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I'm Josh Howell, Ask Me Anything
By: Josh Howell | September 6, 2019
Since becoming LEI’s president a few months ago, Josh Howell has made it a priority to talk with you and visit your workplaces as much as possible. Please join in an Ask-Me-Anything conversation with Josh by sharing questions you have about the lean movement and the business struggles and problems you face. More »
Pi-Day, Robots, and the Joy of Making Things
By: Jim Morgan and Mary Morgan | February 18, 2019
To mark Engineers Week, Feb. 18-23, we’re reprising a story about celebrating Pi Day by Jim and Mary Morgan, a self-described “geek couple.  ” And we’re offering 25% off on Jim’s new book, Designing the Future. Read the story to get the discount code. More »
Thinking About Waste Helps Build A Learning Culture Everywhere
By: Sammy Obara | July 27, 2018
Developing people to reduce waste in everything from using toilets to saving one second of work is key to creating a learning platform, says Sammy Obara. More »
JoePa and Other Biases to Avoid
By: Mark Reich | June 5, 2018
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 »
Expanding Our Perspective on Lean, Part 3: Lean is a Practice in Search of a Language
By: Joanna McGuffey and Thomas Richert | May 18, 2018
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 »
Striking With The Zen Stick
By: Dan Prock | April 3, 2018
A key part of lean coaching is the practice of striking with a zen stick, says Dan Prock. This helps break people out of their habits and foster mindfulness, and "kaizen mind". More »
Lean Was a Lot Simpler Back in the Day...
By: Brent Wahba | September 28, 2017
Lean transformations aren't easy. But, according to Brent Wahba, they weren't always that way. In his newest Post, Brent discusses his thoughts on what has made transformation efforts so complicated since lean's early years. More »
When to Pull the Andon
By: Kelly Moore | August 1, 2017
Lost luggage is a traveler's nightmare. But for Kelly Moore, the nightmare got worse when her airline's baggage attendant couldn't pull the andon -- an action that could have fixed the problem on the spot. Kelly now reflects on this incident and how it made her reconsider the efficacy of her organization's andon systems. More »
Getting Religious About Problem Solving
By: Lean Leaper | July 19, 2017
Have you ever heard of a lean transformation guided by scriptures? The people at LifeWayChristian Resources' distribution center in Tennessee have! Whenever possible, they use passages from the Bible to exemplify the principles in their lean training materials. Find out how. More »
Uncovering Lean’s Soul
By: Dr. John R. Ehrenfeld | July 18, 2017
Dr. John Ehrenfeld argues that lean as a different way of being is still woefully undervalued in lean transformations today. Here is his take on this misconception and the neuroscience behind how to ACTUALLY think about lean. More »
Are You Prioritizing Efficiency Over Value?
By: Cameron Ford | May 18, 2017
A major element of lean is efficiency, but it's certainly not the ONLY element. While it may seem logical that customers value efficiency, an overreliance on speed can cripple the experience for them. Inspired by a rather painful experience at an orthopedic clinic, Cam Ford explores this further. More »
How Lean Changed My Work: Lean Without Knowing It
By: Jeremy Venable | April 27, 2017
Last month LEI sent out an email asking the lean community how lean changed their work. For Jeremy Venable of Shell Chemical, lean not only helped him redefine his work, but helped him get recognition and a new job too. Read more. More »
Research, Reflections, and Challenges: John Shook's Closing Keynote of 2016
By: Lean Leaper | February 7, 2017
At the end of every Lean Transformation Summit, Lean Enterprise Institute Chairman and CEO John Shook gives his traditional closing keynote. He shares his observations and thoughts on the lean community plus learnings and advice to keep our lean efforts strong until the next Summit. Here's what he shared with us last year - has it helped you since? More »
Why We're Thankful For Lean
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | November 23, 2016
Thanksgiving is a time of year when Americans take a day to step back and appreciate everything they have to be thankful for. Here at the Lean Enterprise Institute, we're thankful for lean and how it makes things better around the world, every single day. Here's why. More »
Is Lean Getting "Fat?"
