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Archive for March, 2010

A Lean Urban Legend/Myth Busted?

Last month, in the midst of Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s appearance in front of Congress, there was a little sidebar in the USA Today that caught my eye (“Toyoda vs. Toyota“). An oft-repeated (including here in my blog) story in the Lean world says that the Toyoda family used “Toyota” as the company name because […]

LeanBlog Podcast #87 – Steven J. Spear, PhD, Lean in Healthcare

LeanBlog Podcast #87 – Steven J. Spear, PhD, Lean in Healthcare

Please upgrade your browser MP3 File Right-Click to “Save As” |  Enhanced AAC File Episode #87 is a discussion with a returning guest, Steven J. Spear, PhD, author of the outstanding book “Chasing the Rabbit: How Market Leaders Outdistance the Competition and How Great Companies Can Catch Up and Win.”   The book is due […]

Guest Post: Stamp Out Sugarcoating

Guest Post: Stamp Out Sugarcoating

Sugar-coated messages are in bad taste.   In survey after survey, people ask for straight talk on all issues. They don’t want artificially-sweetened words that supposedly will help the medicine—that is, the tough messages–go down. Sugar-coated messages are still a national problem though. Companies continue to spin convoluted webs trying to trap you. It’s hard […]

Dr. Deming – “More Relevant Than Ever”

Being a huge fan of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, especially so some 17 years after his death, I like any article that concludes with this line: “The lesson of the Toyota recalls is not that Mr. Deming’s Japanese model is an anachronism. It may be more relevant than ever.” The Canadian newspaper, the Globe and […]

Dr. Don Berwick, Supporter of Lean Healthcare, to be New Obama Appointee

Dr. Donald Berwick (bio), founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, has reportedly named by President Obama to head Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the organization that administers programs including Medicare and Medicaid (“Berwick to be US healthcare nominee“). I don’t know what Berwick’s politics are, having only met him briefly one time […]

NPR on the “End of the Line” at NUMMI and My Story About an Interviewee

Here’s some Saturday morning listening… a story from yesterday’s “All Things Considered” on the “End of the Line” at the NUMMI plant (the GM / Toyota joint venture that will produce its last car next week). The story highlights some of the problems the old Freemont CA plant had before GM closed it the first […]

4 Complicated Words vs. 4 Easy Ones

My friend and guest blogger Liz Guthridge (“The Lean Communicator”) would get a kick out of this. I was at a meeting recently and a speaker, with a background from a very famous global consulting firm, had this phrase as part of a slide: “Integration requires a synchronization mechanism.” About LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a […]

Apple & Microsoft – Please Move “Control-W”!!!!

Apple & Microsoft – Please Move “Control-W”!!!!

I’m a very frequent computer user and I’m pretty good with the ole’ shortcut keys, on both Mac and Windows (I’m bi-lingual). I remember when I’ve had hospital teams as clients, I’d often show them how to do basic things in Excel and they’d always say “Wait, how did you do that?” I’d forget (not […]

Guest Post: Captain Sully Talks about Lean and Healthcare Safety

Guest Post: Captain Sully Talks about Lean and Healthcare Safety

Mark’s note: I am thrilled to be able to bring you this guest post from my friend and fellow lean healthcare author, Naida Grunden. Her post (and Sully’s words) are far more important than anything I could write today. More about Naida at the end of the post. At the 10th Annual HIMSS conference in […]

Ford’s Resurgence Due to Less Blame-y Culture?

Mark’s note: It’s great to welcome Andy Wagner back to the blog. Read his older posts here. General Motors, Chrysler, and Toyota have been dominating the headlines in recent months with their financial and, now, quality troubles, while some surprising things have been happening to the Detroit Three’s perpetual number two player: Ford.  The company […]

Of 777s and Heart Rate Monitors

In recent years, healthcare has been learning a lot of lessons from aviation — including checklists and “Crew Resource Management,” as written about in the excellent books   The Checklist Manifesto and Why Hospitals Should Fly. Aviation has gotten much safer over the past few decades, due mainly to improvements in teamwork and human factors. […]

Special “Gemba Academy” DVD Offer

My friend and neighbor Ron Pereira (his blog and twitter pages) is a partner in the Gemba Academy online Lean training efforts. Yes, neighbor. We live about two miles apart in Texas. Seriously. Anyhoo, Gemba Academy is celebrating its first anniversary and is celebrating by offering a free 11-disc DVD Lean training package to the […]

LeanBlog Podcast #86 – David Sundahl, PhD, “Adaptive Design” and Lean in Healthcare

LeanBlog Podcast #86 – David Sundahl, PhD, “Adaptive Design” and Lean in Healthcare

Please upgrade your browser MP3 File Right-Click to “Save As” Episode #86 is a conversation with David Lawrence Sundahl, PhD, Managing Director of Rule 4 Consulting. They are a firm that works with healthcare providers to drive improvements using Lean and what they call “Adaptive Design” methodologies. Sundahl was a contemporary of Steven Spear at […]

How Checklists Help Me With My Podcasts

How Checklists Help Me With My Podcasts

Regular followers of my blog know that I’ve been creating audio podcasts since 2006. Later today (at 3 PM), I am publishing #86 in the series, an interview with David Sundahl, PhD of Rule 4 Consulting. I’ve made mistakes every few podcasts, including: Linking to the wrong file name on the post page for the […]

New “Lean Hospitals” Discussion Forum

New “Lean Hospitals” Discussion Forum

Some of you might remember my attempt at creating a Lean “message board” discussion forum back in 2006. It was active for a while, but usage trailed off — plus LinkedIn groups and the improved LEI Forums serve that purpose very well. So my message board is pretty much a dead project. I did, though, […]

100 Lamest Excuses for Not Innovating… or Not Embracing Lean

Today, I’ll simply point you to a blog post by Mitch Ditkoff called “Top 100 Lamest Excuses for Not Innovating.” Many, if not all of these could apply to not improving a process, not embracing Lean, not doing “kaizen” each day. The Top 3 certainly apply: 1. I don’t have the time. 2. I can’t […]

How the Gold Medal Puck Was Almost Lost

As an American, and a Red Wings fan, it pains me, in a way, to write about Sidney Crosby and the Canadian team’s overtime victory in the gold medal game. I’m currently in Edmonton and get to take in the Red Wings / Oilers game tonight, so life is good. In the paper this morning, […]

“Lean ROI” Interview with Virginia Mason CEO, Gary Kaplan, M.D.

Those who follow Lean healthcare know that Virginia Mason Medical Center, in Seattle, is one of the world’s leaders in improving care through Lean methods. They were featured last year on the CBS Evening News, for example. The LeanROI.org site, the same one that earlier featured a six-part interview with ThedaCare’s Dr. John Toussaint, now […]