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Beyond 'Linear' Intelligence: Learning Lean Through Shared Experiments and Improvements
By: Masia Goodman | August 10, 2020
Learning entails far more than a linear set of directions from one person to another, argues LEI's Masia Goodman, who presents ways that the upcoming Virtual Lean Learning Experience (VLX) seeks to incorporate lean ways of learning. More »
What Do I Tell My Leaders When Experiments Fail?
By: John Drogosz | August 23, 2016
When experiments fail, it's natural for a leadership team to get nervous. But in the context of lean, they shouldn't be - it's just a matter of managing their expectations and helping them understand that a "failure" is actually a blessing in disguise. John Drogosz explains how to do this. More »
Make Broccoli (Or Lean) Taste Better Through Experiments
By: Brent Wahba | January 9, 2015
"Whether it’s eating healthy, saving for retirement, or pursuing Lean, we are all biased towards maximizing the here and now as opposed to working towards a better future payout," writes Brent Wahba. "We’ve got a lot work to do to make Lean simpler, easier, and more successful for the masses.  " More »
Can You Assess Your Way to Lean?
By: Jeffrey Liker | May 10, 2021
Using assessments to gauge process is both a flawed approach and potential trap, argues Jeff Liker. He suggests a broader and mindful approach for reaping enduring discoveries and improvements. More »
Why We Believe Questions Accelerate Learning
By: Lean Sensei Women | March 8, 2021
The key to achieving better outcomes over time is to develop the vital skill of asking questions designed to spur critical thinking, argue the Lean Sensei Women in this article. More »
Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn: A Podcast with Katie Anderson and Isao Yoshino
By: Lean Leaper | October 26, 2020
Join us for this WLEI podcast with Katie Anderson and Mr. Isao Yoshino on his experiences with Toyota that formed the basis for Katie's new book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn. More »
"It's Only A Failure If You Don't Learn"
By: Lean Leaper | October 14, 2020
"It's only a failure if you don't learn" says Toyota veteran Isao Yoshino, whose experience developing an ultimately failed water-ski boat venture for Toyota is shared in Katie Anderson's new book documenting many of his life lessons. More »
Learn by Doing: Overcoming Inertia and Triggering Engagement Through Kaizen
By: Lean Leaper | July 20, 2020
Practicing daily kaizen powerfully drives the heart of any serious lean effort to learn and improve, a topic that will be addressed in the Virtual Lean Learning Experience by several process improvement leaders from Amadeus Hospitality. This Post shares articles from the archives that expand on this practice. More »
How NOT to Jump to Solutions When Facing A Problem
By: Dan Markovitz | June 4, 2020
Dan Markovitz argues that productive leaders solve problems by leveraging a deep understanding of the facts, buffering them from the temptation to jump to solutions. Before you come up with a solution to a problem, go to the crime scene and see for yourself. Make sure you have the facts, not just the data. More »
After Lean Progress, Fighting the Challenges of Backsliding
By: Nicolas Chartier | January 31, 2020
After accepting the tough challenge of reducing deliver lead-time, CEO Nicolas Chartier and their entire team learned "to react at the first sign of backsliding and grit our teeth and never, never agree to lower the bar.  " More »
WLEI: 23. Lean Accounting Panel Discussion with Art Byrne, Jean Cunningham, Jim Huntzinger, Nick Katko, and Mike DeLuca
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | November 18, 2019
Many lean thinkers find the traditional accounting reporting completely out of alignment with the new lean management system.   Part of PDCA is checking outcomes to help identify next steps, but if the financial language of business is not reliable to provide good information for evaluation and decision making, sustainment of good experiments is at risk.   Is there a better way? Yes, according to the five panelists on this week’s podcast.  Additional Articles:How lean accounting promotes lean in the organizationProfit and Cost At ToyotaCost Saving is Tired--Value Creation is Hot!Real Number bookThe Value Add Accountantbook More »
Overcoming a Fear Of Failure Culture
By: Andrew Quibell | November 6, 2019
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 »
The Power of Inspiration
By: Paige Henry | October 23, 2019
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 »
No Mani Pedi, But Keepers Improve Elephant Foot Washing
By: Jeff Foster | March 1, 2019
Supporting process owners includes stepping in for zoo keepers when their better idea for washing an elephant’s foot gets rejected as this Lean Talks video explains. More »
Getting Started with Lean Product and Process Development
By: Andy Houk | November 9, 2018
Learning and applying the concepts of LPPD is no different than learning any other new skill in life, says Andy Houk. In this article he shares his personal learning cycle of three steps (repeated many times, over many years): self-study, getting a coach, and practicing. More »
Cardboard, Duct Tape, and String: The Do-First Mindset
By: Mark Reich | August 15, 2018
Whatever field you work in, if you are responsible for kaizen in your company, strive for quick change in your workplace by finding your cardboard, duct tape, and string, says lean coach Mark Reich. More »
Tending the Roots of Lean with Lean Farmer Ben Hartman
By: Matthew Savas | July 10, 2018
Matt Savas shares the Lean roots found at Ben Hartman's Clay Bottom Farm in Goshen, Indiana, illustrating the many ways that lean has eliminated waste More »
Lean Principles Are the Bread & Butter of this Retail Transformation
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | January 4, 2018
Entrepreneurs explain how their chain of bakeries and retail stores used lean continuous improvement to profitably expand, engage employees, and meet growing customer demand for healthier products. More »
As a facilitator, how much do I have to know about an area targeted for improvement?
