Lean Does Not Implement Itself

Seeing John Hunter’s post with data that says only 19% of companies are happy with their Lean results, here are my thoughts.

Lean does not implement itself. Leaders implement Lean.

Lean does not fail. Organizations fail.

Rather than saying, “this is why Lean didn’t work here,” Leaders say “here is how we’ll make it work.”

Instead of saying, “our people don’t buy into Lean,” Leaders sell Lean and convince them.

It is easier to say “We tried Lean and it didn’t work” than it is to say “We failed at implementing Lean.” Easier to blame the method than to look in the mirror.

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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3 Comments on "Lean Does Not Implement Itself"

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  1. Ron Pereira says:


  2. robert says:

    Hi Mark

    I blogged about this article myself here: http://tinyurl.com/yr252n

    and like the points that Jon made over at Gemba Panta Rei (http://tinyurl.com/2gpmyq). Let’s face it guys, with this sort of article and attitude being kicked around we’ll never be unemployed!


  3. Ralf says:

    “John Sterman and Nelson Repenning are dealing with exactly the questions that are dealt with in this posting. Both are teaching at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Boston, in the field of System Dynamics.

    The following article is worthwile reading -and perhaps an idea for a future podcast with one of the authors:


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