By August 31, 2011 1 Comments Read More →

Podcast #129 – Chris Cooper, “The Little Book of Lean”

MP3 File (run time 23:33)

My guest for episode #129 is Chris Cooper, a vice president with Simpler Consulting. We’re talking about his new book “The Little Book of Lean,” which can be purchased via their website. We discuss his career in Lean and the background of his book, which is intended to be a simple introductory primer for those who are new to the methodology. Chris has worked in aerospace, as well as military and non-profit applications of Lean.

For a link to this episode, refer people to  www.leanblog.org/129.

For earlier episodes, visit the  main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS or via Apple iTunes.

About Chris Cooper:

Joining Simpler in 2002, Chris Cooper has over 20 years of leadership experience in the delivery of successful large-scale Lean transformations across a broad range of industries, companies and countries. His industry segment experience includes aerospace, defense, military, finance, marketing, health care, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).

Chris’s Lean journey began in 1989 as a student of the Kawasaki Production System (KPS) while working for Europe’s largest defense company, BAE Systems. During this time he became part of the leadership team that drove the company’s Lean transformation of the defense division all the way to a value stream organized company winning a Queen’s Award for Export. As a result, Chris was promoted to be the company’s first Integrated Product Development Team Leader (IPT) position to introduce set-based- concurrent-engineering methods to Europe. During this period Chris was trained in six sigma and design six sigma by Motorola, Inc. As the IPT leader he won a Chairman’s Award for Innovation and a McDonnell Douglas Supplier award for introducing Lean techniques beyond the shop floor. Directly before joining Simpler, Chris was the Lean Advisor to the Eurofighter Program, then the world’s largest non-U.S. based military program, where he worked as a member of the Chief Engineer’s staff team.

Chris’s professional career in Lean and six sigma consulting began in 2002 when he joined Simpler in the early days of European expansion. As a member of the European leadership team, he has helped grow the business ten-fold since. Chris has been at the forefront of the Lean revolution speaking at conferences, working with executive teams, and as an assessor for the Shingo Prize. He has been the sensei for many significant and pioneering Lean transformations and has often introduced Lean concepts to new sectors and organizations in the commercial business and non-profit fields. As Vice President, Chris leads a multi-cultural team of consultants working in more than ten languages throughout Europe and Asia.

Chris has authored The Simpler Little Book of Lean and co-authored Lucky by Design with Rob Westrick.

Chris is an Aeronautical Engineer through his formal apprenticeship program with BAE Systems, and has a Business and Technology (BTEC) Higher National Diploma (HND) from the University of Humberside. He lives in the North West of England with his wife and two children.

You can use the player (use the VCR-type controls) at the top of the post to listen to a streaming version of the podcast (or click here for the streaming audio and RSS subscription). The streaming link is faster for one-time listening (hardly any delay to start listening). Or you can use the download link to put it on your iPod or other MP3 player.

If you have feedback on the podcast, or any questions for me or my guests, you can email me at [email protected] or you can call and leave a voicemail by calling the “Lean Line” at (817) 776-LEAN (817-776-5326) or contact me via Skype id “mgraban”. Please give your location and your first name. Any comments (email or voicemail) might be used in follow ups to the podcast.


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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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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 eBook 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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1 Comment on "Podcast #129 – Chris Cooper, “The Little Book of Lean”"

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  1. Geoff says:

    Hi Mark,

    Chris comment about the new generations of knowledge is absolutely spot on. It is amazing how many times in my career have heard solutions to the effect of “idouble turnover and we will become profitable” or “we are too small to compete”. On a larger scale look at how many mergers and acquisitions fail (and thus destroy wealth) following the same logic of bigger is better.

    Good to hear an authentic Northern English accent too……

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