Ideas for a New Lean Blog Challenge?


After a few successful Lean Blog Challenges, the last contest didn't get any entries.

Let's open it up to the Blog readers then. Do any of you have some ideas for a new Challenge? I still have an MP3 player and a copy of Bob Emiliani's book,”Better Thinking, Better Results,” to give away.

Click on “contest” below for some examples of previous contests that had some good responses. If you have an idea for a theme, click “comments” or email me using the link in the left-hand column.

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  1. joe says

    Maybe instead of asking “How did you overcome your VP’s or President’s resistance to Lean?”, the question could be asked of what is one’s biggest success in overcoming resistance to lean?

    I think the biggest barrier to getting entries on the last challenge was the chronology of events. It seems to be pretty widely accepted that you cannot become lean without top management support. Without top management support, it becomes difficult to demonstrate the level of success that it would take to overcome resistance. Sort of a tail wagging the dog kind of thing. At least that’s the quandary that I found myself in while trying to respond.

    In my experience, there are essentially 3 categories of companies when it comes to lean. One category involves those companies that seem to grasp the magnitude of the cultural and philosophical change that becoming lean entails and are willing to put forth the time and effort to change the way they do things. The second category is those that think they are “doing” lean and are just ram-rodding tools in to their traditional thinking and traditional operations without fundamentally changing the way they do things. The other category are those not even trying who think lean can’t work for them or they aren’t ready yet because of reason x or some other reason that they don’t need to change. Regardless of what kind of company or industry that any of us work in, there is always resistance to overcome and always something to learn from how others create change in their company.

  2. Mark Graban says

    Joe, thanks for the idea. I’ll consider that for the next contest.

  3. Anonymous says


    For another topic, I’d be interested in poking further into the Lean vs. TPS debate. I think there are some fundamental differences in approach between but most people think of as Lean (Lean tools applied to create a pull production system), and what Toyota describes as TPS.

    I think some of the gaps are in problem solving, standardized work (the real work, not the color glossy documents), and the basic idea of stability of the 4M’s, and the use of PDCA to tie this together into a scientifically-driven learning organization.

    Seems to me that most companies outside of Toyota have not been really successful with these fundamentals. Many people doing “lean” really have no idea about these foundational elements of TPS.

    Food for thought…?

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