Launch anouncement: It's been 20 years now since I graduated from college and started working with the Lean methodology. The first ten years of my career were focused on manufacturing. Then I had the happy detour into healthcare ten years ago this month when I joined Johnson & Johnson and their Lean consulting group, ValuMetrix Services.
With those two big round numbers… 20 years of Lean, and ten years in healthcare, I've been reflecting on that time and what it has meant. Reflection is a good habit for a Lean thinker, whether you call it “hansei” or not (I generally would not use the Japanese word there).
My chapters reflect back on my early days and early understanding of Lean. I made some types of mistakes early on that I might criticize others for today (sometimes on this blog). That's maybe not always a positive thing to do.
I've decided to launch a collaborative eBook titled:
As I say on the web page for the book:
If we keep practicing, we might get good at it eventually. We all have a starting point in our personal “Lean journeys.” Looking back at our first year of work in Lean or continuous improvement methodologies, we probably weren't very good at it. What are our reflections and lessons learned? What can we share with those who are just starting today? This book will be a compilation of those stories.
Some things that are different about this project, compared to Lean Hospitals:
I've written two chapters to share my reflections and to maybe set the tone for the book. But I'm inviting others to contribute an essay or chapter with their own personal stories and reflections. If you'd like to write something, click here. Authors will be listed as contributors on the book's page and can include a short bio in the book.
Proceeds from the book will be donated to a non-profit organization that I'm a board member of, the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation. I'll provide an accounting of sales, proceeds, and donations as transparently as possible. So far, I have 22 readers. Some of them are potential contributors who were given free copies through my early “soft launch.” Actual buyers who paid have led to $24.91 in currently unpaid royalties. Unlike traditional publishing, a vast majority of the proceeds go to the author and, therefore, the charity, not the publisher (or retailer).
Unlike traditional publishing, I can edit or add to the book at any time, pushing a new updated edition to those who have already purchased the book. I'll generally do this as a monthly batch to avoid too many update emails going out to owners of the book.
Choose Your Price:
I'm using the LeanPub feature that allows buyers to choose their price within a range. There's a recommended price and minimum price. That price is low to provide an incentive to early buyers. A buyer can voluntarily pay more if they choose (or you can donate to the Batz Foundation directly). Again, once you buy the book, you get all future updates for free. As content is added, the recommended price will go up over time.
If you buy the book, you can download it as a PDF to read or print, in Kindle format that you can email to one of your devices or apps, or the more general EPUB format. Update: It's now Kindle only, as an Amazon exclusive.
I hope this is a worthy experiment. We'll see how it goes. There is some risk that those who have talked to me about contributing chapters don't follow through. That's one reason the starting price is low.
To reduce your purchasing risk, there are a few options as a reader and buyer.
For one, LeanPub has a no-questions-asked 30-day return / refund policy.
Secondly, you can read the first chapter of the book online or as a downloaded PDF (links no longer work).
Or, you can just buy it. I'd love to hear your feedback, thoughts, and reactions.
As of August 30, the book has 28 buyers and unpaid royalties of just over $50. When those royalties are paid by Leanpub, I will donate the funds to the Batz Foundation. Click below for a larger view.
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