Paranoid Dangers of Lean


Click on the link above if you, ahem, want to read about how “just in time” inventory is jeopardizing us all (warning: major paranoia alert).

When I give lectures or do radio interviews, I'm often asked for proof when I mention that we live in a “fragile society.” Here is one prime example: kanban.

I guess if you are worried about an unpredictable food/grocery supply chain, then, by all means, stock up.

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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.


  1. Couple of thoughts…

    TEOTWAWKI is waste (at least in my view), so the lean company is working to eliminate it/avoid it (environmentally friendly, respect for people, good community members, build close to and employ your customers, etc)

    Since TEOTWAWKI is waste, companies/governments/individuals use inventories and strategies to buffer it, if it is significant for their customers. In my experience, governments and companies consider natural disasters and community/country stability in plant/facility locations. The optimum location (say make an existing plant larger) may not be chosen. Instead, a separate facility that provides some insulation against TEOTWAWKI.

    If you consider TEOTWAWKI likely, then you have inventory in your basement. Do you kanban and FIFO your inventory to prevent expiration?

    Oh…TEOTWAWKI is The End Of The World as We Know It (as stated by the and REM)



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