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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 »
Autonomous Car Beta Version, Anyone? A Q&A with Jim Womack on Disruptive Innovation
By: Jim Womack | April 30, 2020
Articles
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
Columns
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
Columns
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 »
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 »
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 »
Be More Innovative with These Resources and Ideas for Exploiting World-Shaping Trends
By: Chet Marchwinski and Andi Plantenberg | April 10, 2020
Columns
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
Columns
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
Columns
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
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 »
From Troubleshooting a Leaky Toilet Flapper to Innovating the Internet, a Comprehensive Problem-Solving Framework
By: Chet Marchwinski and Art Smalley | November 27, 2019
Columns
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
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 »
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 »
Sometimes Less Lean is Mo' Lean
By: Brent Wahba | May 6, 2019
Columns
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
Columns
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 Y. Shook | January 31, 2019
Columns
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 »
WLEI: Alan Mulally, former Ford and Boeing CEO sits down with Jim Morgan to discuss Leadership, Designing the Future Special Ep. 2
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | January 21, 2019
Audio
“It seemed nothing short of a miracle could save Ford Motor Company in the mid 2000s.    Ford didn’t receive a miracle, but it did get something just as valuable:  Alan Mulally.  ”  (Daniel Miller, The Motley Fool, May 2015)In this podcast, Alan shares:His view on the CEO’s role in a successful transformation.  What “people first” leadership means to him and how his basic values and love for people guide his decision making.  What he learned about innovation and customer focus from his lawn mowing business.  How his early experiences with lean and Toyota shaped his views on leadership and the More »
WLEI: Four Types of Problems, author Art Smalley digs in on problem solving
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | December 21, 2018
Audio
Author Art Smalley joins Chet Marchwinski to discuss problem solving and his new book Four Types of Problems from reactive trouble shooting to creative innovation.  Additional Articles and Books:Four Types of ProblemsBook Review: Four Types of ProblemsNot Every Problem Is a “Nail” But Companies Typically Reach for the Same Old “Hammer” More »
Transformative Steering
By: Eric Ethington | December 14, 2018
Columns
After three years of working with learning partner companies, LEI’s Lean Product and Process Development group observed that the companies most successful in starting and sustaining lean principles in product development all had one thing in common – an effective steering team. Program Manager Eric Ethington reports on four foundational elements your steering team must have. More »
LPPD Under the Sea: Efficient Product Design with Subsea 2.0
By: Jeffrey Liker and Jim Morgan | December 4, 2018
Columns
In this excerpt from the new book Designing the Future, authors Jim Morgan and Jeff Liker share the case study of TechnipFMC's work on a new seafloor production system that realized tremendous gains through applying LPPD principles More »
The Fearless Organization
By: Amy Edmondson | November 30, 2018
Books
This book explores this culture of psychological safety, and provides a blueprint for bringing it to life. The road is sometimes bumpy, but succinct and informative scenario-based explanations provide a clear path forward to constant learning and healthy innovation. More »
Review: Designing the Future
By: Michael Ballé | November 27, 2018
Columns; eLetters
In his review of the new book Designing The Future, Michael Ballé points out that it “makes clear the central lean concept in product development: distinguishing what is fixed and what is flexible in new product design.  ” More »
Book Review: Designing the Future
By: Michael Ballé | November 26, 2018
Columns
Forget frameworks, processes, rote step methods. Read this book and think back to the “Why?” before the “What?” and “How?”: companies live or die on whether their products and services better help customers to do whatever they want to get done, at a better value-for-money deal. More »
Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good
By: Ann Mei Chang | October 30, 2018
Books
Despite enormous investments of time and money, are we making a dent on the social and environmental challenges of our time? What if we could exponentially increase our impact?Around the world, a new generation is looking beyond greater profits, for meaningful purpose. But, unlike business, few social interventions have achieved significant impact at scale. Inspired by the modern innovation practices popularized by bestseller The Lean Startup that have fueled technology breakthroughs touching every aspect of our lives, LEAN IMPACT turns our attention to a new goal--achieving radically greater social good.   Social change is far more complicated than building a new app. It requires more 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 »
Four Types of Problems
By: Art Smalley | October 1, 2018
Books
When faced with a problem, many business leaders and teams mechanically reach for a familiar problem-solving methodology. The problem is that the methods are often mismatched with the problem, creating unnecessary struggle, frustration, delay, and ineffectiveness in solving the problem -- if it is ever solved at all. In Four Types of Problems: from reactive troubleshooting to creative innovation veteran lean management practitioner Art Smalley, explains why settling on a favorite problem-solving technique or two is a mistake. He shows that most business problems fall into four main categories, each requiring different thought processes, management cadences, and improvement methods. More »
Four Types of Problems (eBook)
By: Art Smalley | October 1, 2018
Books
When faced with a problem, many business leaders and teams mechanically reach for a familiar problem-solving methodology. The problem is that the methods are often mismatched with the problem, creating unnecessary struggle, frustration, delay, and ineffectiveness in solving the problem -- if it is ever solved at all. In Four Types of Problems: from reactive troubleshooting to creative innovation veteran lean management practitioner Art Smalley, explains why settling on a favorite problem-solving technique or two is a mistake. He shows that most business problems fall into four main categories, each requiring different thought processes, management cadences, and improvement methods. More »
Toyota the Disrupter
By: Jim Morgan | August 29, 2018
Columns
Toyota may not be the first company you think of for disruptive product and process development, but perhaps they should be, argues Jim Morgan. The tools and practices that Toyota uses have been adapted and applied successfully by companies large and small, in a wide variety of industries and in places all over the world. More »
Yes, Lean is About Cost Reduction
By: Mark Reich | July 13, 2018
Columns
Why focus on cost reduction? Because many of the cost-saving kaizens of are simpler and require less engineering resources, and this type of kaizen motivates the production teams to try things on their own and develops their capability. This is an outcome of cost reduction activity, says Mark Reich More »
Carrington on Kata
By: By Beth Carrington | March 2, 2016
Presentations
In this 17-minute video, LEI Instructor Beth Carrington describes how practicing the routines of the Improvement Kata & Coaching Kata helps you align your organization, make innovation (large and small) happen at every level, and ensure that teams work toward goals in a systematic, scientific way. More »
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