Interview with Mit Vyas: Insights on Learning from Toyota, Entrepreneurial Success, and Mindfulness Practices

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Joining us for Episode #472 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Mit Vyas, managing director for Gemba Automation. He started his career at Toyota and worked for other large corporations. He founded Gemba Automation, a company that has helped customers in software, medical devices, fashion, and construction develop profitable and sustainable businesses.

Mit holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

In today's episode, we discuss what Mit learned working at Toyota, how that's been applied through Lean Startup thinking, and why the practice of meditation has been so important to him.

Questions, Notes, and highlights:

  • I already gave part of the answer by mentioning Toyota… but tell us more about your Lean origin story?
  • First job at Toyota – Process Engineer at Toyota was my first “real” job. The experience there was the springboard to the rest of my career.
  • Inputs & outputs? — not telling you the answer?
  • “What the actual facts” are out in the factory floor
  • “Making your thinking visible?” – Problem Solving A3
  • A3 coaching and questions?
  • What do you know and how do you know it?
  • Foundations? How can you learn problem solving if you don't know what the standard work or Takt are?
  • What does the word “Kaizen” mean to you, to Toyota?
  • What does “Challenge” mean at Toyota? What does it mean to you?
  • Leading with humility?
  • How do you apply PDCA thinking in your company? To starting a company?
  • What's the problem statement that led to the company as a countermeasure?
  • Lean Startup concepts?
  • Minimum Viable Product? Minimum Viable Service?
  • Have you found good product / market fit?
  • Check and Adjust — pivot or persevere?
  • Calming your nervous mind?
  • Power of meditation – You've been meditating… what have you learned from that practice?
  • The “tweet storm” by Naval

The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in its 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



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Automated Transcript (Not Guaranteed to be Defect Free)

Announcer (1s):
Welcome to the Lean Blog podcast. Visit our website Gabanwww.leanblog.org. Now, here's your host, Mark Gray.

Mark Graban (13s):
Hi, it's Mark Graban here, welcome to episode 4 72 of the podcast. It's March 29th, 2023. My guest today is Mit Vyas. He is the managing director of a company called Gemba automation.com. To learn more about him and for links, look in the show notes or go to leanblog.org/472. As always, thanks for listening. Well, hi everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. My guest today is Mit vs. He is currently managing director for Gemba Automation. He started his career at Toyota. He worked for many other large corporations, and then he founded Gemba Automation. It's a company that's helped customers in software, medical devices, fashion and construction, developed profitable and sustainable businesses.

Mark Graban (59s):
So we're gonna hear about that career journey and learning and evolution. Today, Mit has a degree in mechanical engineering from Cal State Poly in Pomona, and the website is gemba automation.com. So Mit, thank you for joining us here today. Welcome. How are you?

Mit Vyas (1m 16s):
Well, thank you, Mark. I am excited and ready to get going.

Mark Graban (1m 20s):
Well, yeah, it's, it's gonna be great to hear stories and, and lessons learned along the way. I've already kind of given away at least the, the short answer to the question I like to ask Gust of like, you know, what was your lean or t p s origin story for you? Was it Toyota? So fill, fill in the details, like what was it like being there? Sure, sure.

Mit Vyas (1m 41s):
So my lean origin story was I began as a employee of Toyota at the age of 20. So I learned very young about, learned a lot about the development structure that the company had to offer. But I mean, if you rewind back the, I think it's a pretty funny story on how I actually ended up at Toyota. So in, in terms of, if you take a look at any system, right, and you look at overall system, you say every system has inputs and then they have outputs, right?

Mit Vyas (2m 22s):
And when I went to school, I kinda tried to figure out how to apply that to the career that I got, right? So I took a look at school as a system. I said, okay, I'm putting in grades, I'm putting in time. And then, but, but the output that I need from that schooling is to get a good job, right? And in Cal Poly, they had what's called a career center. So I'm like, I I, I started thinking, I said, wait, what does this career, what, how can this career center help me facilitate this output that I want with getting a ju getting a good job?

