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Lean Blog Audio

Updated 6 days ago

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Mark Graban reads and expands upon selected posts from LeanBlog.org. Topics include Lean principles and leadership in healthcare, manufacturing, business, and the world around us.Learn more at http://www.leanblog.org/audio Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/lean-blog-audio/support

Read more

Mark Graban reads and expands upon selected posts from LeanBlog.org. Topics include Lean principles and leadership in healthcare, manufacturing, business, and the world around us.Learn more at http://www.leanblog.org/audio Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/lean-blog-audio/support

iTunes Ratings

11 Ratings
Average Ratings
6
1
1
2
1

iTunes Ratings

11 Ratings
Average Ratings
6
1
1
2
1
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Lean Blog Audio

Latest release on Aug 27, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 6 days ago

Rank #1: Why Kaizen is an Important Differentiator for Japanese Whisky

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This article caught my attention the other day, primarily because I like scotch, whisky (and whiskey and bourbon). The Japanese love scotch whisky and have long produced a product that's a variation of scotch -- Japanese whisky (the lack of a standardized spelling for whiskey is an endless debate). I'll settle on "whisky."The article: Japanese Whisky Got a Lot of Hype, But Can One Bottle Really Be the Best?

Now, you might not care about "the brownest of the brown liquors" (Simpsons reference), but there's an interesting detail in the article about the Kaizen mindset of continuous improvement.

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Mar 05 2015

8mins

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Rank #2: General Jim Mattis on Leadership, Mistakes, and Defining Problems

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http://www.leanblog.org/audio287

General Jim Mattis has been making the rounds to talk about his new book that is out today: Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead.

"Learning to Lead" sounds like it could be the title of a book about Lean management. We're learning how to lead people, to lead improvement, to lead organizations. You might say we're "practicing leadership," myself included.

A few things jumped out from an article and an NPR interview with Mattis that made me think about Lean and the challenges we face in various workplaces. 

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Sep 03 2019

9mins

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Rank #3: The Patriots, Coach Belichick, Aspects of Lean Thinking,

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http://leanblog.org/audio15

I have lived in Boston two different times, but I'm hardly a New England Patriots fan. I realize they have been accused of cheating (the previous "Spygate" controversy where they violated league rules by videotaping the hand signals of opposition defensive coaches and the recent "deflategate" controversy).For an organization to be truly admirable, integrity has to come first. Integrity is non-negotiable. There are many questions about the Patriots...

But, there were a few things that jumped out at me in a Saturday WSJ article on the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick: "Deflategate Masks the Many Virtues of Belichick."

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Feb 01 2015

7mins

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Rank #4: Jess Orr on What She Learned by Leaving Toyota

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http://www.leanblog.org/audio291

Last week was our fifth annual KaiNexus User Conference (or "KaiNexicon" as we now call it).

One of our keynote speakers was Jess Orr, a former Toyota engineer who shared perspectives on what it was like to now lead continuous improvement in another company. Jess has previously presented three webinars for us at KaiNexus (see links at the end of the post) and she always has something insightful to say.

I took a lot of notes during her talk, so here are some of the highlights as I captured them.

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Oct 11 2019

8mins

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Rank #5: On Boeing, GM, and Hospitals… and Epic Battles Between Reality and Spokespeople?

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Yesterday's blog post was about a situation (with my podcast hosting service) that triggered memories of my time at General Motors in 1995. Today's post is about a recent article on Boeing that definitely caused me to think of that broken, dysfunctional “pre-Lean” culture that I suffered through (and learned from) in my first year at GM.

In 1995, nobody claimed GM was Lean so the expectations were low. They were who they were and my new plant manager in 1996 started to change things. Boeing is a company that has been pointed at as a great example of Lean Manufacturing, so it's troubling to read reports that suggest otherwise.

From the New York Times:

Claims of Shoddy Production Draw Scrutiny to a Second Boeing Jet

Workers at a 787 Dreamliner plant in South Carolina have complained of defective manufacturing, debris left on planes and pressure to not report violations.

