This Date in 1517 – The Original A3?

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Exactly 500 years ago today, Martin Luther famously nailed a document to a church door that pointed out problems and ideas for change and reform.

He packed a lot into a single page.

Was this, in a way, the first “A3” problem solving document?

Maybe not.

But you can learn more about A3s from John Shook of LEI:

John Shook on A3 Reports in Sloan Management Review

What needs reforming in the Lean world these days? Not that Lean is a religion… Lean isn't a matter of faith.

Last year, in China, somebody asked me, “Is Lean a religion?” I answered it is not.

Sometimes people use terms like “the Gospel of Lean,” but I don't think that's a great analogy (nor will that resonate with all people).

p.s. I had this drawing done in 2012 with the idea of posting it today on the 500th anniversary… but I almost forgot. I should error proof against mistakes like that.


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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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