Mit Vyas (3m 2s):
So, I mean, in college I was in a fraternity and we did a lot of volunteer events for the career center. We helped 'em out with a lot of the job fairs. So me and the career center employees were on very, very, very good terms because I gave them free labor basically. And it, it, in return, at one time, Toyota was hiring this process engineering intern. So they wanted to fill this role immediately. So they contacted the career center and it, they had to fill this role within two or three weeks. So the career center said, well, I know one candidate that's just helped me out.

Mit Vyas (3m 44s):
So with, with my solid five gpa, I was would world class company out school. So I've always been at infatuated by this concept of how to maximize your outputs Yeah. By not providing the exact inputs. And Toyota gave me the first example of how to do that.

Mark Graban (4m 12s):
Yeah. So where, what facility was that? Tell us a little more work you did.

Mit Vyas (4m 18s):
Yeah, absolutely. So I was hired at the key abc. So it's the facility that is in Long Beach. And actually it's Toyota's first North American plant. I mean, it's a small facility. They primarily, they did stamping and they did, they stamping and they did welding for truck beds. But I mean, it was a auto body plant. But what I did was they had a, I dunno if you, there's a high truck. So is basically the same size as the Penske. So in, in, in Japan, right?

Mit Vyas (4m 57s):
So in Japan, a lot of the trucks that they have in Japan, the driver sits above the engine because they wanna conserve space. Right now in America, we don't really do that here. We want the bigger truck, we want the engine in front. So they had to redesign a truck for the American market. Yeah. So they had bunch of Japanese work standards and they had American work staff. So they needed somebody to come in and create process instruction sheets using the Japanese work standards, communicating with the Japanese staff, and then spending the time on the floor to be able to explain it to the American team members.

Mit Vyas (5m 42s):
And that's, that's what I did. And we actually offline a complete vehicle. So it was all assembly. We, we had a dino. It was, I mean, it was quite the way to begin my professional journey.

Mark Graban (5m 54s):
Yeah. So when you talked about inputs and and outputs, it's kind of a famous type, you know, Toyota type story of saying, well, you know, they, they don't give you the answer. They'll let you figure things out. They'll give you a direction, they'll, they'll coach you, but they won't tell you exactly how to do something. Was it similar when you came in? No experience with building trucks of thinking, well how, how am I supposed to do this work? How am I supposed to create the instructions? Yeah. How am I supposed to train people? I'd be curious to hear more about that.

Mit Vyas (6m 25s):
Sure. So let, let give you a little bit of a, a movie. So before I was, my job that I had before Toyota is I was selling board shorts and bikinis at Quis over in Laguna Beach. So I was sitting at the beach, I was selling beach apparel and I was, I mean, it was beautiful, amazing. And then I got this job at Toyota and my boss, who, or the person that hired me there, I mean, I learned a significant amount from him. George, who was George knew, was the guy that hired me there.

Mit Vyas (7m 6s):
And he tells me during the interview, he said, Hey, you have no problem getting here at four 30 in the morning. Right. And I'm thinking he be sure enough he, he wasn't. So in terms of what I think was the greatest addition to my development was the sheer amount of time that they, they have you spend on the production floor. So they very, very quickly make you realize what actual fact is and what the real world is. So I went from the beach to sitting on a four 30 in the morning sitting on a production plant, taking time studies and figuring out how long it's, why, why we're not meeting in certain.

Mit Vyas (7m 56s):
So the first answer to your question, I, the, the extreme importance in understanding what true facts is and just forcing people to spend that much time on the production floor and that, that, that just adds a lot. The other thing is the leadership there. If you take a look like a Venn diagram, the first Venn diagram being real world thinking, and then there other Venn diagram be strategic thinking for some amazing way, Toyota had a ability to merge those two together, which is, which is actually pretty rare in this world.