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Apr 30 2019

17mins

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Rank #6: One Doctor's Troubling Experiences in the Emergency Department [Covid-19]

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http://www.leanblog.org/audio300

I had a phone conversation yesterday with an emergency medicine physician after her shift at an unnamed hospital in an undisclosed state.

She had a number of frustrations to share and she doesn't really have an outlet (and doesn't want her name out there for fear of retaliation). More importantly, this isn't about one institution. She works in a well respected system. So this lack of preparedness and leadership could be widespread. When I posted my concerns about hospital preparedness for Covid-19, I guess they weren't unfounded.

I'm sharing these concerns in a public way because I think it's important to try to inspire other healthcare professionals and improvement specialists who CAN be on site to drive improvements.

I also hope it serves as a reminder to the public to NOT GO to the hospital unless it's a life-or-death emergency right now.  "When should I go to the hospital?" and more questions were be covered in a webinar that was done on Wednesday. Listen, watch, or read a synopsis here.

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Mar 20 2020

13mins

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Rank #7: Remembering a Great Leader, Paul O'Neill (1935-2020)

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http://www.leanblog.org/audio304

It was a sad weekend, hearing about the passing of Paul H O'Neill, Sr. on Saturday. He was 84.

I had the good fortune to meet and spend time with Mr. O'Neill on a few occasions and I'll share some reflections in this post. My condolences go out to his family and friends, and especially to my Value Capture colleagues who worked with him at Alcoa or at the firm over the past 15 years.

Here are his obituaries from the WSJ, the New York Times, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. You can also read more about his life on a memorial page that his family set up and people are sharing memories there.

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Apr 22 2020

13mins

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Rank #8: Bob Lutz on Tesla, Threats, & Communication About Quality - and Implications for Healthcare

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http://www.leanblog.org/audio282

Hat tip to Stan Feingold from StoreSMART (a Lean Blog sponsor) for sending me this article:

Bob Lutz Talks Panel Gaps, Tesla, and Why Every Detail Matters -- Getting it right starts at the top.

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Aug 18 2019

5mins

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Rank #9: Putting Up Signs and Shooting Down Ideas

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It's sad and unfortunate when leaders SAY they want a culture of continuous improvement, but don't walk the walk.

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Jan 19 2015

6mins

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Rank #10: Family Guy Skewers Marie Kondo (and 5S and Lean too?)

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I haven't read it, but Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing has been a pop-culture phenomenon the past few years.

I've seen some compare her process to the Lean practice of “5S.”

Kondo says you should only keep an item if it “sparks joy.”

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May 13 2019

7mins

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Rank #11: Inside Toyota's Takaoka #2 Line - Flexibility and Kaizen

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This is an interesting article:

Inside Toyota's Takaoka #2 Line: The Most Flexible Line In The World

I had a chance to visit the 'Takaoka #1" line in February 2018 as part of my tour with Kaizen Institute. This article makes me wish we had been able to see Takaoka #2, but that sounds like a somewhat rare and special opportunity (even more special than visiting Toyota is normally).

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Jun 11 2019

9mins

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Rank #12: A Hospital CEO Who Wants Other CEOs to “Give a Damn” About Their People

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Here's an interesting column from Becker's Hospital Review, written by Michael Dowling, President and CEO, Northwell Health.

I'm guessing he created the headline, since the phrase “give a damn” doesn't appear in the article:

"Michael Dowling: CEOs — Give a damn about your people"

Who are the CEOs he is speaking to who do NOT give a damn? What inspired him to write this?

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May 01 2019

8mins

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Rank #13: Lean: A Combination of "Why?" and "Why Not?"

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http://www.leanblog.org/audio281

When we have really sticky, complicated problems (like the widespread healthcare patient safety and quality problems), I think it's interesting to think about problems in the following terms... for a particular problem, which is true?

  • It can't be solved (in general)
  • That organization can't solve it (don't know how?)
  • They won't solve it
  • They don't need to solve it

When we look at patient safety, there are many examples that show improvement is possible. So, it comes down to a question of "can't, won't, or don't need to?"

