Author Archive: Mark Graban

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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Examples of Corporate Speak Masking Reality in Banking and Healthcare

Examples of Corporate Speak Masking Reality in Banking and Healthcare

I get annoyed by corporate euphemisms, such as referring to pe0ple as “resources,” the term “right-sizing” for layoffs, and the type of jargon and babble parodied in the Weird Al song “Mission Statement.” Using unclear language can intentionally mask and hide reality, or sometimes it’s just another form of incompetence. read more

By December 2, 2016 1 Comments Read More →
#TBT: A Year of @KaiNexus Webinars, January through June, on Various #Lean Topics

#TBT: A Year of @KaiNexus Webinars, January through June, on Various #Lean Topics

One of the things I do for KaiNexus is produce and host our monthly free webinar series. You can view all of the recordings from the past few years via our on-demand library. They are also available via YouTube and this playlist. As we enter the last month of the year, I thought I’d look […]

By December 1, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
Human Nature Around Incentives & Rewards… Even in North Korea?

Human Nature Around Incentives & Rewards… Even in North Korea?

Dr. W. Edwards Deming used to warn against replacing intrinsic motivation with extrinsic rewards and incentives. Brian Joiner (author of Fourth Generation Management), who worked with Deming, warned that setting targets and quotas can lead to three things: improving the system, distorting the system, or distorting the numbers. read more

By November 30, 2016 3 Comments Read More →
Free Webinar Wednesday: How a Hospital Spreads Continuous Improvement with @KaiNexus

Free Webinar Wednesday: How a Hospital Spreads Continuous Improvement with @KaiNexus

On Wednesday at 1 pm ET, I’m hosting another free webinar in our KaiNexus Webinar series. The presenter will be Tania Lyon, Director, Organizational Performance Improvement at St. Clair Hospital in Pennsylvania. The webinar is titled: When Post-Its Didn’t Cut it Anymore: How a Hospital Adopted KaiNexus In this webinar, you will learn: The preconditions […]

By November 29, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
Podcast #268 – @TomEhrenfeld, on #Lean Books & #LeanStartup

Podcast #268 – @TomEhrenfeld, on #Lean Books & #LeanStartup

My guest for Episode #268 is a long-time friend of mine in the Lean community and Lean Enterprise Institute circles, Tom Ehrenfeld (@tomehrenfeld). Tom is a writer and editor living in Cambridge, MA. A former writer/editor with Inc. Magazine and Harvard Business Review, he is the author of The Startup Garden: How Growing A Business Grows You. He works as a consulting editor […]

By November 29, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
How Lean Thinkers Shop? Plus the Lean Blog Holiday Gift Guide 2016

How Lean Thinkers Shop? Plus the Lean Blog Holiday Gift Guide 2016

I’m guessing most “Lean thinkers” stayed home the other day on the “Black Friday” shopping day. Why might this be? For one, I think we tend to put safety first, so we avoid jostling, pushing, and shoving for discounts (and the injuries that can follow, sadly). Second, we hate the “waste of waiting,” so we don’t […]

By November 28, 2016 2 Comments Read More →
Key Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of Nov 21: Saban, Toussaint, & More

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of Nov 21: Saban, Toussaint, & More

Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a weekly post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week, including pictures and other fun stuff. Follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation. See the previous installments of Key Tweets here. If you’re reading this via email or RSS, you might get a better […]

By November 26, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
Giving Thanks for Giving Back: Toyota Helps Another Food Bank

Giving Thanks for Giving Back: Toyota Helps Another Food Bank

Yesterday was the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., so I hope you enjoyed the day if you’re here and celebrating the holiday. I saw this article and it’s great to see Toyota getting involved in the community again, this time in West Virginia: Toyota helps local food bank fight hunger read more

By November 25, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
Improving Thanksgiving Dinner Operations

Improving Thanksgiving Dinner Operations

It’s almost Thanksgiving here in the United States, so I’ll be taking the rest of the week off from the blog to enjoy some downtime with family. Improving operations, usually through Lean, was my main job in different manufacturing companies that I worked for before moving to healthcare in 2005. read more

