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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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Our Toyota Tour Guide’s Kaizen

Our Toyota Tour Guide’s Kaizen

We just finished our second day of our Kaizen Institute Japan Lean Tour and it’s been great so far. Follow us via the hashtag #KaizenTour on Twitter for more real-time updates. Monday afternoon, we visited Toyota’s Tsutsumi plant in Toyota City, where they produce Prius and Camry models. In the theme of being an “eco-factory” for […]

By November 18, 2014 7 Comments Read More →
Unclear on the Lean Concept: Gemba Walks

Unclear on the Lean Concept: Gemba Walks

Here’s the third cartoon collaboration with artist Carrie Howarth, CMA (AAMA), a workflow facilitator at a health system in Florida. See all of the cartoons here. More to come! This cartoon is not inspired by any particular incident or any real health system, but it was based off my random thought about what would happen IF a […]

By November 17, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
Follow our Japan Lean Healthcare Tour via Twitter

Follow our Japan Lean Healthcare Tour via Twitter

Konichiwa from Nagoya! Starting today, we have a group of 18 people here in Japan, including 13 doctors, some nurses, and healthcare senior leaders from around the world. I’ll eventually be blogging about aspects of the trip, but you can follow along in somewhat real time via Twitter this week. Mr Masaaki Imai now talks […]

By November 16, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
This Awesome Video Shows What Kaizen Looks Like at Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network

This Awesome Video Shows What Kaizen Looks Like at Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network

Thanks to my friend (and future co-author) Mike Stoecklein for sharing this video (and a blog post) about his Healthcare Value Network visit to Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network. The video shows many employees from many different departments at what they call an “ACT Fair” – an improvement fair where different departments highlight how they “act” to improve. […]

By November 14, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Must Listen: CBC Radio Piece on #Lean in Ontario, ThedaCare, and Saskatchewan

Must Listen: CBC Radio Piece on #Lean in Ontario, ThedaCare, and Saskatchewan

I was thankful to find this CBC Radio news story / podcast from the program “White Coat Black Art,” hosted by Dr. Brian Goldman: The Toyota Way for Healthcare It’s just under 30 minutes long and I think it’s a “must listen.” You can also get this through iTunes and your iOS device. Here are […]

By November 13, 2014 5 Comments Read More →
Video: Endoscopy Nurses are “Kaizen Crazy” at Franciscan St. Francis Health!

Video: Endoscopy Nurses are “Kaizen Crazy” at Franciscan St. Francis Health!

Today, I’m traveling to Tokyo, but I’m still thinking of the amazing nurses and leaders at Franciscan St. Francis Health in Indiana. Through my co-author Joe Swartz, the director of business transformation, their work is featured heavily in our book Healthcare Kaizen. I hope to share their examples and inspiration next week with our hosts and my […]

By November 12, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Traveling to Japan Tomorrow – What Questions Should I Ask?

Traveling to Japan Tomorrow – What Questions Should I Ask?

Tomorrow, I’m leaving for Japan and I’ll be with Kaizen Institute for our second Lean healthcare study tour (see a PDF about the trip). We have an incredibly diverse group, with attendees from the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and Singapore. We’re going to learn a lot about Japan and Lean and I’m […]

By November 11, 2014 7 Comments Read More →
Kaizen Makes People Smile

Kaizen Makes People Smile

Last Wednesday, I gave a presentation on Lean, Kaizen, and continuous improvement for healthcare at the Dutch Lean Event conference. The organizers said they want their event to be a “festival” with a fun atmosphere. They had a DJ (you read that right) playing lively music the whole time during networking breaks, even at 8:30 in […]

By November 10, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
KaiNexus Education Video #12: Use Data for Improvement

KaiNexus Education Video #12: Use Data for Improvement

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. Here is video #12 in the series, with Dr. Greg Jacobson: Use […]

By November 7, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Guest Post: Organizations are Solving Problems; Are They Workarounds or Real Improvements?

Guest Post: Organizations are Solving Problems; Are They Workarounds or Real Improvements?

