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Frame the Work For Safety and Learning
By: Amy C. Edmondson | November 15, 2019
Columns
The most important skill to master as a leader is that of framing the work, says Harvard Business School Professor Amy Edmondson. Frames consist of assumptions or beliefs that we layer onto reality. All of us frame objects and situations automatically. Great leaders understand this and manage frames intentionally. More »
Ask Art: Why is Takt Time So Important in a Lean Turnaround?
By: Art Byrne | November 13, 2019
Columns
Takt time represents the beat of the customer, or, the rate of demand, says Art Byrne: "As the primary focus of the lean company is delivering more value to its customers than its competitors can, then conformity to their demands in a quick, efficient way is the main driver. Takt time is therefore what sets the tone for everything else.  " More »
The Challenges of Coaching
By: Josh Howell | November 12, 2019
Columns; eLetters
I’ve stepped into a new role recently, assuming responsibility for a variety of new-to-me jobs. One of my new jobs is writing this monthly e-letter. For this job, and many others, I have a lot to learn about the work, leaving me wanting for some semblance of routine, however small. As a team leader (i.  e. player-coach), I’m also responsible for supporting others who find themselves in similar situations.     More »
WLEI: 22. What’s the Problem: An interview with medical oncologist and CEO of Instituto de Oncologia do Vale (IOV), Dr. Fred, on reducing the cancer burden
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | November 11, 2019
Audio
Dr. Carlos Frederico Pinto (aka ‘Dr. Fred’) is a medical oncologist and CEO of Instituto de Oncologia do Vale (IOV), one of Brazil’s top oncology clinics. There are few problems more important than the one Dr. Fred and IOV are trying to solve: reducing the cancer burden.  In the podcast, Dr. Fred explains how he’s led IOV through lean transformation in service to solving this problem. He details three distinct stages of transformation: 1) improving patient care flow and quality; 2) building a management system to enable growth; 3) developing leaders in preparation for succession.  Dr. Fred also shares how More »
How We Improved Our Tiered Daily Huddles
By: Nathan Hurle | November 8, 2019
Columns
At Cleveland Clinic, where he leads a continuous improvement team, Nate Hurle and others have discovered ways to build on success with their tiered daily huddles. More »
Overcoming a Fear Of Failure Culture
By: Andrew Quibell | November 6, 2019
Columns
Managers and teams can overcome the elements of a fear of failure culture, argues Andrew Quibell. His piece illustrates steps to tackle this important challenge. More »
WLEI: 21. On the Job: Discovering Strategy by Doing the WORK, a conversation with Dave Brunt, CEO of the Lean Enterprise Academy in the UK
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | November 4, 2019
Audio
In a conversation across the Atlantic LEI’s president, Josh Howell, talks to the Lean Enterprise Academy’s CEO, Dave Brunt, about the strategic value of executives doing the value-creating work of their organization. Dave shares what happened when a team member left LEA and he became responsible for picking, packing, and shipping to customers books about lean thinking.  Additional Resources:Lean SolutionsbookCreating Lean Dealers workbookLearning to See workbook More »
Isn’t flow the ultimate aim of lean?
By: Michael Ballé | November 4, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, Isn’t flow the ultimate aim of lean? More »
Lean at Heart: Kanban
By: Masia Goodman | November 1, 2019
Columns
The underlying principles of lean can be found everywhere in daily life. In this article Masia Goodman identifies examples of "Better" practices that overlap with known lean principles. More »
How A3 Presentations Help Us Build Teamwork
By: Nicolas Chartier | October 30, 2019
Columns
CEO Nicolas Chartier shares a huge benefit of regular use of A3 among his team: "You realize as a CEO that you’re more useful as organizing conditions for teamwork than being the one who knows everything and decides everything. Teamwork cannot be done without you, knowledge and decision can be done without you.  " More »
5S Is a Way of Thinking and Practice
By: Jean Cunningham | October 29, 2019
Columns; eLetters
It would be impossible to find a valid description of lean that does not include the importance of 5S for organization, standardization, and continuous improvement. Originally applied in manufacturing, 5S is now being applied broadly in many industries including healthcare, government, and software. As Taiichi Ohno said, “Without standards there can be no improvement.  ” I have been a lean practitioner since the early 1990s and my niche as been focusing on developing the lean management system beyond manufacturing. I understood the importance of 5S early on. But it took a series of personal insights for me to fully appreciate More »
WLEI: 20. Coachable: Two Conversations Built on Trust, Inspiration, Experimentation and Transformation.
