Lean and Media Companies?


I received an email from Norway, asking a question I couldn't answer, so I'm turning it to the blog readers:

[ I work for a] European media group based in Norway . We have around 8.500 employees and operations in 20 countries.

We have for some time experimented with Lean in our company, mainly through a few pilots.

Our main learning from these pilots is that our top managers lack the necessary knowledge and commitment to move into a larger Lean transformation.

To confront this we are now including our top managers in a Lean Best Practice study. During the study we aim at visiting (already transformed) Lean companies and Lean research communities.

I've been reading through your great blog, but can't seem to find anything about media companies going lean.

You wouldn't by any chance know of any? We would be very eager to visit them.

And since I'm already bothering you with this email, which other companies and research companies would you recommend us to visit?

What do you think or suggest? Click “comments” to let us know. What Lean companies (in any industry) would you suggest touring in Scandinavia or Europe?

Here is part of my response back:

“… you might not find another “lean” company exactly like yours to study and learn from. I hope that wouldn't stop you from trying Lean. Think of the excitement if we had been at the first hospital to use Lean? They didn't have anyone exactly like them to model themselves after. But, it can be done. I'd recommend doing your best to understand the basic high-level lean concepts then start doing experiments. What business problems need solving? Try what you think will work in rapid experiments and learn as you go. That might take longer and you might make some mistakes along the way, but you might end up with better results by going that route.”

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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. North Jersey Media, a newspaper publisher in Hackensack, NJ, is on a lean journey. I wrote an article about them in the Lean Manufacturing Advisor newsletter in March 2004. If anyone would like to contact me, I’ll be glad to send a copy of the article.

  2. Dear All,

    I’m a french editor in a french industrial newsmag and I’m currently preparing a study about Lean Manfuctauring and Media to graduate my training next year.
    I’m looking for some firm which had applied Lean manufacturing in their organization. If you could help me, i’ll be pleased.


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