Joy Mason on Being an Optimist; Lean Instead of Layoffs


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My guest for Episode #407 of the Lean Blog Interviews podcast is Joy Mason, a Strategist, Author, Speaker, and Entrepreneur based in Indianapolis. He is President and Senior Business Strategist at her company, Optimist Business Solutions, that she started after 18 years at Eli Lilly.

She is the author of the book The Optimist Workbook: 5 Steps to Sustainable Solutions for Women In Business and also Purpose: A Shift from Driving It to Embracing It.

Topics and questions in today's episode include:

  • How Joy got started with continuous improvement
  • Being introduced to Six Sigma first… then Lean tools… then looking beyond the tools
  • How did “scientific problem solving” resonate with scientists (and others) at Eli Lilly?
  • How can you “break down silos” (or is it better to “work across silos”)?
  • “Lean before layoffs” or “Lean instead of layoffs”?
  • What does being an optimist mean to Joy and why is that important?
  • Joy talks about the work she does now, in particular with non-profits

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.

Video of the Episode:

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


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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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