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | October 28, 2019
Audio
Meet two influential voices in my own coaching practice: Paul Serafino who first engaged me in a coaching way in the business environment, opening my eyes and heart to growth and development. And Jason Berkman, a leader who I was fortunate enough to coach and learn with in LEI’s co-learning program.  In two candid conversations, we explore the differences between coaching, managing, leading and training, the importance of trust and motivations, and how a coaching relationship emerges.  We further explore the value of failure, the role of emotions, pushing through our thresholds and making the decision to transform, because “the More »
Why We Believe that Lean is More Than A Manufacturing Approach
By: Lean Sensei Women | October 25, 2019
Columns
Is Lean thinking a thing of the past from glorious manufacturing times in the late twentieth century? Or, on the other hand, is it possible that Lean is still the best approach today to address ever-more-complex human endeavors? Read the thoughts of these Lean sensei women on the topic. More »
The Power of Inspiration
By: Paige Henry | October 23, 2019
Columns
Lean thinker Paige Henry shares a call to action: let’s get our leaders and people to realize “it’s about the think” to prevent problems happening in the first place, and when they do, that we need to enable them to think of multiple countermeasures rather than going with the solution that “they’ve seen/used a million times before.  ” More »
WLEI: 19. Building A Fearless Organization: An interview with Harvard Business School Professor Amy Edmondson
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | October 21, 2019
Audio
How can one create a safe workplace where all employees are encouraged and expected to take ownership of their work? How can one build simple mechanisms to enable individuals to ask healthy questions and challenge each other? Harvard Business School Professor Amy C. Edmondson discusses these questions and more with LEI's Tom Ehrenfeld in a conversation triggered by her recent book The Fearless Organization.   Additional Resources:The Fearless Organization by Amy EdmondsonHow Teaming Produces Execution-as-Learning By Amy C. Edmondson More »
Where can I find information about visual management?
By: Michael Ballé | October 21, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  I can’t find much written about visual management although it seems an important part of lean – any idea where to look? More »
Want Better Relations and Results from Suppliers? Hear Two Execs Explain the Benefits of "Matched Pair” Leadership
By: Susan DeSandre, Chet Marchwinski and Jim Morgan | October 18, 2019
Columns
New products and service development does not stop at the exterior walls of your company. Outside suppliers play critical roles, but the relationships between companies and suppliers are often akin to cage fighting. That's where the innovative “matched pair” process comes in to dramatically improve relationships as well as business performance. Listen to a matched pair of executives describe the process. More »
How Hoshin Kanri Aligns Your Key Organizational Systems
By: Mark Reich | October 16, 2019
Columns
Think of hoshin (strategy alignment) like the human body, argues Mark Reich: The body needs a strong skeletal structure (hoshin) to hold it together (just like an organization). But a body can’t move effectively if its muscles (continuous improvement) are not kept active and developed as well. More »
Standardize Locally
By: Josh Howell | October 15, 2019
Columns; eLetters
A few weeks ago, during a day-long meeting with an executive management team, the topic of standardized work came up … again. It’s been popping up in conversations rather frequently of late.    More »
WLEI: 18. What’s the Problem: An Interview with GE Appliance’s Rich Calvaruso on Solving Problems through Improving the Work
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | October 14, 2019
Audio
Rich Calvaruso of GE Appliances, a Haier Company sits down with Matt Savas to talk about problems. What problems are they facing? How does GE Appliances develop people through problem solving? And how have they impacted their culture through an emphasis on hands-on problem solving.  Curious what is Jishuken? It is a type of hands-on, learn-by-doing workshop. The term literally means "self-learning" in Japanese.  Additional Resources:Jishuken, Part Two: The Power of Self-LearningThe Value of Sharpening Skills Through 'Jishuken'Lean Lexicon book More »
Why Doesn't Lean Have a Seat at the Table?