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Aug 16 2019

8mins

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Rank #14: Maybe "Just Do Its" Should be Called "Just PDSA Its"?

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http://www.leanblog.org/audio290

So, upon some reflection, it seems like "Just Do It" isn't really the right phrase to use. A classic suggestion box system has cards that start with listing a suggestion. That's, in a way, jumping to solutions. Kaizen isn't a suggestion box model.

Maybe "Just PDSA It" is a more accurate phrase to use?

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Oct 08 2019

8mins

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Rank #15: How PBCs (Process Behavior Charts) Can Enhance the Practice of OKRs (Objectives & Key Results)

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https://leanblog.org/audio276

"Over the past year, I've heard about the “OKRs” methodology that is used in tech companies like Google. OKRs stands for Objectives & Key Results.  The approach (along with examples and case studies) are laid out in the book by venture capitalist John Doerr, Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs."  There are things I like about this model... and it reminds me of the Lean "Strategy deployment" practice... but I think it would be better with "Process Behavior Charts." #okrs #OKR #leanstartup #leanmanagement #business 

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May 20 2019

18mins

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Rank #16: Toyota, Respect for People (or "Humanity") and Lean

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From 2013 -- http://www.leanblog.org/audio277

A principle that has been often discussed (and hopefully practiced) in the Lean community over the past few years is usually described as “respect for people.”

A certain British rabble rouser recently said the following at a Lean conference: “All this respect for people stuff is horse sh*t,” and it is a “conventional Western management interpretation.” He mocked the idea of “respect for people programs,” although I'm not sure where such a standalone program has ever been attempted. That sounds like a strawman, the idea that a company would have a “respect for people” program.

Let me explain why he's wrong — “respect for people” is not horse sh*t” — and we can explore some great links on “respect for people” in this post.

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May 25 2019

9mins

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Rank #17: My Talk: When Being Right is the Wrong Strategy for Change

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I always enjoy the KaiNexus User Conference (now called KaiNexicon starting this year) and they ask me to give a talk each year.

Last year, I gave a talk called “When Being Right is the Wrong Strategy for Change” and KaiNexus recently shared a nicely-shot video of that talk on YouTube. So. I'm sharing that here... and the blog post has a transcript I had done, annotated with some slides and links. You can also read a shorter summary via the KaiNexus blog.

http://www.leanblog.org/audio275

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May 17 2019

38mins

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Rank #18: What Chefs and Restauranteurs Say About Learning From Failures & Mistakes

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http://www.leanblog.org/audio283

Anyway, this article caught my eye the other day:

Top Chefs and Restaurateurs on the Best Lessons They Learned from Failures

Check out the article for the detail, but here are the five lessons and I think they apply to Lean and other things we practice, with my commentary…

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Aug 20 2019

4mins

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Rank #19: Our Toyota Tour Guide's Kaizen

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From 2014 -- http://www.leanblog.org/audio293

We had an excellent English-speaking tour guide for our visit (she lived in Hawaii at one point). As we talked through the facility (up in a "catwalk" that gave good visibility down into the process), she would occasionally stop at pre-determined points to explain something about the process or about the Toyota Production System and its elements.

At each stop, there was a box with a microphone and other audio/visual equipment and speakers. She didn't have to carry a microphone with her.

The guide was carrying a bag, something between a briefcase and a large purse.

One of our sharp-eyed tour attendees, a Chief Medical Officer from a Canadian hospital, noticed a hook that she would hang her bag on while stopped and talking. He asked her about the hook.

Sure enough, it was a Kaizen improvement! And, it was her idea.

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Nov 23 2019

7mins

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Rank #20: "Lean Sigma" is Still Pretty Often Wrong on Lean

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Here's look back at a post from 2011 that talks about some of the misunderstandings that are thrown around about Lean and Six Sigma, with some new content and an audio clip from a speaker who gets this very wrong.

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Jan 29 2015

10mins

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