Tag: Toyota

Lean is Not Just Process Improvement

Lean is Not Just Process Improvement






In my travels, I often meet people or visit organizations that say something like: “We’re doing Lean… we just call it Process Improvement.” They have a “Process Improvement” (PI) department…






By January 16, 2017 7 Comments Read More →
#TBT: What CFO Magazine Wrote About #Lean in 2009

#TBT: What CFO Magazine Wrote About #Lean in 2009






I first blogged about this article back in 2009 and it’s still online: “Keen to Be Lean“ The sub headline talks about hospitals being “desperate to cut costs.” Has that changed? I wish the motivation was more often about hospitals being “desperate to improve patient safety and quality.” Lean can address that too and should […]






By December 15, 2016 2 Comments Read More →
Podcast #269 – Brian MacNeice & James Bowen, “Powerhouse” Book, Toyota, Mayo

Podcast #269 – Brian MacNeice & James Bowen, “Powerhouse” Book, Toyota, Mayo






Joining me for Episode #269 are Brian MacNeice & James Bowen, co-authors of the recently released book Powerhouse: Insider Accounts into the World’s Top High-performance Organizations. They are founders of the international Kotinos Partners consultancy. In this episode, we talk about the book and take a deeper dive into two of the organizations they profiled: Toyota and […]






By December 7, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
Part 2: More From the Original 1984 NUMMI Team Member Handbook: Unions, Teams, Leaders

Part 2: More From the Original 1984 NUMMI Team Member Handbook: Unions, Teams, Leaders






Here’s Part 2 of a post about the original NUMMI Team Member Handbook from 1984 (see Part 1 here). This, and other documents that I’ll be blogging about, are part of Don Ephlin’s UAW office papers that are archived at the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University in Detroit. Thanks to them for their […]






By December 5, 2016 2 Comments Read More →
Giving Thanks for Giving Back: Toyota Helps Another Food Bank

Giving Thanks for Giving Back: Toyota Helps Another Food Bank






Yesterday was the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., so I hope you enjoyed the day if you’re here and celebrating the holiday. I saw this article and it’s great to see Toyota getting involved in the community again, this time in West Virginia: Toyota helps local food bank fight hunger From the article: read more






By November 25, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
Lean People Don’t Say Things Like “Idiot Proofing”

Lean People Don’t Say Things Like “Idiot Proofing”






I’ve long been skeptical of so-called “Lean Sigma” or “Lean Six Sigma.” And not because I’m against Six Sigma statistical methods, which are valid and helpful in solving certain difficult problems. What I don’t like is the oft-stated “Lean Sigma” mantra that says something like, “Lean and Six Sigma are just tools in the improvement […]






By November 21, 2016 8 Comments Read More →
Highlights from the Original 1984 NUMMI Team Member Handbook, Part 1

Highlights from the Original 1984 NUMMI Team Member Handbook, Part 1






I recently wrote about my exploration of the collected papers of the late Don Ephlin, a UAW senior leader and a professor of mine at MIT. In that first post, I shared a few quotes that were scattered around the original NUMMI Team Member Handbook from 1984, the year that the plant re-opened as the joint […]






By November 15, 2016 7 Comments Read More →
Real Productivity Improvement vs. Pressuring Workers; Easier vs. Suboptimizing

Real Productivity Improvement vs. Pressuring Workers; Easier vs. Suboptimizing






When I was in England on vacation recently, I saw this column in the Financial Times: Listen to your employees and so increase their productivity And the author, Sarah O’Connor, makes a great point in the sub headline – that just asking people to work faster might mean quality suffers. As leaders, in a factory […]






By October 17, 2016 2 Comments Read More →
Key Tweets from @MarkGraban – Week of August 15, 2016: Whiskey, Deming, Brazil & Kaizen

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban – Week of August 15, 2016: Whiskey, Deming, Brazil & Kaizen






Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a weekly post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week, including pictures and other fun stuff. Follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation. See the previous installments of Key Tweets here. If you’re reading this via email or RSS, you might get a better […]






