles that go on forever a waste of time?
By: Michael Ballé | January 20, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  Our company has made morning team huddles mandatory. I don't see how that helps. On my team, huddles seem to go on forever and feel like a waste of time. Are they? More »
How Lean Can Help Deliver Social Justice While Boosting Quality Health Care
By: Alice Lee and Kiame Mahaniah, MD | January 20, 2020
Columns
In this podcast, developed from a talk at the 2018 Lean Transformation Summit learn how the Lynn Community Health Center is building successors by turning a recent leadership transition into a catalyst for improvement. More »
Time To Make Time
By: John Y. Shook | January 17, 2020
Columns
When the people in a lean system don't value time, everyone is cheated, says John Shook, in this fascinating reflection on the role that time plays in a close observation of work. More »
Boeing Ex-Executive Alan Mulally Discusses a "Working Together Management System"
By: Josh Howell | January 15, 2020
Columns
In this rare and revealing interview, Alan Mulally discusses lean management principles, including: the role of a CEO during a turnaround, how to take a “people-first” approach to leadership, and how to encourage people to share real information – good or bad. More »
Dealing with Standard Costing in Lean Organizations
By: Nick Katko | January 15, 2020
Articles
If you are in the accounting department in a lean manufacturing company, and your company uses a standard costing system, it is inevitable that the you will be faced with dealing how your standard costing system is being used. More »
My Personal Turning Point: Reflecting on a Decade as a Lean Coach
By: Josh Howell | January 14, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Last year I sat in the offices of several "lean champions" at their companies, agents of change who are trying to instill lean thinking throughout their organizations. Each had been in the role for years. A hallmark of their offices was a corner filled with rolled up flip chart papers - artifacts of past lean activities like value-stream maps. And a hallmark of our conversations were expressions of frustration with others who were not sustaining changes or choosing to make any in the first place. I could relate.    More »
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