Mark’s note: Today’s post is a guest post by my friend and colleague Isaac Mitchell. We’ve crossed paths at conferences, including the annual Society for Health Systems conference, where he shared some of their great work on Kaizen that’s being done at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Hopefully we’ll see you there in February with keynote […]

By November 6, 2014 6 Comments Read More →
“Lean Koffie” in The Netherlands; Smells & Tastes the Same as Our “Coffee”

“Lean Koffie” in The Netherlands; Smells & Tastes the Same as Our “Coffee”

Back in September, I wrote about our most recent “Lean Coffee” gathering in San Antonio, where people from different healthcare organizations talked about their improvement efforts. As part of my visit to The Netherlands this week, Marc Rouppe van der Voort (pictured below with me), arranged a gathering of healthcare improvement professionals who participate in their […]

By November 5, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
Guest Post: Standardized Work is for Leaders, Not Just Assembly Lines

Guest Post: Standardized Work is for Leaders, Not Just Assembly Lines

Mark’s note: Today’s post is by David Meier, a former Toyota group leader, and co-author of the excellent books The Toyota Way Fieldbook and Toyota Talent: Developing Your People the Toyota Way. He is currently working on a project to renovate and re-open a Kentucky distillery. I’ve learned a ton from David and I’m happy […]

By November 4, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
A Week in The Netherlands

A Week in The Netherlands

This week, I’ll be in The Netherlands for the first time since my visit in 2009. I was invited that first time by Marc Rouppe van der Voort to visit St. Elisabeth Hospital (where he worked at the time) and to speak at a conference. This is where I first heard about their concept of […]

By November 3, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
What I’m Listening To: Atul Gawande, Toyota’s Jeff Miller, Eric Ries

What I’m Listening To: Atul Gawande, Toyota’s Jeff Miller, Eric Ries

I’ve occasionally had a “What I’m Reading” post, where I share links to articles that I’ve enjoyed that don’t necessarily merit a whole blog post. Today is about “What I’m Listening To” — podcasts that I’ve heard and want to share (beyond the episodes I have created for my own podcast series, which will be […]

By October 31, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
Questions That Aren’t Really Questions

Questions That Aren’t Really Questions

My Lean mentors often talk about “leading with questions.” Kim Barnas and ThedaCare use this approach in different ways, including “stat sheets,” which are basically checklists (or standardized work) full of questions for leaders to use in the workplace. See her outstanding book Beyond Heroes: A Lean Management System for Healthcare. What kinds of questions […]

By October 30, 2014 17 Comments Read More →
60 Minutes Piece Shows the Bravery and Compassion of Nurses in Treating Ebola

60 Minutes Piece Shows the Bravery and Compassion of Nurses in Treating Ebola

Sunday’s episode of 60 Minutes included an interview with nurses who directly cared for the first U.S. Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, in the emergency department or ICU at Texas Health Resources Presbyterian Hospital. Say what you will about the insufficient standards originally laid out by the CDC or criticize hospital leaders for not following […]

By October 29, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
The New York Jets Illustrate What Happens When an Losing Organization Tries to Copy a Winner

The New York Jets Illustrate What Happens When an Losing Organization Tries to Copy a Winner

Organizations try to copy each other all the time. It doesn’t always work. Manufacturing: A plant manager visits another factory and sees neatly organized tools and then comes home and tells everybody “to do 5S.” They’ve thoroughly missed the fact that the good factory engaged everybody in the 5S process and was using the methodology […]

By October 28, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Free Webinar Tomorrow – #Lean & Daily Management by @KaiNexus

Free Webinar Tomorrow – #Lean & Daily Management by @KaiNexus

Tomorrow, at 1 pm Eastern, Dr. Greg Jacobson and I are giving a KaiNexus-sponsored webinar: Daily Management with KaiNexus: From Huddle Boards to Web-Based Technology I’ll be talking about daily Lean management practices, such as: Strategy deployment Process audits / rounding Performance measures Kaizen & staff ideas Daily standup meetings (“huddles”) I’ll explain the practice […]

By October 27, 2014 0 Comments Read More →