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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 It was developed for a steady state environment and is obsolete once a company changes to a lean “continuous improvement” strategy, says Art Byrne.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 »
WLEI: 31. CEO Transition – an obstacle or an opportunity?
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | January 20, 2020
Audio
Too often, a change in executive leadership can bring a lean transformation to a grinding halt.    But that has not been the case at Lynn Community Health Center (LCHC).  Within two years of the start of their lean journey, LCHC CEO Lori Abrams Berry announced her intention to retire.  The immediate reaction from the LCHC community was concern that her departure would impact the progress made on advancing lean thinking and practice with improved outcomes and engagement of its team members. Instead, the impending CEO transition was embraced as a challenge, a gap to tackle.    Learn how LCHC 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 »
WLEI: 30. On the Job: My Personal Turning Point--Reflecting on a Decade as a Lean Coach
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | January 14, 2020
Audio
Josh Howell shares his decade-end reflections, focusing on why he left Starbucks in 2013. His reasons may surprise you. He also interrogates the question, “If a company discontinues a formal lean initiative, or lean program, or lean team, does that mean its lean implementation has failed?” Related Articles:Josh's Eletter: My Personal Turning Point: Reflecting on a Decade as a Lean Coach"What Did I Transform Today?"Lean Coaching SummitVideo: Inside the Tryer Center, the Starbucks Lab Where Anything is Possible  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 »
How can kanban be useful in software since we never produce the same part twice?
By: Michael Ballé | January 13, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, How can kanban be useful in software since we never produce the same part twice? More »
Does A Lack Of Physical Inventory Make Office Work “Different”?
By: Ken Eakin | January 10, 2020
Columns
While "waste" is easy to see and address in a factory setting, people working in an office environment have just as much to gain from learning how to reduce excess inventory and other forms of waste, says Ken Eakin. More »
Are These Two Non-learning Trends Hurting Your Company Culture?
By: Chet Marchwinski | January 8, 2020
Columns
The beating heart of continuous improvement is learning, concludes author and product development executive Jim Morgan, who has done pioneering work researching and implementing lean product development. But he sees two disturbing “nonlearning” trends that, if present in your culture, will hamstring any improvement efforts. More »
WLEI: 29. What’s the problem: A conversation with Pat Greco on transforming education through rapid problem solving
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | January 6, 2020
Audio
Pat Greco In 2011, Dr. Pat Greco began as the superintendent of the Menomonee Falls School District in Wisconsin. She faced no shortage of problems: a suspension rate seven times higher than the state average, performance gaps across income and race, cost overruns, and a failure to meet performance goals defined under the No Child Left Behind Act among others. Not to mention a new administration was upending collective bargaining for public sector employees instilling fear within the teachers she was setting out to lead.   By the end of her tenure she had led the school district to rank as one of the More »
Adopting a system driven mindset for continuous improvement
By: Lean Leaper | January 6, 2020
Columns
In this podcast, Dr. Pat Greco discusses how she managed to align students, teachers, administrators, and the board of education around a clear set of goals and systemically improved everyone’s performance through rapid PDCA cycles at the Menomonee Falls School District in Wisconsin. More »
Lean Accounting Podcast from OSU MBOE
December 31, 2019
Audio
It's a common misconception that lean in accounting equates to merely a cost-cutting tool. In this podcast from the Ohio State University Master of Business Operational Excellence program (MBOE), LEI Chairman Jean Cunningham discusses a broader model of lean in accounting with Aravind Chandrasekaran, Academic Director of MBOE. Through improved decision-making and impact on the five different "levers" of financial outcomes, Cunningham discusses the impact of lean accounting on value creation. More »
LEAN ACCOUNTING…NO THANKS
By: Orry (Orest) Fiume | December 31, 2019
Articles
“Lean Accounting” has been around for about 30 years, yet its adoption has not been widespread. Is that true? More »
Can a manufacturer use lean management to advance its environmental and social sustainability strategy?
