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Tag: Japan

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 →
Guest Post: The Risk of Ignoring Muri

Guest Post: The Risk of Ignoring Muri

Today’s guest post is by author  Natalie Sayer, who was my guest for  Podcast #145.   While doing research for another project, I had the opportunity to watch the move Happy, a documentary looking at the science of happiness around the world.  If you have not had the chance to see the movie, I highly […]

By November 29, 2012 7 Comments Read More →
A Small Batch of Bread, Other Random Japan Pictures

A Small Batch of Bread, Other Random Japan Pictures

I’m on my way home from Japan as this post gets published. I will probably take the week off from blogging for the Thanksgiving holiday and I’ll reflect on the amazing trip and the learning… resuming posts about the trip along with my usual commentary on Lean articles in the news, etc. I saw this […]

By November 19, 2012 1 Comments Read More →
The “Gold Prize” Kaizen QC Project Saved How Much?

The “Gold Prize” Kaizen QC Project Saved How Much?

Yesterday, our tour group had a chance to visit an outstanding factory. They manufacture gas meters and they do everything from casting aluminum, creating printed circuit boards, stamping, painting, assembly – all in a single site. It reminded me a bit of old Henry Ford vertical integration from 100 years ago (which can be a […]

By November 16, 2012 2 Comments Read More →
A Japanese Hospital CEO on Kaizen, Innovation & Breakthrough

A Japanese Hospital CEO on Kaizen, Innovation & Breakthrough

Join our future tours: Yesterday, our Lean Healthcare tour of Japan (with Kaizen Institute) took us to our second hospital, this time in Tokyo. The CEO, Shuhei Iida, MD, pictured at left, spent a lot of time with us, talking generally about their “MQI” program – or Medical Quality Improvement. I suggest checking out their […]

By November 15, 2012 9 Comments Read More →
“Unity in the Essential, Liberty in the Non-Essential…”

“Unity in the Essential, Liberty in the Non-Essential…”

Our Kaizen Institute guide, Brad Schmidt (pictured at left) talked to us on Monday about standardized work. He said, of the practice at Toyota, that it’s “voluntary standardization.” This is revolutionary thinking, I believe, for much of the Lean community and it’s something I’d like to explore and reflect on a bit. About LeanBlog.org: Mark […]

By November 14, 2012 12 Comments Read More →