Lean Whiskey #35: Going to “Gemba” at Scotch Whisky Distilleries; Work Retreats


We're tired, but not tired of whisky. A gemba walk will pick us up…


Here is the episode if you want to stream the audio:

In Episode 35, Mark is recently back from his Scotland gemba visit. He isn't tired from jet lag, or from whiskey, but nevertheless, Mark and Jamie both end up complaining about being tired. Maybe we're just…old (gasp). We also didn't plan our color coordination (for those on video).

We focus this episode on going to the gemba in the making of scotch whisky, from Mark's recent trip. We talk about what is learned by going to the gemba, both in general and specific to whisky. You can hear more about peat, malting, distilling, and maturing, including is maturing inventory or a value-adding step? 

Of course, we also select scotch as our whisky of choice, opting for more obscure selections that you may not have heard of. Both were excellent. 

We also spend a little time talking about work retreats, whether it be for writing a book as both Mark and Jamie do, strategic thinking as Bill Gates would do, or just simply reflection and planning. We conclude by discussing what job at a distiller we would most like to do, although neither of us likely has the requisite skills. Slainte!

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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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