#ThrowbackThursday: Past #Lean April Fools’ Day Fun

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 7.58.04 AMIt’s been a tradition of mine here, since 2010, to present a Lean April Fools’ Day joke.

You might have noticed, but I’ve had more guest posts the past two weeks. My wife and I have been finally doing our physical move from San Antonio to the Dallas / Fort Worth area.

Last week, we closed on a house and I had to manage some contractors. This past week, I was helping manage the movers… lots of things going on and blogging wasn’t a high prioirty.

There’s a blog post in me (to be written) about our attempt to buy a house that was being built… and why we chose to back out due to a number of problems with the builder. So, we bought an existing home… which always has different types of problems. But, we’re in.

Anyhoo… here are my past April Fools’ gags:

2010: A New Way to Learn Lean? Wii Lean!

This post, imagining a game for Nintendo Wii that would somehow teach you Lean in an interactive way was a lot of fun to put together. The “Wii Ohno Circle” coffee mug that I still use still makes me smile. Yes, this was a game that measured how long you could stand in an “Ohno Circle” watching people, like Charlie Chaplain, work. This one might have fooled a few people for real, based on the comments… or maybe they were playing along.

2011: New “A3″ App Utilizes Two iPads & Virtual Sensei Technology

This post allowed me to imagine how you might use two iPads to create a workspace that’s roughly 11″ x 17″, the size of an A3 to actually draw and do an A3 on that device instead of paper. The post foreshadowed LEI’s (now defunct?) “A3 Creator App,” a project that I had no inkling of when I created this (their app only used a single iPad).

2012: April Fool: Back to the Future: Hospital CEOs and Virtual Reality “Gemba Bots”

This post, where I imagined a mobile robot that would allow executives to “do Gemba walks” from their home or office, probably made me laugh more than others.

The thing I enjoyed the most was creating some audio of what an earlier-generation “Blame Bot” might sound like on the move… included bad, forced chit chat with employees and blaming people instead of having real in-depth discussions or actually listening.

2013: Baby’s First Lean Book

Not having any children myself, I could only imagine what a Lean book for kids might be, but this post was my attempt at creating this. To my knowledge, this has NOT foreshadowed a Lean book series for kids.

Probably my favorite part of this project was commissioning the “Baby Lean Guru” pictures (although I wouldn’t readily accept that label for myself). Strange that we all have facial hair.

lean babies

Nobody sued me over this, thankfully.


2014: The 10 Best Lean Management Secrets You’ll Ever Want to Learn & Use

lean blog goldMaybe not my best work in this genre, but it was a “clickbait” headline with a post where I announced that I was turning LeanBlog.org into a paid membership site.

I don’t think anybody believed that one, which is good, I guess…

Unrelated Posts Not Recommended For You:

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 5.10.18 PM


2015: April Fool 2015 — Announcement: Lean Blog is now “Lean Buzz” with Listicles, Polls, and MORE CATS!

Last year, I announced that Dr. Les Muda (the world’s first Lean standup comic) had bought the site and was turning it into a Buzzfeed-type site, with listicles, silly polls, and more goofiness.

lean buzz les muda

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please scroll down to post a comment. Click here to be notified about posts via email. Learn more about Mark Graban’s speaking, writing, and consulting.

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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 book 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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2 Comments on "#ThrowbackThursday: Past #Lean April Fools’ Day Fun"

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  1. Bob Rush says:


    My sensei introduced me to Dr. Les Muda years ago and I have been chasing him since. Are you still in touch with him?

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