Podcast #171 – Chad Walters, Applications of Lean in Sports Operations and Business



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My guest for episode #171 is Chad Walters, a friend and a Lean consultant. He is owner of Lean Blitz Consulting in Augusta, Georgia, a firm focused on continuous improvement for small businesses and sports organizations. I'm a big fan (and frequent commenter) on Chad's blog and he's contributed guest posts here on my blog. He has been cited and mentioned on ESPN.com and CNBC.com.

Today, we talk about how Lean principles can apply to sports operations, including the stadiums and events you attend. We'll talk about concepts of value and waste from the sports fan perspective, specific challenges in the sports and entertainment fields and some examples related to baseball (play ball!, the season just started) and The Masters, which starts Thursday.

For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/171.

More about Chad Walters:

He has run projects for the Atlanta Braves, the Salvation Army, Automatic Data Processing (ADP), Eaton Corporation, The Dannon Company, and the South Bend Silver Hawks among other companies. He has been practicing Lean and continuous improvement for over eight years, is a Six Sigma Black Belt certified by the American Society for Quality, and received his MBA from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, where he was a member of the Kelley MBA Sports & Entertainment Academy.

Posts of his we talk about:

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

If you have feedback on the podcast, or any questions for me or my guests, you can email me at leanpodcast@gmail.com or you can call and leave a voicemail by calling the “Lean Line” at (817) 993-0630. Please give your location and your first name. Any comments (email or voicemail) might be used in follow ups to the podcast.

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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. This was very enjoyable because I often share your perspectives when attending sporting events – especially at the concession stands.

    Just one thing about the tractor mowers at Augusta… Yes, the tennis ball method is good for when leaks occur, but just wondering, Chad, do they have a preventive maintenance schedule, and if so is it in need of revision?

    Very unique and interesting podcast.


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