LeanBlog Podcast #40 – A UAW Retiree on Lean


Here is LeanBlog Podcast #40, an interview with a retired UAW/GM employee who wishes to remain anonymous, at this point. We have traded many emails over the past year, about Lean, and I'm impressed with this individual's true passion for Lean and Toyota Production System concepts.

We both agree that the “root cause” of many Lean struggles comes back to management's inability to create trust and to give up some control to the employees who actually do the work.

The intent here, from my perspective, is not “management bashing,” but rather to illustrate that there are some on the UAW side who “get it” and success is going to require true cooperation and sacrifices on both sides.

MP3 File

For earlier episodes, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS or via Apple Podcasts.

LeanBlog Podcast #40 Key Points & Key Words

  • Quality Network” – GM and the UAW
  • GM had been working with Lean methods since the early 1990's, but not associating it with “Lean” (Toyota) until this decade
  • The need for trust and culture change — changing the “them vs. us” attitude

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.

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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.

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