By February 5, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

Toyota’s Japan Shutdown & Lessons for Hospitals (and Others)

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 8.15.20 PMI wrote a new piece for LinkedIn that I hope would be of interest to you even if you’re in healthcare.


It’s a story about what an organization does when you don’t have enough (or any) direct work for your front-line staff to do.

Toyota would continue paying employees and would put them to work on good indirect activities, such as training and Kaizen continuous improvement activities. Hospitals might be more like GM, trying to save money in the short term by sending people home. But, it’s debatable if that really reduced costs in the long term.

Here is the article: “The Main Lesson That Businesses (and Hospitals) Can Learn From This Toyota Plant Shutdown.”

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It starts:

If you follow the auto industry, you might have seen headlines this about how Toyota is being forced to shut down production in its Japanese factories next week (see one article, via Bloomberg). If you’re a devotee of the Toyota Production System (aka “Lean“), you might start asking “why?” until you got a good answer.

Read the article to get the rest of the story AND the lesson for healthcare organizations about respecting and valuing employees.

Hear Mark read this post (and learn more about “Lean Blog Audio“):


Have a great weekend!

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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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