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Lean Startups Should Be Lean Cultures, From the Start
By: Mark Graban | December 12, 2013
Columns
Mark Graban reflects on John Shook's talk, "Lean Startup--From Toyota City to Fremont to You," at this week's Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco. Read why Graban believes the broader Lean community and lean startup community have a lot to learn from each other. More »
How Lean Start-ups Can Avoid Big Company Disease
By: Daryl Powell and Eva Rognskog | April 21, 2021
Columns
SATPOS, a lean start-up in Norway specializing in positioning, sensing and monitoring solutions for the ocean is learning to remain agile by observing the effects of BCD on its larger counterparts. CEO Eva Helen Rognskog and Daryl Powell share its progress. More »
Front-Load Your Design Process by Using Set-Based Design
By: Jeffrey Liker | April 1, 2021
Articles
Jeffrey Liker shares his experience researching lean product and process development at Toyota, unveiling the importance behind having a customer-driven concept, having one project leader, and more. More »
Keeping the "Day One" Spirit Alive
By: Regis Medina | July 29, 2020
Columns
Building in a cadence of gemba walks helps nurture the vital "day one" startup spirit as a company grows, says Regis Medina. He offers key tips on how to cultivate this approach. 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 »
Accounting for the Right Reasons
By: Jim Huntzinger | March 1, 2020
Articles
My first job after graduating from Purdue University was as a manufacturing engineer with the Japanese company, Aisin Seiki. Aisin U.  S.  A. was in the process of transplanting to North America to supply components to Toyota manufacturing operations in Fremont, California (NUMMI), Georgetown, Kentucky, and Cambridge, Ontario. The Georgetown assembly plant was not yet running production. 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 »
Is it really necessary for a sensei to act obnoxiously?
By: Michael Ballé | February 17, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: Is it really necessary for a sensei to act obnoxiously? More »
Got any recommendations for applying lean in the tool and die shop to stop our dies from crashing like crazy?
By: Michael Ballé | May 6, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: We applied SMED to increase the flexibility in our production cells. Now our dies are crashing like crazy and disrupting production because maintenance can't keep up! Got any recommendations or experiences in applying lean in the tool and die shop? More »
What topics, tools, and techniques would you include in an MBA-level course on teaching lean concepts?
By: Michael Ballé | March 11, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I am designing an MBA-level course to teach lean concepts.    What topics, tools, and techniques would you include in a 7-week, 14-session course? 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 »
What does “separation of human work and machine work” mean?
By: Balle, Michael | November 29, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I’ve been trying to learn more about Jidoka and I keep coming across references to “separation of human work and machine work” but I’m not sure what this means – any pointers?  More »
Is a lean team leader a manager?
By: Ballé, Michael | September 11, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: How is a team leader not a manager? More »
“Do I have to be team leader for the rest of my life?"
By: John Shook | June 27, 2017
Columns; eLetters
At his talk at the Lean Transformation Summit earlier this year, and at conferences since then, including Industry Week and Shingo, Lantech CEO Jim Lancaster shared these words, expressing a Groundhog Day-like despair at having to solve the same problems on a daily basis (“Didn’t we do this yesterday?”). More »
Follow-up to your comments on the “lean is a scam” column
By: Ballé, Michael | June 5, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach Readers: I’ve been following the “scam” discussion with interest. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. Maybe the original questioner’s use of “scam” was a bit of an exaggeration. More »
Isn’t lean all about culture?
By: Ballé, Michael | April 17, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: Isn’t lean all about culture, really? More »
We meet daily to examine a new customer complaint. What do we do next?
By: Ballé, Michael | February 27, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: We’re a start-up and have taken your advice: we now have a customer wall and we meet daily to look into a new complaint. What do we do next? It’s hard to know what to do or how that helps? More »
A Thriving Community of Practice - Book Report
By: John Shook | February 7, 2017
Columns; eLetters
I am often asked why the “lean movement” has outlasted so many business improvement movements that have come and gone. Surely one sign of the health of any community is the continuing evolution of theory and practice. More »
Do andons apply to software development?
By: Ballé, Michael | December 6, 2016
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I work in software development, and I really don’t see how andon applies – what am I missing? More »
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 do I introduce kaizen to IT?
By: Ballé, Michael | March 14, 2016
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: Based on your experience, what is the best strategy to introduce kaizen as social, ongoing events without start and end dates in a service industry, specifically IT services? More »
What is your opinion about transformation process steps?
By: Ballé, Michael | February 8, 2016
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: What is your opinion about transformation process steps? First we choose a problem and start problem-solving processes (A3 or 8-step methods) and after the steps create our first standards; OR first write down the processes as they are now and choose problems to solve by measuring the gaps between first standards and our goals? More »
Is a lean CEO's job different from a traditional CEO?
By: Ballé, Michael | August 31, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: How does the role of CEO in lean management differ from that in traditional management? More »
Lean Startup: The Most Revolutionary Idea Since SMED?
By: Sam McAfee | June 12, 2015
Columns
"From my view, Lean Startup is quite simply the most revolutionary idea to advance the way business is practiced since the birth of Lean," writes Sam McAfee. "It’s to product development what Shigeo Shingo’s Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) was for manufacturing.  " Read why. More »
Work
By: John Shook | June 11, 2015
Columns; eLetters
We need to think about redefining work. Until we – anyone who wishes to bring about organizational change – redefine the actual value-creating work of the business, we haven’t made any changes that are meaningful. You may be able to create wealth through a variety of business models or ways of thinking. But if you want to create real value, and jobs that value people, you must think hard about how your people are working every day. More »
Lean is About Building Organizations that Learn to Learn
By: Lean Leaper | June 2, 2015
Columns
In April, LEI's John Shook spoke at the LeanUX NYC conference about how the lean movement has changed (and not changed) over time and what any community (user design or otherwise) needs to focus on in terms of leadership behaviors in order to build strong organizations that solve problems. Watch the video and read excerpts from his keynote. More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 6)
By: Lean Leaper | March 25, 2015
Columns
Check out five recently published articles we think may help you improve your work or think about your work differently - this time from Forbes, The New York Times, Industry Week, Harvard Business Review, and Medium. What great lean reads would you add to the list? More »
What does customer focus really mean?
By: Ballé, Michael | March 16, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: We’re discussing improving our customer focus, but we’ve realized we’re not quite sure what the phrase really means. Any pointers? More »
How do I set up an obeya room?
By: Ballé, Michael | January 12, 2015
Columns; eLetters; Emails
Dear Gemba Coach: I’d like to set up an obeya room – where should I start? What’s the simplest way to do it? More »
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