By: Brent Wahba | June 1, 2016
"Yes, lean has successfully spread around the world and gone from manufacturing to nearly every other type of value stream," writes Brent Wahba. But on the flip side of the coin, that isn't necessarily an indicator of success. In fact, Brent believes that the rapid spread of lean has made us overconfident, "bloated," and blind. Read more More »
Reflections on Hansei
By: Dan Markovitz | May 11, 2016
For many of us, Japanese lingo has become synonymous with lean. But according to Dan Markowitz, this just makes things harder, because "rather than making it easier by using language, examples, and metaphors that people can relate to, we tend to use Japanese, the language of Toyota.  " Read more. More »
Kaizen Means You Care
By: Dan Markovitz | April 21, 2016
"Lean leaders, and lean consultants (like me), often talk about the organizational benefits of kaizen: lower costs, bigger profits, shorter lead times, higher quality, etc.  ," writes Dan Markovitz. But at the same time, we never want to forget that there is a human element of kaizen. In his latest piece for the Lean Post, Dan shares a touching real-life story of this oft-overlooked side of kaizen. More »
Boatloads of Muda
By: Ken Eakin | April 12, 2016
Ken Eakin saw his fair share of waste during his 13 years in the ocean-shipping industry, especially in the transportation process. Now a lean coach, he looks back on some of the industry's most common wasteful practices and shares some lean tips and logic for avoiding them. If your lean work involves transportation, we're willing to bet you'll find something to relate to! Read more. More »
Malpractice in the New England Journal of Medicine
By: John Y. Shook | February 23, 2016
Several weeks ago, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article by two physicians bashing lean and questioning its effectiveness. LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook found the piece full of holes and misconceptions and now shares his thoughts on the piece in the form of a rebuttal. More »
It's the Productivity, Not the People
By: Craig Stritar | January 12, 2016
In one memorable lean project, Craig Stritar found himself on a large fish-processing vessel in the Bering Sea that was plagued by poor productivity levels. The supervisors insisted that inadequate staffing was the problem - Craig begged to differ. His transformation would require a specialized approach, in which he would not be able to use any lean terminology. Find out how he did it. More »
Every factory needs a value stream map – even Santa's
By: Lean Leaper | December 23, 2015
Ever wondered what the world's most efficient factory is? With a takt time of less than one-third of a millisecond, we may have found our first-place winner. Clues: it's at the North Pole, has over 1.  9 billion customers, and is run by a jolly old man with a white beard and red suit. Think you know which factory we're talking about? Check out this fun VSM from Jordan Kempler of Texas and see if you're right. More »
Is There No Other Lean Exemplar Than Toyota?
By: Michael Ballé | December 16, 2015
"I believe that while Toyota isn’t the only lean exemplar out there," writes Michael Ballé, "it still gives us a flawless example of what lean truly is – a definition that is so often misunderstood. Let us try to disentangle the matter.  " Read more. More »
The Terrible Quest for Best
By: Joshua Rapoza | December 8, 2015
It seems like everyone strives to be the best at what they do. But, Josh Rapoza wonders, why would you even want to be best? Isn't it better to always be improving, rather than settling for what we perceive as "best?" Read more. More »
Ford’s Focus: Lean Lessons from the Recession's Greatest Success Story
By: Cameron Ford | November 12, 2015
After listening to Jim Morgan talk about Ford Motor Company's lean turnaround strategy during the Great Recession, Cam Ford (no relation) muses on how it could hold an important lesson for companies today, regardless of size or industry. More »
Gemba Walking on Mars
By: José R. Ferro | November 5, 2015
Lean is all around us in our daily lives - including at the movies, as Lean Institute Brasil president Jose R. Ferro found out during a recent screening of "The Martian," starring Matt Damon. Find out what he noticed. More »
Lean Thinking and My Navy Experience
By: Mark Minukas | November 4, 2015
When you think of lean organizations, does the U.  S. Navy come to mind? Probably not, but it's an organization with a rich history of lean thinking and practice. Navy veteran and lean practitioner Mark Minukas reflects on the lean lessons he learned from his service and how they helped shape his career. More »
Tough Empathy
By: Eric Ethington | September 3, 2015
"When grasping the situation we always focus in on the process.  .. What about grasping the situation as it relates to the people?" writes Eric Ethington. "I’m talking about truly 'engaging the stakeholders' to the point where they WANT to be part of the improvement process.  " More »
Lean Physician, Heal Thyself!
By: Phil Coy | August 12, 2015
"We [need] to equip people with the right tools to address the problems they must solve," writes Phil Coy. "New software is emerging that is designed to reduce waste in the process of lean transformation itself.  .. to reinforce lean principles of pull, flow, takt, and leveling.  " More »
PDCA, Fitness Apps, and Using Social Media to Improve Our Health
By: Tracey Richardson | August 6, 2015
"Health isn't about always being perfect," writes lean coach Tracey Richardson. "Just like in our organizations, we all have imperfect days. It’s how we change our process to meet expectations that is important.  " More »
Step 1: Open Mouth, Step 2: Insert Foot
By: Joshua Rapoza | July 14, 2015
Joshua Rapoza, Customer Strategy Officer at LEI, reflects on whether working longer hours necessarily means more productivity and the power of our words in motivating (or de-motivating) our team members. More »
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