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By September 18, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Podcast #209 – George Friesen, Lean, Kaizen, and Idea Boards

MP3 File (run time 33:39)

image002My guest for episode #209 is George Friesen, Business Practice Leader for Lean Transformations in the Workforce Solutions Group at St. Louis Community College.

In this episode, we talk about his early experiences at the GM/Toyota NUMMI plant, why candor and trust are so important in a Lean transformation, and how to engage front-line employees in Kaizen and continuous improvement, and much more.

For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/209.

For earlier episodes of my podcast, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS or via Apple iTunes.  You can also listen via Stitcher.

George’s Bio:

George has been a Lean Manufacturing Consultant with St. Louis Community College since April 2000.   Since coming to the College, George has developed an extensive and very well received series of training and consulting services focused on helping the College’s clients take advantage of the power of Lean thinking and Lean work processes. In addition to services specific to certain Lean tools such as 5S, Value Stream Mapping, and Six Sigma, the College’s Lean Transformations Business Unit has developed and provided to various clients, the Lean Leadership Certification Program, the Kaizen Thinking series, a series of discussions focused on Mike Rother’s Toyota KATA, and the Lean Culture Change Symposia. These programs have received high praise from participants, eliciting comments such as, “What a great set of experiences.” “The training was just great. I learned a lot I can apply right now on the job.”

Prior to joining the College, George worked for the Maritz Performance Improvement Company. He has provided performance improvement consulting and training services across a wide variety of industries, serving companies such as Toyota, Mercedes Benz, Texaco, BellSouth, Duke Power, Sigma-Aldrich, Caterpillar, AT&T, ThermoKing, Shell Oil Company, Illinois Bell, GM, Nestle, and Ford Motor Company. Over the past 35 years, George has facilitated over 800 seminars in areas such as 5S System implementation, Toyota KATA, Kaizen Thinking, Value Stream Mapping, Lean Leadership, Lean Culture Change, SMED, Visual Management, sales training, strategic planning, time management, and communication techniques. He has made presentations on Lean Manufacturing at the conventions of the National Council of Advanced Technology Centers, the National Council on Workforce Education, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the American Society for Quality.

George is a graduate of Washington University (AB), Webster University (MA), and United States Air Force Flight Training. He is also a certified AchieveGlobal and DDI facilitator.

Podcast eBook:

You might also be interested in an eBook with transcripts from some of my favorite podcasts:

Feedback & Comments:

If you have feedback on the podcast, or any questions for me or my guests, you can email me at leanpodcast@gmail.com 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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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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