web analytics

Archive for January, 2012

A Reinforcing Loop of Kaizen and Respect

A Reinforcing Loop of Kaizen and Respect

We are going through the editing and typesetting process for our upcoming book Healthcare Kaizen  this week. After not really looking at the manuscript for a few months, a particular line stood out and made me think, as it’s the description of a “chicken and egg” dynamic – what comes first in Lean, TPS, and […]

By January 31, 2012 5 Comments Read More →
KaiNexus Education Video #5 – Moving Beyond Suggestion Boxes

KaiNexus Education Video #5 – Moving Beyond Suggestion Boxes

Here is the fifth in our series of short, simple Kaizen education videos  from KaiNexus, a software startup where I am on the management team.  We are embedding these videos into our web-based software, to provide short tips and hints for our users (see the whole series). We’re also making the videos available on  our YouTube […]

By January 30, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking” – But in a good way?

There has been a lot of buzz over last Sunday’s New York Times article “How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work.” It’s good to see issues of manufacturing competitiveness talked about in the media and among my Facebook friends who usually aren’t talking about factories. So why aren’t iPhones assembled here in the U.S.? […]

By January 27, 2012 34 Comments Read More →

Your Thoughts on Recent Articles about Apple, Foxconn, and China?

This week, I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of articles about working conditions at the Foxconn facilities in China. These stories are primarily focused on Apple, but nearly any computer, gadget, or mobile device is made there, ranging from iPhones to Android tablets to my Kindle Fire. I have a longer blog post […]

By January 26, 2012 Read More →
Podcast #136 – Paul Akers, His New Book “2 Second Lean”

Podcast #136 – Paul Akers, His New Book “2 Second Lean”

Please upgrade your browser MP3 File (run time 21:18) Our guest for episode #136 is Paul Akers,   President of FastCap and author of the book “2 Second Lean.” Here, we are talking about the new book and how small improvements that save 2 seconds in your daily work can contribute to an engaging and […]

By January 26, 2012 2 Comments Read More →
Guest Post: Is your management system the constraint in Kaizen?

Guest Post: Is your management system the constraint in Kaizen?

Mark’s note: Today’s guest post by Bart Sellers is a timely contribution to follow up to  yesterday’s post about the ThedaCare Business Performance System and the journal article about that great work. Bart has been a frequent commenter here on the blog and I’ve enjoyed working with him through the Society for Health Systems (come […]

By January 25, 2012 2 Comments Read More →
ThedaCare’s “Business Performance System” – and a 10% Target

ThedaCare’s “Business Performance System” – and a 10% Target

One of the most powerful thoughts in the book On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry  (by John Toussaint MD and Roger Gerard PhD) is the quote; “the ultimate arrogance is to change the way people work without changing the way we manage them.” While ThedaCare started their journey with […]

By January 24, 2012 3 Comments Read More →
Lean in the Livonia Public Schools

Lean in the Livonia Public Schools

I grew up in Livonia, Michigan, where I was fortunate to have an outstanding public school education (without the district, to my knowledge, needing teacher “pay for performance” or such silliness during the 1980s). In the past year, I’ve heard of some initial training that a friend of mine in the Lean community was doing […]

By January 23, 2012 7 Comments Read More →
Guest Post: Talking Lean at the Baseball Winter Meetings

Guest Post: Talking Lean at the Baseball Winter Meetings

Mark’s Note: Today’s post is a second guest post from a new blogger, Chad Walters. His first post appeared last Friday. I was happy to be able to meet up with Chad to share some local Dallas BBQ while he was in town for the Winter Meetings. Chad blogs regularly at his site: LeanBlitz.net.   […]

By January 20, 2012 6 Comments Read More →
A Vivid Example of Gaming the Numbers on “The Office”

A Vivid Example of Gaming the Numbers on “The Office”

NBC’s “The Office” is often a good source for clips that illustrate the opposite of Lean thinking. Last week’s episode was a continuation of the subplot where the new CEO gave Andy, the Scranton branch manager, a goal of doubling sales growth to 8% by the end of the quarter. Dr. Deming, I think, would […]

By January 19, 2012 5 Comments Read More →
A Nice Kaizen Example from the PACU

A Nice Kaizen Example from the PACU

“Kaizen” is a Japanese word that means “change for the better” in the context of ongoing “continuous improvement.” The so-called “kaizen event,” a weeklong focused improvement effort is one type of kaizen, but it’s not the only type. A powerful form of kaizen is the practice of small improvements that don’t require a formal team […]

By January 17, 2012 0 Comments Read More →
A Lean Lesson from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A Lean Lesson from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As we commemorate  the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, this quote caught my eye, from one of Dr. King’s Letters from a Birmingham Jail. Dr. King wrote, in part: “…the  means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.” He’s referring to non-violent means for driving societal change. This is a […]

By January 16, 2012 4 Comments Read More →
A Lean Guy Watches Moneyball

A Lean Guy Watches Moneyball

When it first came out, I was a big fan of Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game  about the Oakland A’s major league baseball team and the unorthodox approach they took to building a team (under the leadership of General Manager Billy Beane). Now that the movie, starring Brad Pitt […]

By January 16, 2012 12 Comments Read More →
Guest Post: Finding Waste at the Stadium

Guest Post: Finding Waste at the Stadium

Mark’s Note: Today’s post is a guest post from a new blogger, Chad Walters. Chad and I share a strong interest in sports — me as a fan and Chad as somebody who is working to bring Lean thinking to sports franchises, stadiums, and sports equipment makers. Chad will have guest posts today and next […]

By January 13, 2012 5 Comments Read More →
Welcome to a New Sponsor: CreativeSafetySupply.com

Welcome to a New Sponsor: CreativeSafetySupply.com

I always like to give a brief shout out to new sponsors when I have them. I have a brand new sponsor, starting out for the next two months, in a company that will be relevant to a Lean audience – they are Creative Safety Supply. They are running two ads in the right hand […]

By January 12, 2012 3 Comments Read More →
Suggestion Boxes are Disliked & Ineffective Around the World

Suggestion Boxes are Disliked & Ineffective Around the World

I love employee ideas and continuous improvement, but I really dislike suggestion boxes. As I’ve said, they are well intended, but the whole suggestion box process is usually pretty ineffective. I see more and more articles about the failures of suggestion boxes, including “idea management” software companies who promise “a suggestion box that actually works” […]

By January 12, 2012 5 Comments Read More →
Steve Jobs as a Model Leader? As a Manufacturing Leader?

Steve Jobs as a Model Leader? As a Manufacturing Leader?

As I wrote about after his death, I am appreciative of the products and services that Steve Jobs brought to the world.  That said, some of his behavior, as reported in the biography written by Walter Isaacson (the simply titled “Steve Jobs“) is less than admirable.  Some felt the need to dance on his grave, […]

By January 11, 2012 8 Comments Read More →
Thanks to our Continuing Sponsor, Bob Emiliani!

Thanks to our Continuing Sponsor, Bob Emiliani!

Thanks to  Bob Emiliani  for being a Lean Blog sponsor for another year. I hope LeanBlog readers have been keeping an eye each week on Bob’s ads that appear in the right hand column of the blog. They are really creative and interesting ads, at times funny and other times serious, and on many occassions […]

By January 10, 2012 0 Comments Read More →