By: Steven Spear | October 11, 2019
Columns
Why hasn’t Lean spread more widely, asks Steven Spear, suggesting that it has not been framed in a way that addresses the strategic concern of managers. Instead it is primarily taught as just tools. And let’s face it, the licensed electricians don’t get a seat at the table. More »
Ask Art: At What Pace Should A Lean Turnaround Be Implemented?”
By: Art Byrne | October 9, 2019
Columns
Changing from a traditional batch, make-the-month culture to a lean value driven culture takes a lot of time and effort, says Art Byrne. The faster you go, the sooner you willsee the enormous benefits of lean. Also, the faster you go the less backsliding you will see and the changes will become permanent. So be bold, go as fast as you can. More »
WLEI: 17. On the Job Podcast: One Pathologist's Path an interview with Dr. Lisa Yerian of Cleveland Clinic
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | October 8, 2019
Audio
Dr. Lisa Yerian of the Cleveland Clinic sits down with Josh Howell, LEI President & Executive Team Leader, to talk about the spread of lean thinking at her organization. Among other things, they explore the sequence of learning between defining purpose, discovering problem-solving at the gemba, and developing lean leadership capabilities.  Additional Articles:Cleveland Clinic’s Prescription for Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement By: Lisa YerianHow Are You Supporting Your Own Lean Transformation?By: Lisa YerianStop Asking Your Leaders to "Support" Your Lean TransformationBy: Lisa YerianTiered Teams Solve Problems In Real Time: How a team of teams can address problems as they More »
Is my crazy new boss right that applying standardized work is the foundation of lean?
By: Michael Ballé | October 7, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  My new boss is a lean fanatic crazy about standards. He’s created a new team to audit standards and is telling us that applying standardized work is the foundation of lean. It’s creating a lot of resistance, and I don’t know what to make of it. More »
Smitten Engineers or Love at First Sight of a Solution?
By: Chet Marchwinski and Tyler Schilling | October 4, 2019
Columns
Entrepreneur Tyler Schilling has felt the pain of engineering heartbreak – falling in love early with a solution only to realize later in the project that the idea you are wedded to is fundamentally flawed. The cure for developing an early crush on solutions is set-based design but implementing it takes a change in company culture, as he explains in this candid iterview. More »
Believe in One Thing All the Way
By: Darril Wilburn | October 2, 2019
Columns
Who is a “superhero” in our companies, asks Darril Wilburn in this inspiring piece: Is it the person that can outperform nine others by three times? Or is it the person that can improve a process by 10% and then share that improvement with the 9 other people, and then do it again and again? More »
Can 5S apply to coding?
By: Michael Ballé | September 30, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, We’re exploring lean in software development. Can 5S apply to coding? More »
The Mythical Value Stream Manager
By: Mike Orzen | September 27, 2019
Columns
If you want to make a serious impact in your improvements, consider shifting your focus outward to a value-stream level perspective and find someone who is willing to take on the role of value stream leader, suggest Mike Orzen. More »
Warning: What You Call Kaizen May Really Be Rework
By: Chet Marchwinski and Jim Morgan | September 25, 2019
Columns
If you begin your lean management transformation on the shop floor, you run the risk of having to rework processes and products that should have been much, much better coming out of the development system. So, if you want the best leverage point for a lean transformation, move upstream from production to product development. Jim Morgan, LEI author and Rivian COO explains in this interview. More »
Isn’t there a better way to manage inventory than just-in-time?
By: Michael Ballé | September 23, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  This is 2019. Isn’t there a better way to manage inventory than just-in-time by now? More »
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