Hello from the UK


Hello from the Global Lean Healthcare Summit in Warwickshire, England. It is amazing how truly global this movement is, as tonight I met or saw name badges of people from the US, Canada, UK, Italy, Denmark, South Africa, Germany, Netherlands, Brazil, Australia, and Turkey. That's very encouraging and shows how universal Lean is. People in Denmark are afraid of layoffs too. The NHS in the UK has similar problems as US hospitals.

My taxi driver coming back inadvertantly told a great gemba story. He mentioned he was an engineer with a masters but now ran this cab company with many employees. I asked why he was driving a cab and he said, “how would I know what was going on with my drivers and customers if I didn't also drive?”

What a perfect lean story for a lean setting!!!


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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. Ron Pereira says

    Have fun over there Mark. Don’t leave without getting some “proper fish and chips” which means to get one of the locals to bring you the kind of place that serves the fish in a big newspaper. Trust me… you wont find anything like it back here in Texas.

  2. Peden says

    The guy from Denmark, was he from a university or a company, and which if I may ask so?

  3. Anonymous says

    Probably the Hospitals and consultancies, I met with a number of Senior Managers from Scandanavia and the Netherlands late last year and hospitals are under similar pressures to the UK. A lot of those guy’s were here for the conference. On a seperate note, it was good to meet you Mark, the conference was awesome. I have already changed a number of things that I was in the middle of doing as a result, we are reviewing and improving.

  4. […] tip to my dad for sending this, showing a contrast with my “gemba-driven” cab company owner from the UK. If you remember, the cab company driver insisted on driving a cab (being in the […]

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