A Recommended Sequence of Podcasts and Webinars on Kaizen and Continuous Improvement


I've produced 283 podcast episodes so far, including many of them that cover the concepts of Kaizen and continuous improvement.

One problem with having so many podcasts is that it might be overwhelming to somebody who is learning from the beginning. So, I had somebody ask me if I'd recommend a sequence of things to listen to or watch, since the sequential order of the episodes isn't necessarily the right order.

Click here for a single page with everything directly embedded.

So, here goes:

Introductory Kaizen Concepts

The first episodes I'd listen are my interviews with Norman Bodek, who has written many books about Kaizen, and Alan Robinson, the co-author of a great introductory book on “idea systems” that have the same principles as Kaizen. Robinson's book is a very business-focused book if you need to convince leaders WHY engaging everybodyhttps://www.leanblog.org/2006/07/leanblog-podcast-1-norman-bodek/ in continuous improvement is necessary.

Here are those episodes… I'd suggest Bodek, then Robinson, then Bodek again.


Podcast #217 – Interview with Alan Robinson, Co-Author of The Idea-Driven Organization

Podcast #95 – Norman Bodek “How to Do Kaizen,” Part 1

Here is a short video where I try to define Kaizen:

And even better is Masaaki Imai‘s video (since he literally wrote the book on Kaizen):

People often confuse Kaizen with traditional suggestion box systems, so I talk about the difference in this video from the Lean Enterprise Institute:

Creating a Kaizen Culture

Kaizen, of course, is not something we do once or in a special week each quarter. Kaizen is a set of practices, mindsets, and cultural norms in an organization. Creating a culture of continuous improvement often involves a great deal of culture change, which isn't easy.

Here are a few podcasts on that topic, with Joe Swartz, my co-author for the Healthcare Kaizen books, and Jon Miller, co-author of Creating a Kaizen Culture.

Joe Swartz Discusses Healthcare Kaizen and a Culture of Continuous Improvement in Hospitals

You can also hear this episode with a number of voices from Joe's health system talking about the power of Kaizen:

Podcast #242 – Staff & Leaders Talk About the Culture of Continuous Improvement at Franciscan St. Francis

And this related series of videos in this playlist if you want to see them talking about this:

Podcast #186 – Jon Miller Discusses His Book Creating a Kaizen Culture, Engaging Everybody in Continuous Improvement

More Kaizen Practices, Tips, and Energy

I'd also recommend these episodes…

Paul Akers‘ 2-Second Lean approach is great… I would have called it 2-Second Kaizen, as I think that's a big more accurate:

Podcast #136 – Paul Akers, Interview About His Book ‘2 Second Lean”

George Friesen has also done a lot to teach and spread Kaizen practices:

Podcast #209 – George Friesen on Lean, Kaizen, and Idea Boards – Experiences at the NUMMI Plant

You can also check out this series of 13 short videos with me and Dr. Greg Jacobson from KaiNexus:

Deeper Dives

Here are some longer videos and webinars:

Here is video of a talk I gave at the University of Michigan:


Here is a webinar that Joe Swartz and I did for the Shingo Institute:

Here is Ron Pereira of Gemba Academy interviewing me about Healthcare Kaizen:

Here is a webinar by Joe Swartz on Kaizen coaching:

And here is a different intro webinar that I did for my friend and colleague Karen Martin:

I hope this helps. I'm curious to hear if you go through this “curriculum” individually or as a team at work. I don't have “belts” to offer or certify anyone on, but I hope your learning leads to practice, more learning, and great results.

What else would you add to this curriculum from what sources?

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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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