Random Super Bowl XLIX Lean-Like Moments – Katy Perry and GE


Following up my earlier post about the “Patriot Way…”

During her halftime extravaganza (video), Katy Perry had a silver strap around her wrist, attached to the microphone. It reminded me of the Nintendo Wii strap that helps prevent throwing the controller (Update: I'm not the only one to think this and it might literally be a Wii strap).

I guess this was some Super Bowl mistake proofing:



A photo from Twitter shows a better comparison:


The Wii strap seems much more effective than just warning her “hey, be careful, don't drop the mic!” and hanging signs everywhere in her trailer.

So, that's an impressive and very public example of error proofing, although her riding on top of a giant tiger and flying around on the “cable cam” didn't seem like a “Safety First” approach.


GE's “Ideas Are Scary” Ad

There was also a strange GE commercial that showed how ideas can be scary to organizations, but they can thrive in organizations that welcome and nurture them:


There's a lot of sad imagery, including the “Idea Muppet” being homeless and kicked out of his home. But GE invites him (her?) in and the scary idea becomes beautiful and garners applause.

“Under the proper care, [ideas] become something beautiful.”

Hmmm… are Kaizen ideas squashed or embraced in your workplace? Is improvement welcomed or shoved out the door?


A Sad Example of Overproduction

In the Lean framework, “overproduction” is one of the forms of waste. Overproduction can mean building too much of something (producing too many cars) or doing work earlier than needed. Doing work too early often leads to rework, excessive inventory, and other forms of waste.

This guy's tattoo probably qualifies:

I'll never understand why somebody would get a prediction tattoo (unless they just want attention). Getting a “back to back champs” tattoo BEFORE your team wins the second championship… that's just foolish overproduction.

I hope nobody had run out to get a Seahawks “three-peat” tattoo prematurely, either.

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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. Re: Katy Perry riding around. She was belted in to both. It is barely visible and blended into her outfits quite nicely. She was not going to fall and did take a “safety first” approach.


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