I Bought a Lean Comic Book


I'm still waiting for the lean comic book to arrive after buying it on eBay. The link above is a column written about Hytrol Conveyor Company (more on their lean effort). They created a custom comic book to help explain lean concepts to their employees and suppliers. While some people might find this approach insulting, I can see the value in using different approaches for people with different learning styles. Looking at the content (a few pages that were shown in the eBay auction), the book looks like it makes a serious effort at explaining lean concepts in a way that isn't “dumbed down”. It just looks approachable, being in comic book form.

I'll post a full “review” of the book after I get mine, but here are a few pages (click on them for a larger view).


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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

  1. Ralf says

    Hi Mark,

    that sounds great:-) I even thought about about installing a company wide lean magazine – similar to a comic- to bring the lean ideas easier to the workforce.

    Books are not really applicaple, as it takes too long to get the information.

    So why not combine STORYTELLING with new ways of communication of LEAN to bring forward to whole idea and a new culture to western companies?

    Are there similar efforts that are known?


  2. Bill says

    Hytrol did plenty of Lean training and promotion but the journey takes a while get the momentum going. It’s also difficult to prevent employee support from regressing and there are not enough champions to go around.

    The comic book has useful content that our employees can relate to. The characters are the same ones we use in other awareness campaigns. So, they related to it.

    Even the company we engaged to “coach” us on the initial journey thought it was awesome. We now have the experience to coach other and this is part of the training process.

    The comic book was one of the best thing we did as the project started to go into it’s second year. Reaction was so good we ultimately made them available on hytrol.com to allow people to order quantities.


  3. Mike T says

    Mark – Just ordered the comic book. If I get a chance, I’ll try to send you a review once I’ve read it.

    BTW – Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your “break”.

  4. Mark Graban says

    I love the comic. I don’t think I ever posted a detailed review, but I was very impressed with it.

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