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Mindfulness and Leading with Respect
By: Mike Orzen and John Y. Shook | May 23, 2018
Columns
Mindfulness is both more essential today than ever, and a foundation for organizational lean excellence. Here John Shook and Mike Orzen explore this theme. “The more lean thinking you do, the more mindfulness you’ll experience, and the more mindfulness you create, the more presence you’ll create…and the more lean thinking you’ll do.  ” More »
Doing Versus Being – How Mindfulness Supports Better Lean Thinking, Part 2
By: Mike Orzen | February 8, 2018
Columns
Most companies don’t get the desired results from lean transformations, according to Mike Orzen, lean practitioner and LEI faculty member. Their people get stuck in stages 1, 2, or 3 of awareness, failing to reach level 4, "being.  " Learn how to go from "doing" lean to the more creative, less stressful state of "being" in the second of Mike's two posts on mindfulness. More »
Doing Versus Being – How Mindfulness Supports Better Lean Thinking
By: Mike Orzen | January 16, 2018
Columns
Most companies don’t get the expected results from their lean transformations, according to Mike Orzen, lean practitioner and LEI faculty member. The reason is that people get stuck in stages 1, 2 or 3 of awareness, failing to reach level 4, being. Learn how to move from "doing" lean to the more creative and less stressful state of "being.  " More »
Why We Believe We Have All the Bricks to Build Our Future
By: Lean Sensei Women | May 5, 2020
Columns
In this wide-ranging article, lead author Catherine Chabiron and her fellow Lean Sensei Women propose a number of ways to tackle the new emerging challenges posed by the current pandemic. More »
What the Covid-Virus Can Teach Us About the Toyota Way
By: Jeffrey Liker | April 22, 2020
Columns
This is a time where people are coming together with a passion and common focus, says Jeff Liker. He shares lessons from Toyota and other lean practitioners to suggest ways that people and companies can take whatever opportunity they have to teach others how they can become a humane, high-performing organization. More »
Developing Awareness On the Gemba (part 2)
By: Sandrine Olivencia | April 15, 2020
Columns
In this followup to her article on ways to develop awareness on the gemba, Lean Coach Sandrine Olivencia argues that it is important to have clear intentions in mind before visiting (and disrupting) teams in their workplace in order to create more value and less damage. More »
Developing Awareness on the Gemba
By: Sandrine Olivencia | April 8, 2020
Columns
Lean Sensei Sandrine Olivencia shares practical advice on ways to be present and to coach in the moment at the gemba More »
WLEI: Lean in the Time of Coronavirus
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | March 9, 2020
Audio
In times of crisis, lean offers a stable approach to healthy work. Furthermore, as Jim Womack notes in this podcast with Tom Ehrenfeld, foundational lean practices such as just-in-time supply chains are not—and have never been—liabilities in a time such as today’s coronavirus outbreak. Misguided stories about the woes of JIT are as misguided today as they were when they appeared during avian flu, SARS, and other legitimate medical events that required large supplies of emergency goods. Womack also talks about the lessons to be found in Karen Gaudet’s book Steady Work as they relate to having a stable work environment that More »
Lean in the Time of Coronavirus, A Chat With Jim Womack
March 9, 2020
Articles
In times of crisis, lean offers a stable approach to healthy work. Furthermore, as Jim Womack notes in this podcast with Tom Ehrenfeld, foundational lean practices such as just-in-time supply chains are not—and have never been—liabilities in a time such as today’s coronavirus outbreak. Misguided stories about the woes of JIT are as misguided today as they were when they appeared during avian flu, SARS, and other legitimate medical events that required large supplies of emergency goods. Womack also talks about the lessons to be found in Karen Gaudet’s book Steady Work as they relate to having a stable work environment that More »
Coachable: Facilitating Peer-to-Peer Coaching for Effectively Spreading Knowledge
By: Deborah McGee and Bryant Sanders | January 27, 2020
Columns
Join the ongoing conversation on coaching by listening to this new episode of the Coachable podcast series, as Deb McGee talks with Lean Coach Bryant Sanders about techniques and perspectives on enrolling support and facilitating measurable improvement in your work. More »
Does A Lack Of Physical Inventory Make Office Work “Different”?
