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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Kaizen: Giving Seven Days’ Grace on a New Idea [Video]

Kaizen: Giving Seven Days’ Grace on a New Idea [Video]

Here’s another video in the series that Joe Swartz and I shot at Franciscan St. Francis Health back in October. See them all here or via a YouTube playlist. You might remember pharmacy manager Ronda Freije from two previous videos. Here, she talks about a concept called “Seven Days’ Grace.” It’s a concept that Joe Swartz and I […]

The One Thing Google Should Show When You Search for a Hospital

The One Thing Google Should Show When You Search for a Hospital

Today’s post is hosted over at LinkedIn, as part of my participation in the LinkedIn Influencers series. The post is titled: “The One Thing Google Should Show When You Search for a Hospital.” It’s not about Lean per se, but it’s about topics that I hope we’d agree are relevant: Transparency of quality and patient […]

Podcast #217 – Alan Robinson, The Idea-Driven Organization

Podcast #217 – Alan Robinson, The Idea-Driven Organization

MP3 File (run time 38:53) Our guest today is Alan G. Robinson, PhD, an award-winning author, educator, researcher and consultant. He has co-authored six books, including Modern Approaches to Manufacturing Improvement: The Shingo System, Ideas Are Free, and his latest, The Idea-Driven Organization. His specialties include managing continuous improvement, creativity, ideas and innovation, and Lean production, being […]

Weekend Listening: Two Podcasts with Mark Graban

Weekend Listening: Two Podcasts with Mark Graban

Normally, I like interviewing other people, through my podcast series (and this recent blog post with a hospital leader telling her story of putting patient safety first). Sometimes, the tables get turned and I’m the one being interviewed. Check out these two recent podcasts: Gemba Academy Podcast Thanks to Ron Pereira for having me back […]

By February 28, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Practicing What We Preach: Kaizen for the Kaizen Cards

Practicing What We Preach: Kaizen for the Kaizen Cards

I do my best to “practice what I preach” in terms of Lean and Kaizen principles and spirit. No, I don’t have tape outlines around the items on my home office desk (which would be, at best, a superficial copying of 5S practices). But, for example, I try hard not to blame. I use checklists […]

By February 27, 2015 7 Comments Read More →
A Story About a Hospital Putting Safety First Over Patient Satisfaction

A Story About a Hospital Putting Safety First Over Patient Satisfaction

In yesterday’s blog post (“Safety is always our top priority” – From lip service to daily practice?“), I challenged hospital leaders to back up the “happy talk” with real action and stories about putting safety first. It’s easier said than done. I wanted to share a story from Karen Kiel-Rosser, Vice President/Quality Improvement Officer at Mary […]

By February 26, 2015 6 Comments Read More →
“Safety is always our top priority” – From lip service to daily practice?

“Safety is always our top priority” – From lip service to daily practice?

It’s really easy to make statements like “patient safety is our top priority.” That same statement can be applied to hospital staff, as well. Or, it should. But the “happy talk” (as Pascal Dennis calls it) isn’t always followed up by action. When a hospital executive makes the “safety is always our top priority” statement, […]

By February 25, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
“Accountability” Shouldn’t Mean Blaming People for Things Out of Their Control

“Accountability” Shouldn’t Mean Blaming People for Things Out of Their Control

“Accountability” is a word that’s easy to throw around in an organization. It’s often pretty meaningless (or not well understood). What does it really mean? People say things like: “We need a culture of accountability.” “We need to hold people accountable.” When I hear that phrase, I like to call time out and ask, “What […]

By February 23, 2015 4 Comments Read More →
Key Tweets from @MarkGraban – Week of February 16, 2015, #SHS2015 Edition

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban – Week of February 16, 2015, #SHS2015 Edition

Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week. Follow me @MarkGraban. See the previous installments here. If you’re reading this via email or RSS, you might get a better experience by clicking through to the website because it will display article link previews, embedded photos, […]

By February 21, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Podcast #216 – Dan Jones, Lean Outside of Manufacturing

