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Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good
By: Ann Mei Chang | October 30, 2018
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 »
Lean Health Care Tips for Covid-19 (from Planet Lean)
By: Lean Leaper | April 7, 2020
In this excellent Planet Lean article, a team of lean healthcare experts share helpful tips and principles for tackling More »
Recommended Reading: Immunity, from Planet Lean
By: Lean Leaper | April 3, 2020
Please read the Planet Lean article Immunity for a detailed primer on how Italian manufacturer FPZ applied lean principles when tackling a host of problems posed by the current pandemic. More »
Lean and "emotional heijunka" in a Time of Pandemic
By: James P. Womack | April 1, 2020
In this timely reflection, Jim Womack calls for "emotional heijunka": taking a deep breath, identifying the most important problems that must be addressed in a given process, and screening out the emotional inputs we are bombarded with so that we don't get into the dumps or soar with false euphoria. More »
The Impact of Social Distancing on Assembly Operations
By: John Y. Shook | April 1, 2020
Take a deep-dive look at how GE Appliances and Herman Miller are working on designing a safe work environment for production employeesduring the Covid-19 pandemic. More »
Why (and How) We Believe Lean Can Help During COVID-19
By: Lean Sensei Women | March 20, 2020
As Lean Sensei Women, we have put together some relevant lean suggestions and ideas for your organization to use (and of course, you can apply many of them at home as well) in response to COVID-19. They’re simple and easy, can be implemented quickly, and are all based on our lean principles of respect for humanity and continuous improvement. More »
How Lean Can Help Deliver Social Justice While Boosting Quality Health Care
By: Alice Lee and Kiame Mahaniah, MD | January 20, 2020
In this podcast, developed from a talk at the 2018 Lean Transformation Summit learn how the Lynn Community Health Center is building successors by turning a recent leadership transition into a catalyst for improvement. More »
Can a manufacturer use lean management to advance its environmental and social sustainability strategy?
By: Michael Ballé | December 30, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, Can a manufacturer use lean to advance its environmental and social sustainability strategy? More »
The Power of Inspiration
By: Paige Henry | October 23, 2019
Lean thinker Paige Henry shares a call to action: let’s get our leaders and people to realize “it’s about the think” to prevent problems happening in the first place, and when they do, that we need to enable them to think of multiple countermeasures rather than going with the solution that “they’ve seen/used a million times before.  ” More »
Rebuilding Homes and Disaster Recovery Processes
By: Zack Rosenburg | May 15, 2019
When Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg left their careers to help desperate victims of Hurricane Katrina rebuild, they knew nothing about construction or lean management. Today, SBP, the disaster recovery nonprofit they founded, has cut rebuilding time by nearly 50% using lean concepts. Zack talks to LEI about the remarkable new recovery model they developed and detail in their new book, Getting Home. More »
How to Scale Up Positive Social Change
By: Ann Mei Chang | May 13, 2019
Far more households globally have access to a mobile phone than a toilet, notes Ann Mei Chang, a tech executive turned social innovator and author. And that’s despite the time and money spent for years by hundreds of nonprofits, social organizations, companies, and government agencies. Listen as she explains her radical idea of taking the scientific method she learned in tech and the lean startup movement to create radically great social good at scale. More »
We get good results with kaizen, but why don't they stick?