Mark Graban (8m 35s):
Yeah. So why follow up question, why 4:30 in the morning? I mean that to, to beat LA area traffic? Or, or why, why So no,

Mit Vyas (8m 44s):
They, they, they started their first shift at that time. And I mean, if it, well I think 5:30, but then they, it was a very, again, in terms of the, in terms of the, the culture there, it was if I'm an engineer and I'm gonna be there and I'm gonna show that I'm there for the production floor and if I get in at 9:00 AM or 10:00 AM and the production team members are getting in there at five, it just shows that you have no skin in the game as to when you are gonna show up. So I think it was a very, yeah.

Mit Vyas (9m 26s):
And the other thing is they may just try to see if I could do it, seeing how well I would,

Mark Graban (9m 34s):
So it seems like it's a matter of showing respect to the team members that I'll be here. Absolutely. I'm supporting you. And then maybe it was a question of how, how much does Mit want the job?

Mit Vyas (9m 45s):
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. I mean, and it was hard at first. I mean, I, I even fell asleep on the production floor one time and the amount of the amount of grief that I took from that, from the team members on the production floor was enough for me not to do it ever again. So, I mean, it was a funny story cause I ended up in on great terms that I learned a lot from the company, but yeah. Oh man, it was, it was quite the, quite the learning process.

Mark Graban (10m 20s):
But least they gave you a second chance after that mistake, if you will.

Mit Vyas (10m 25s):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh yeah, absolutely.

Mark Graban (10m 28s):
So, you know, maybe we can maybe bounce back and forth a little bit between, you know, your, your time at Toyota and other companies and, and how you're applying, you know, different things you've learned at Gemba Automation. But you, I, I love this idea. Let, let, let's dig into this idea of like, you know, the actual fact or, you know, phrase I views that I think has been influenced by some of this from former Toyota people is the real reality. And that sounds redundant, but like, do you really know what's going on as opposed to hearing a report, seeing data

Mit Vyas (11m 7s):
Yep.

Mark Graban (11m 8s):
Going out to the factory floor, the gemba, if you will, seeing things first, seeing things firsthand. You know, I'd just be curious, curious to hear some of your reflections about that idea as you've been in other organizations either times where you've seen people get tripped up cuz they didn't know the actual fact or how, how do you help make certain

Mit Vyas (11m 27s):
People going,

Mark Graban (11m 27s):
Going that way?

Mit Vyas (11m 29s):
I think the quote for that kinda exemplifies this. You asked the hard questions first, that equals a easy life. You asked the easy questions first. That equals a hard life, right? So what the, the main thing that the leadership kinda instilled was if you wanted to point out something on the production, it was more of a fact of show me and you, the, the leader would walk you to the production floor and to, to understand that. And it, in addition to that, I think the, the, the val, one of the biggest valuable areas was they had a good way of making your thinking visible.

Mit Vyas (12m 13s):
Right? So I, there's a concept, I mean, I'm sure your audience, we have problem solving a s right? So in terms of problem solvings, what you have to do is you go from one through eight or six and then you have essentially solve problem at the that, right? But then, so my, my boss when I was there, who, I mean I owe a significant amount to, I'll even, I mean his name is John Su and he's still at Toyota. And he essentially what he did was give me a challenge and then I would go have, I want you to figure out the current state of how the, our propellers are installed in our trucks.

Mit Vyas (12m 60s):
I'd go and sketch out what I thought was happening. And then what the A three did was it made you able to make what is in your mind very organized on paper, right? And it kind of showed your overall thinking pattern. Now, as I kinda progressed, it was the organizations that were, was first figuring out how to figure out what actual facts are, and then in addition to that, the way that they do it as try to figure out ways to make your thinking visible, right?

Mit Vyas (13m 41s):
Whether it's something tangible that they can see on how you think that that was. So I essentially, I was, after a while I'm like, I said, wait, these, these are, they're not really for this piece of paper that I have in front of me. Therefore the, for my manager to be able to guide my problem solving thinking and the A three is a way for me to extrapolate what's in my mind on this piece of paper. So I think the, one of the things I noticed, I mean, I work for basically all take a look at overall market cap and the companies that I've worked for, I've gone from Toyota and it's slowly trickled down.