By November 22, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
Lean People Don’t Say Things Like “Idiot Proofing”

Lean People Don’t Say Things Like “Idiot Proofing”

I’ve long been skeptical of so-called “Lean Sigma” or “Lean Six Sigma.” And not because I’m against Six Sigma statistical methods, which are valid and helpful in solving certain difficult problems. What I don’t like is the oft-stated “Lean Sigma” mantra that says something like, “Lean and Six Sigma are just tools in the improvement […]

By November 21, 2016 8 Comments Read More →
Key Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of Nov 14: Kaizen, Books, TPS & More

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of Nov 14: Kaizen, Books, TPS & More

Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a weekly post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week, including pictures and other fun stuff. Follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation. See the previous installments of Key Tweets here. If you’re reading this via email or RSS, you might get a better […]

By November 19, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
Reasons Why Lean Wouldn’t Always Be Easier Just Because You’re in Japan

Reasons Why Lean Wouldn’t Always Be Easier Just Because You’re in Japan

Facebook is reminding me that it was four years ago this week that I made my initial study trip to Japan with Kaizen Institute… and my return trip was two years ago this week. I’d love to go back in 2017. I have so many great memories from those trips and I learned a lot. […]

By November 18, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
In My Global Lean Healthcare Travels, These 21 Things Are Pretty Universal

In My Global Lean Healthcare Travels, These 21 Things Are Pretty Universal

I do a lot of work across the U.S., but I’ve also been very fortunate to work with hospitals, clinics, and health systems around the world over the past 11 years. It started with a few trips to Canada to conduct some hospital lab assessments and Lean leadership training when I worked for a J&J hospital consulting […]

By November 17, 2016 4 Comments Read More →
[Article] Creating a New “Gold Standard” — Healthcare Supply Chain Best Practices from Other Industries

[Article] Creating a New “Gold Standard” — Healthcare Supply Chain Best Practices from Other Industries

Thanks again to Cardinal Health for sponsoring the webinar that I did with them and Fierce Healthcare on supply chain best practices from other industries. We’ve also collaborated to create a two-page PDF article that’s a complement to the webinar: Creating a New “Gold Standard” — Healthcare Supply Chain Best Practices from Other Industries read […]

By November 16, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
Highlights from the Original 1984 NUMMI Team Member Handbook, Part 1

Highlights from the Original 1984 NUMMI Team Member Handbook, Part 1

I recently wrote about my exploration of the collected papers of the late Don Ephlin, a UAW senior leader and a professor of mine at MIT. In that first post, I shared a few quotes that were scattered around the original NUMMI Team Member Handbook from 1984, the year that the plant re-opened as the joint […]

By November 15, 2016 6 Comments Read More →
How Can a Story Like This Occur in Any E.D., Yet Alone a Hospital With a Lean Program?

How Can a Story Like This Occur in Any E.D., Yet Alone a Hospital With a Lean Program?

This story was sent to me by somebody I know with a Lean manufacturing career. It’s shocking, but it could happen anywhere, I suppose. I’m not going to name names… the author of this has allowed me to share it, without mentioning him or the health system. How can something like this happen in any […]

By November 14, 2016 14 Comments Read More →
Key Tweets from @MarkGraban Weeks of October 31 & Nov 7: Deming, Pants, Etc.

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban Weeks of October 31 & Nov 7: Deming, Pants, Etc.

Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a weekly post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week, including pictures and other fun stuff. Follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation. See the previous installments of Key Tweets here. If you’re reading this via email or RSS, you might get a better […]

By November 13, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
Visiting the Gemba & Seeing a Growing Culture of Continuous Improvement at Mary Greeley Medical Center

Visiting the Gemba & Seeing a Growing Culture of Continuous Improvement at Mary Greeley Medical Center

Recently, I wrote about an on-site event that I helped the Iowa Lean Consortium and Mary Greeley Medical Center (MGMC) organize… here is my first post about the morning of that event, if you missed it: Celebrating & Sharing Continuous Improvement at Mary Greeley Medical Center In the afternoon, we visited four different parts of the […]

By November 11, 2016 2 Comments Read More →