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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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Kaizen Coaching: Don’t Give People Answers, Let Them Learn

Kaizen Coaching: Don’t Give People Answers, Let Them Learn

Last week, I taught a pilot session of a new class on Kaizen and continuous improvement that I taught for visitors to the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value. Unlike other workshops that have assumed people are starting from scratch, this was designed around exercises, simulations, discussions, and two “gemba visits” to see daily team huddles […]

By October 21, 2014 2 Comments Read More →
Kaizen: Throat Scopes & Applesauce

Kaizen: Throat Scopes & Applesauce

During my recent visit to Franciscan St. Francis Health System, some of the nurses proudly called themselves “Kaizen Queens” (and there was one self-described “Kaizen Princess”) although they also use the term “Kaizeneer” that Franciscan uses more broadly. In the endoscopy department, they have implemented more than 750 improvements so far this year (in a […]

By October 20, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
#Ebola – The Glaring Gap Between Staff Education and Proper, Effective Training

#Ebola – The Glaring Gap Between Staff Education and Proper, Effective Training

I saw this headline the other day: “U.S. Soldiers Get Just Four Hours of Ebola Training” The phrase “just four hours” implies that it wasn’t enough. How do we know? Maybe four hours of training, done properly, is all that’s needed. It might also be four hours MORE than the amount of training given to […]

By October 18, 2014 11 Comments Read More →
LinkedIn Post on Ebola and Everyday Healthcare Failures; A Brave Whistle-Blowing Nurse

LinkedIn Post on Ebola and Everyday Healthcare Failures; A Brave Whistle-Blowing Nurse

I wrote about Ebola earlier this week and have been following the news closely. It’s a fascinating story on many levels, including many leadership failures. I wrote a piece for LinkedIn, written for a general public audience: A Lack of Planning and Protocol Failures in Healthcare Are Not Limited to Ebola I also recommend you […]

By October 16, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
KaiNexus Education Video #11: Perfect vs. Good

KaiNexus Education Video #11: Perfect vs. Good

Note: Our next free KaiNexus webinar will be held on Tuesday, October 28: “Daily Management with KaiNexus: From Huddle Boards to Web-Based Technology.” Register today to hear me and Dr. Greg Jacobson share our experiences and stories from our customers. About two years ago, we produced some short two- to three-minute education videos about Lean, Kaizen, […]

By October 16, 2014 2 Comments Read More →
Talking About Breaches of Ebola Protocol is NOT “Blaming Nurses”

Talking About Breaches of Ebola Protocol is NOT “Blaming Nurses”

Note: Scroll down to see comments for additional links, articles, videos and discussion. As I’ve written about (here and here) poor systems, a lack of protocols, and not adhering to protocols and standard practices are almost always “system problems.” A lack of proper training about protocols is a system problem. System problems are the responsibility […]

By October 14, 2014 18 Comments Read More →
Denver Jail’s Suggestion Box (and Problems) in the News

Denver Jail’s Suggestion Box (and Problems) in the News

The Denver jail and its suggestion box program made the local news, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request: “9 quotes from Denver Jail suggestion box” What do we see in the one image from the video, at left? The common lament of “MORE STAFF.” This is a common lament across industries, including in […]

By October 14, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
GM CEO Mary Barra Celebrates Employee Kaizen

GM CEO Mary Barra Celebrates Employee Kaizen

Time magazine recently featured GM’s relatively new CEO, Mary Barra, on the cover and in this story: “Mary Barra’s Bumpy Ride at the Wheel of GM“ I can’t find a free version of the story online. Here is a USA Today summary that says “Five things ‘Time’ revealed about GM CEO Mary Barra.” I’ve been critical […]

By October 13, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
Gemba Academy Interviews on Lean Hospitals, Healthcare Kaizen, & KaiNexus

Gemba Academy Interviews on Lean Hospitals, Healthcare Kaizen, & KaiNexus

Thanks to Ron Pereira and my other friends at Gemba Academy for interviewing me when I visited their studio a few weeks back. Gemba Academy has amazing online video education products that I highly recommend. Check them out. There are two new videos on their site, with Ron and me discussing Lean Hospitals and then discussing Healthcare […]

By October 10, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Ebola & Systems & Processes: Can We Do Better? Can We Learn?

