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Innovation in the Work
By: John Shook | September 22, 2016
Columns; eLetters
"Innovation is a popular – and important – concept," writes LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook. "So, here are three questions. What is it? What does lean thinking have to say about it? So what?" Check out John's responses, and don't forget to follow his link to a new animation on innovation and lean. More »
How to Save Time and Money in Innovation by Reusing Knowledge
By: Jim Morgan | May 27, 2021
Massive books of knowledge or huge lists weren’t very effective ways of getting the engineers he managed to reuse knowledge, notes Jim Morgan, PhD, a product development executive and author. In a Q&A with engineers, he offers tips on a better way: build current knowledge right into the work engineers do. More »
How to Engage Everyone to Create a “Continuous Innovation Machine”
By: Jim Morgan | January 12, 2021
In a presentation to hundreds of engineers at a Fortune 100 manufacturer, Jim Morgan, an engineering PhD and former product development executive, explained what distinguishes Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) from traditional methods of innovation. Morgan, who now is senior LPPD advisor at the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute, cited which of LPPD's three elements was paramount. More »
Practical Approaches for Making Innovation an Enterprise-Wide Activity
By: Chet Marchwinski | November 2, 2020
Jim Morgan tells an interviewer how to make innovation an enterprise-wide endeavor, based on his years of experience as a product development researcher, author, and former executive. He also offers an effective tactic for spreading it through the supply chain. More »
Autonomous Car Beta Version, Anyone? A Q&A with Jim Womack on Disruptive Innovation
By: Jim Womack | April 30, 2020
What may be ahead for carmakers, product developers, and the lean management movement in a disrupted world is the subject of this Q&A with Jim Womack, founding CEO of the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI). He talked with LEI Communications Director Chet Marchwinski at the Designing the Future Summit that showcases how companies are applying lean product and process development  (LPPD). More »
Autonomous Car Beta Version, Anyone? A Q&A with Jim Womack on Disruptive Innovation
By: Chet Marchwinski and James P. Womack | April 28, 2020
What may be ahead for carmakers, product developers, and the lean management movement in a disrupted world is the subject of this Q&A with management author and expert Jim Womack, founding CEO of the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI). More »
Stability Before Innovation
By: James P. Womack | May 24, 2018
Given its foundational strengths of stable and robust product development, production, supplier development, and general management system, Toyota is well poised to deliver innovative solutions to primary challenges facing all automakers. It's a lesson for any company seeking innovation, says Jim Womack. More »
If lean really is about innovation, why does so much of it seem to be about logistics?
By: Ballé, Michael | December 11, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: If lean really is about innovation, why does so much of it seem to be about logistics, with truck preparation areas, leveling boxes, small trains, kanbans and so on? More »
100 Years of Innovation in the Work Animation
By: John Shook | September 20, 2016
Videos and Webinars
Learn how innovating the work is the cornerstone of lean. More »
Kaizen and Innovation
By: Ballé, Michael | June 12, 2012
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: Can kaizen stifle breakthrough innovation? More »
The Anatomy of Innovation
By: Chet Marchwinski | September 8, 2004
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams; Images
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Shadyside enjoys a reputation for innovation, due, in part, to its recognition that finding and fixing broken processes is integral to healing. In this story, we examine the structure of Shadyside’s approach to process improvement, which has drawn on principles of the Toyota Production System, the model for lean thinking, since 2001. More »
Art of Lean on Problem-Solving, Part 7: Dreyfus Model and the Stages of Learning
By: Lean Leaper | July 8, 2021
Art looks at another external framework in an effort to help shorten your lead times of learning, development, and problem-solving. More »
Bringing Together People and Invention to Achieve Radically Great Quality
By: Toshiko Narusawa and John Shook | July 1, 2021
The latest book published by the Lean Global Network details the principles and practices that will help you radically improve quality. More »
Are You Narrowing Your Problems Down?