Mit Vyas (14m 29s):
But as, and luckily smaller organizations have a little bit of a better ability to have more visible because there's less bureaucracy than has to go up,

Mark Graban (14m 43s):
Right? Yeah. And when we talk about making that thinking visible, I mean, it seems like then it's easier to coach somebody

Mit Vyas (14m 52s):
Yeah.

Mark Graban (14m 53s):
For you to get coaching in that environment. Maybe now you're, you're, you're the one being the coach, but yeah, I'd be curious to hear more about your experiences or insights around, you know, it's not just writing the document, but the collaboration, the questions the coaching.

Mit Vyas (15m 7s):
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So the, the coaching that was given, there was a combination. So in terms of the development that Toyota brought you through, so they made sure that you had your foundations before they built on top of it, right? You, you're really not gonna understand how to problem solve anything if you don't know what standard work is, right? So if you don't know what the basics of tact time are and the basics of work content are, you're really not gonna be able to learn on top of that, right? So I think in addition to development classes that they had me take and the coaching that came from the leadership there, so the coaching that comes from the leadership there, it was very strict.

Mit Vyas (15m 59s):
It was, I, I only will pay attention if I believe that the facts are what the facts are. And I think it in general, you know, as we, everyone has the ability to, in their mind to you, you have a lazy approach to, to making, covering up this and you know, you're doing something that you shouldn't be doing has good of taking a to that and basically uncovering this is the,

Mark Graban (16m 34s):
Hmm. Can, can you, is there an example that comes to mind?

Mit Vyas (16m 37s):
Yeah, sure. So, absolutely. So in, in the example that I had, I had mentioned to you, right? So we were, so we were tasked with installing the propeller. So the propeller shafts, the, the thing that sits underneath the truck, right? And the current stage that we were delivering it was causing a lot of wait time because there's a lot of team members that had to wait to install something because this wasn't there, right? And then the obvious solution was obviously, okay, so we need to move it further upstream or in the process so people don't have to wait for it to be installed, right?

Mit Vyas (17m 26s):
So if you take a look at that example, that's the overall valuable, that's the overall message is, okay, it needs to be installed at that time, right? But then if you take a look at the current state to, if I were to jump to conclusion, say, okay, instead of being installed in group three, I want it to be installed in group two. Okay? Very easy solution. But then you take a look at what the actual facts are on the production floor. Okay, so why is it installed at this certain time? So it was important for it to be installed at that, at that point, immediately we had to hook another component to it, right?

Mit Vyas (18m 9s):
So rather than moving it upstream, what I did was we had to create a sub-assembly cell that would do all the work that need to be, that needed to done beforehand to be able to install it to that location, right? So I wouldn't know what the facts were if I didn't spend, I mean, x amount of time on the production floor. So every time I would learn something, I would've to come back and I would say, okay, this is what I'm learning, this is what I'm learning. Ok. So how, how do you solve that problem? How do you solve that problem?

Mark Graban (18m 49s):
And, you know, you were a process engineer, so you're pretty tightly connected to the shop floor. Did you see similar behaviors modeled by managers and leaders above you in terms of them going out to make sure they understood the real reality?

Mit Vyas (19m 5s):
Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, all of our report outs were on the production floor with all the key members that are standing up and showing respect to the people on the production floor, right? So if you take a look at what corporate report at would be in the corporate sense, it's sitting in a conference room, every, all the leaders are sitting down and there's one person talking, that person's talking, and they're kinda above everyone. Whereas on the, at Toyota, you're on the production floor and you're reporting out there and every single person is standing.

Mit Vyas (19m 45s):
And also, if you're gonna ask questions, you're gonna make sure that those questions are valuable because everyone is standing on the production floor and no one really wants to waste anyone's time.

Mark Graban (20m 0s):
Hmm. So, so it wouldn't, you, you, you wouldn't have expected somebody to just be talking and grandstanding or they're, they're gonna use that time efficiently and respectfully. Yeah,

Mit Vyas (20m 11s):
Yeah. And exactly. And it's also, they, they give you, they avoid the, it's on the next slide phrase, meaning they let you go through their, your entire presentation and they'll take a mental log as to the questions they want to ask. And then they'll fire away three to five absolutely pointed questions that makes you feel that they were first listening to what you were saying in addition to asking you the right questions to challenge you in the right way.

