Knowledge Center: Columns (749)

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It Starts Within: The Lean Journey of CI&T
By: Cesar Gon and Bruno Guicardi | October 19, 2017
The lean transformation of Brazilian tech company CI&T was unique in that it began with an implementation of hoshin kanri. In this interview from the 2017 Lean Transformation Summit, CI&T founders Bruno Guicardi and Cesar Gon explain why this was the best approach for them. More »
It's Not All About the Cash: How to Help Leadership Understand Lean's Financial Benefits
By: Jean Cunningham | October 18, 2017
Lean's cost savings might not show up immediately on the income statement -- but that doesn't meaning there were no cost savings! Oftentimes the financial benefits of lean are other benefits in disguise, and it's important that we teach our leaders how to recognize them. Jean Cunningham explains. More »
Advice from the Gemba: The Most Frustrating Types of Waste (and How to Eliminate Them!) II
By: Rick Guba and Peg Pennington | October 17, 2017
If you've ever lost sleep over a particularly frustrating source of waste in your organization, you're not alone. Today we feature two experienced lean educators with the most frustrating types of waste they've encountered, plus their favorite tips for eliminating them. More »
Lessons Learned from the Cleveland Indians’ Historic 22-Game Winning Streak
By: George Taninecz | October 12, 2017
In the wake of the Cleveland Indians' record-shattering 22-game winning streak, George Taninecz reflects on some important business lessons that we can learn from this event. More »
Can a Lean Mentality Help You in a Crisis?
By: Andrew Quibell | October 11, 2017
We all know lean's power when problem solving. But what power does it have in resolving crises, which are more urgent and serious than what you might encounter in daily problem solving? A lot, says Andrew Quibell. Read more. More »
Is There a Tradeoff Between Employee Morale and Productivity?
By: Ken Eakin | October 10, 2017
"Is there a tradeoff between employee morale and productivity?" is a question oft-discussed in lean circles. Ken Eakin has his own take on this ages-old question -- read more to see his answer. More »
How Do You Know What Your Product or Service Needs to Be?
By: Katrina Appell | October 4, 2017
What does it take to know what your product or service needs to be? The obvious answer, it would seem, is whatever the customer wants. Katrina Appell explains why there's more to it than that. More »
Why Bother Making It Visual?
By: Leslie Barker | October 3, 2017
What to do when you need to make the work visible, but your people aren't behind it? Leslie Barker has some suggestions based on this story of overcoming resistance to visual management. More »
How Are We Doing? And Other Questions for the Lean Community from LEI’s New CEO, Eric Buehrens
By: Eric Buehrens | October 2, 2017
Lean Enterprise Institute's new CEO, Eric Buehrens, talks about his new role as not just a leader, but a learner, and poses some questions to the lean community at large. More »
Lean Was a Lot Simpler Back in the Day...
By: Brent Wahba | September 28, 2017
Lean transformations aren't easy. But, according to Brent Wahba, they weren't always that way. In his newest Post, Brent discusses his thoughts on what has made transformation efforts so complicated since lean's early years. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Top Mistakes Lean Leaders Make III
By: Lean Leaper | September 27, 2017
Mistakes are just a part of lean, even for leaders. Luckily they're also a great opportunity for improvement. Today three lean practitioners share mistakes they often see lean leaders make, plus the countermeasures to correct them. More »
Lean Coffee-Inspired Coaching
By: Josh Howell | September 26, 2017
Lean Coffee has been praised for making meetings more productive by giving all participants a say in creating an agenda that works for everyone. LEI Senior Coach Josh Howell recently chose to incorporate Lean Coffee principles into the 2017 Lean Coaching Summit, which he organized and hosted back in July. Here's how he did it and what we as coaches can learn from it. More »
Follow-up Q&A for Jim Lancaster's Work of Management Webinar
By: Jim Lancaster | September 21, 2017
“The Real Work of Management” webinar drew very engaged attendees who submitted hundreds of questions. We now present some of the most-frequently asked questions (plus Jim Lancaster's answers) today on the Lean Post. More »
When A3s Get Personal
By: Chet Marchwinski | September 20, 2017
Think A3s are just for organizational problems? Think again. Katie Anderson discusses how to adapt A3 thinking to guide our personal development. More »
Ask Art: “Do lean conversions actually go smoothly, like in the books?”
