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Human Resources and Lean; It Really Is About People
By: Joe Murli | March 8, 2018
Columns
Despite an expert’s exhortations to “do more kaizen, develop kaizen mind” this lean transformation failed. Find out why from someone who saw it happen and the lessons he never forgot. More »
Ask Art: What Role does Human Resources Play in a Lean Turnaround?
By: Art Byrne | October 21, 2020
Columns
Although you shouldn’t expect HR to lead the kaizen effort or set up extensive training programs, there is still plenty for them to do that will be critical to the success of your lean turnaround, says Art Byrne, who adds: "After all, lean is all about people.  " More »
10 Principles for Lean Leadership
By: Isao Yoshino | April 6, 2021
Columns
These ten simple yet powerful leadership principles developed by Isao Yoshino provide wise guidance for any lean practitioner seeking a path of learning and improvement. More »
Modeling ‘Respect for People’ in Accounting and Finance
By: Mike De Luca | March 18, 2021
Columns
How can Finance and Accounting professionals show respect to their coworkers and clients? In this Post, Lean Accounting Coach Mike De Luca compiles some insightful advice from lean thought leaders. More »
Applying Lean Thinking and Practice to Systemic Racism, Part 2 of 2
By: Christopher D. Chapman | October 8, 2020
Columns
To create anti-racist organizations to fit, value, and respect all people, leaders should step forward with a sound vision framed by the five principles of lean. Here's how. Part 2 of 2. More »
Using the Logic of Lean Thinking to Combat Racism, Part 1 of 2
By: Christopher D. Chapman | October 7, 2020
Columns
To create new anti-racist organizations, leaders need to fully embrace the five principles of lean: value vs. waste, value stream, flow, pull, and perfection. But first, we must reflect on history to help us grasp the current situation. Part one of two. More »
How to Build Resilience Through Sustained Lean Practice
By: Lean Leaper | August 31, 2020
Columns
As the upcoming virtual lean learning experience shows, lean thrives when the individuals using this learning and improvement method leverage its power for long term growth. More »
How to Show Respect During a Pandemic
By: Katrina Appell | May 29, 2020
Columns
Lean Coach Katrina Appell shares how to use Maslow's hierarchy of needs to clarify how to show respect for people during a pandemic. More »
When Is The Best Time To Implement Profit Sharing?
By: Orest (Orry) Fiume | May 4, 2020
Columns
Orry Fiume argues that when businesses reopens, there are many things that will be different; and that when they do it will be time to make profit sharing one of the widespread features of the “new normal”. More »
5S, Hygiene, and Healthy Habits
By: Michael Ballé | April 23, 2020
Columns
5S-like practice can uncover hidden beliefs and misconceptions, and pave the way to adopting new hygiene practices – as opposed to arbitrary imposition, argues Michael Balle, adding: In this community, we, of all people, have been trained to do so. Now is the time to start acting on it. More »
How Can Lean Help Respond to Crises?
