Knowledge Center: Columns (979)

Feeling the Gemba Magic
By: Nicolas Chartier | July 19, 2019
Columns
After months of work at the gemba with his factory manager helping line workers grapple with problems, CEO Nicolas Chartier realized the true source of the recurring problems: himself. More »
Ask Art: Where Will the Biggest Resistance to Lean Come From?
By: Art Byrne | July 17, 2019
Columns
Resistance to Lean will come from every part of your organization, senior management included, says Lean veteran Art Byrne. Knowing where the biggest resistance will come from, however should help you focus your early efforts and smooth your Lean turnaround. More »
Profit and Cost At Toyota
By: Jean Cunningham | July 12, 2019
Columns
Fresh off a tour of Japan where she observed how Toyota talks about costs and profit on the shop floor, LEI Chairperson Jean Cunningham shares thoughts and urges others to learn the language of financial outcomes. "Let’s learn the language of financial outcomes. Let’s conserve energy and benefit from the environmental improvements that lean offers by reducing waste of all kinds.  " More »
Calling a Time-Out for Coaches
By: Masia Goodman, Laura Mottola and Mark Reich | July 10, 2019
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What's the most effective approach to coaching? Lean coaches Mark Reich and Laura Mottola share practical approaches that include methods such as invoking struggle, providing support, and giving direction; while suggesting ways to consider when each approach might be optimal for the situation. More »
Why Traditional Farming Is Ripe for Disruption
By: Ben Hartman | June 28, 2019
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Uber disrupted the taxi business. Netflix disrupted entertainment. Amazon disrupted retail. Is farming, that ancient industry, ripe for disruption? Indiana farmer Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, has planted the seeds of a radical transformation. Watch now. More »
KAIZEN CHALLENGE: Lean Technical and Social Quiz
By: Jeff Smith | June 26, 2019
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In this kaizen challenge, lean coach Jeff Smith invites you to help determine the optimal lot size to run through assembly. Please share your thoughts! More »
Tales Of Lean, Chapter One: Facing the Problem
By: Sandrine Olivencia | June 24, 2019
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What is the best way for a lean coach to support and guide her team? In this fictional tale of a lean leader, Sandrine Olivencia tees up questions raised by this story of how a company founder can best lead her team through a key challenge for the company. More »
Talking Coaching with Lean Sensei Crystal Davis, Rich Vellante, Josh Howell, and John Shook
By: Lean Leaper | June 21, 2019
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In advance of the Lean Coaching Summit, coaches Josh Howell, Crystal Davis, John Shook, and Rich Vellante discuss the finer points of coaching others, including a working definition for lean coaching. More »
Talking About Lean: How Leaders Support Improvement With Words and Actions
By: David Verble | June 20, 2019
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In this comprehensive series of reflections, Lean Coach David Verble examines how the way managers and leaders talk to employees (and to each other) can contribute or be a barrier to, creating and sustaining a culture of engagement and continuous improvement. He explores healthy ways that managers can mindfully observe and improve how they lead employees. More »
Questions and Coaching on A3 Thinking
By: Deborah McGee | June 19, 2019
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In this Q&A, LEI's Deborah McGee shares insights into A3 thinking and problem-solving: "The A3 Management process is really a way of thinking and a method of working with (using) problems as a vehicle for learning. The A3 process leads us to gain alignment across our teams and organization. It is a method through which we can coach and mentor others, leading by example and earning the authority to lead change, even when or if we’re not in a role with positional power.  " More »
How SBP Went From Intolerable Conditions to Constructive Discontent
By: Zack Rosenburg | June 14, 2019
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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
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"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
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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 »
Go and See: Where The Magic Is
By: Nicolas Chartier | June 7, 2019
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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
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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 »
What Do Sensei Actually Do?
By: Daniel T. Jones | May 31, 2019
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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
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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 »
Practicing Constructive Discontent At SBP
By: Zack Rosenburg | May 24, 2019
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 »
How to Scale Up Positive Social Change
By: Ann Mei Chang | May 13, 2019
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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
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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 »
Ask Art: What Incentives and Bonus Programs Best Support Lean?
By: Art Byrne | May 8, 2019
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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 »
Sometimes Less Lean is Mo' Lean
By: Brent Wahba | May 6, 2019
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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
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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
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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
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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 »
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