Reader Question: Lean and Talent Development


Here is a question from a Lean Blog reader:

I am an OE Consultant and I am currently working with an organization to help them improve and “upgrade” their current leadership development processes. Currently this organization is using Lean Sigma for only selected projects and functions that are interested, basically it is a grass-root effort vs. a top down mandate. I would love to identify any best practices where companies, like Toyota, have incorporated Lean Sigma in their HR/OD processes.

I recommended that she check out the book Toyota Talent and to check this earlier post from Jamie Flinchbaugh on Lean and HR.

Does anyone have experiences or thoughts to share? Click “comments” to have your say.

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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. Lean can and should be applied to HR. I’ve just started reading “Lean Solutions: How Companies and Customers Can Create Value and Wealth Together” By James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones and I would think that ANY HR department could benefit from attempting to walk the Gemba from the customer’s (the prospective new hire) perspective. If you don’t give an employee the right experience before they are hired, what kind of notions do you think they might come into the company with?


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