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Author Archive: Mark Graban

Mark Graban founded LeanBlog.org in January 2005. He is the primary blogger and managing editor of the site.

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It’s Easy to See Why Labor Would be Upset with This Hospital CEO (and I Am Too)

It’s Easy to See Why Labor Would be Upset with This Hospital CEO (and I Am Too)

Monday is Labor Day, a holiday here in the United States. Some nursing unions support Lean in healthcare, while others are in opposition. My stance is been that the unions should love Lean (since it  improves the workplace for their members), but they are right to criticize practices like layoffs and other things that aren’t really […]

By August 29, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Podcast #207 – Chris Jerry, The Emily Jerry Foundation, Part 2

Podcast #207 – Chris Jerry, The Emily Jerry Foundation, Part 2

MP3 File (run time 49:30) Episode #207 is part two of my conversation with Chris Jerry, founder of The Emily Jerry Foundation.  The foundation was created in the aftermath of the tragic death of his daughter, Emily - a preventable medical error caused by a number of factors and bad systems. You can read Emily’s story here. In the first […]

By August 28, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Why Lunch Can Be Annoying at the Sensei Cafe

Why Lunch Can Be Annoying at the Sensei Cafe

Last week, I published my first cartoon collaboration with a skilled artist (and medical assistant), Carrie Howarth. You might call that cartoon “Strategy Dog-ployment.” None of us expect this to be a weekly thing, but sometimes you strike when inspiration hits. Here is our latest collaboration, the “Sensei Cafe.” Again, at the risk of killing the […]

By August 27, 2014 5 Comments Read More →
To Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement, Put Away the Gavel!

To Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement, Put Away the Gavel!

I am giving a new webinar on Wednesday, hosted by the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value (to promote a public registration workshop on Kaizen that we’re doing in October). The webinar’s theme is: “Practical Continuous Improvement Leadership: Coaching, Not Judging” I’ll give a bit of a preview of the webinar in this blog post. As […]

By August 26, 2014 2 Comments Read More →
Proof That Nelson from The Simpsons is Not a Good Kaizen Coach

Proof That Nelson from The Simpsons is Not a Good Kaizen Coach

If you know me, you know I’m a huge fan of The Simpsons. The show has been on TV for 25 of my 40 years. The cable channel FXX is having an “Every Simpsons Ever” marathon, showing all 552 episodes over 12 days. I’m watching it here and there, especially my favorite episodes from the […]

By August 24, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
My #IceBucketChallenge Video for #ALS and Patient Safety

My #IceBucketChallenge Video for #ALS and Patient Safety

I was nominated to do the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge.” I think I was officially the last person to do so, judging from my Facebook feed. I made a donation to the ALS Association and also made this video. I’m doing this to honor a friend’s mother, who has ALS. Watch a touching news story about her of her […]

By August 22, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
KaiNexus Webinar Recording – Our First Years in Continuous Improvement

KaiNexus Webinar Recording – Our First Years in Continuous Improvement

Here is a recording of our most recent KaiNexus webinar: Getting Started with Continuous Improvement: Lessons and Reflections Dr. Greg Jacobson and I reflect on our first year being involved in continuous improvement. Greg’s was at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. I had two “first years” — at GM and then later in healthcare. What are […]

By August 22, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Why “More Nurses” Isn’t the Best Way to Solve What Ails Healthcare

Why “More Nurses” Isn’t the Best Way to Solve What Ails Healthcare

There are certainly many serious problems in healthcare. Let’s look at nursing, in particular. It’s a rewarding job, but it’s far more frustrating for nurses than it needs to be. Nurses often don’t have enough time in the day (or in a given hour) to do all of their work the right way in the […]

A “Healthcare Kaizen” Workshop for Michiganders

A “Healthcare Kaizen” Workshop for Michiganders

I’m happy to be partnering up with the Michigan Lean Consortium to do a half-day class on “Healthcare Kaizen” the afternoon before their upcoming healthcare symposium meeting. Michigan is my home state, so it’s great to be able to come back and teach and participate. It’s being held in Muskegon on October 9. Click here to […]

By August 20, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Teaching Up in the Organization?

