Today’s Random Cheap Shot Against Lean


    In-flight food: Heaven or hell on a tray? –

    Thanks to Pierre-Yves for pointing this out… I don't understand how Lean even came up in this article about bad airline food.

    Austrian catering company DO & CO has transformed the food served onboard Austrian Airlines and Turkish Airlines flights. Skytrax reported a 35 percent increase in customer satisfaction for Turkish Airlines since DO & CO was hired in 2007.

    “In the last 15-20 years, the industry has focused on lean production. But we believe [airline catering] is not the job of a car manufacturer,” says Attila Dogudan, CEO of DO & CO.

    Well that statement just proves that Attila doesn't understand Lean or what Lean is all about. It's not a method for building cars. Lean is a management system and a method for improving quality and improving processes. It's transferable across industries including…. um, healthcare!

    Maybe this lack of understanding is a reason why airline food is generally so bad? Or is he somehow blaming “Lean” as the cause of bad food?

    [Seinfeld voice] Bad airplane food… what's the deal? [/Seinfeld voice]

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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. Hmmm… The guy’s name is Attila… Sounds like a “take no prisoners” kind of a name to me. Not surprising he’d take a cheap shot wherever opportunity presents.

    2. Drawing upon one of my two favorite business mentors, Ray Zalinksy (the other, of course, is Fred Taylor) quoth here somewhat:

      “It’s what the American public does not know that makes them the American public.”

    3. In part this is our own fault. We’ve let lean become synonymous with “cut costs”. In fact, some of us push this very idea. Haven’t we all read something recently along the lines of the following: “Now is the best time to start introducing lean practices because what better time than in a difficult economy when you most need to cut costs.”?


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