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5 Steps to Empowering Your Team
By: Andrew Quibell | July 20, 2017
Empowering an entire team can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. You just need a good background understanding of empowerment and a simple, yet effective, model for making it happen. Andrew Quibell provides both in his newest sketches and animation, today on the Lean Post. 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 »
Why don't you use plain English instead of confusing Japanese terms such as “monozukuri” or “hitozukuri”?
By: Ballé, Michael | July 17, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, Why do you keep using confusing Japanese terms such as “monozukuri” or “hitozukuri” rather than plain English? Isn’t that what professionals do when they want to obfuscate and befuddle clients? More »
The Story of an Error
By: Orest (Orry) Fiume | July 13, 2017
As a followup to his popular article from earlier this summer about lean profit-sharing plans, Orry Fiume delves deeper. He shares a booklet that McKesson & Robbins Inc. once used to educate its employees on practices that hurt profits (and by extension, the sharing plans that distribute said profits). Read more. More »
Ask Art: Is there a conflict between automation/IT and lean?
By: Art Byrne | July 12, 2017
An oft-heard debate in lean circles revolves around automation and IT. Do IT/automation complement lean? Or do they clash with it? Art Byrne explores this further. More »
Book Value: The Mental ABC's of Pitching
By: John Y. Shook | July 11, 2017
"With both the All-Star Game and our Lean Coaching Summit approaching, I got to thinking about ways that non-lean books offer insights into coaching and mastery," writes LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook. Read more More »
Our hoshin plan failed. What do we do now?
By: Ballé, Michael | July 11, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, How do we deal with hoshin kanri when things don’t work out as planned? More »
The Work of Management: A Daily Path to Sustainable Improvement
By: Jim Lancaster | July 6, 2017
Lancaster tells an inspiring and practical business story in his new book, The Work of Management (2017, Lean Enterprise Institute). It’s a close-up, candid look at Lancaster’s personal transformation as a leader. It’s also a practical, in-depth, business case study of Lantech’s lean transformation, relapse, and comeback that American manufacturing – and other industries -- can use to profitably transform themselves. More »
Happy Fourth of July from All of Us at LEI!
By: Cameron Ford | July 4, 2017
The Lean Post is taking a break this week to celebrate the anniversary of America's independence from Great Britain. Join us next week for more insightful content on lean thinking and practice! More »
You can do a lot by doing a few things
By: Leslie Barker | June 29, 2017
"Developing a good strategy and actually executing it is really hard," writes Leslie Barker. "What I didn’t fully realize was how powerful just a little knowledge is along with a commitment to do things differently.  " Read Leslie's gripping story of the role these two things play in her day-to-day work. More »
“Do I have to be a team leader for the rest of my life?"
By: John Y. Shook | June 28, 2017
In this reprint of his latest e-letter, LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook reflects on the powerful lessons in the new book, "The Work of Management," by Jim Lancaster. 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?”). As he voiced his anguish, I looked out and saw a good 600 of the 660 listeners looking down at their feet in a shared response, his comment the awakening whap of a “Zen stick” (as Dan Prock would say, see PS below) inspiring each listener to reflect, “Yes, that’s me!” More »
Engagement and Elephants: How Lean Changed the San Diego Zoo
By: Lean Leaper | June 27, 2017
In this exclusive video from the 2017 Lean Transformation Summit, Director of Performance Improvement Jeff Foster dishes on some of his experiences implementing lean at the San Diego Zoo. More »
Will a real andon system bring the factory to a full stop?
