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Closer Collaboration for a Leaner Planet
By: Roberto Priolo | July 16, 2014
Columns
Roberto Priolo, editor of Planet Lean, makes the case for lean learning and collaboration across the globe. More »
Designing Hospitals in Collaboration with Patients and Families
By: Danielle Blais | August 12, 2013
Columns
LEI coach Danielle Blais shares her reflections on a recent visit to Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, a hospital built from the ground up using lean principles. More »
Combat Isolation with Productivity by Using HoRenSo – A Communication Structure that Engages People, part one of two
By: Mark Reich | May 14, 2020
Columns
How to make your meetings more productive, the Toyota Way. More »
The Value of A Visual Schedule is Developing Shared Understanding
By: Katrina Appell | February 12, 2020
Columns
People closest to the work should understand it best, so they are in the best position to share what the work is including what they need from others on the team, argues Katrina Appel; this enables the team to put together a realistic schedule that they believe in. More »
The Eight Wastes of Lean
By: Jean Cunningham | January 28, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Originally there were seven wastes identified by Taiichi Ohno for the Toyota Production System. As lean evolved into the rest of the enterprise and around the world, an eighth waste, non-utilized talent, was identified. I and others use an acronym, “DOWNTIME”, to help remember the wastes. 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 »
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 »
I'm Josh Howell, Ask Me Anything
By: Josh Howell | September 6, 2019
Columns
Since becoming LEI’s president a few months ago, Josh Howell has made it a priority to talk with you and visit your workplaces as much as possible. Please join in an Ask-Me-Anything conversation with Josh by sharing questions you have about the lean movement and the business struggles and problems you face. 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 »
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 »
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 »
Designing the Future
By: James M. Morgan, Jeffrey K. Liker | October 26, 2018
Books
Morgan and Liker go beyond broad generalizations on how to “be innovative” and dig deeper into the theoretical bedrock and concrete development practices that are generating exceptional results at pioneering LPPD companies. Examples in the book show specifically how companies are redesigning product development systems to consistently design and deliver a progression of market-leading products and services.    More »
Valuing The Tradition of Learning and Sharing Lean: a new WLEI Podcast
By: Lean Leaper | April 11, 2018
Columns
This new WLEI podcast, recorded live at the 2018 summit, features a panel discussion with Jim Womack and three lean converts on the value of sharing and learning lean. More »
A Reflection on Competition
By: Lynn Kelley | February 22, 2018
Columns
A meta-analysis of research shows that among the three main ways of achieving business goals, collaboration beats competition and individualism a little more than 50% of the time. Lynn Kelley, PhD, and a continuous improvement VP, discusses the research on achieving goals and personal career reflections about intense competition with co-workers. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Getting More Suggestions without Incentivizing Employees
By: Gavin Martin and Kelly Moore | November 2, 2017
Columns
Improving the work is difficult, if not impossible, without suggestions from those who actually do the work. But in many companies, getting the workers to submit suggestions is a constant struggle. What could be the root cause(s) of this problem? Two lean practitioners weigh in with their thoughts. More »
SBP Has a Helping Hand in Hurricane Harvey
By: Zack Rosenburg | August 31, 2017
Columns
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
Columns
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 »
7 Things Coaches Need to Get Over
By: Mike Orzen | June 8, 2017
Columns
"Over the years, I have noticed some common misperceptions about coaching effective problem solving skills and developing lean thinking," writes Mike Orzen. Read more to learn seven of them to improve your coaching practice. More »
A3 Coaching: What Feedback Would You Give?
By: Lean Leaper | May 30, 2017
Columns
You be our coach: what feedback/coaching would you offer on our example A3? We'd like to hear from you! More »
Shouldn't lean focus on solutions, rather than problems?
By: Ballé, Michael | May 4, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, Why is lean so focused on problem solving? Isn’t seeing everything as a problem negative? Shouldn’t we focus on solutions instead? Wouldn’t that be more positive and more creative? More »
Towards a More Perfect (i.e. Lean) Union
By: Dr. Darlene Dumont | October 28, 2015
Columns
"Over the past few years, we have seen an upward trend in the number of government agencies and states beginning to explore and practice the “true” meaning of lean and lean transformation," writes Dr. Darlene Dumont. Learn why she suggests that the practitioners leading these efforts should network and share ideas amongst each other. More »
Is there a way to define standard work for senseis?
By: Ballé, Michael | September 21, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, I’ve been working on lean projects for years and my CEO has now asked me to act as the lean sensei for our company. Is there a way to define standard work for senseis? More »
How to Know If Your Team is Ready for Kaizen
By: Lesa Nichols | September 16, 2015
Columns
"Do we even know what the Kaizen aim of “engaged employees” means, beyond the clichés?" asks lean coach Lesa Nichols. Read Lesa's tips for getting a read on your team and then genuinely involving all team members in meaningful work. More »
Hazards at the Huddle Board: Away From Fast Thinking, Toward Disciplined PDCA
By: Doug Bartholomew and David Verble | September 9, 2015
Columns
As more companies use the huddle board approach for continuous improvement, people need to be aware of the pitfalls involved. “Often what’s picked up as a problem may be a nuisance or an inconvenience," says David Verble. "There is an attempt to make a general link between these problems and the priorities of the company.  " More »
Tough Empathy
By: Eric Ethington | September 3, 2015
Columns
"When grasping the situation we always focus in on the process.  .. What about grasping the situation as it relates to the people?" writes Eric Ethington. "I’m talking about truly 'engaging the stakeholders' to the point where they WANT to be part of the improvement process.  " More »
6 Ways to Lay the Groundwork for More Effective Meetings
By: Thomas Stratton | September 1, 2015
Columns
"Even in organizations working hard in pursuit of lean production systems [and] employee capability development – the failure to host effective meetings is all too common," writes Thomas Stratton. "It’s a drag on productivity and a key source of frustration.  " Read more. More »
Lean Thinking for Quicker Police Emergency Response Time
By: Robert Downing and Erin Magee-Hall | August 5, 2015
Columns
Bob Downing and Erin Magee reflect on the results of a collaborative project they worked on last year when their company was asked by the Newport News City Council to run a process improvement (kaizen) event for the Newport News Police Department. More »
What “Co-Learning” Across Industries Looks Like in Practice
By: Danielle McGuiness | June 11, 2015
Columns
"In April, as part of a 2-day capstone learning event for Cardinal Health, we brought the newest wave of Lean Leader graduates together to visit various gembas to see examples of other companies undergoing lean transformations," writes McGuiness. "With proximity to Ohio and some key relationships in mind, the team headed for southern Michigan.  " More »
Connecting Lean Thinkers With Nonprofits in Portland, Oregon
By: Matthew Horvat | May 29, 2015
Columns
Matthew Horvat tells the story of Lean Portland, a lean community of practice connecting lean thinkers with nonprofit professionals in Portland, Oregon. More »
Using Value Stream Management to Better Care for Stroke Patients
By: Lori Smith | April 23, 2015
Columns
"To make value stream management really work, the most significant cause for transformation lay simply in the shifting of team members’ mindsets," writes Lori Smith. It’s been a long process, but over 5 years her team INTEGRIS has transformed the way they work. Learn what they did and read team members' feedback about the process in their own words. More »
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