Meeting Masaaki Imai Today in Seattle


Today is an exciting day for me, as I'll get to meet a Kaizen guru   – Masaaki Imai. We are in Seattle for one leg of his tour to promote the release of the 2nd edition of his classic book, Gemba Kaizen: A Commonsense Approach to a Continuous Improvement Strategy

Yesterday, Mr. Imai was at Franciscan St. Francis Health in Indianapolis, doing an event that my Healthcare Kaizen co-author Joe Swartz participated in. I'm honored to have some time to speak today, discussing our new book and the impact Mr. Imai has had on our work and writing (Mr. Imai wrote the foreword for our book, something we are very grateful for).

I will be reading a short statement from Gregory Jacobson, MD, the CEO and co-founder of KaiNexus (I company I work with and have a small ownership stake in). Greg was given Imai's book Kaizen: The Key To Japan's Competitive Success by his department chair – and that was the start of Greg's improvement work in the emergency department at Vanderbilt University Medical Center… and it's what led to the founding of KaiNexus.

Greg said:

“Imai's book KAIZEN opened me up to a new world to me.   My medical training had taught me about medicine: how to take a history, how to work up a patient, and how to treat disease.  Healthcare is more than that… we are here to care for patients and to address all of their needs.  That requires understanding that problems exists with the overall system. Kaizen offers a systematic and complete approach for doing meaningful improvement work in which everyone can be involved.”

Also on the program, talking about 3P and Lean Design, is my friend and blogger Mike Wroblewski.

I'll share thoughts on Twitter during the day and will share pictures and reflections back here on the blog ASAP.


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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.

  1. Jaime Ramirez says

    Imai, will be in these days in Queretaro in Mexico country, actually in our manufacturing plant are using the GEMBA walk methodology in order to bring the best sustentability to our continuous improvement journey, the GEMBA walk is part of our Leadership Standard Work, all the memebers of our enterprice are exited for this experience

  2. Mark Graban says

    Article about Mr Imai’s visit to my “Healthcare Kaizen” co-author’s organization in Indianapolis:


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