By August 19, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
The One Where @TheNerdyNurse Talks About the Power of #Lean in Healthcare

The One Where @TheNerdyNurse Talks About the Power of #Lean in Healthcare






It’s one thing to hear Lean professionals or specialists talking about the power of this methodology to improve healthcare. To me, it’s not just theory, it’s something I’ve seen in practice. Sure, there are many engineers and former business people working in healthcare now, and I think that’s great for a number of reasons – bringing relevant […]






By August 15, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
Podcast #259 – Steve Bera, Reflections on NUMMI and #Lean, Part 2

Podcast #259 – Steve Bera, Reflections on NUMMI and #Lean, Part 2






Today’s episode #259 is Part 2 of a discussion I started with Steve Bera in episode #256. Steve was one of the original 16 “NUMMI Commandos” that General Motors sent to work with Toyota in the 1980s, as discussed in the outstanding book Comeback: The Fall & Rise of the American Automobile Industry. read more






Podcast #256 – Steve Bera, Reflections on NUMMI and #Lean, Part 1

Podcast #256 – Steve Bera, Reflections on NUMMI and #Lean, Part 1






I’m really excited to have Steve Bera as my guest for episode #256 of the podcast. I read about him as he was featured prominently in a chapter of the 1994 Pulitzer-Prize winning book Comeback: The Fall & Rise of the American Automobile Industry. I just finished it during my recent flight back from China. read more






Key Tweets from @MarkGraban – Week of June 6, 2016: Lean Hospitals, Ali, Patient Safety, GM & Toyota

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban – Week of June 6, 2016: Lean Hospitals, Ali, Patient Safety, GM & Toyota






Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a weekly post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week, including pictures and other fun stuff. Follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation. See the previous installments of Key Tweets here. If you’re reading this via email or RSS, you might get a better […]






GM’s CEO Roger Smith Thought Toyota Had Magic, But This Was the “Secret”

GM’s CEO Roger Smith Thought Toyota Had Magic, But This Was the “Secret”






Thanks to this post by Bruce Hamilton (aka “Toast Guy” or “Old Lean Dude”), I was reminded of the old General Motors effort, spearheaded by then-CEO Roger Smith (of “Roger & Me” fame), to fully automate car factories. Their concept was the “lights-out factory” that could run without people (other than a security guard). read […]






Key Tweets from @MarkGraban – Week of May 30, 2016: Lean Hospitals, Why TQM (& Lean) Fails

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban – Week of May 30, 2016: Lean Hospitals, Why TQM (& Lean) Fails






Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a weekly post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week, including pictures and other fun stuff. Follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation. See the previous installments of Key Tweets here. If you’re reading this via email or RSS, you might get a better […]






If Your Hospital Wants to “Implement #Lean,” You Need to Learn This Lesson from Toyota

If Your Hospital Wants to “Implement #Lean,” You Need to Learn This Lesson from Toyota






I’ve written before about the subject of hospitals “flexing” nurses and employees. I’ve criticized flexing (or the practice of sending employees home early because patient census is low) and I’ve pointed out that it’s not keeping with “Lean” principles to “save money” by sending people home early.











Podcast #251 – Jim Huntzinger & Russ Scaffede on Lean Leadership

Podcast #251 – Jim Huntzinger & Russ Scaffede on Lean Leadership






Episode #251 is a bit different in that it’s audio shared by the good folks at Lean Frontiers. They recently hosted a webinar where Jim Huntzinger, founder and president of Lean Frontiers asked questions that answered by Russ Scaffede about Lean leadership. See their other webinars here. Russ has a lot of great wisdom and experience […]






#TBT: Toyota Helps Another Food Bank

#TBT: Toyota Helps Another Food Bank






Back in 2013, I blogged about Toyota helping the NYC Food Bank… not helping as in giving money, but helping as in sharing their expertise with the Toyota Production System. My post: Video: Toyota Helps a NYC Food Bank & Hurricane Sandy Victims There was another post from 2010 where Toyota helped a food bank serve […]