Cleaning Out the Lean Blog Backlog, Redux


It's a not-so-regular feature, but it's time to clean up the Lean Blog Backlog (say that 10 times fast), the stories that I've tucked aside but haven't gotten the full blog post treatment.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of my Reader Survey reflections.

Some Friday reading…

Mankind's inexhaustible ability to blame others, as reflex, is typified by this story Teen Girl Falls In Open Manhole While Texting. Rather than taking responsibility, she blames NYC. Unreal.

The NY Times Ethicist columnist answers a question from a person who worries that co-worker's efficiency suggestions will lead to layoffs: The Ethicist – Co-Worker Concerns – Question –

BIDMC's Paul Levy shared a version of a fun standardized work exercise: Running a hospital: Pig — Part 1 (be sure to check out all three parts of the exercise). I have used a slightly different version with hospital groups – can be a great ice breaker or can lead into discussion about training, kaizen, and supervisory leadership.

Here is an article about TPS in IT, with this starting point in pre-Lean understanding:

“For many years I have equated process with rigid, inflexible and quite frankly boring working practices that have little basis in reality of the front line.”

Click the link to read how the author, through their study of our friend Steve Spear, learned to think otherwise, that:

“… the staff on the Toyota Production System are creative problem solvers who own develop their own process every day, constantly finding new ways to be more efficient, more effective and better governed. They work in a consistent framework – a pattern – but within that framework they can be creative.”

Great lessons for IT, or for a hospital, or for any skills environment…. even Starbucks!

Have a great Friday, how are you helping someone else become a better problem solver today?

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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. Seems to me that if I left open a hole big enough for someone to fall through I might consider that my own fault and a defect in a process that should be examined. But making fun of teens is oh-so-funny too, I guess.


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