Tag: Culture

Podcast #197 – Kim Barnas, “Beyond Heroes” at ThedaCare

Podcast #197 – Kim Barnas, “Beyond Heroes” at ThedaCare

MP3 File (run time 35:59) My guest for episode #197 is a hospital leader I really respect, Kim Barnas, author of the new book Beyond Heroes. Until very recently, Kim was a Senior VP at ThedaCare, leading Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Hospital. I’ve seen Kim speak to groups at ThedaCare and a few conferences and […]

Lean is Common Sense? #ObviouslyLean

Lean is Common Sense? #ObviouslyLean

I’ve been amused by the Hotels.com “Captain Obvious” character and TV commercials. Hotels.com is, um, a site where you book hotels. Obvious. It’s often said that Lean is “common sense.” If that’s true, I guess it goes along with the phrase that common sense is uncommon. Aspects of a Lean culture often seem like common […]

How to Create a Dysfunctional Culture Where Employees & Customers Are Unhappy

How to Create a Dysfunctional Culture Where Employees & Customers Are Unhappy

On this blog, I write a lot about how to create a “Lean” culture where employees and customers are happy. Engaged employees lead to happy customers — and sustainable business success. It’s often instructive, however, to see or hear about a broken and dysfunctional culture. Sometimes the clearest examples of WHAT to do come from […]

My Skepticism about GM’s “Speak Up for Safety” Program

My Skepticism about GM’s “Speak Up for Safety” Program

I have a new article posted on LinkedIn: “My New Program: Speak Up About “Speak Up for Safety” at GM.” GM seems to continue their “blame the employees” game, as they’ve suspended two engineers (in my mind, blaming individuals for systemic cultural problems). CEO Mary Barra says that some executives may be punished, but starting […]

Great Steve Jobs Video (& Transcript) from 1990 on Continuous Improvement

Great Steve Jobs Video (& Transcript) from 1990 on Continuous Improvement

Hat tip to Brent Brewington (@BrentBrewington) for sharing a link to this amazing video via Twitter. Starting at about 7:54 into the video, Steve Jobs talks about continuous improvement. Here is a little more background about the video, shot in 1990, when Jobs was 35 years old and CEO of NeXT Computer. I admit I […]

The Day I Thought I’d Get Fired from “The Old GM” – Putting Quality over Quantity

The Day I Thought I’d Get Fired from “The Old GM” – Putting Quality over Quantity

Following up on yesterday’s post that talked about “the old GM” putting cost ahead of quality, I sometimes I get flashbacks to my days working for General Motors. I’ve been in healthcare for 8.5 years now, but at the start of my career, I was an entry-level industrial engineer at the GM Powertrain Livonia Engine plant […]

Did GM Forget that the Customer Should Come First? And Who Forgot Exactly?

Did GM Forget that the Customer Should Come First? And Who Forgot Exactly?

I wrote an article for LinkedIn yesterday about the recent GM ignition problem controversy and recall. I commented mainly on the video put out by new CEO Mary Barra (which I encourage you to watch). As a former GM employee, I reacted (at a gut level) to a few things in the video. The main […]

Is it Lean’s Fault or the Old Management System’s?

Is it Lean’s Fault or the Old Management System’s?

It’s easy for an organization to say they are “doing Lean” or they have “started a Lean transformation.” They might hire a consultant or put out a press release… or maybe there’s an optimistic (but premature) news article about how the hospital or health system is going to turn around with Lean. The problem is […]

Notes & My Short Talk from the #Lean Transformation Summit, #Lean14

Notes & My Short Talk from the #Lean Transformation Summit, #Lean14

It’s been fun attending the annual Lean Transformation Summit (produced by LEI). Today is Day 2. I took some notes from Day 1 and Tom Ehrenfeld has been “live blogging” it a bit on the LEI site. Tom also took and posted a picture of me in my spiffy “Lean Geek” t-shirt. LEI had a […]

