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LeanBlog Podcast #40 – A UAW Retiree on Lean


anonHere 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.

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MP3 File


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

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

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is an anthology titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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