Throwback Thursday: Flexing, Gemba Claus, Problems, Shook, Jail, and Holiday Gifts


Throwback Thursday SantaAs we start easing into the holidays, I wanted to share a few throwback posts from this day or this week from previous years:

From this date in 2009:

The Emperor's Sacred Cow's New Clothes – “Flexing” Hospital Staff

I'd argue that “flexing” should really be called something more brutally accurate like “sending staff home because we view them only as direct labor.”

From December 2009:

Song: Gemba Claus is Comin' to Town!

Play this Lean Blog classic carol or click on the link above to read the lyrics:




From this week in 2014:

Bringing Me Problems is OK, We'll Find Solutions Together

In a “Kaizen” process in a team, I encourage people to bring problems forward even if they do NOT have a solution or “countermeasure” in mind. When somebody points out a problem, that can prompt discussion or brainstorming (with the manager and colleagues) about what solutions could be tested.

From this week in 2013:

John Shook – #Lean Production Meets #LeanStartup

I think it was really important for John to speak to the Lean Startup crowd… the important thing wasn't the NUMMI history, per se, but rather the core message of Lean Culture that can be so powerful in factories, hospitals, or startups.

John's talk:


From this week in 2006:

Just Throw Everyone in Jail, Then

A woman is dead. But is throwing a nurse in jail the right response? Does that help prevent any other medical mistakes? Likely not. This nurse had a perfect track record. As with many systemic errors, it's a matter of chance: wrong place/wrong time for the patient and for the caregiver.

From this week in 2011:

The Lean Blog Holiday Gift Guide

This guide is a mix of products I legitimately use and enjoy and some are somewhat tongue-in-cheek items that seem “Lean” in one way or another.

And from yesterday… video of the “Ask Us Anything!” Q&A Session (Part 3) that Greg Jacobson, MD and I did together… all 3 sessions are in this playlist.

Happy holidays!


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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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