Lean Blog Carnival


    Kevin Meyer used to do a lean “blog carnival”, so maybe it's now my turn. There are many great blogs out there and here's a highlight of what's been really good recently.

    • Kevin's blog had a feature on Whirlpool's understanding (or mis-understanding) of lean principles.
    • Karen Wilhelm appears to be having a lot of fun with her SME Lean Reflections blog, evidenced by this “Night Before Christmas” lean parody. She's also a frequent comment maker on this blog, which is very appreciated.
    • The “Daily Kaizen” blog is nice team blog from a Seattle hospital that is going through a lean transformation process. Here is the latest in their regular “Quote of the Week” series.
    • Hal Macomber's “Reforming Project Management” blog has a number of posts about Toyota and their success. This post takes the excuse makers to task, whether it's GM or our U.S. Congress not understanding why Toyota is successful.
    • Mike Wroblewski's “Got Boondoggle?” lean blog has been quiet lately, but here is a post of his on “Kindergarten Lean
    • Kathleen Fasanella's “Fashion Incubator” blog might not appear to be a lean blog, at first glance, but there are often great lean lessons that apply to more than apparel making. Here is a post that talks about good inventory management, 5S, and visual management strategies.
    • Jon Miller's “Gemba Pantarei” blog has a new layout and a post about 5 Things he wishes Toyota would do once they become #1 in global auto production.
    • Mark Edmondson had some complaints about the U.S. Post Office not properly forecasting the demand for holiday stamps, on his Lean Executive blog. On Dec 22nd or so, I overheard a woman who was angry at my local post office because all they had left were generic blue snowflake stamps, nothing more holiday-ish than that.
    • Tom Peters asks this question about leadership and CEO compensation: Why is the ratio of pay for 4-star General to the average soldier about 6 to 1, while the ratio for a CEO to average worker is 250 to 1?
    • Peter Abilla is a kindred spirit — he's the type of guy who would take a bad fast food experience and draw a process map, while blogging about it and reference queuing theory. My kind of guy.
    • Joe Ely recently restructured his “Learning About Lean” blog to focus more on his own personal lean journey. I hope he continues to share more details about his lean work.
    • The “Presentation Zen” blog has a post on rules for simplicity in presentations. We've probably all been guilty of powerpoint abuse, so it's good to think about how to create impactful presentations (high value) with minimal waste.
    • Seth Godin writes about marketing, but there are often leadership or business lessons to be learned. This time, he links to a website with a 1972 McDonald's training video and he says, “It's clear that a motivational video is not the solution–if it were, our service problems would be long gone.” Ala W. Edwards Deming, slogans and external “motivation” aren't always the answer to our organizational challenges. Substitute leadership! Seth also challenges Verizon wireless on the “value” of putting banner ads on customers' cell phone browsers.
    • John Hunter's “Curious Cat” blog has a post on why extrinsic motivation fails to motivate.
    • The “Consumerist” blog often features customer service horror stories, a reminder of the sheer amount of waste in the world, including this attempt at getting a mattress from JC Penney.

    So many great blogs, so little time! I hope you'll continue to spend more time with this blog in 2007, however!!

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    Mark Graban
    Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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