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A Great Company Culture Takes Purpose
By: Tyler Schilling | September 12, 2018
Columns
If you’re determined to move your culture from good to great, listen to CEO Tyler Schilling as he describes two behaviors that, in his experience, are most effective. More »
Thinking About Waste Helps Build A Learning Culture Everywhere
By: Sammy Obara | July 27, 2018
Columns
Developing people to reduce waste in everything from using toilets to saving one second of work is key to creating a learning platform, says Sammy Obara. More »
Surviving CEO Change, Evolving Through Culture and Being a Humble Leader
By: Kiame Mahaniah, MD and John Y. Shook | June 13, 2018
Columns
Dr. Mahaniah was kind enough to sit down with LEI’s Chairman, John Shook to talk about growing up in different cultures, from the Congonese to the Quakers, and how he became a CEO in an organization trying to become lean, and helped keep that movement going. More »
Changing High School Culture with Lean Coaching
By: Tony Lamberton | April 20, 2017
Columns
Nearly eight years ago, headteacher Tony Lamberton of Christleton High School was struggling with poor reviews of his school. After reading and studying The Toyota Way, he launched an initiative to bring something brand new into his school’s operations: lean coaching. This is the story of that remarkable turnaround. More »
Advice from the Gemba: How Can I Change a Culture?
By: Lean Leaper | March 14, 2017
Columns
One of the most common questions asked by lean leaders is the question of culture change. How, they ask, can we change a firmly rooted culture to match our desired behaviors? As far as these four leaders are concerned, the answer is.  ..  by changing the work. Here are their stories. More »
KATA CREATES CULTURE
By: By Tilo Schwarz & LEI Hungary | November 1, 2015
Presentations
Tilo Schwarz and his team at Festool (Germany) used practice of the Improvement Kata & Coaching Kata routines to make improvement part of everyone's daily work, and earned two European operational excellence awards in the process. In this 30-minute presentation from LEI Hungary's Lean Summit, Tilo shows how IK+CK is a management system that increases scientific problem solving ability through practice of specific behaviors. LEI Hungary is the newest Lean Global Network member. More »
Surfer Culture Meets Standardized Work
By: Doug Bartholomew | July 16, 2015
Columns
Can surfing instructors and students really learn standardized work? Read the surprising story of how lean coach Sammy Obara worked with Pacific Surfing School to improve their teaching process and better train new surfers (and what leadership had to do with it). More »
Rich Sheridan on How to Succeed by Building a Strong Learning Culture
By: Chet Marchwinski | January 27, 2015
Columns
Rich Sheridan, CEO of the software company Menlo Innovations, talks with LEI's Chet Marchwinski about Menlo's unique learning culture, taking their end users' wants and needs seriously, and the power of lean product and process development ideas working together as a system. More »
How to Create a Culture of Accountability
By: Erin Urban | September 12, 2014
Columns
"Over time, accountability has developed a negative connotation," writes Erin Urban. "But the truth is: we want accountable, responsible employees that have our company’s best interests in mind and are committed to continuous improvement.  " So, how do you do it? More »
Three Steps Toward Lean Culture Change
By: Erin Urban | June 3, 2014
Columns
"Culture change typically isn’t greeted with open arms unless there is a crisis to provide a sense of urgency," writes Erin Urban. "Still, I’ve noticed there are a few 'Do-Not-Pass-Go' items that must be a part of any successful lean culture change initiative.  " More »
How to Handle Fire Fighting, Process Averse Cultures, Naysayers, and More
By: Lex Schroeder | March 11, 2014
Columns
Summit attendees hosted their own conversations on lean thinking and practice last week, identifying challenges and opportunities for Lean within their organizations. Check out the conversations and contribute your own thinking to these questions! More »
How a Problem-Solving Culture Takes Root
By: Jim Luckman and David Verble | March 4, 2014
Columns
Changing one's own leadership behaviors is no easy task, but it can be done. Leaders can shift away from giving top-down commands and solutions to a more engaging and collaborative way of addressing problems that both gets results and develops people. More »
Lean Transformation Starts with a Learning Culture
By: Tina Roach and Pete Mangan | February 6, 2014
Columns
After attending a Lean Applied to Sales seminar, Tina Roach and Pete Mangan of ProMed Molded Products knew they needed to re-think the way they shared "what was new, what was better, and where the organization was headed" with employees. They came up with four concepts to engage and align all team members with the company's new direction. More »
Lean Startups Should Be Lean Cultures, From the Start
By: Mark Graban | December 12, 2013
Columns
Mark Graban reflects on John Shook's talk, "Lean Startup--From Toyota City to Fremont to You," at this week's Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco. Read why Graban believes the broader Lean community and lean startup community have a lot to learn from each other. More »
Create Your Fantasy Island Organizational Culture
By: Tracey Richardson | August 23, 2013
Columns
What would your dream organizational culture look like? What about your fantasy lean transformation? Tracey Richardson shares her advice for turning at least some of these hopes and ambitions into a reality. More »
Toyota Culture
By: Jeffrey Liker and Michael Hoseus | December 20, 2007
Books
Toyota Culture examines the “human systems” that Toyota has put in place to instill its founding principles of trust, mutual prosperity, and excellence in its plants, dealerships, and offices around the world. More »
