When I kicked off the “Lean Memes” contest last month, I had no idea what I was starting… I figured I’d get a handful of entries. Well, I got well over 100 from a number of people, including 5 or 6 very active participants. Although the term “winner” should maybe be applied loosely to all of us and our weird, Lean-warped senses of humor, I managed to name a winner — instead of being from a single “best meme,” it was more a combination of quality and quantity (but, as in Lean, quality first!!!). “Awesome” meme (at left) created by Brian Buck.
Since this was all very subjective, there’s no point in detailing the methodology… let’s recap the best of the best of what made me laugh loudest or surprised me the most (or both). There were lots of laughs, so it was very tough choosing a winner. In fact, prizes went out to three individuals, instead of the promised one winner. Check out all of the memes at www.LeanMemes.com.
First Place: Ryan McCormack
Although his memes are just labeled as “By Ryan” (which led to questions about that being my pen name), the winner is Ryan McCormack, Transformation Manager at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada. See, he’s a real guy. I shipped my Lean Blog “5 Whys” parody mug to Canada (the only one I’ve had made, although you can buy one). Ryan also won a Kindle version of a book of his choosing from Amazon. No, he didn’t win just because he has my new book.
Ryan’s “greatest hits”:
- I got 99 problems (a Jay-Z parody)
- oh you’re a black belt? (one of the great Willy Wonka memes)
- A Quality Guy
- Hi Lean Neighbour! (I’m a big Simpsons fan)
- Clearly Unprepared
Second Place: Chad Walters
Chad has been a great pinch hitter as a guest blogger here and he has a really interesting blog about Lean in the sports world – Lean Blitz. Chad won an autographed copy of Lean Hospitals and my “A3 Sensei” parody mug. Strangely, the value of the second place prizes was higher than first place. That sounds like a meme waiting to happen. Chad had many great memes… he battled to the end with Ryan.
Chad’s “greatest hits”:
- Lame Pun Raccoon (this got the single biggest snort from me and the biggest eye roll from my wife)
- Ba-dum-ching! (also a huge laugh from me… didn’t bother showing my wife)
- Well that’s awfully helpful of you (a meme, one of many he made, called “dating site murderer“)
- Hey Fonzie, how do you implement improvements? (maybe the single greatest one…)
Third Place: Shmuel (Sam) Korb
Sam repeatedly made my data… so it’s a drag to put him in third place. He wins a signed copy of Healthcare Kaizen, the highest value prize… for third place. OK, this wasn’t thought out well. Sam works for Lean Israel, but the memes are all his fault, personally. Yes, we can blame sometimes. :-)
Sam’s “greatest hits”:
- This you call justice? (The most artfully created… Norm Bodek liked it so much, he’s putting it in his new “Harada Method” book)
- Appropriate Use of Andon (I love me a Chuck Norris meme… especially one that references Dr. Deming)
- Eric Ries’ Grandmother? (labeled “genius” by Eric Ries… Eric should send him a book)
Fourth Place: Christina Kach
Guest blogger Christina Kach (who now has her own blog focused on young professionals) was, I think, the very first to participate. While she didn’t have the quantity (probably because she has a full time job and has started graduate school), there’s great quality in her work. I need to send her a prize… other than Christina becoming a meme herself (she started that).
Christina’s “greatest hits”:
- Change-Resistant Koala (the personal fave of many… with sequels)
- Bad Luck Brian – Six Sigma Edition (more of this meme)
Other Great Entries
- Success Is Far Far Away (It’s a trap – by Brian Buck)
- Anyone? (One in the “Y U No” meme – this one by Ben Holland – @KaizenLearner)
- Cookie, Cookie, Cookie… (also by Brian)
- Suspicious Fry (one of the Fry memes – this one by Eduardo – great to see Toast Kaizen memes)
I really, really, really hated having to pick a winner. I almost refused on the grounds that an extrinsic prize would have stifled their intrinsic motivation and creativity. Thank you to everybody who participated.
You can still submit memes, as I think this site and the memes may continue to have legs (or the idea will jump the shark – ah, the Fonz, again).
There are still some in backlog, waiting to be published. I only decided to not post a few — either because they didn’t really make me laugh or there were a few that were too edgy (more so than this one, which I maybe shouldn’t have published — PDon’tCA, Pants Don’t Close Always – it’s safe for work).
Mark Pats Himself on the Back
Some of my own creations:
- The Most Poka Yoked Man in the World
- “Why” ain’t no country I’ve ever heard of (I was on a Pulp Fiction kick)
- The Anal-Retentive 5S Chef (R.I.P., Phil Hartman)
- Make My Day (made the last night of the RNC convention)
- Dr. W. Edwards Dem-Meme
- EM: Lean Edition
Thanks to everyone who participated!! Which were your favorites? You can comment here or on the LeanMemes.com entries.
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please scroll down to post a comment. Click here to receive posts via email. Learn more about Mark Graban’s speaking, writing, and consulting.