On Vacation Through July 15 – Here’s Some Recommended Reading & Listening


It's time for vacation, which means two weeks away from the blog. There is a physical vacation taking place, to parts unknown (or undisclosed), which means a virtual vacation too. I probably won't be on Twitter much either (if I am, please scold me).

It's hard to turn off one's Lean-thinking mind… so you can check out some posts about some previous trips:

If a Toilet Requires Instructions, It's Probably Badly Designed

Gemba Wine: Variation in Wine Seals and Variation in Customer Needs

Gemba Wine: A Lean Geek Visits Wineries, Part 2

Gemba Wine: A Lean Geek Visits Wineries, Part 3

Back from Vacation; Chinese Translation; Champagne Gemba Time

Yes, many of our vacations involve wineries or distilleries :-)

See more photos from the Champagne region in this post. What a fun gemba that was to visit!

Some Interesting Articles

Here are some articles I've read recently that you might enjoy:

The challenge in pairing the sick with social services (5% of all patients consume half of our national healthcare spending… can we improve quality outcomes and cost at the same time?)

The Employer-Led Health Care Revolution (how Intel is using Lean to help improve employee healthcare, in partnership with Virginia Mason Medical Center and others)

How Not to Cut Health Care Costs (an article from last year that I should have shared earlier)

Better All the Time: How the “performance revolution” came to athletics–and beyond

Don't Set Process Without Input from Frontline Workers (classic Lean advice)

Why Great Leadership Fuels Innovation: Bringing new ideas to life requires teamwork that only great leaders can elicit

Health Care Needs Less Innovation and More Imitation

Other Blogs & Podcast to Check Out

During my vacation, here are some other great resources for reading and listening:

My friend Katie Anderson is an American who is newly blogging about Lean in Japan (and she blogs about toilets too…)

My list of other blogs about Lean

Check out the KaiNexus blog, which has some fun content (and read my past posts for them)

My list of blogs about Lean in healthcare

Podcasts to enjoy include the Gemba Academy Podcast (hear my episodes here and here) and the new Lean Leadership Podcast (and my episode).

Have a great two weeks! I might have some blog posts about my travels when I get back. I hope you'll re-join me here starting July 16 or so.

I'll be recording podcasts when I get back with two authors:

If you have questions for them for the podcast, let me know.

Book Recommendations

Here are some new or recently released books that are definitely worth checking out beyond the books by Ton and Toussaint that I mentioned above.

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

Retired General Stanley McChrystal writes about the change in military strategy that was necessitated by the battle against Al Qaeda and insurgents in Iraq. It's a business book that paints a compelling picture of the need to be more agile instead of being big, powerful, and plodding. Sharing information and letting others make quick decisions is the key to success in today's world. McChrystal also writes quite a bit about the harm caused by the “experts only” approach to improvement driven 100 years ago by Frederick Taylor (read a blog post of mine from 2011).

The Power of Ideas to Transform Healthcare: Engaging Staff by Building Daily Lean Management Systems

I had a chance to preview this excellent book by Steve Hoeft and Dr. Bob Pryor about their Lean journey at the Scott & White Health System here in Texas (now part of Baylor Scott & White). I'll be interviewing Steve soon for my podcast. The book focuses a lot on daily Lean management approaches and the need to engage everybody in improvement. I've visited them twice at Scott & White and have been very impressed. You'll like this book.

What other books are you enjoying right now?

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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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