Ebola & Systems & Processes: Can We Do Better? Can We Learn?

Yesterday, Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. died in a Dallas hospital. As I’ve been following this story, I keep thinking about bad systems and bad processes. Sometimes, there’s a lack of planning and sometimes it’s a lack of proper execution, it seems. I’m not spending much time asking […]

Podcast #211: Mark Graban on “Healthcare Tech Talk”

Podcast #211: Mark Graban on “Healthcare Tech Talk”

MP3 File (run time 52:10) Normally, my podcast is all about my guests. This episode has me being interviewed by the hosts at Healthcare Tech Talk, a new podcast for Healthcare IS professionals. This originally appeared as episode #23 of their series. Thanks to hosts Terry Baker and Kelley Hill for interviewing me and for allowing […]

By October 8, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Guest Post: Poka Yoke… When It’s Personal

Guest Post: Poka Yoke… When It’s Personal

Mark’s Note: Today’s guest post is by Chris Burnham. I invited him to write this after I saw him share his pre-surgical “poka yoke” (or error proofing) on Twitter (caution: picture of feet). I asked him if “anybody was offended” by his abundance of caution and interest in not having the wrong foot operated on. […]

By October 8, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
A Visit to Franciscan St. Francis Health: A Workforce “Unleashed” by Kaizen

A Visit to Franciscan St. Francis Health: A Workforce “Unleashed” by Kaizen

Last week, I had the opportunity to spend a day with my Healthcare Kaizen co-author Joe Swartz and his colleagues at one of the three hospitals in the Franciscan St. Francis Health system. It was my second visit and, like the first, it reinforced my view that a culture of continuous improvement really is possible […]

“Many hands make light work”

“Many hands make light work”

When considering what it takes to create “a culture of continuous improvement,” many people complain that they don’t have time. They don’t have time, as leaders, and their employees don’t have time. As I’ve asked before, are they making excuses or solving that problem to create time? Sometimes, a single manager tries to do too […]

By October 6, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
KaiNexus Education Video #10: Improving Communication

KaiNexus Education Video #10: Improving Communication

About two years ago, we produced some short two- to three-minute education videos about Lean, Kaizen, and continuous improvement for KaiNexus. These were intended as short coaching sessions that would be sent to our customers / users and we’ve also shared them publicly. Dr. Greg Jacobson and I re-shot these videos recently with a professional […]

By October 3, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
TV Ad for GE Capital Features a Lean Turnaround for a Factory

TV Ad for GE Capital Features a Lean Turnaround for a Factory

Thanks to my friend and former Toyota employee Karthik Chandramouli for noticing this commercial on TV. In the 60-second piece, GE highlights how their advisors helped a manufacturing company double efficiency by using Lean methods and by asking “the important question – why?” What happened? “Ideas for improvement started pouring out.” I was happy to […]

By October 2, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
Podcast #210 – Lean in Washington State Government

Podcast #210 – Lean in Washington State Government

MP3 File (run time 39:33) My guests today are Darrell Damron and Hollie Jensen and we’re talking about Lean in Washington state government. Darrell and Hollie are both state employees, serving in the role of Enterprise Lean Consultant within a team called “Results Washington.” I’ve seen them both present at a Lean Enterprise Institute summit and […]

By October 1, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Great Lean Leader Interview Series at Shmula.com

Great Lean Leader Interview Series at Shmula.com

My friend Pete Abilla has started a nice series of “Lean Leadership Interviews” on his site, shmula.com. I enjoyed his most recent interview with Jeff Liker. I agree with Pete and Jeff in the assertion (shared by Mike Rother) that formal “root cause analysis” isn’t always needed, or might be overkill in some situations. We […]

By September 30, 2014 0 Comments Read More →