Teaching Up in the Organization?

People often talk about the need for senior leadership support for Lean. If we’re going to really transform our culture, workplace, and performance, “quality starts in the boardroom,” as Dr. Deming said. Lean is not about “fixing” the employees — it’s about changing the way we think and lead at all levels. If executives and […]

By August 20, 2014 3 Comments Read More →
“Lean Coffee” for Healthcare in San Antonio, 9/24/14

“Lean Coffee” for Healthcare in San Antonio, 9/24/14

I held the first “Lean Coffee” gathering for San Antonio healthcare folks in June and we’re going to do another one in September, on the 24th (changed from the 25th). It’s a great format that I learned from Jim Benson. You use a “personal kanban” board (the table really) to solicit discussion topics from the […]

By August 19, 2014 2 Comments Read More →
What They’re Saying Now about Lean Healthcare in Saskatchewan

What They’re Saying Now about Lean Healthcare in Saskatchewan

There have been plenty of headlines and updates since I first blogged about the controversy over Lean healthcare in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan (see my previous posts here). From my outside perspective, there are some good things happening. I admire their adoption of a “patient safety alert system” and a blame-free culture (see Saskatoon […]

The One Where a Dog Reviews the Strategy Deployment Metrics Wall

The One Where a Dog Reviews the Strategy Deployment Metrics Wall

I’ve had some cartoons on the blog before, including a few “Doofus & Leanies.”  I can’t draw at all, believe me (although I sometimes do my own simple digital graphics). I’ve been fortunate to partner up with other artists before and today’s cartoon is a new collaboration with Carrie Howarth, CMA (AAMA), a workflow facilitator at […]

Are You Making Excuses or Solving Problems?

Are You Making Excuses or Solving Problems?

Here is a 10-minute talk I gave at the 2014 Lean Transformation Summit. I’m introduced by Jim Womack and we do Q&A at the end. Looking at your own organization today, do you hold yourself back by making excuses or do you get creative and find new ways of doing things? Many organizations aspire to […]

By August 16, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
Kaizen: What if We Get Bad Ideas from Employees?

Kaizen: What if We Get Bad Ideas from Employees?

In our Healthcare Kaizen books, Joe Swartz and I have tried to make the case that the Kaizen style of continuous improvement isn’t just a nice way to treat employees… it’s smart business and it’s good for patients. It’s a practical approach that we can make a part of our organizational culture with effort, patience, creativity, […]

Podcast #206 – Ed Pound, “Factory Physics for Managers”

Podcast #206 – Ed Pound, “Factory Physics for Managers”

MP3 File (run time 38:55) My guest for episode #206 is Ed Pound, co-author of the book Factory Physics for Managers: How Leaders Improve Performance in a Post-Lean Six Sigma World that was released in April. It is, of course, a new version of the original Factory Physics textbook that I used in college and was the subject […]

By August 14, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Read What This Hospital CEO Says on His Blog About Lean and Kaizen

Read What This Hospital CEO Says on His Blog About Lean and Kaizen

Hospital CEOs are busy people, to say the least, but a big part of their leadership role includes communication with employees, physicians, and the community. That’s one reason I am always excited to see CEOs reach out directly to people via blogging. The most recent of those is Eric Dickson, MD, MHCM, the President and CEO of UMass […]

By August 13, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
My Cogent, Academic Analysis of the “Fake Lean” Problem & “Muppets Most Wanted”

My Cogent, Academic Analysis of the “Fake Lean” Problem & “Muppets Most Wanted”

Today’s post is published over on LinkedIn, as part of the “Influencers’ program that I’m a part of. Kermit the Frog & Lean Management: How Could Something So Right Feel So Wrong? It’s a silly piece (in honor of “Muppets Most Wanted” being released on home video today) but it has a serious message. “Fake Lean” […]

By August 11, 2014 5 Comments Read More →