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How do I implement 5S when operators think everyone does things a little differently?
By: Michael Ballé | June 17, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  How do I implement 5S  in our small but growing shop where operators have the belief that everyone does things a little differently? More »
How SBP Went From Intolerable Conditions to Constructive Discontent
By: Zack Rosenburg | June 14, 2019
Columns
In this keynote talk at the LEI summit, Zack Rosenburg of SBP talks about how this non-profit has evolved its thinking about defining and tackling problems, creating a culture of continuous improvement that views management as a noble profession. More »
Getting Home: Jacob and Claude Stoller Appreciate the Lean Lessons of this New Book
By: Claude Stoller and Jacob Stoller | June 12, 2019
Columns
"Getting Home is a terrific book that puts lean to work on a problem that’s really significant. Let’s hope it’s an inspiration for architects and non-architects who want to make a difference," says Jacob Stoller, in a conversation with his father Claude, an architect and teacher with a passion for applying lean to this work. More »
Ask Art: How Can I Engage All Our Leaders to Learn and Teach Lean?
By: Art Byrne | June 10, 2019
Columns
What's the best way to teach lean to your internal leaders? By forming teams who will learn by doing, shares Art Byrne. This will drive your gains, build great teamwork, and build the learning environment necessary to become a lean enterprise. More »
What are the key factors within an obeya room?
By: Michael Ballé | June 10, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, On YouTube and in books there is a lot about A3 storyboards. Did you ever see them used to share people's plans and check whether countermeasures were effective? Also, what do you think are the key ingredients/factors within an obeya? More »
Go and See: Where The Magic Is
By: Nicolas Chartier | June 7, 2019
Columns
To reconnect with the reality of your business, go to the gemba, advises CEO Nicolas Chartier of Aramisauto. But to really experience the magic that happens, be sure to ask your people to display and visualize their flow, and you will discover unexpected opportunities for growth. More »
Cost Saving is Tired--Value Creation is Hot!
By: Jean Cunningham | June 5, 2019
Columns
Lean affects financial outcomes--dramatically so in firms that incorporate widespread lean thinking over the long term, says LEI Chair Jean Cunningham. And yet she counsels you not to fixate on cost reduction or product cost. Look instead at the real numbers. More »
Cleveland Clinic’s Prescription for Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement
By: Lisa Yerian | June 3, 2019
Columns
Lisa Yerian, MD, medical director of continuous improvement at the Clinic, talks about a “model area” approach to improvement, how initial “islands” of improvement linked up, results so far, and how a continuous improvement transformation is transforming her as a leader. More »
Reflections from LEI’s New President, Josh Howell
By: Josh Howell | June 3, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Josh Howell, an experienced manager and lean management coach, is LEI’s new president and executive team leader. Read his note to the lean community and share your thoughts. More »
What Do Sensei Actually Do?
By: Daniel T. Jones | May 31, 2019
Columns
What do lean sensei do? Take you to the gemba, discuss what the real challenges are, prescribe exercises, teach PDCA, and push you to the next step, argue the authors of the new book The Lean Sensei. More »
Try These Lean Summer Reads
By: Lean Leaper | May 29, 2019
Columns
Summer is upon us and as you lean learners prepare for some decidedly non-value added time in your schedule, consider any number of these books for your summer reading. More »
How do I know if someone is really incompetent or just struggling?
By: Michael Ballé | May 27, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  How do I recognize when someone is really incompetent? Sometimes people don’t have results because they’re put in a tough spot. More »
Practicing Constructive Discontent At SBP
By: Zack Rosenburg | May 24, 2019
Columns
To become an organization of problem solvers, talking about problems couldn’t merely be something that we did, shares Zack Rosenburg of St. Bernard Project. It had to be part of who we are; it had to be our identity. Being or living constructive discontent and adopting it as our identity would mean that problems were brought to the surface, not buried. More »
The Remarkable Chief Engineer
By: John Y. Shook | May 22, 2019
Columns
How can a system in which "we are all connected and no one is in charge" support purposeful and productive work? Toyota's famed Chief Engineer system has much to offer in this regard. John Shook explores how the leadership styles of, and ways of working by, the CE might provide something of a roadmap for all of us. More »
Change Your “Pet” Problem Solving Method
By: Art Smalley | May 20, 2019
Columns
Got problems with your problem-solving method? This interview by LEI's Chet Marchwinski with Four Types of Problems author Art Smalley shares advice on how you can "change your 'pet' problem-solving method.  " More »
How Does LPPD Help Create a Lean Enterprise?