Creating a Sustainable Lean Culture: Connecting the “Product” and the “People” Value Streams
Workshops
Process-improvement tools are important, but their ultimate effectiveness depends on the ability to develop the underlying culture of problem solving to support continuous growth and improvement. This workshop explores the foundations of Toyota’s unique culture and helps you develop an action plan to support the transition from conventional to lean culture. More »
Leading in a Continuous Improvement Culture: Engaging and Coaching Problem Solving Thinkers
Workshops
This program is designed to describe this new role you can play as a leader in a program solving culture. It will also introduce skills that will help you be effective in that role and give you opportunities to practice them. More »
Kaizen: the Culture of Continuous Improvement
Workshops
This workshop is an introduction to the Kaizen Teian or Kaizen methodology which promotes the sustainable continuous improvement as a daily way of life for every member within the organization. The class is based on a “hear-see-do” approach allowing you to learn through instruction, discussion, simulation, and small-group exercise. More »
Online Webcast: Creating a Sustainable Lean Culture: Connecting the “Product” and the “People” Value
Workshops
Process-improvement tools are important, but their ultimate effectiveness depends on the ability to develop the underlying culture of problem solving to support continuous growth and improvement. This webcast explores the foundations of Toyota’s unique culture, and the role leaders play in supporting the transition from conventional to lean culture. More »
Double Loop Learning at Kongsberg Maritime
By: Daryl Powell and Eivind Reke | October 18, 2018
Columns
Kongsberg Maritime, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Norwegian-based Kongsberg Group, tapped into a Kyoryokukai, or network for supplier innovation, to create a space for single--and double--loop learning for its members. More »
How to Engage Employees Through Creativity
By: Nicole Hudson | October 17, 2018
Columns
Is your company or department struggling to engage employees? Then learn from LifeWay Christian Resources, which moved away from a top-down, tool-oriented approach to continuous improvement training to a focus on engaging and developing people with thematic events and instruction. More »
Ask Art: Does Lean Really Work in A Non-manufacturing Company?
By: Art Byrne | October 16, 2018
Columns
All companies and organizations, whether manufacturing or not, are nothing more than a group of people and a bunch of processes trying to deliver value to a set of customers, says Art Byrne. And lean principles apply to each. To become lean, every company must focus on removing the waste in their current processes in order to deliver more value to the customers. More »
Jishuken, Part Two: The Power of Self-Learning
By: Mark Reich | October 11, 2018
Columns
Consider Jishuken to be an intensive effort to drive individuals and the organization to a higher level, says Mark Reich, noting that if done right, this practice should push everyone to do more and more, improving in cycles of intense, focused effort with something that leaves a strong residue of kaizen spirit behind and allows the company to sustain. More »
The Value of Sharpening Skills Through 'Jishuken'
By: Matthew Savas | October 10, 2018
Columns
Jishuken, or self-learning, is a wet stone that grinds a worker's brain down to a start point, says Matt Savas--and is key to a disciplined management system of learning and improvement. More »
Workers Unite for Better
By: Josh Howell | October 8, 2018
Columns
The local strike by hospitality workers in Boston has led Josh Howell to contrast this situation with the lean culture at Dreamplace Hotels and Resorts in Tenerife, where front-line workers produce and socialize beautifully messy A3-sized papers sharing ideas for improvements. More »
Thoughts on Digitization, Work, and Continuous Improvement
By: John Drogosz | October 4, 2018
Columns
The opportunities and changes presented by digitization are issues for all lean practitioners not only those in IT. Here are some additional insights from a lean practitioner and product developer who participated in a panel discussion on what’s happening now -- and what could happen -- as digitization meets lean management principles and practices. More »
Not Every Problem Is a “Nail” But Companies Typically Reach for the Same Old “Hammer”
By: Art Smalley | October 1, 2018
Columns
Learn how you can avoid the frustrating, ineffective, but widespread “hammer-and-nail” problem-solving pitfall by recognizing four main problem types so you apply the right problem-solving approach to the right problem. More »
Can Lean Know-How Come Home?
By: Eric Buehrens | September 27, 2018
Columns
When you decide to stop making things, you lose the ability to make things, argues Eric Buehrens: not just the displaced assembly workers who have had to seek employment elsewhere, but the design, production control, maintenance and quality engineers, the materials and logistics experts, all the technical know-how to manufacture effectively at scale, at world-class quality, and competitive cost. More »
Use Lean Development Principles to Avoid "Traveling Hopefully" Down the Wrong Path
By: Jim Morgan | September 26, 2018
Columns
Lean development is less about creating highly detailed plans based on things you can’t possibly know in the beginning of a development program (like conventional development attempts to do), and more about developing a deeper and shared understanding of the work to be done and increasing fidelity as you close knowledge gaps over time. More »
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