Mark Graban (20m 47s):
So Matt, I wanted come back to there, there's another word you, you used earlier that I know has a lot of meaning to people at Toyota. That there, there's that word challenge, right? So people a lot of times know the word kaizen or, you know, continuous improvement or maybe, I, I ask you what, what that word means. Let, let's do that first, actually. So, I mean, there's direct translations, then there's context. So before we get to challenge, like what, what did the word kaizen come to mean to you at Toyota?

Mit Vyas (21m 15s):
Sure. So, I mean, obviously direct translation is, is is good change, right? But of, I thought of Kaizen as more of a, a personal journey. Meaning if I took a look at every year or every year year, and I looked back as to the amount that I learned and developed as a result of what I learned there, it was you basically understanding how to suppress nervousness and you not knowing things in your mind. So what I mean by that is, I mean, when I first got there, I, I had no idea how I was gonna do anything.

Mit Vyas (22m 2s):
I mean, I, I was how what I learned there could, in a year, if I take a look at where I was, I was really nervous about what I was trying, trying to do. There I was really nervous about. So it was more to me about suppressing the nervous thought as to whether I could accomplish something and changing for the good in that way. And then they gave you another project and you know, anytime you're given a challenge or a project, you get a little nervous and you're, you're a little worried that you're not gonna be able to accomplish something. But then you start, you're chipping away at it one step after the other, after the other, after the other.

Mit Vyas (22m 43s):
And I mean, it may not be, this is why the Toyota is so important cause it's not a journey from here to here like this, it goes like this to here, right? And for me, kaizen and challenge means to understand that humans are inherently gonna be nervous about things that they can't see themselves accomplishing at that time. But being able to have the systematic thinking and systematic problem solving approaches to accomplish that, right? And I mean, I'm sure everyone is gonna start skiing for the first time.

Mit Vyas (23m 24s):
You're gonna be nervous and you're not gonna be confident about it. But essentially, once you start learning and once you start breaking it down, it becomes a lot simpler.

Mark Graban (23m 34s):
Yeah. So you kind of tied together those two concepts. Kaizen and challenge seem to be very interconnected. And, you know, they hired you to do something you hadn't done before. Compare that to a lot of companies who only wanna hire somebody who's proven that they can, they've done the exact same job in a very similar setting before. But that doesn't really lead to a lot of growth. And people complain about, well, you know, they only want to hire me for a job I've already done. I want to do something new. And it seems like that that challenge or you know, that opportunity to do something new combined with coaching, you know, leads to people development that's good for the employee and the company.

Mark Graban (24m 14s):
And you know, Toyota's often described, I've heard, I've interviewed some of them Toyota people who say, you know, Toyota's a people development company. Like what, what was your experience around around that, that idea?

Mit Vyas (24m 26s):
Yeah, I mean that was, I had a maybe a lucky approach to, I didn't really have very many bad habits that they had to scrub away. Cause I, cause I started working there, I mean, just before my 21st birthday. So I mean, I was very, very, very new. So they had a blank slate. I mean, the only thing I knew there was before then was a few engineering terms. I knew that I liked certain sports teams and I knew that I liked the outdoors before then I was, I was a lot more green. And, and, and now even I catch myself with the same exact, I mean, I, I even joke that my wife knows what I, she'll even say what's the current state of something or it's the same type of terminology that I'll use to, okay, well what's the standard work where, whereas the standard work, and I mean she'll even give some, some little bit hard time I we need, but it's something that's ingrained.