By: Michael Ballé | December 17, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  Our teams have good results with kaizen, but nothing seems to stick for long – any advice? More »
How to Engage Employees Through Creativity
By: Nicole Hudson | October 17, 2018
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 »
Workers Unite for Better
By: Josh Howell | October 8, 2018
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 »
Fighting Poverty with Lean Product & Process Design at MIT D-Lab
By: Lean Leaper | April 24, 2018
D-Lab at MIT is using lean product and process design to help solve problems in the developing world, and are truly making the world a better place for all those involved More »
A (Work) Pie in the Face to All Bad Jobs
By: John Y. Shook | December 12, 2017
Want Better Employees? Be a Better Employer More »
Organization Follows a Lean-like Vision for Eradicating Poverty
By: Jacob Stoller | December 5, 2017
Meet the anti-poverty movement's Taiichi Ohno. More »
SBP Has a Helping Hand in Hurricane Harvey
By: Zack Rosenburg | August 31, 2017
Learn how SBP (formerly Saint Bernard Project) is using lean to help victims of Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters -- plus what you can do to help! More »
EWABI, Earth Corporations (E-CORPS) & Electric Bamboo Bikes
By: Mark Donovan | March 1, 2017
Can electric bamboo bikes made in Bali offer a potential solution to global social, economic and environmental injustice? What does it mean that the Earth owns the business? Learn more about E-CORPS from its creator, Mark Donovan, co-founder of Wooden Ships. More »
An A3 Antidote to the Opiate Epidemic
By: Ryan Howard | December 15, 2016
Opiate use in America has been spiking at an alarming rate. Many healthcare organizations, such as the University of Michigan Medical School, are trying to fight the surge in use by controlling how many opioids they prescribe to their patients. Ryan Howard led a project to curb the number of opiate pills released to their community via the Medical School. Read more. More »
Small Batch: Hand-Picked Articles from the Global Lean Community (Vol. 6)
By: Lean Leaper | January 27, 2016
Our picks for the best high-impact learning stories and columns from Planet Lean. More »
By: By Tyler Fife & Julie Simmons | August 1, 2015
The first step of the Improvement Kata, "Understand the Direction or Challenge," is often overlooked, yet it is the important context for the three steps that follow. In this Summer's Kata video, Tyler Fife of BiAmp Systems in Portland, OR defines what a Challenge is, how it fits in and what happens when you skip over this step of the IK pattern. Future-State Mapping is one good way to define your Challenge. More »
Rethinking Disaster Recovery on the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
By: Chet Marchwinski | July 31, 2015
As the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches on August 23rd-29th, read about how lean thinking is changing how New Orleans and the rest of the U.  S. is recovering from disasters. Then read or bookmark the full case study. More »
Latondra Newton on the Toyota Production System and Social Innovation
By: Chet Marchwinski and Latondra Newton | March 19, 2015
The success of Toyota’s lean management principles in manufacturing, healthcare, product development, and other areas is well known and well documented. Now the company is applying these concepts to social innovation in order to give back to society. Read more in Chet Marchwinski's interview with Toyota's Chief Social Innovation Officer, Latondra Newton. More »
Opportunity Lost?
By: José R. Ferro | May 14, 2014
President of Lean Institute Brasil, José Ferro, gives us the background situation on the World Cup and tells us about the problems and opportunities it presents for Brazil. More »
What's Really Underlying the Protests in Brazil?
By: José R. Ferro | July 18, 2013
The world looked on as protests and subsequent violence swept Brazil earlier in June. José Ferro explains the state's response and asks us to think more deeply about the real problems Brazil is facing. More »
By: By Mike, Bill and several Kata Contributors | August 1, 2012
This SlideShare is a good one for reading and discussing in your team. We wish you interesting and productive reflection!  (UPDATE: Counterpoints by readers have been added.  ) More »
Shigeo Shingo's Influence on the Toyota Production System
By: Art Smalley; | January 12, 2009
Isao Kato was in a good position to observe the early development of the Toyota Production System, the model for lean production. He developed training material at Toyota under Taiichi Ohno, regarded as the chief architect of the Toyota Production System (TPS). He also coordinated the work of Shigeo Shingo, an outside consultant and TPS contributor. Kato sat down with Art Smalley for this Q&A about the roles of Shingo, Ohno, Sakichi Toyoda, and Kiichiro Toyoda about the early development of TPS.  Kato’s comments in the Q&A led to a response on the Superfactory site from Norman Bodek, the first publisher More »
Gross Domestic Product Verses Gross Domestic Waste
By: Womack, Jim | October 23, 2006
Columns; eLetters
I’ve always been fascinated by how humans count, especially the way we always seem to count the wrong things. Recently I was looking at the American counting of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The U.  S. government reports that GDP was up 2.  6% in the second quarter of 2006, after rising 5.  8% in the first quarter, and the economists offering commentary seem to think this is good. We are producing more product per capita, meaning economic output is growing faster than population. But growth has slowed recently toward a level that can be sustained without causing inflation.  Governments in More »
Nonsense about JIT
By: Womack, Jim | October 4, 2001
Columns; eLetters
In almost every value stream, there will be some inventory at points where the product cannot flow. This inventory will typically consist of finished goods at the shipping point in each facility, work-in-process between fabrication steps within each facility, and raw materials (incoming goods) at the receiving end of each facility. More »
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