My guest for Episode #297 is John (JJ) Villarreal, Ed.D., the superintendent of the Rockwall I.S.D. here in the Dallas, Texas area. You can find him on Twitter as @villarreal_jj and you can read his full school district bio.
I was first introduced to JJ by a former healthcare client of mine who has a child in the Rockwall schools. JJ and my former client share a strong interest in Lean, leadership, and culture. I enjoyed JJ's enthusiasm, hearing about the reading and learning he had done, and it was great walking “the gemba” at a school with him to hear about how he wanted to make a difference (it was his first year as superintendent and he's now into his second year there).
Dr. Villarreal (or Dr. V, as he's known) holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Administration from Tarleton State University, a Master of Education in Educational Administration from Tarleton State University, a Master of Education in Counseling and Human Development at Hardin-Simmons University along with a Bachelor of Science from Hardin-Simmons University.
In this podcast, we talk about the applications of Lean in education, how to move beyond what JJ calls “the behavior waste of judgment and blame,” and how visiting a factory was inspiring and helpful, among other topics.
Even if you don't work in education, I hope you'll be inspired by this podcast.
Listen to the Episode (Run Time 45:23)
For a link to use for this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/297.
For earlier episodes of my podcast, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS, through Android apps, or via Apple Podcasts. You can also subscribe and listen via Stitcher.
Links, Topics, Questions, and Quotes:
- Please introduce yourself, your current role, and a bit about your career path
- How and when did you first get introduced to Lean? Why did Lean appeal to you?
- How do you apply Lean methods, concepts, or leadership approaches in your role as Superintendent? What do you expect of other administrators, principals, and teachers?
- How do teachers react when they start looking to find waste?
- What metrics do you expect to affect? How will Lean affect the culture?
- What does a “Lean school” look like?
- What do staff bring up when you ask them “if you could improve one thing, what would it be?”
- How does Lean apply for the students? Are they being taught Lean principles? Like problem solving? Are they applying it in the classroom?
- What's an example of “5 whys” and problem solving in healthcare?
- How widespread is Lean thinking and practice in education?
- Now that Toyota's N.A. headquarters is nearby in Plano, have you reached out to TSSC to provide some assistance?
- How would you invite other superintendents to learn about Lean?
- His book recommendations:
Video of JJ:
The three principles he says are important are:
- Open and honest communication
- Continuous improvement