Updates from Japan; Other Articles & An A3 Deep Dive Webinar


Konnichiwa from Japan! I am having a great time with my friends from Kaizen Institute and our tour attendees. I wrote a post on Monday, but I never expect to be able to write much while here because it's very busy and I also want to reflect a bit before writing.

For reflection-free sharing, you can see what I'm posting on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, including:

Supply Chain Champions of Change

Here is another article that I've written as part of my marketing partnership with them and our “Champions of Change” series.

Why a Better Hospital Supply Chain Starts with Better Relationships

I hope you enjoy my article that's based on a discussion with Suzi Collins, an experienced supply chain professional.

Suzi thinks of a Champion of Change, first and foremost, as a master collaborator: “Somebody who is willing to come in and have an understanding of the environment that they're working in, and then work collaboratively with both the people doing the work and the executive team to really make progress,” she explained. “I believe you can't really over communicate.”

I hope you enjoy the article.

Continuous Improvement Departments

I also wrote this blog post for KaiNexus, in response to a question from somebody in our community:

How Can We Evaluate the Success of our Continuous Improvement Department?

A C.I. or Lean department can't “do Lean for you,” but there is a role to play as trainers and coaches. As I'll blog about next week, Toyota still has an internal corporate group for TPS promotion and a group for TQM promotion, even though TPS is arguably “the way they do things” at the company.

I'm preaching to the choir here, I'm sure, but a C.I. department (or a “Lean group” or “process excellence” or whatever) should be helping people deliver benefits in the areas of safety, quality, access to care, cost, and staff morale. We generally view cost reduction as the end result of doing everything else well. I think C.I. programs get off track when there's too much (or exclusive) emphasis on cost reduction instead of looking at a balanced set of objectives.

Webinar Recording

Former Toyota engineer Jess Orr is going to be doing a free follow up webinar on the topic of A3s.  Her first webinar on the application of A3 thinking to everyday life was wildly popular (and you can still view the recording).

She had many questions and requests to do more of a “deep dive” so that's her next presentation:

Those are the updates and some Lean content to tide you over. I'll be writing a lot about this trip, so I hope you'll look forward to 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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