Management Improvement Blog Carnival #150


The Management Improvement Carnival was started by my friend and fellow LeanDaily blogger John Hunter of the  Curious Cat Management Improvement blog. My job here is to share some noteworthy and thought provoking posts from the past few weeks from the blogs I try to keep up with regularly. I hope you'll discover a new blog or two (or new idea) in the process.

For previous Carnivals I have hosted, click here.

And here we go:

Uncool and unLean taxi batching at Logan Airport

Paul Levy (Not Running a Hospital) writes about a frustrating experience trying to get a taxi at Boston's Logan Airport. From his observation, the flow was slowed greatly by a “batchy” dispatching process. Is the dispatcher even a necessary role? Be sure to read Paul's posts and his readers' comments.

What Does It Take To Teach Lean  Management?

Another CEO blogger, Patrick Anderson from Chugachmiut (Lean in Alaska) shares his approach for spreading Lean thinking throughout his organization. The approach involves his own mentoring of leaders who are then expected to mentor others and onward through the organization over a multi-year period. Anderson ends the post with wise words: “As I tell my staff, we don't need to be perfect. We only need to be willing to make and acknowledge that we make mistakes and chase perfection by correcting those mistakes.”  Also check out “Learning to See-The Ohno Circle.”


As part of his relatively new blog, Anthony Scott (Frontline Lean) writes about his experiences with waste in an emergency department. The waste isn't surprising to those who have been a patient or those who have worked in the E.D. Scott is a supervisor in a lean manufacturing setting and he applies lean thinking to this unfamiliar environment. Having corresponded with him, I appreciate that he's not just complaining, but he's engaging with the hospital to try to help with improvements as an outsider. What can you do to get involved with your local hospital or health system?

World Class Blog  Post

Here's a nice blog post from my friend Brian Buck (Improve With Me). Brian writes about the empty and meaningless term “world class” and wonders what that really means for an organization. This is a term that's been thrown around manufacturing and other industries for a long time, but to what meaningful benefit? I agree with Brian when he writes, “I think a better mission for hospitals is to strive for “perfect care”.”    That also sets the bar high, but it's based on something you can gauge internally, rather than having to somehow measure yourself against others.

Top 3 Things I've Learned After 18 Months in Healthcare

My friend and DFW-area neighbor Mike Lombard (Hospital Kaizen) reflects on his first 18 months after transitioning from manufacturing into healthcare. In addition to his main points, Mike ends the post with an invitation for others to Move to Healthcare, writing, “Like I said earlier, I've learned a lot (a lot more than is shown here) and I continue to learn everyday.  If you're an engineer, project manager, quality professional, operations manager, or any other type of business professional, you can make the move to healthcare.  Just be ready to focus on people, deal with complexity, and be proud of your work.  Most of all, be ready to continuously learn and improve.”

Case Study: The Nordstrom Innovation Lab

Eric Ries (Startup Lessons Learned), author of the excellent book The Lean Startup, has a post with video featuring the use of “Lean Startup” methods and mindsets within a Fortune 500 company. Eric writes, “It's one thing to talk about “rapid experimentation” and “validated learning” as abstract concepts. It's quite another to see them in action, in a real-world setting.” How is Nordstrom using Lean principles including iterative design, go and see, and simple rapid experiments? Check out Eric's post.

Consultant Space Kaizen – Practicing What We Teach

A team at Group Heath (Daily Kaizen) writes about the application of Lean principles to their own space and work, as internal consultants. They write, “We are leading by example, applying lean principles to our own space, partnering with our facilities colleagues in hopes that the outcome will be a model for a paradigm shift away from 1 worker = 1 cube/office.” Read about their methods and see the pictures in their post.

All you really need to know about courage and risk in your career

My good friend Jamie Flinchbaugh writes about taking risks in the workplace – how many of us are willing to risk being fired (for admirable reasons)?  Jamie writes:

“Professional risk, and the fear of being fired, is equally real. It is very rare that I've seen people fired for doing the right, but unpopular, work, such as pushing lean when no one seems ready for it. Don't get me wrong; I have seen it happen. But it is so infrequent that I still remember each cases' name.”

He's right that many (most?) people aren't in a financial situation that allows them to risk being fired. I'm going to blog soon about a time (when I was young and stupid/idealistic) when I took actions that I thought might get me fired at GM. It would have been worth it… but still makes for a great story. Coming soon.

What are some memorable blog posts that you've read lately? Feel free to leave a link in this post's comments.

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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.



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