It's been 10 years since I first wrote about my awkward acronym L.A.M.E. Is it helpful to distinguish between true Lean principles and "Lean As Misguidedly Explained?" Will we see more L.A.M.E. talk and behaviors in the future?
Recently, when I posted a bit from the old 1984 NUMMI Team Member Handbook (more still to come on that), it allowed me to connect with Tom Wilson, a retired GM leader who spent time at NUMMI in the 1980s.
As I said then:
Today is the Labor Day holiday in the United States (and in Canada, as I recently learned). It’s not just a day of rest or a celebration of people who work… it’s a also day to acknowledge unions and the labor movement.
We'll probably also talk about this article that was published yesterday on QualityDigest.com: "Lean Is About Quality, Not Just Speed or Efficiency... in Factories or in Hospitals" It might ruffle some feathers, but oh well.
For decades, manufacturers have been tripped up by the simplistic idea that Lean is about “zero inventories.” It probably didn’t help that one of the earliest and most prominent books about what many used to call “Japanese manufacturing practices” had that exact title: Zero Inventories. It was published in 1983, well before “Lean” was a term used for this.
Now, there’s a story written by an emergency medicine physician, Dr. Brad Cotton, that appears in a publication called “Emergency Medicine News” — FIRST PERSON: ‘We Fired Our Hospital’...
I get asked a lot, “How do you know if a hospital is truly ‘Lean?'” Nobody is ever perfect or “fully Lean,” but you could ask, “How do you know if somebody is on a legitimate Lean transformation journey?” If you could only ask one question...
In the article posted today, Pamela Hartzband, M.D., and Jerome Groopman, M.D. (the later the author of the popular book How Doctors Think), rant about all sorts of things… some of which have nothing to do with Lean...
It's very frustrating when I hear people in healthcare complain that their hospital or health system has equated Lean with cost savings -- only focusing on cost reduction or primarily focusing on it...
How is it that we have two realities out there in healthcare... in parallel, Lean is awesome and Lean is horrible. It depends on where you are, unfortunately. I had an amazing day yesterday with a major health system...
It’s far too common to see somebody with just a little bit of understanding about Lean do things that really shouldn’t be described as Lean at all… in terms of the decisions they are making or the approaches they are taking.
Stories like this have been in the news before, but this was circulating the past few days: “Why erratic schedules are one of the worst parts of low-wage work.”
The story refers to so-called “just-in-time” scheduling techniques that jerk employees around and disrupt lives.
It’s time for another Throwback Thursday where I revisit a blog post from the past. To the left, that’s a baby Mark Graban… probably not actually thinking about Lean.
I referenced this post in my recent Keith Olber-Lean parody video… the post goes all the way back to 2007, the early days of Lean Blog:
Today’s post is a throwback to an essay that I originally wrote for the excellent book Lean-Led Hospital Design: Creating the Efficient Hospital of the Future, where it appears in an appendix with some other contributed essays.
It’s not uncommon to hear statements thrown around about Lean that are more of a myth than anything resembling reality.
I remember the time a professor told a group that if Toyota ran a health clinic, a buzzer would go off at the end of the planned appointment time and the patient would be kicked out of the room. That’s ridiculous. That’s a myth (and it’s not one of the widely spoken myths).
I learned about this the other today via Twitter (hat tip to @agile_memes), but today is “World No Resources Day” (see hashtag #WorldNoResourcesDay). See the small website at http://worldnoresourcesday.com/ and their thoughts on “why should I join in?”
When people ask me why I do what I do, my first answers are:
- improving patient safety
- creating better workplaces for people
It’s as simple as that. Those are the important problems that I’m passionate about (and have been able to help fix, at least in some local situations). At a more global scale, too many patients are hurt or killed by preventable medical errors. Too many people end up hating their jobs or going home crying or exhausted at the end of the day. That needs to change.