By: Ken Eakin | January 10, 2020
Columns
While "waste" is easy to see and address in a factory setting, people working in an office environment have just as much to gain from learning how to reduce excess inventory and other forms of waste, says Ken Eakin. More »
Why Lean is a Time-based Strategy
By: Orest (Orry) Fiume | November 22, 2019
Columns
Lean is a time-based strategy: it uses time to gain competitive advantage, says Orry Fiume. "Once I understood this I started saying “Time is the currency of lean”.  " More »
How A3 Presentations Help Us Build Teamwork
By: Nicolas Chartier | October 30, 2019
Columns
CEO Nicolas Chartier shares a huge benefit of regular use of A3 among his team: "You realize as a CEO that you’re more useful as organizing conditions for teamwork than being the one who knows everything and decides everything. Teamwork cannot be done without you, knowledge and decision can be done without you.  " More »
Why We Believe that Lean is More Than A Manufacturing Approach
By: Lean Sensei Women | October 25, 2019
Columns
Is Lean thinking a thing of the past from glorious manufacturing times in the late twentieth century? Or, on the other hand, is it possible that Lean is still the best approach today to address ever-more-complex human endeavors? Read the thoughts of these Lean sensei women on the topic. More »
Feeling the Gemba Magic
By: Nicolas Chartier | July 19, 2019
Columns
After months of work at the gemba with his factory manager helping line workers grapple with problems, CEO Nicolas Chartier realized the true source of the recurring problems: himself. More »
4 Actions that Solved My Lean Management Identity Crisis
By: Mike Orzen | February 13, 2019
Columns
Mike Orzen had lean management down cold – or so he thought. After all, he makes a living teaching it to managers and executives. But when he personally used a lean tool such as an A3 report, he’d catch himself distractedly going through the steps then jumping ahead to a preconceived countermeasure. Watch his candid account of what he did to refocus his mind when applying lean principles. More »
Flaatnes Elektro-Mek Reveals How Double Loop Learning Supports Lean Thinking and Practice
By: Daryl Powell and Eivind Reke | February 11, 2019
Columns
Every experience is a learning experience. However, we tend to only experience single-loop learning where we reaffirm what we already think is true. Lean gives us a framework to challenge our beliefs and assumptions and create double-loop learning situations through concrete experiments, and often real-time feedback from the real world. More »
Cultivating Intuition at the Gemba
By: Ernie Richardson and Tracey Richardson | January 28, 2019
Columns
Our trainers conditioned us to water the seed of experience and use it not just to fire-fight but rather be more predictive and value add with our time and how we taught others. We encourage each person to learn to trust their intuition enough to see through the process each day to ensure the purpose and accountability for standards and why we have them is known and bought into, not just a suggestion to do. More »
Lean Transformation? Not Buying It
By: Mike Orzen | September 17, 2018
Columns
Companies often describe their transformation efforts in terms of an end-state: focusing on targeted results. They see transformation as a noun--a specific target or condition they wish to attain at a point in time. This paradigm prevents them from viewing transformation as a verb - a way of being they need to live every day. More »
TPS, the Thinking People System
By: Michael Ballé | September 11, 2018
Columns
The twin pillars of just-in-time and jidoka help support a full model about how to achieve customer satisfaction from employee satisfaction, through teamwork and respect, on a basis of mutual trust between management and employees. More »
How Does Asking Questions Create Change?
By: Michael Ballé and Tracey Richardson | August 23, 2018
Columns
Lean is not a sum of processes to acquire and apply which then will make things magically work better. It’s a set of techniques to visualize delivery processes so everyone understands them at a glance, reveal problems to give opportunities for people to exercise their abilities to think, be creative and utilize their strengths to self-actualize in the course of their work. More »
Are You Learning to Learn Faster? A Conversation with Steve Spear
By: Lean Leaper | August 21, 2018
Columns
Learning to close the gap in our learning cycle is critical to keeping our promises and achieving our goals, argues Steve Spear in the recent WLEI podcast. Read more here and listen to the full conversation. More »
Sensing the Gemba
By: Mike Orzen and Tracey Richardson | August 10, 2018
Columns
The next time you show up at the gemba to do a “go and see,” take a personal assessment of your level of focus, presence and awareness. Choose any one of your senses to focus within first, so you can be 100 percent present to deeply sense what is going on with the people and work processes of the value stream. More »
Build Awareness Through Seeing How Eliminating Waste Reduces Costs
By: Ernie Richardson and Tracey Richardson | July 12, 2018
Columns
As we grow our people we must continue to add new dimensions of thinking to engage them in their work and to empower them to always be looking for or trying new ideas, says Tracey Richardson. Building awareness of how to reduce costs forms a foundation for continued improvement. More »
Thoughts on Coaching from John Shook and Edgar Schein
By: Lean Leaper | July 2, 2018
Columns
Excerpts from an in-depth conversation between John Shook and Ed Schein on the nature of coaching, humble inquiry, and the dynamics of organizational improvement through people. More »
Try These Three Deliberate Practices of Lean Coaching
By: Dan Prock | June 15, 2018
Columns
A lean coach doesn’t do PDCA; she or he has three deliberate practices that keep the PDCA gear rolling with a check, adjustment, new purpose and plan to do for kaizen experiments. A lean coach using these three deliberate practices is a perpetual motion machine of sustainable continuous improvement. More »
JoePa and Other Biases to Avoid
By: Mark Reich | June 5, 2018
Columns
A recent viewing of the biographical film Paterno led LEI Senior Coach Mark Reich to reflect on the way many of us let biases filter our view of the facts More »
Coaching the Uncoachable Comes Down to Rock Paper and Scissors
By: Dan Prock | May 29, 2018
Columns
Breaking out of a thinking cycle that is already too full to learn anything can be found in thinking about the game of rock, paper, and scissors, says lean coach Dan Prock. More »
Expanding Our Perspective on Lean Management, Part 2: Lean has its Roots in Spirituality
By: Joanna McGuffey and Thomas Richert | May 8, 2018
Columns
To explore the idea that there may be other angles for understanding lean management than business or analytical perspectives, a group of lean management practitioners met with artists. Here’s what surprised them. More »
Expanding Our Perspective on Lean Management, Part 1: A Creative Ethic
By: Joanna McGuffey and Thomas Richert | April 10, 2018
Columns
To explore the idea that there may be other angles for understanding lean management principles than purely business or analytical perspectives, a group of lean management practitioners met with artists. Here’s what surprised them. More »
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