Episode #23 of “Lean Whiskey”: Finishing 2020 with Kentucky Bourbon, Eggnog, and Kata Talk

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Deondra Wardelle, Mark Graban, Jamie Flinchbaugh

In Episode 23, Mark and Jamie return to finish out 2020, this time joined by Kentucky native Deondra Wardelle, so naturally Kentucky bourbon is our whiskey category of choice. Bourbons selected include Brough Brothers, Willett, and Barton 1792. After introducing Deondra to our listeners, we take a moment to toast the life of Norman Bodek, who passed away last week at the age of 88

After briefly debating whether peppermint should ever be added to beer, even if it is the holidays, we get on with our bourbon selections. We return at the end of the episode to talk about other drinks such as Irish (or whiskey) cream, wine, cocktails, and eggnog. A tempting challenge was put forth for Mark and Jamie to make their own whiskey cream at home – perhaps a future episode event. 

The bulk of the episode we get into Deondra's favorite topic, Toyota Kata, teed up by a Lean Enterprise Institute article. The article prompts us to talk about the underlying nature of learning in lean, problem solving, kata, and coaching. We aren't convinced that you need a new kata to add to the improvement and coaching kata, but instead propose coaching and behavior adjustments to make sure we don't lose sight of the purpose, which is to learn. 

So, give us a listen, and let us know what you think, about learning, or about whiskey. We wish everyone a safe, healthy, and happy holidays to wrap up 2020, and we will see you again in 2021. Cheers! 


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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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