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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 »
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 IS LEAN ABOUT?
By: By Mike Rother & Jeff Liker | January 4, 2015
Presentations
The Kata SlideShare for January presents some thoughts (and video) as we in the Lean community mark the 25th Anniversary of the introduction of Lean as a paradigm in 'The Machine that Changed the World.  ' There have been many definitions of Lean, but the cool idea of "Humans striving to better flow value to a customer" is a mindset that perhaps underlies all of them. More »
2012 Transformation Summit
November 14, 2011
Events
March 7-8, 2012 - Jacksonville, FL. Learn how to borrow the learning curve of Lean Thinkers who are sharing resources and experiences through collaborative learning groups. More »
Gold Mine, The (eBook)
By: Ballé, Freddy and Michael Ballé | January 12, 2010
Books
The Gold Mine deftly weaves together the technical and human pieces of implementing lean manufacturing in an engaging story that readers will find both compelling and instructive. Authors Freddy and Michael Ballé have produced the first integrated and systematic approach to a set of ideas that have maximized value and minimized waste throughout the world. More »
An Approach to Lean Transformation
By: Bañolas, Rogério | August 1, 2008
Articles; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
Lean transformations occur in few companies because the change process is complex. Without understanding the multifaceted organizational and human factors related to lean transformations, change is difficult, if not impossible. Rogério Bañolas explores and sorts out the interrelationship of leadership, lean knowledge, mental models, principles, and values that you should understand to make a successful lean leap. More »
Creating Value or Shifting Wealth?
By: Womack, Jim; | May 1, 2008
Columns; eLetters
How do we judge the progress of the Lean Movement? One critical indicator is our success in extending lean thinking to new industries and activities. In recent years I have been greatly encouraged that lean thinking is moving far beyond its origins in manufacturing to distribution, retailing, maintenance and overhaul, consumer services, construction, and – perhaps most striking – healthcare. Indeed, the latter may be the most energetic area of lean practice today.  However, I have been concerned about our prospects for changing the thinking of investors, and specifically the giant private-equity investment firms that now control large parts of More »
The Big Mura and Mean Leanness
By: Womack, Jim | April 3, 2008
Columns; eLetters
Every day humans eat very nearly the same number of meals and sleep in the same number of houses and travel the same number of miles to work. All of these numbers increase slowly with population growth, but the number of us on the planet and our needs don't change rapidly. So how can we have dramatic short-term gyrations in an economy whose business is to supply what a relatively constant number of us need? I think of these gyrations as another form of mura, the term used by lean thinkers to describe short-term variations in demand not caused by More »
Doing More With Less: Lean Thinking and Patient Safety in Health Care
By: Joint Commission Resources | June 12, 2006
Books
Beginning with an overview of how lean thinking developed and spread in manufacturing, this book quickly and—most importantly for healthcare readers who are not familiar with lean principles—clearly explains the key concepts of  lean thinking and how they apply to healthcare.  Even better, Doing More with Less: Lean Thinking and Patient Safety in Healthcare offers specific examples throughout of how to translate the principles of lean thinking into the healthcare environment, and how leading hospitals are using the concepts to improve safety by eliminating the root causes of problems. More »
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