By: Art Byrne | September 19, 2017
Art Byrne receives many inquiries from people wondering whether lean transformations really are as smooth as they seem in books, or if the way is pockmarked with problems. He sets the record straight in this latest installment of "Ask Art.  " More »
The Art of Productive Inquiry
By: Andrew Quibell | September 14, 2017
Last month Andrew Quibell released a sketch outlining a process for effective silent observation. His new sketch shares what to do next -- productive inquiry! Read more. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Making Repetitive Tasks More Exciting
By: Lean Leaper | September 13, 2017
Repetitive tasks can create a drag on workers' morale and motivation as boredom sets in, and a disillusioned workforce will seriously hamper your lean efforts. So how do you keep repetitive tasks from becoming a source of discontent for your people? Three lean practitioners share their thoughts. More »
5S - The Way to Start Your Lean Journey…or Is It?
By: Dale Savage | September 12, 2017
Many people think that a 5S implementation is the perfect way to kickstart a full lean transformation. It can be - IF you do it right. Years ago Dale Savage witnessed a lean disaster at his company that all started with a new 5S program. Find out what happened and how you can keep it from happening to your company. More »
Back-to-School Lean: Lunchbox Kanban
By: Deborah McGee | September 7, 2017
Lean thinking is just as impactful on the home front as it is at work. In honor of back-to-school season, LEI Learning Activities Manager Deb McGee shares her experimentations and learnings from transferring the work to the front line, freeing up time and building capability through lean thinking and practice -- her family's lunchbox kanban! More »
Better Design Reviews, Better Products
By: Katrina Appell | September 6, 2017
"Design reviews are a common process in product and process development," writes Katrina Appell. And they're common for good reason. Read more to learn why these processes are so critical to successful product and process development, as well as the impact they've had through a real-life story that Katrina shares. More »
Back to Basics: Jim Womack on Why Managers Need a "Lean State of Mind"
By: James P. Womack | September 5, 2017
In this classic eletter from 2009, Jim Womack explains the crucial importance of a "lean state of mind" if a lean manager is going to be able to achieve sustainable improvements. More »
SBP Has a Helping Hand in Hurricane Harvey
By: Zack Rosenburg | August 31, 2017
Learn how SBP (formerly Saint Bernard Project) is using lean to help victims of Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters -- plus what you can do to help! More »
Back to Basics: Jim Womack on Why You Should Never Create an A3 Alone
By: James P. Womack | August 30, 2017
In this eletter from 2008, Jim Womack (in honor of the then-recent publication of "Managing to Learn") shares invaluable advice for a problem that too many A3 writers get hung up on. Read more to learn why you should never be a hero and try to write an A3 alone. More »
Back to Basics: John Shook on the Role of Questions in Coaching
By: John Y. Shook | August 29, 2017
In this throwback to the classic John Shook eletter "Coaching and Questions; Questions and Coaching," we learn the impacts of asking coachees the right questions, as opposed to giving them the answers. More »
Why You Should Think of Lean Tools as Frames
By: Michael Ballé | August 24, 2017
Michael Ballé, co-author of the recent book "The Lean Strategy" with Dan Jones, Orry Fiume, and Jacques Chaize; discusses why it's time to think of lean tools as frames for learning. More »
Real Respect Feels Like Knowing You’re Being Heard
By: David Verble | August 23, 2017
"A simple fact of human nature: we listen all the time but we seldom pay real attention to what we are hearing," writes David Verble. And that's a problem in lean, because nothing demonstrates respect more than listening to your people. Inspired by his experiences working with Fujio Cho, David shares some tips for showing respect as a listener. More »
Do You Practice Routine Personal Development?
By: Katie Anderson | August 22, 2017
Once we learn lean we often start seeing it everywhere, even in places we might least expect it. In this instance, Katie Anderson saw a connection to personal A3 thinking -- in a musician talking about how he practices the trumpet. Read more. More »
It's All About the Mindset on Gemba Walks
By: Darren Walsh | August 17, 2017
Darren Walsh believes that there are few things more critical to a successful gemba walk than the right mindset. Do you have the right one when you Go and See? Read more and find out. More »
From the Forums: SHOULD You Sweat the Small Stuff on Gemba Walks?
By: Lean Leaper | August 16, 2017
It's inevitable that as we Go and See, we'll notice many small, barely-noticeable mistakes happening in the work. But how to handle those mistakes? They may be small, but they're still mistakes - and you don't want to be seen as ignoring them. Join the discussion in the comments section! More »
How Obeya Improved Our Product Development Efforts
By: Andy Houk | August 15, 2017
As a followup to John Drogosz's piece on the stages of obeya from last week, Andy Houk, a client of John's at TechnipFMC, discusses how an obeya room that John helped them set up affects their work today. More »
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