By: Ballé, Michael | June 26, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, What would happen if we practiced andon for real – wouldn’t the factory simply stop? More »
Want to Be a Better Leader and Coach? Listen to Yourself
By: David Verble | June 22, 2017
In the third installment in his series on the importance of proper communication from managers to their employees, David Verble shares "a simple way that managers and leaders – and you, lean coordinators and coaches – can get a sense of how your words and the way they are delivered 'land' with others.  " More »
Manager-Employee Communication: What Neuroscience Tells Us
By: David Verble | June 21, 2017
In yesterday's Post, David Verble introduced us to the importance of proper, tactful communication from leaders to employees. Today he delves a bit deeper into the topic, focusing on the neuroscience behind this critical element of lean organizations. More »
Leaders’ Actions Speak but Their Talk Matters Too
By: David Verble | June 20, 2017
"Many organizations are investing in lean continuous improvement programs, systems and staff," writes David Verble. "Frequently there are critical pieces missing in these initiatives, however.  " And one of the most critical is an understanding by managers of how their talk impacts employees. Read more. More »
How can I tell good lean consultants from bad?
By: Ballé, Michael | June 19, 2017
Columns; eLetters
If lean’s not a scam – but there are scammers -- how can I distinguish good lean consultants from bad? More »
Daily Management, Daily Sustainment: The Remarkable Story of Lean Transformation at Lantech
By: Lean Leaper | June 15, 2017
Jim Lancaster attended the 2017 Lean Transformation Summit in Carlsbad, California to speak about Lantech's journey to create a daily management system. Today on the Lean Post we feature a video of his talk on the role of management in sustaining the gains of lean. More »
Ask Art: Does lean compromise innovation?
By: Art Byrne | June 14, 2017
To some, lean and innovation seem counterproductive. But Art Byrne is not one of them. Find out why he says "lean and innovation are and have always been completely compatible" and how it can help your organization reach next-level results. More »
Advice from the Gemba: More Mistakes that Lean Leaders Make
By: Lean Leaper | June 13, 2017
Everybody makes mistakes, lean leaders included. Our previous list of mistakes made by lean leaders was the highest-performing installment in the Advice from the Gemba series - we now follow it up with a sequel. More »
The Humble Learner
By: Dave LaHote | June 9, 2017
“Try to do every task better today than we did yesterday”. More importantly, the guidance and technical assistance from Inoac and later Toyota helped us learn to become a good supplier who made money. In only a couple of years the plant went from being on the closure list to one of our most profitable. At the heart of this change was our Sensi Mr. Nakane. Always teaching by going to see, asking why and always showing respect. It was the combination of the lean tools with lean thinking that helped us build a successful organization over time. More »
7 Things Coaches Need to Get Over
By: Mike Orzen | June 8, 2017
"Over the years, I have noticed some common misperceptions about coaching effective problem solving skills and developing lean thinking," writes Mike Orzen. Read more to learn seven of them to improve your coaching practice. More »
I'll Follow You into the Dark...
By: Leslie Barker | June 7, 2017
We all know that lean transformations can happen in any industry or environment. But have you ever thought about a photography darkroom as the site of a lean transformation? That was where Leslie Barker first experience lean in action - here's her story of what she learned. More »
Follow-up to your comments on the “lean is a scam” column
By: Ballé, Michael | June 5, 2017
Columns; eLetters
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 »
How a Retailer's Distribution Center Exemplifies the Lean Precept “Respect for People,” and Reaps the Benefits
By: David Drickhamer | June 5, 2017
Case Studies
To make sure training engaged and resonated with people after previous attempts at a lean transformation faltered, LifeWay matched lean management tools and principles to its Bible-based culture and language. More »
3 Interview Questions to Gauge Candidates’ Problem-Solving Capacity
By: Derrick Redding | June 1, 2017
It's always great to promote from within when trying to fill lean leadership roles. But what if you have to fill the positions using external candidates? Lean veteran Derrick Redding shares some strategies he uses to assess candidates' match for a problem-solving culture. More »
Your Gemba Isn't the Only Gemba to Walk
By: Aaron Hunt | May 31, 2017
We all know the critical importance of gemba walks in our organization. But what many of us forget is that sometimes visiting OTHER gembas can be just as value add as visiting our own. Aaron Hunt knows this well - in his latest Post, he shares two stories of how visiting someone else's gemba inspired him to improve his own. More »
A3 Coaching: What Feedback Would You Give?
By: Lean Leaper | May 30, 2017
You be our coach: what feedback/coaching would you offer on our example A3? We'd like to hear from you! More »
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