Podcast #195 – Steve Montague, Lean + TeamSTEPPS for Patient Safety

Podcast #195 – Steve Montague, Lean + TeamSTEPPS for Patient Safety

Please upgrade your browser MP3 File (run time 38:47) Joining me for episode #195 is my friend Steve Montague from LifeWings. Steve and I met initially through our shared interest in Lean and, like Ron Pereira, we discovered we both lived in Keller, Texas (I’ve since moved to San Antonio). Steve is a retired Navy […]

On Joy, Large Ships, and Swamps

On Joy, Large Ships, and Swamps

Yesterday, I had a chance to visit Menlo Innovations, a software company in Ann Arbor, MI. I was happy to not only meet their CEO (and my recent podcast guest) Rich Sheridan, but to meet team members and get a small glimpse into this interesting environment. Their open plan office is in the basement under […]

By January 21, 2014 3 Comments Read More →
Toyota Tour Thoughts – Yes, They Have Opportunities for Kaizen

Toyota Tour Thoughts – Yes, They Have Opportunities for Kaizen

I had a chance to go back to the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) plant in south San Antonio last week with a group of executive education students at Trinity University. I first visited the plant back in 2010 and I’ve been there three times while living here the last two years. I love helping […]

By January 13, 2014 2 Comments Read More →
Belated Book Review: The Machine That Changed The World

Belated Book Review: The Machine That Changed The World

Mark’s note: Christina Kach is back with a new post, this time a review of what should probably be considered a “Lean classic.” Come back tomorrow for my first podcast interview with one of the co-authors, Dan Jones. You can find my previous podcasts with Jim Womack on the Lean Podcast main page. Maybe this […]

By December 17, 2013 4 Comments Read More →
Guest Post: Book Chapter on VIBCO and “Captain Karl”

Guest Post: Book Chapter on VIBCO and “Captain Karl”

Mark’s note: Today’s guest post is an excerpt from the book Remarkable by Toby LaVigne. Toby’s bio can be found at the bottom of this post. In this chapter from the book, Toby writes about a good friend of mine and of this blog – Karl Wadensten, the President of VIBCO. You can watch or listen […]

By December 16, 2013 0 Comments Read More →
The #Lean Post: More Thoughts on John Shook’s #LeanStartup Talk

The #Lean Post: More Thoughts on John Shook’s #LeanStartup Talk

After posting some raw notes yesterday on John Shook’s talk, I wrote a piece for the LEI’s “Lean Post” site that appears today. In the article, I took a stab at summarizing some key Lean Startup concepts for those who might not be familiar with them and I tried to summarize John’s thoughts on Lean […]

By December 12, 2013 1 Comments Read More →
Lean, Deming, and “Accountability”

Lean, Deming, and “Accountability”

Today, I’m spending the day with a health system and their quarterly management retreat, which includes about 200 managers from from the C-level on down. One of our topics, prompted by some feedback from a management survey, is accountability. This is a really rich and interesting topic and I will barely scratch the surface on […]

By December 5, 2013 9 Comments Read More →
Conversation Between John Shook & @EricRies on Putting the #Lean in #LeanStartup

Conversation Between John Shook & @EricRies on Putting the #Lean in #LeanStartup

The Thanksgiving weekend was a great opportunity to catch up on some reading and viewing that had accumulated in my browser and inbox. One thing I really enjoyed was a conversation (in advance of next week’s Lean Startup conference) between Eric Ries and LEI’s John Shook. If you’re not a “Lean Startup” person, I think […]

By December 2, 2013 3 Comments Read More →
Dilbert’s Boss Wonders Why His “Half-Wits” Aren’t Creative

Dilbert’s Boss Wonders Why His “Half-Wits” Aren’t Creative

There were a few great Dilbert cartoons this week that are relevant to Lean culture discussions. Even when the cartoons aren’t directly Lean related (as these are), we can still find thought-provoking ideas related to Lean. Thursday:   Managers can’t force creativity. When you put pressure on people – through unrealistic deadlines, targets and quotas, […]

By November 23, 2013 1 Comments Read More →