Tag: Toyota

Why don’t we do what we know we’re supposed to do? Why don’t I?

Why don’t we do what we know we’re supposed to do? Why don’t I?

It’s easy to point fingers at others who don’t do what they know they’re supposed to do. Why don’t those nurses and doctors properly clean their hands when they enter and leave every patient room? Why do some surgeons still maintain an intimidating environment in the operating room? Why do some managers or executives ignore […]

By February 11, 2015 6 Comments Read More →
Cartoon: The Workplace “Brain Check Station”

Cartoon: The Workplace “Brain Check Station”

Here’s my latest cartoon collaboration with a skilled artist (and medical assistant), Carrie Howarth. You can see the whole series via this link. How many organizations ask their employees to check their brain at the door? This certainly happened during my time at General Motors 20 years ago (and it had been happening for decades there). […]

By February 10, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
The Patriots, Coach Belichick, Aspects of Lean Thinking, and Dr. Deming

The Patriots, Coach Belichick, Aspects of Lean Thinking, and Dr. Deming

Earlier this month, for the College Football Playoff championship game, I wrote about “Lessons from the Football Coaching and Leadership Styles of the Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes.” I had found articles about both teams in the name of balance (and because both teams represented Lean-like thinking or new ways of doing things). I […]

By February 1, 2015 2 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 →
What’s Up With Neckties in Healthcare?

What’s Up With Neckties in Healthcare?

It’s a simple question: what’s up with so many men wearing ties in healthcare? Are you / they wearing them because you like to, want to, or have to? When I worked at a video game and computer software store in high school, I had to wear a shirt and tie. This was the era […]

By December 17, 2014 11 Comments Read More →
Bringing Me Problems is OK, We’ll Find Solutions Together

Bringing Me Problems is OK, We’ll Find Solutions Together

It’s a bit of a modern management cliché to say “Don’t bring problems! Bring me solutions!” I think what that means is “Don’t just complain! Think about improving things!” It’s good to think about improvement, but sometimes (if not often!) that improvement process starts by identifying problems. In a “Kaizen” process in a team, I […]

By December 15, 2014 5 Comments Read More →
A Hotel, Time Quotas, Systemic Problems, and Employees Not Having the Right Tools

A Hotel, Time Quotas, Systemic Problems, and Employees Not Having the Right Tools

I travel a lot and, thanks to my work, I’m pretty well attuned to the idea of not blaming individuals for systemic problems in an organization. Or, at least I try to be good about this. I’m human, so I slip up sometimes… like the time I wrongly blamed a bartender for a bad attitude, […]

By December 9, 2014 5 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 →
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 →
What I’m Listening To: Atul Gawande, Toyota’s Jeff Miller, Eric Ries

What I’m Listening To: Atul Gawande, Toyota’s Jeff Miller, Eric Ries

I’ve occasionally had a “What I’m Reading” post, where I share links to articles that I’ve enjoyed that don’t necessarily merit a whole blog post. Today is about “What I’m Listening To” — podcasts that I’ve heard and want to share (beyond the episodes I have created for my own podcast series, which will be […]

By October 31, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
Lean is a “Generic” Term for TPS (and The Toyota Way), Says Dan Jones

Lean is a “Generic” Term for TPS (and The Toyota Way), Says Dan Jones

People often say Lean is pretty simple (or that it’s just “common sense“). Yeah, some of the concepts are simple… but sometimes deceptively so. Or, we find that it’s easier to describe Lean (as a management system, a set of methods, and a culture) than it is to say how an organization should transform itself […]

By September 29, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
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 […]

A Sad Story About “Lean” That Wasn’t Really Lean Management At All

A Sad Story About “Lean” That Wasn’t Really Lean Management At All

In March, I wrote a post titled “Is it Lean’s Fault or the Old Management System’s?” about how people’s complains about Lean are actually often complaints about old management mindsets. Unfortunately, what’s described as “Lean” in an organization is sometimes not a transformation in management thinking… in those cases, it’s really just a few new tools […]

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 […]

Cleaning out the Backlog: Krafcik, Email, Lincoln, Leadership, Humility, Patient Falls

Cleaning out the Backlog: Krafcik, Email, Lincoln, Leadership, Humility, Patient Falls

As I sometimes do, I’m going to close out a bunch of browser tabs and share some articles that caught my eye recently but don’t merit full blog posts of their own. I’m cleaning out the LeanBlog backlog and trying to reduce inventory… so here we go: Where is Jon Krafcik Now? You might remember […]