By: Michael Ballé | December 30, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, Can a manufacturer use lean to advance its environmental and social sustainability strategy? More »
Reflections
By: Jean Cunningham | December 24, 2019
Columns; eLetters
I hope 2019 has been a wonderful year for you. I am very thankful for good health, family, friends, and—not to be overlooked—that I was appointed LEI’s Chairman this year. Through my LEI role I’ve been able to meet so many new and wonderful people in the lean community this year which has been exciting and enlightening. So many people striving to learn and practice lean. I see so much opportunity for us collectively to continue growing as a lean community. It is also terrific to be able to reflect on and enjoy the progress that has been made so More »
WLEI: 28. Coachable: Creating the Environment for Effective Coaching
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | December 23, 2019
Audio
December 23, 2019Featuring: Deborah McGee and Jeff SmithAs this series continues to explore the implications and dynamic of “coaching” in a business environment, Jeff Smith reveals the importance of the learning environment for impactful coaching. Jeff draws on 22 years experience within the Toyota Production System and recalls his coaching experience at New United Motor, and later as a coach in many organizations. We talk about coaching in the front office as well as shop floor, engaging with problems using A3 thinking, and mechanisms to signal abnormal conditions inherently perfect for effective coaching moments.  We invite your thoughts and experiences about More »
Tackling the Problems at the Heart of Coaching
By: Lean Leaper | December 23, 2019
Columns
What is the best way to navigate the tough challenge of coaching someone productively? What is the best way to both challenge the individual while providing sufficient space for them to own their personal learning? When is the best situation in which to intervene? Such challenging questions are at the heart of this engaging dialogue between LEI’s Deb McGee and coach Jeff Smith. More »
Learning from Toyota Way Principles versus Copying Toyota practices
By: Jeffrey Liker | December 20, 2019
Columns
Toyota is an exceptional company, says Jeff Liker, who argues that the way of thinking is a model to learn from. But simply copying Toyota’s culture is impossible and ill advised. There are no “solutions” from Toyota, only ideas. More »
How Do Lean CEOs Learn To Improve?
By: Nicolas Chartier | December 18, 2019
Columns
What, and how, do I have to learn? This key question confronts all CEOs who are practicing lean seriously, argues CEO Nicolas Chartier, who shares ways that he seeks to deepen his lean learning. More »
Lean Product and Process Development Learning Group Update: Technical Organizations Share Common Practices to Spread the Learning
By: Matt Zayko | December 17, 2019
Articles
Lean Product and Process Development Learning Group Update: Technical Organizations Share  Common Practices to  Spread the Learning  More »
WLEI: 27. Dying for a Paycheck? Must work be toxic for employees, and how can a more sustainable approach emerge?
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | December 16, 2019
Audio
In his new book Dying for A Paycheck, Stanford University Graduate School of Business Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer argues that there is an overwhelmingly compelling case to be made that the workplace profoundly affects human health and wellbeing, and that these psychosocial stressors have gotten worse in recent years. His book vividly details how the costs are enormous to both individuals and to companies and to society. He believes that If we're going to address this, we need to see the problem and its enormous scope. In this podcast Pfeffer shares thoughts with LEI editor Tom Ehrenfeld on potential countermeasures to More »
How Lean Can Make Workplaces Safer and Healthier
By: Jeffrey Pfeffer | December 16, 2019
Columns
The companies that are really going to solve the problem of unsafe work, just as they've done this for physical safety, have to begin by thinking about every aspect of the job and job design, says Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer. Making work safer and healthier begins with basically redesigning the work, and eliminating the stuff that is harmful, unnecessary, stressful, could be automated, and more. More »
Ask Art: What Do You Mean When You Say “Productivity equals Wealth”?
By: Art Byrne | December 13, 2019
Columns
Productivity is the greatest wealth creator whether you talk about countries or companies, says Art Byrne. If you go about it correctly, the best ideas for productivity gains will always come from the people doing the work. Make sure you share the gains with them. More »
Lean Financial Planning – How well does your budget serve its purpose?
By: Mike De Luca | December 11, 2019
Articles
How well does your budget serve its purpose? Asking this question can lead to a rich and revealing discussion with operational and finance teams alike. In order to gauge the effectiveness of the budget (both the process and the set of outputs or tools), we likely need to start by agreeing what effectiveness is measured relative to. What is the purpose of the budget? Why do we engage in the budget process and produce the outputs it generates? How do we use the budget during the year to check-adjust performance? Who are the end-users of the budget and what are their requirements? More »
The Hard Work of Making Hard Work Easier
By: Mark Reich | December 11, 2019
Columns
We persevere by struggling to overcome the challenges of hard work, argues Mark Reich. And, he says it is also our responsibility to challenge individuals, to “invoke struggle” so people think about how to change how the company views frontline work. It is our job to ensure that the lead person struggles to change the culture. More »
Grit, PDCA, Lean and other four-letter words
By: Josh Howell | December 10, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of what author Angela Duckworth calls Grit. She defines grit as a sort of mash-up between passion and perseverance. What I’ve been thinking about is the way that grit overlaps with lean thinking and the sustained work of applying PDCA over many cycles over a sustained period of time. More »
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