By: Michael Ballé | May 4, 2021
"Rationality did not lay in higher reasoning powers, in visionary schemes, but in the ability to narrow down problems until one reached the nitty-gritty level at which one could actually do something about them," writes the protagonist of Michael Balle's The Gold Mine. More »
Understand Before You Execute
By: Jim Morgan | April 1, 2021
Jim Morgan and leading practitioners explain how understanding customer needs helps create great products, processes, and services in this video, which is the second of a six-part series detailing the lean product and process development guiding principles. More »
Modeling ‘Respect for People’ in Accounting and Finance
By: Mike De Luca | March 18, 2021
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 »
The Lives of Your Grandchildren Depend on Innovating New Healthcare Models
By: Kim Barnas and John Toussaint, MD | December 14, 2020
Renowned healthcare transformation experts examine what it will take to reinvent healthcare models through innovation and propose a new process for finding them. More »
How Lean is Apple?
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | December 10, 2020
Apple may not worship at the altar of lean, but a close look at its operations and strategy show clear resonance with established lean principles. More »
Navigating a Lean Quality 4.0 Road Map
By: Andrew Quibell | November 16, 2020
Lean thinking and practice has a great deal to offer when it comes to adjusting to Industry 4.  0, and in this article Andrew Quibell shares thoughts (and a sketch) on this topic More »
How Lean is Amazon?
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | November 4, 2020
Amazon has tapped lean principles and practices in its inexorable rise to becoming the world's largest retailer, notes Tom Ehrenfeld. What can be learned from this? More »
Be More Innovative with These Resources and Ideas for Exploiting World-Shaping Trends
By: Chet Marchwinski and Andi Plantenberg | April 10, 2020
Great products and services begin with great ideas and great ideas are informed by the big trends that are shaping the world. But how do you sort through them all so you can zero in on the ones most important for innovation in your company? Andi Plantenberg, founder and principal of innovation consultancy FutureTight, offers resources in this Q&A. More »
How Well Can Lean Principles Fuel New Ventures Like Tesla and Rivian?
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | February 24, 2020
How well do lean principles apply to the grueling challenge of launching a company—let alone launching a brand new automotive company? More »
Are These Two Non-learning Trends Hurting Your Company Culture?
By: Chet Marchwinski | January 8, 2020
The beating heart of continuous improvement is learning, concludes author and product development executive Jim Morgan, who has done pioneering work researching and implementing lean product development. But he sees two disturbing “nonlearning” trends that, if present in your culture, will hamstring any improvement efforts. More »
How Lean Can Make Workplaces Safer and Healthier
By: Jeffrey Pfeffer | December 16, 2019
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 »
From Troubleshooting a Leaky Toilet Flapper to Innovating the Internet, a Comprehensive Problem-Solving Framework
By: Chet Marchwinski and Art Smalley | November 27, 2019
Arriving at his hotel after midnight, author and business consultant Art Smalley just wanted to get some sleep before his keynote presentation later that day. But Smalley, whose latest book on #lean management is "Four Types of Problems," first had to solve a problem. More »
Believe in One Thing All the Way
By: Darril Wilburn | October 2, 2019
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 »
Getting Home: Jacob and Claude Stoller Appreciate the Lean Lessons of this New Book
By: Claude Stoller and Jacob Stoller | June 12, 2019
"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 »
Sometimes Less Lean is Mo' Lean
By: Brent Wahba | May 6, 2019
After seeing a great concert by blues legend Keb' Mo', Brent Wahba reflected on some lean principles embodied in the ways this event delivered such joy. More »
Process Excellence Means Developing New Processes Along with New Products
By: Eric Ethington | April 22, 2019
The traditional way of developing new products or services in isolation from the processes that must deliver them almost guarantees problem launches. In contrast, the lean product and process development methodology creates products customers love as well as profitable delivery processes in a far more integrated and simultaneous way. Eric Ethington, an experienced lean product and process coach, explains. More »
Is Lean Thinking Art or Science? Yes
By: John Shook | January 31, 2019
Calling the recent book Lean Conversations a landmark initiative on lean and the arts, John Shook observes that "If Jean Cocteau’s famous observation that 'art is science made clear' has meaning, we can all benefit from further exploration of the relationship between lean thinking and art & science.  " More »
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