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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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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 […]

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 4 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 →
On Amazon, Publishers, and Book Prices

On Amazon, Publishers, and Book Prices

I’m an avid book buyer, book reader, and published book author. Amazon is one of my favorite places to shop, not just for books. I first bought a book from Amazon back in 1997 before I went to MIT. There has been a lot of controversy over Amazon fighting with Hachette, a major publisher. Hachette accuses […]

That Moment When You Realize a Potential Client CEO is a Deming Disciple

That Moment When You Realize a Potential Client CEO is a Deming Disciple

Many healthcare organizations are non-profits. They provide some “community benefit” in terms of charity care (as do for-profit healthcare organizations). Then, there are healthcare organizations that are very charity focused, where providing free care and social services is their primary mission. Some of these organizations even refuse to accept payment from insurance companies or the […]

Why Every Patient Deserves the Care & Caution that Surrounds the American Ebola Patients

Why Every Patient Deserves the Care & Caution that Surrounds the American Ebola Patients

Today’s post a link to my article written for the LinkedIn “Influencers” series: Why Every Patient Deserves the Care & Caution that Surrounds the American Ebola Patients Part of my article: “But, it makes me think… if hospitals CAN be extra cautious and make sure people are following protocols in situations like this, why aren’t […]

This Date in Lean Blog History: August 6

This Date in Lean Blog History: August 6

My blog will turn 10 years old in February, 2015. You’re probably either thinking, “Wow, that’s awesome!” or “Get a life, dude.” :-) Here’s a look back at some of the posts from August 6 in past years… what was I writing about? 2013: Podcast #183 – Scott Sambucci, Lean Startup Ideas for Sales 2012: Dr. Donald […]

Don’t Miss These Webinars & a New Workshop on “Healthcare Kaizen”

Don’t Miss These Webinars & a New Workshop on “Healthcare Kaizen”

Today, I’d like to share info about a new workshop and two webinars… ThedaCare Center Workshop on Healthcare Kaizen – 10/14 I’m happy to be debuting a day-long workshop on “Healthcare Kaizen” that’s being produced by my friends at the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value. See the course description and registration information here: “Pilot: Daily […]

What I’m Reading: Diner Muda, No Blame at Etsy, Toyota Treats Cancer Faster, etc.

What I’m Reading: Diner Muda, No Blame at Etsy, Toyota Treats Cancer Faster, etc.

In case you missed it, see Saturday’s post: “Why Toyota is Eliminating the Andon Cord from its Factories.” As I occasionally do, today’s post is one where I’m going to close out some open browser tabs and post links to articles that I’ve been reading that are worth sharing (as I often do on Twitter), […]

Updated: Why Toyota is Eliminating the Andon Cord from its Factories

Updated: Why Toyota is Eliminating the Andon Cord from its Factories

If you clicked on my intentionally attention grabbing headline (or what might be a parody of those)… no, Toyota isn’t killing their famed and much-copied Andon process. Toyota is just changing the mechanics of the Andon system – or perhaps improving it… in the spirit of Kaizen, or continuous improvement. If you’d like more background on Andon […]