By: Ballé, Michael | October 2, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: As a lean "facilitator" in my organization, how important is it to gain a deep understanding of the "area" that is being analyzed. Do you spend a lot of time just becoming familiar with the area so that you can do experiments, etc.  …? More »
Ask Art: Does lean compromise innovation?
By: Art Byrne | June 14, 2017
To some, lean and innovation seem counterproductive. But Art Byrne is not one of them. Find out why he says "lean and innovation are and have always been completely compatible" and how it can help your organization reach next-level results. More »
PDCA thinking and the NCAA March Madness tournament
By: Ernie Richardson and Tracey Richardson | April 4, 2017
"There is so much thinking that goes into this thing called 'Bracketology,' which gives sports fans a way to 'grasp the situation' of their favorite team (or the one they may be cheering for at tournament time)," write Tracey and Ernie Richardson. Ad a lot of that thinking may have more in common with lean than you might expect. Read more. More »
Thinking About Thinking
By: AsapSCIENCE & Mike Rother | December 4, 2016
Don't believe everything you think. Practice scientific thinking and test your assumptions, because every step is an experiment! More »
Making Things Better - Visual Value in Health Information Management
By: Laura Shue | October 6, 2016
Have you ever struggled to make "invisible work" visual for your leadership? Laura Shue of the University of Michigan Health System certainly has - two years ago she tackled the formidable task of making the value of her Health Information Management department visual for their leaders. How she did it is a fascinating story - read more to see for yourself! More »
Why Yoda Was Wrong
By: Aaron Hunt | August 30, 2016
Aspects of lean can be found almost anywhere - even in a galaxy far, far away. Inspired by a new trailer for the upcoming Star Wars film "Rogue One," Aaron Hunt uses a lean mindset to debunk a very famous quote from the original trilogy. More »
Just Trying “Stuff” Is Not A Real Experiment
By: Brent Wahba | August 17, 2016
"Today it seems like you can’t throw a stick of butter without hitting someone who is “running a lean experiment” on one thing or another," writes Brent Wahba. The problem with all that experimentation? Many of these experiments are not real experiments at all. Read more. More »
Take Your Product Testing to the Extreme
By: Lean Leaper and Larry Navarre | June 23, 2016
Many of the principles of lean product and process development can seem counterproductive at first glance. For example, what if someone told you that the best way to see if a product will truly work.  ..  is to break it? That's exactly what Professor Larry Navarre of Kettering University tells his students, as part of his unlikely yet invaluable "Extreme Testing" concept. Read more. More »
More than a New Product – A New Way of Thinking
By: Jim Morgan | June 14, 2016
"Successful entrepreneurs, whether they are lone figures toiling in garages or supporting new work at major companies, are rightly celebrated for creating hit products," says Jim Morgan. "But what if there were something better, much better than creating a product in isolation?" Read more. More »
By: Narrated by Alan Watts | September 1, 2015
Scientific thinking is about the limits of logical efforts. We organize and plan and try to create ideal situations, yet the larger picture is not accessible to us. The mind maneuvers, craves, thinks and plans how to obtain what we want and avoid what we don't like. But we can't control the future that way because there are too many factors. Every step we take is an interesting experiment. (Animation by Steve Agnos.  ) More »
Could hoshin kanri be too bureaucratic for my small tech company?
By: Ballé, Michael | June 9, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I get frustrated with being the only one seriously concerned with experimenting and learning new systems, so I implemented hoshin kanri to get others on board. I'm getting a lot of pushback. Is this normal resistance? More »
Follow-up Q & A to the Webinar “Getting to Everyday Improvement: How to Connect the Science and Culture of Problem Solving”
By: Worth, Judy and Keyte, Beau | March 28, 2013
Articles; Videos and Webinars
A follow-up Q&A with presenters Judy Worth and Beau Keyte for the Lean Enterprise Institute's webinar on Getting to Everyday Improvement. More »
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