We Have a Winner!

Throughout May we have been holding a contest for the best examples of Everyday Lean, examples of lean thinking that show up in everyday life from work to home and everything in between. Mark Graban, LeanBlog.org founder, has been sharing some of his Everyday Lean work from his trip to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. But Mark doesn’t get to win, someone else does. The contest is now over and we do have a winner.

The winner is Joe Wilson. Joe is a lean manufacturing coordinator at Guardian Automotive in Evansville, Indiana. The merits of Joe’s winning is based on his pure volume of ideas which he uncovered from all walks of life. He submitted more than I can include here, but here are a few of my favorites:

  • A nice safety fix on lawn mowers is the kill function tied to the lever on the handle of the mower. If the handle is let go, the mower engine is killed reducing injury possibilities when one is no longer in control of the mower.
  • Maternity wards offering pre-registration so that all of the paperwork can be filled out before the woman shows up to the hospital in labor.
  • The evolution from the pull tab to the pop top cans reducing the waste of disposing the tabs and cleaning up tabs that didn’t make it to the trash.
  • Here is an example I refer to as SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Diapers). I realize that the name isn’t mine. New parents learn quickly that in order to change a diaper quickly, it is necessary to get all of the items prepared before removing the diaper and find faster ways to change the diapers. (Separating internal and external changeover tasks and kaizening remaining tasks).

Joe will receive a signed copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean: Lessons from the Road. This book, about 6 months old now, is starting up book club discussions and new thoughts for people to accelerate and improve their lean journey. I look forward to Joe’s comments on the book. Since the rest of you didn’t win a free copy, you can now go ahead and buy one here.

For a review of all the postings of Everday Lean, click here and read away.

Please check out my main blog page at www.leanblog.org

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Now Available – The updated, expanded, and revised 3rd Edition of Mark Graban’s Shingo Research Award-Winning Book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement. You can buy the book today, including signed copies from the author.


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Jamie Flinchbaugh is a lean advisor, speaker, and author. In addition to co-founding the Lean Learning Center, he has helped build nearly 20 companies as either a co-founder, board member, advisor, or angel investor. These companies range from high-performance motorcycles to SaaS tools for continuous improvement. He has advised over 300 companies around the world in lean transformation, including Intel, Harley-Davidson, Crayola, BMW, and Amazon. Jamie co-authored the popular book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean, and continues to share his experiences as a Contributing Editor forIndustryWeek and as a blogger at JamieFlinchbaugh.com. He holds degrees from Lehigh University, University of Michigan, and MIT, and continues to teach and mentor on campus. Jamie is best known for helping to transform how we think about lean from a tools-centric model to one based on principles and behaviors. His passion for lean transformation comes from seeking to unlock the great potential that people possess to build inspiring organizations.

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