By: Michael Ballé | March 11, 2020
Columns
Although lean might seem fragile to crises, because of low inventories, it’s quite the opposite, says Michael Balle: Lean thinking is about training to solve small crises – problems – daily. More »
Share Best Thinking Rather than Best Practices
By: Karen Gaudet | February 7, 2020
Columns
Lean Coach Karen Gaudet argues that Best Practices don't always align with Best Thinking, and suggests that "the next time you find yourself sharing a solution developed by someone else, first ask the critical question 'Is the problem the same?'" More »
How Lean Can Make Workplaces Safer and Healthier
By: Jeffrey Pfeffer | December 16, 2019
Columns
The companies that are really going to solve the problem of unsafe work, just as they've done this for physical safety, have to begin by thinking about every aspect of the job and job design, says Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer. Making work safer and healthier begins with basically redesigning the work, and eliminating the stuff that is harmful, unnecessary, stressful, could be automated, and more. More »
Believe in One Thing All the Way
By: Darril Wilburn | October 2, 2019
Columns
Who is a “superhero” in our companies, asks Darril Wilburn in this inspiring piece: Is it the person that can outperform nine others by three times? Or is it the person that can improve a process by 10% and then share that improvement with the 9 other people, and then do it again and again? 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 »
Getting Home: Jacob and Claude Stoller Appreciate the Lean Lessons of this New Book
By: Claude Stoller and Jacob Stoller | June 12, 2019
Columns
"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: 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 »
Show Respect, Psychological Safety, and Social Neuroscience
By: Mike Orzen and David Verble | April 26, 2019
Columns
Mike Orzen and David Verble examine the meaning and lean relevance of showing respect, creating psychological safety, and the links between these two. More »
Building a Lean Culture at Turner Construction: A Talk with SVP Charlie Murphy
By: Charlie Murphy | February 5, 2019
Columns
"Whether it’s safety, quality, production system, to me it just makes sense for us to contribute to the improvement of the whole industry," says Turner Construction SVP Charlie Murphy. "If we can develop a lean culture here at Turner and move from workarounds to resolving the right problems as they occur, we will become a better company and the industry will have to get better, too.  " More »
Can Lean Succeed in a Strong Labor Environment?
By: Art Byrne | November 13, 2018
Columns
Lean is all about people, says Art Byrne, regarding the question of making lean succeed in a union environment. He argues that if you treat people like people not union members and you will greatly increase your chances of success. More »
How to Rehab Colleagues With Status Quo “Addiction”
By: Ron Oslin | November 7, 2018
Columns
If you work with leaders or colleagues who resist changing their behaviors -- maybe they literally can’t change. They could be “addicted” to the status quo, a non-chemical compulsion similar to addictions to running or playing video games. Listen as Ron Oslin explains how to rehab your boss or colleagues. More »
What's your problem
By: John Shook | October 31, 2018
Columns; eLetters
There may be nothing more fundamental to lean thinking and practice than problem solving.   For that matter, there may be nothing more fundamental to being human than problem solving. We breathe, we eat, we create civilizations – we deal with (solve, tackle) problems every step of the way. More »
Don't Retire Your Knowledge--Reuse It
By: Norbert Majerus | October 25, 2018
Columns
Companies can tackle the problem of the surge of retiring baby boomers by adopting the lean principle of knowledge reuse, says recently retired lean thinker Norbert Majerus. He identifies common barriers to share and leverage this invaluable resource. 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 »
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 »
Practical, Actionable Tips for Re-Engaging People with a Suggestion System, Part 2
By: Steve Ansuini | June 8, 2018
Columns
Companies, responding to surveys showing that a troubling number of people are disengaged at work, respond with perks like nap pods, rock walls, and free food. Suggestions systems get overlooked. That’s too bad because the whole point of a system done correctly is engagement. Here are some real-world tips on starting and sustaining a system from an experienced lean practitioner. More »
Practical Tips for Re-Engaging People with a Suggestion System
By: Steve Ansuini | June 7, 2018
Columns
Companies, responding to surveys showing that a troubling number of people are disengaged at work, respond with perks like nap pods, rock walls, and free food. Suggestions systems get overlooked. That’s too bad because the whole point of a system done correctly is higher engagement. Here are some real-world tips on starting and sustaining a system from an experienced lean practitioner. More »
HR Strategies for Successful and Sustainable Lean Transformations
By: Cheryl Jekiel | March 21, 2018
Columns
The interest in strengthening employee engagement is sometimes considered a separate topic from lean transformations. Cheryl Jekiel, who has over 25 years of experience in HR and lean implementations, offers practical tips on how to create engagement with lean activities. More »
What does “separation of human work and machine work” mean?
By: Balle, Michael | November 29, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I’ve been trying to learn more about Jidoka and I keep coming across references to “separation of human work and machine work” but I’m not sure what this means – any pointers?  More »
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