Podcast #216 – Dan Jones, Lean Outside of Manufacturing

MP3 File (run time 45:11) Returning to the podcast after his first appearance in Episode #188 is Daniel T. Jones, founder and chairman of the UK-based Lean Enterprise Academy. You can find him on Twitter now as @DanielJonesLean. Dan collaborated with Jim Womack on the books The Machine That Changed the World, Lean Thinking, and Lean Solutions and […]

By February 20, 2015 1 Comments Read More →
Throwback Thursday: Paying Attention to Small Details

Throwback Thursday: Paying Attention to Small Details

Back in 2011, I wrote this homage to In-N-Out burger.  Their food is awesome, they treat managers and employees with respect, and they pay attention to details. One such example is the simple error proofing of their trashcans, as I wrote about here: “Simple Brilliant Error Proofing at the Amazing In-N-Out Burger.” Recently, I’ve seen many […]

By February 19, 2015 1 Comments Read More →
[Video] Kim Barnas on Moving Beyond Heroics and on to Lean Management

[Video] Kim Barnas on Moving Beyond Heroics and on to Lean Management

Today, I’m traveling to Orlando for the annual Society for Health Systems conference. I hope to see some of you there! Joe Swartz and I will be giving a short talk on coaching staff and leaders in Kaizen-style continuous improvement. One of the keynote speakers will be Kim Barnas, a former executive at ThedaCare and […]

By February 18, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Who Ever Asks “Let’s Plus/Delta” That Doctor Appointment or Hospital Stay?

Who Ever Asks “Let’s Plus/Delta” That Doctor Appointment or Hospital Stay?

It’s a pretty common facilitation technique to do a “plus / delta” discussion at the end of a meeting, exercise, etc. In the plus column go the things that went well, were enjoyable, were helpful, and should repeated. The “deltas” (which is meant to seem more positive than saying “minuses,” I guess) are the things […]

By February 17, 2015 8 Comments Read More →
When Will The Federal Government & VA Learn? On Suggestion Boxes & Incentives

When Will The Federal Government & VA Learn? On Suggestion Boxes & Incentives

This article caught my attention the other day: “Philly VA employees ask for golf shirts in suggestion box for improving veteran care.” I hesitate to throw stones, but there are some very predictable dynamics involved here… and I will provide some ideas about a better approach and not just criticize. Do you remember a few […]

By February 16, 2015 4 Comments Read More →
New #Lean & #Lean Startup Candy Hearts for Valentine’s Day – #LeanValentine

New #Lean & #Lean Startup Candy Hearts for Valentine’s Day – #LeanValentine

Ok, for those of you who maybe find “50 Shades of Lean” to be a bit too racy, here are some sweet “candy hearts” for Valentine’s Day… Lean and Lean Startup Edition. Create your own hearts here and submit your creations using the form below or tweet them with the hashtag #LeanValentine. There’s no prize offered […]

By February 13, 2015 8 Comments Read More →
PG-Rated Parody: 50 Shades of Lean

PG-Rated Parody: 50 Shades of Lean

A few years ago when the racy book 50 Shades of Grey was popular, I created a few parody images. I never published them, probably because the book was fairly controversial. But, now that the movie version is being released today, here goes. By the way, this book was originally a self-published eBook, which is an inspiring […]

By February 13, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Upcoming Kaizen Workshops in Boston (March) and Indianapolis (April)

Upcoming Kaizen Workshops in Boston (March) and Indianapolis (April)

I’m planning two different workshops in the coming months: Boston 3/31: “Successful Lean Teams” – Personal Kanban (with Jim Benson) and Kaizen Indianapolis 4/22-23: On-site Kaizen Workshop at Franciscan St. Francis Health System “Successful Lean Teams” in Boston Jim Benson and I are again doing a full-day workshop on Lean for knowledge work settings. It’s going to […]

By February 12, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Podcast #215 – John Ervin, Lean & Patient Safety in the Operating Room

Podcast #215 – John Ervin, Lean & Patient Safety in the Operating Room

MP3 File (run time 46:37) Today’s guest is my friend John Ervin and we were able to sit down together here in San Antonio to record this episode. John has about 20 years of healthcare leadership experience, including military medicine and the civilian sector. He’s been a manager and director of operating rooms in many types […]

By February 12, 2015 0 Comments Read More →