Tag: Japan

Why Kaizen is an Important Differentiator for Japanese Whisky

Why Kaizen is an Important Differentiator for Japanese Whisky

This article caught my attention the other day, primarily because I like scotch, whisky (and whiskey and bourbon). The Japanese love scotch whisky and have long produced a product that’s a variation of scotch — Japanese whisky (the lack of a standardized spelling for whiskey is an endless debate). I’ll settle on “whisky.” The article: Japanese […]

Weekend Listening: Two Podcasts with Mark Graban

Weekend Listening: Two Podcasts with Mark Graban

Normally, I like interviewing other people, through my podcast series (and this recent blog post with a hospital leader telling her story of putting patient safety first). Sometimes, the tables get turned and I’m the one being interviewed. Check out these two recent podcasts: Gemba Academy Podcast Thanks to Ron Pereira for having me back […]

By February 28, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Looking back at the Toyota Tsutsumi plant tour, part 2

Looking back at the Toyota Tsutsumi plant tour, part 2

Last week, I wrote a post (part 1) looking back  at our visit to the Toyota Tsutsumi factory that was part of our Japan tour that took place two months ago now. See previous posts in this series. I’m going to try to do one post a week on this topic. If you’re in San Francisco, I’m giving […]

By January 27, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Looking back at the Toyota Tsutsumi plant tour, part 1

Looking back at the Toyota Tsutsumi plant tour, part 1

I’ve been overdue in writing more posts about our Japan tour that took place two months ago now. See previous posts in this series. I’m going to try to do one post a week on this topic. It’s always fascinating to visit a Toyota plant and it’s even more so to visit with healthcare professionals. […]

By January 20, 2015 2 Comments Read More →
Putting Up Signs and Shooting Down Ideas

Putting Up Signs and Shooting Down Ideas

A friend sent me a link to this article, “7 cultural concepts we don’t have in the U.S.,” and he told me to check out item #5 in the list – Kaizen in Japan. By the way, if you ever see articles that you think I might want to read or blog about, contact me […]

By January 20, 2015 12 Comments Read More →
Good Ideas, Lean Ideas, Keep Crossing the Pacific

Good Ideas, Lean Ideas, Keep Crossing the Pacific

The ideas, principles, and methods that we’d recognize as “Lean” aren’t exclusively of Japanese origin. Many of us, myself included, draw inspiration from Toyota, reading books about them and visiting their factories. For me, I’ve had a chance to visit Toyota plants in Japan, California, and Texas, and the story is very consistent. As Masaaki […]

By December 8, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
Words vs. Simple Visuals; A Secret About Japanese Hospitals

Words vs. Simple Visuals; A Secret About Japanese Hospitals

This tweet and photo made me chuckle the other day… If it’s “your right” or “your left” as you’re going up or down the stairs, collisions are going to happen if everybody followed these instructions: No, it won't. pic.twitter.com/2iJ3POnrDB — Nille af Ekenstam (@nilrod) November 27, 2014 In Japan, during our recent tour, I saw […]

By December 3, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
The Kaizen Approach to Getting Others Comfortable with Sushi

The Kaizen Approach to Getting Others Comfortable with Sushi

I’ll be blogging a lot more about my recent trip to Japan with Kaizen Institute, including the site visits and our lessons learned. I had a few days of tourist / vacation time in Tokyo before and after the trip, which included getting to spend some time with a college friend who is currently doing […]

By December 1, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
“Quality Circles” Are Alive & Well in Japanese Organizations; We Might Call it A3 Problem Solving

“Quality Circles” Are Alive & Well in Japanese Organizations; We Might Call it A3 Problem Solving

One question I was asked to ask during my Japan trip was to see if “Quality Circles” are still active in Japanese companies. I think the term was brought to the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s, but generally wasn’t widely adopted for a number of reasons – probably due to management mindsets and organizational […]

By November 20, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Lean Healthcare Study Tour – Join Me in November 2014

Lean Healthcare Study Tour – Join Me in November 2014

You might remember that I partnered with Kaizen Institute about two years ago to do their first “Lean Healthcare Study Tour” to Japan. I blogged a bit about the last trip last week. It was a great learning experience, as a group of healthcare leaders and Lean practitioners from around the world spent a week […]

Visiting Two Japanese Hospitals with an Eye for Lean; I Can’t Wait to Go Back

Visiting Two Japanese Hospitals with an Eye for Lean; I Can’t Wait to Go Back

In November 2012, I had the opportunity to visit Japan for the first time as part of a Lean healthcare study mission. It was fascinating to compare notes with colleagues from the U.S., Belgium, and Holland as we visited factories, including a Toyota plant, and two hospitals that are using the methodology – at least […]

Dr. Deming & Kaizen: Employees Should Not Just Suggest, But Try Improvements Out

Dr. Deming & Kaizen: Employees Should Not Just Suggest, But Try Improvements Out

I’ve really enjoyed reading the book The Essential Deming: Leadership Principles from the Father of Quality that was published last year. I think this link will work… you can view my my public Kindle notes and profile online. If you haven’t read Dr. Deming’s work, my suggestions are to start with either Deming’s own Out of the Crisis. Or, […]

Podcast #186 – Jon Miller, “Creating a Kaizen Culture”

Podcast #186 – Jon Miller, “Creating a Kaizen Culture”

Please upgrade your browser MP3 File (run time 37:36) My guest for episode #186 is my friend Jon Miller, CEO of Kaizen Institute  and long-time blogger at Gemba Panta Rei. Today, we’re talking about his upcoming book, Creating a Kaizen Culture: Align the Organization, Achieve Breakthrough Results, and Sustain the Gains  (co-authored by Mike Wroblewski […]

By September 19, 2013 0 Comments Read More →
Brilliant 1981 Article: “Why Japanese factories work” – Relevant for Healthcare in 2013

Brilliant 1981 Article: “Why Japanese factories work” – Relevant for Healthcare in 2013

The year is 1981. A Major League Baseball strike interrupts the season. We’re in the midst of the Cold War. President Reagan is shot. Kim Carnes’ (not to be confused with ThedaCare’s Kim Barnas) tops the charts for the year with “Bette Davis Eyes.” And, Toyota has zero manufacturing presence in the United States… yet. […]

By September 3, 2013 6 Comments Read More →
Japan Trip: Going to Gemba and Seeing 5S at a Japanese Hospital

Japan Trip: Going to Gemba and Seeing 5S at a Japanese Hospital

Original Post From 2012: I’ve been going back through my notes and pictures from my first trip to Japan in November… my goal is blog about something or share a picture on a weekly basis. Read more about my guides, Kaizen Institute, and their next tour in June (I probably won’t be able to attend […]

By February 25, 2013 8 Comments Read More →