LeanBlog Podcast #30 — Bob Emiliani: An Update on What Happened with Lean at Wiremold



LeanBlog Podcast #30 is an interview with Bob Emiliani, author of the books Better Thinking, Better Results and Real Lean: Understanding the Lean Management System (Volume One) (and Volume Two). Bob had a long career at United Technologies, Pratt & Whitney and also has degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, as well as a PhD in engineering from Brown University.

Better Thinking, Better Results, which is now out in a 2nd revised edition, has a new epilogue about Wiremold, the subject of the book, and how they have moved away from Lean after their acquisition by another company. In this podcast, we'll talk about why that happened and what others can learn from the story, in efforts to prevent the dismantling of even the most successful of Lean transformations. You can visit the page for this podcast at leanpodcast.org for links to Bob and his books, including the “Real Lean” series.

Keywords and Main Points, Episode #30

  • Why did you update the Wiremold story and produce a second edition of your book Better Thinking, Better Results?
  • So what happened?
  • Why didn't Legrand value the Lean transformation that Art, his team, and the people of Wiremold did?
  • So it looks like Legrand made some mistakes.
  • What can we learn from what happened to Wiremold?

If you have feedback on the podcast, or any questions for me or my guests, you can email me at leanpodcast@gmail.com or you can call and leave a voicemail by calling the “Lean Line” at (817) 993-0630 or contact me via Skype id “mgraban”. Please give your location and your first name. Any comments (email or voicemail) might be used in follow ups to the podcast. Click here for the main LeanBlog Podcast page with all previous episodes.

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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. excellent podcast, Mark, thanks for traking Bob down.

    There is much to learn from Wiremold, yet it is a sad story for the employees who had such pride in competing with low-cost foreign imports, successfully.


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