Parody Video: Keith Olber-Lean and the “Worst Persons in the Lean World.”


Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 8.03.35 AMIn this post, I'll be presenting a parody video of Keith Olbermann‘s “worst persons in the sports world” videos.

I don't know how much overlap there is in people who read my blog and people who are fans of Olbermann. I've always been a big fan of Olbermann the sports guy… Olbermann the political commentator not so much. But, “the worst persons in the world” is a bit that he's done on MSNBC and ESPN.

In this video, I'm playing a character… a parody you might call Keith Olber-Lean. I'll be taking some shots at people… naming names as the tongue-in-cheek “worst persons in the Lean world.”

This video might seem mean spirited. I'm  not normally this mean spirited on my blog, although I've made comments about these issues and people before (worse, worser, and worst).

Olbermann often seems mean spirited. But, he's entertaining and usually makes a serious point through humor. I'll try to do the same here. The serious points I'm making are:

  • Lean leaders and consultants should be humble… that's the Toyota style
  • Lean office initiatives should solve real problems that matter for customers and employees (not create situations like this)
  • It's factually untrue to say that Lean is only about speed and that Six Sigma is the only method for Quality. Lean is about both quality and flow (read more)

Those are my serious points. I hope you enjoy the video. I made it to amuse myself as my own homage to Olbermann, whether others like the approach or not.

I don't think the Lean community would really be a better place with Olbermann-type commentaries and name calling… Olbermann and Olber-Lean are not very humble characters…

So here goes with the video:

Click to see the full version of the video that starts with my introduction and disclaimer. Or listen to the audio.

You can read my script (with links to source material) here if you can't view the video. This video is probably an example of why so many IT departments block YouTube, even if you might learn something from it.

To summarize:

WORSE: Lean consultant John Black, for this comment he made in the news (read more):

“If you're not dead (in 20 years), you're going to be in one of your health-care systems here in bed, with a tube up your ass and one down your throat. You're going to be saying to yourself, ‘My God, I wish I would have asked John Black to come in and help improve my care,' ” he recalls saying before leaving one meeting. He thought he'd never hear from them again.

WORSER: The consultants or managers at this British tax office who banned “inactive bananas” from employees' desks, in the name of Lean (read more)

WORST: Lean Sigma consultant Jim Bowie, for saying the following (view the video or read more):

“We need to apply Lean to this process because we have a real quality issue. Go ahead and apply Lean to that process, you're gonna speed up your quality issue, and you're gonna make bad stuff faster.”

Any, hopefully this video makes three or four people chuckle at least. I hope the rest of you don't hate me for it, the tone or naming names… but these are serious points to be made (and a serious misunderstanding about Lean that needs correcting).

As Olbermann would say at the end of his shows… Alright, I've done all the damage I can do. In San Antonio, Keith Olber-Lean, LeanBlog; for John Black, Jim Bowie and the entire Eyewitness News team, go forth and spread beauty and light.

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  1. George Harvey says

    Bravo. Enjoyable and well performed. I like the positive stuff better, but I enjoyed this as a nice change of pace.

    1. Mark Graban says

      Thanks, George. The Olbermann “worst persons” style can wear a bit thin. Don’t worry, I’m not going to make this a regular feature.

      I hope you weren’t worried that I was going to name you one of the “worst,” George. No chance of that.

  2. Sports Fan and Lean Guy says

    Hilarious. I’ll miss Keith too.

    What I’d hate to see in the Lean world:

    – Jim Rome style “smack talk”

    – ESPN2 “hot takes” ala Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless

    I agree that would be bad for the Lean world. Hell, I think it’s bad for the sports world, too.

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