A Lively Conversation with Jim Benson About “Humane Management”


My guest for Episode #401 is my friend Jim Benson, who you might know as the co-author of the book Personal Kanban (and we talked about that in Episode 155, back in 2012). He was also a guest on Episode #4 of “My Favorite Mistake” with me.

We recorded this using the LinkedIn Live platform. Jim and I have talked a lot (and collaborated) over the years, so we intentionally went into this conversation without much of a plan.

The main theme is “humane management,” a phrase of Jim's that I really like. We talk about workplaces, psychological safety (listen to my episode with Amy Edmondson on that), learned helplessness, respect, autonomy, systems thinking, and more.

We also jokingly brainstorm titles for a hypothetical podcast that we would do together. He is going to join me and Jamie Flinchbaugh for the next episode of the “Lean Whiskey” podcast, by the way. Is “Mark and Jim's Vomitorium of Management Ideas” a good name? Probably not.

Jim's company, Modus Institute, has a new “Lean Agile Visual Management Certification and Accreditation Series,” so please check it out.

The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity and healthcare industries. Learn more.

This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network

You can listen to the audio or watch the video, below. I hope you enjoy it like I did.

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Video of the Episode (LinkedIn)

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This podcast is part of the Lean Communicators network… check it out!

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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.


  1. Hey Mark,

    I really enjoyed this podcast and how it focused on the importance of psychological safety. Feeling safe to act can be easily overlooked in a work environment while keeping that balance of not over codling an employee. I agree that humane management is less demotivating. Very interesting. Thanks for the great listen.

    – Shelby


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