By: Lean Leaper | May 17, 2019
Columns
What is LPPD? As noted by Jim Morgan LPPD is a set of principles and practices that promote collaboration, transparency, and rapid learning, in the development of both process and product simultaneously, leading to the creation of really effective value streams. He shares thoughts with Jim Womack, Jeff Liker, and Eric Ethington on this topic. More »
Rebuilding Homes and Disaster Recovery Processes
By: Zack Rosenburg | May 15, 2019
Columns
When Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg left their careers to help desperate victims of Hurricane Katrina rebuild, they knew nothing about construction or lean management. Today, SBP, the disaster recovery nonprofit they founded, has cut rebuilding time by nearly 50% using lean concepts. Zack talks to LEI about the remarkable new recovery model they developed and detail in their new book, Getting Home. More »
As head of a lean office, what must I do to really walk the talk?
By: Michael Ballé | May 13, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,I am the head of a lean office. I’d like to lead by example, but it occurs to me that we often make the very same mistakes we coach others not to do. What must I watch out for in order to really walk the talk? More »
How to Scale Up Positive Social Change
By: Ann Mei Chang | May 13, 2019
Columns
Far more households globally have access to a mobile phone than a toilet, notes Ann Mei Chang, a tech executive turned social innovator and author. And that’s despite the time and money spent for years by hundreds of nonprofits, social organizations, companies, and government agencies. Listen as she explains her radical idea of taking the scientific method she learned in tech and the lean startup movement to create radically great social good at scale. More »
Why We Believe A Strong Customer Focus Is Needed To Drive A Lean Strategy
By: Lean Sensei Women | May 10, 2019
Columns
Is there any principle more core to the heart of lean than relentlessly focusing on the customer? In this collection of thoughts on the topic, seven lean sensei women explore how and why customer focus is at the heart of lean strategy. More »
Join the Conversation and Stop the Rework
By: Jim Womack | May 9, 2019
Columns; eLetters
In the spring of 1997, as I was starting the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute, I visited a company that I hoped would be a founding sponsor. I explained to the senior leadership that a lean enterprise was far more than a brilliant production organization, as had they assumed. It was also a brilliant product development organization including a brilliant production process design team. More »
Ask Art: What Incentives and Bonus Programs Best Support Lean?
By: Art Byrne | May 8, 2019
Columns
Bonus and incentive plans work best when they serve an underlying purpose, says Art Byrne, who advises that management design them to boost teamwork, learning, and strategic lean goals. More »
Got any recommendations for applying lean in the tool and die shop to stop our dies from crashing like crazy?
By: Michael Ballé | May 6, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  We applied SMED to increase the flexibility in our production cells. Now our dies are crashing like crazy and disrupting production because maintenance can't keep up! Got any recommendations or experiences in applying lean in the tool and die shop? More »
Sometimes Less Lean is Mo' Lean
By: Brent Wahba | May 6, 2019
Columns
After seeing a great concert by blues legend Keb' Mo', Brent Wahba reflected on some lean principles embodied in the ways this event delivered such joy. More »
Stop Asking Your Leaders to "Support" Your Lean Transformation
By: Lisa Yerian | May 3, 2019
Columns
Helping others with shared work tied to broad improvement goals can be challenging for lean leaders. Continuous Improvement Director Lisa Yerian of the Cleveland Clinic shares key ways that have been found to help: make clear and specific asks, establish exactly how to engage towards that end, and; experience, understand, and critically evaluate the situation before stepping in with support. More »
Cutting Carbon Emissions and Product Costs Through Lean Product and Process Development
By: Katrina Appell | May 1, 2019
Columns
As the need to reduce carbon emissions becomes clearer, the need to understand the impact and consciously consider it during the design phase is ever more important, argues Katrina Appel. Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) principles, methodologies, and management behaviors are a system that enables the environmental impact of the entire product life-cycle to be consciously considered in the design phase. More »
Matched Pairs: To Improve Supplier Relationships, Start Inside Your Organization
By: Jim Morgan | April 30, 2019
Columns
Jim Morgan shares how adopting a Matched Pair strategy that teams supply chain and engineering leaders with a common plan, shared objectives and a powerful management system helps to not only improve cost, quality and delivery--but help create a superior working environment for everyone involved. More »
What should I look for so I don't get burned taking a lean director's job?
By: Michael Ballé | April 29, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,I’ve been offered the job of a lean director in an industrial group. The offer sounds very attractive, and they tell me they’re serious about lean. But I’ve been burned before. What should I look for? More »
Show Respect, Psychological Safety, and Social Neuroscience
By: Mike Orzen and David Verble | April 26, 2019
Columns
Mike Orzen and David Verble examine the meaning and lean relevance of showing respect, creating psychological safety, and the links between these two. More »
A Little Bit of Lean Product and Process Development with Very Large Results
By: Jean Cunningham | April 24, 2019
Articles
Believing it had only enough land and budget for a badly needed new parking garage, a hospital was able to build not only the garage but a new trauma center that it needed by applying a principle of Lean Product and Process Development during the design phase, according to Jean Cunningham, executive chair, Lean Enterprise Institute.    More »
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