Throwback Thursday: My Past April Fools’ Day Posts


Ilean buzz les muda hope you enjoyed yesterday's April Fools' Day joke about turning this blog into an insipid BuzzFeed-type site.

It's become a bit of a tradition for me, having some fun on April 1st. You can browse them via this link or scroll down in this post.

In case you're a new reader, here's my past posts (and, no, I didn't make it a list-icle). I've ranked them in terms of how much I had fun with them:

2010: A New Way to Learn Lean? Wii Lean!

This post, imagining a game for Nintendo Wii that would somehow teach you Lean in an interactive way was a lot of fun to put together. The “Wii Ohno Circle” coffee mug that I still use still makes me smile. Yes, this was a game that measured how long you could stand in an “Ohno Circle” watching people, like Charlie Chaplain, work. This one might have fooled a few people for real, based on the comments… or maybe they were playing along.

2011: New “A3″ App Utilizes Two iPads & Virtual Sensei Technology

This post allowed me to imagine how you might use two iPads to create a workspace that's roughly 11″ x 17″, the size of an A3 to actually draw and do an A3 on that device instead of paper. The post foreshadowed LEI's “A3 Creator App,” a project that I had no inkling of when I created this (their app only uses a single iPad).

2013: Baby's First Lean Book

Not having any children myself, I could only imagine what a Lean book for kids might be, but this post was my attempt at creating this. To my knowledge, this has NOT foreshadowed a Lean book series for kids.

Probably my favorite part of this project was commissioning the “Baby Lean Guru” pictures (although I wouldn't readily accept that label for myself). Strange that we all have facial hair.

lean babies

Nobody sued me over this, thankfully.

2012: April Fool: Back to the Future: Hospital CEOs and Virtual Reality “Gemba Bots”

This post, where I imagined a mobile robot that would allow executives to “do Gemba walks” from their home or office, probably made me laugh more than others.

The thing I enjoyed the most was creating some audio of what an earlier-generation “Blame Bot” might sound like on the move… included bad, forced chit chat with employees and blaming people instead of having real in-depth discussions or actually listening.

2014: The 10 Best Lean Management Secrets You'll Ever Want to Learn & Use

lean blog goldMaybe not my best work in this genre, but it was a “clickbait” headline with a post where I announced that I was turning into a paid membership site.

I don't think anybody believed that one, which is good, I guess…


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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.

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