Mit Vyas (25m 41s):
I,

Mark Graban (25m 45s):
So then thing you was, you know, I, I think of kaizen and challenge, I think back to the first chapter of a, a book I love called Toyota by Toyotas, written by Darryl Wilburn and Sammy Obar and some of their colleagues from Toyota, Kentucky. In that first chapter, they talk about Kaizen challenge. I forget the exact order, maybe first in that, in that, that grouping of three things is the word humility and leading with humility. I'm curious to hear your reflections on that leadership style is, yeah,

Mit Vyas (26m 18s):
I'll give

Mark Graban (26m 18s):
Part of that. Hum Part of that humility is going to find out do you really know something instead of assuming, but what, what else do you, yeah,

Mit Vyas (26m 26s):
I'll give you one perfect example. Anytime you'd walk any person in a high leadership position walking in a production floor, if they saw one piece of crash on the production floor, they were picking it up.

Mark Graban (26m 39s):
Yeah. Not telling someone else to do it. They were picking it up.

Mit Vyas (26m 42s):
They were picking it up. They, they understood that if they would like the team members to have a certain mentality when they come to work, they have to embody that. So, I mean, even to the, to this day, if I am walking your production floor and I see something, I'll, I'll pick it up. But I mean, it's, it's, it, it just shows that the level of leadership that they're willing to give and it shows that they're humble. I mean, someone that's general manager will pick up a piece of trash and that was just the we.

Mark Graban (27m 23s):
And they're probably leading by example in, in all sorts of ways. I think you, you've sort of touched on that a little bit. I, I recently in December had a chance to go visit the, the Toyota Georgetown plant for the first time I've been to other Toyota plants and Texas and, and Japan and you know, it's first time back in a little while cuz of pandemic times. But you know, you're struck by the sense of discipline, for example, like, you know, standard work, if you will, and, and safety around walking. Like, you know, you see people walking within the painted lines. You don't see people rounding corners. You see people stopping and pointing, you know, when they're gonna go cross. And, you know, you can't tell exactly by the way people are dressed, what level they're at in the organization.

Mark Graban (28m 8s):
But you get a sense of what, whether people were wearing hard hats or maybe a little bit more office clothes, there was a consistent discipline. Like I would, I would be completely surprised if I saw a Toyota executive, you know, violating some of those guidelines that they want everybody to be following. And a lot of organizations don't have that same modeling or, or discipline from leaders. Like they want other people to follow the rules. But then maybe sometimes, you know, let's say a factory where, you know, a, a leader would come out without wearing safety glasses. Like, you know, to me that's awful. Like that's not good leadership.

Mit Vyas (28m 42s):
Yep. And I mean they're, if the purpose of us having PPE is to keep humans safe, then every human that goes on the production floor should act that way. And then it, it also makes it a harder, if you're trying to enforce PPE if, look this manager just walk across the production. He's not, he not even wearing any pv. So, I mean, it, it makes enforcement a lot easier because you don't get a lot of leadership that's not paying attention to the

Mark Graban (29m 19s):
Roles. Yeah. So let's, let's jump ahead and let, let, let's talk about your company Gemba automation like you. Yep. My understanding is you don't have a factory floor with painted lines, but there's no, there's ideas that, that you've brought from, you know, previous steps in your career to, to gemba automation. And I hope I, I'm gonna, I'm afraid I'm gonna slip and say Gemba Academy cuz those are my friends at

Mit Vyas (29m 44s):
A

Mark Graban (29m 45s):
Different company in a different podcast. So I don't think I've slipped up, but now hopefully I've got that outta my system. If I did gemba automation, like what, how do you apply, you know, P D C A thinking to starting a company?

Mit Vyas (29m 58s):
Sure. Yeah. So if you take a look at, first, I'll give you the correct answer to that. The, the best time and what you learned at Toyota was, let's just say you were in a, here's an example is we're in a stock, right? And you're in a stock, you wanna see what percent of the inventory in the stockroom is not needed, right? You could essentially take inventory of every part number in the stockroom and you could say, okay, now that I've iied every part number, I think the amount of scrap or the amount of items that we don't need is probably about 60%, right?

Mit Vyas (30m 44s):
But then Toyota, and I guess the lean philosophies is a little different. It's what amount of data and, and stats do I have in order to create an action, right? So they, in that process, they would say, okay, what we wanna do is clean our warehouse and make sure we're only use keeping stuff. So they would say, okay, well I, I'd say the scrap rate I surveyed, I dunno, 50, I'd say a scrap rate is about this much amount. So we need to call a certain team in to start removing a lot of the scrap, right? So the biggest thing that you learned from that is that you, the action is significantly more important than the perfect analysis, right?

Mit Vyas (31m 36s):
So in terms of starting a company, you're really not going to do much unless you just do. Right? And the pca, it's more of an understanding is that how much time to spend in the p so you can d correctly, right? And in a very similar concept was, okay, so you have an an mvp, which in the startup term is a minimum viable product, which is do you have something that your customers can have, can attain some value at? Right? So there, there's companies that spend a lot of time coding or building and then they don't get customer feedback much, much later in the process.

Mit Vyas (32m 24s):
So the what taught is in PCA you just learn as much as, and then you correctly, right? So it's how to use those fundamentals to making sure that okay, I have enough, I've built the product or the service enough that I can send it to my customers and get some feedback or send it to customers and not get very much feedback, right? So that, that's one of the big fundamentals. And, and so in terms of our company, and you said we don't have a production floor, right?

Mit Vyas (33m 9s):
So one of the big things you learned that Toyota was everyone has a customer, right? Everyone has a supplier and everyone has a customer. So engineering is essentially the supplier to supply chain cause they're creating the part that supply chain needs to order, right? And a lot of times on the production floor was one of the things that I saw was that a lot of the waste was the result of the supplier not creating the correct product or, or part, right? So what I wanted to do with gemba automation was star very early in the product development process, right?

Mit Vyas (33m 57s):
So we do a lot of design automation in addition in either SolidWorks or Inventor. And in addition to that we have, we understand that okay, well what's the customer of the design group? It's the machine shop, right? So we will have some team members that do CNC programming and the communication on how to communicate that this part is designed correctly so it can be machined correctly, is where is the direction that we wanted to take.

Mit Vyas (34m 39s):
So you all, I mean every time the engineer or the key managers on production floor, they're putting together a part, I dunno what the designer was thinking. So what I wanted to do was try to start a company to address that exact processes, start early, early on in design and have them be able to communicate to how this is gonna be programmed. And this is gonna be machine to essentially give our customers the, the correct value in product development starting from right when you open your SolidWorks window.

Mark Graban (35m 15s):
Yeah. And, and so I mean, did you literally, like, did you think through this as an a three problem solving process of like what's the background, what's the problem statement? Like how tightly did you have that problem statement defined before working on understanding the problem and, and, and the company being a countermeasure or countermeasures?

Mit Vyas (35m 35s):
Yeah, so the problem was basically loud enough for, for a counter measure to be put in place. And I mean it was, we, we wanted to make sure that we addressed, now that, I mean now that we have the ability to, in the digital world, we have, I mean, CNT programmers that can be outside of a facility cause they can just take a look at the code and how it's running and whether is running correctly and designers outside of the facility. So in the digital world, you're able to do this.

Mit Vyas (36m 15s):
So one of the things that I wanted to make sure we were doing is combining technology with lean implementation and problem solving. So the answer to, I mean, that Venn diagram in the middle was where I would to build a company. Yeah.

Mark Graban (36m 36s):
So when say the problem statement was loud, I mean did, how, how deeply did you have to go into understanding causes of the problem and what, you know, to think through even to root causes? Could you have countermeasures to address the root causes or is it enough to address the problem as it

Mit Vyas (36m 58s):
Temporary account manager if, if, let's just say you're kinda machine a radius, right? And the, the tool is getting snagged a little bit more, right? You could run it at different speeds to, to ensure that that radius gets cut correctly if it's getting snagged. But the actual problem is we're not using the right tool, right? So asking yourself, okay, well what, what radius of a tool do I need in order to machine this radius correctly? And the, the the, if you keep asking why, why, why, why? Well, if you just added a little bit more of a radius, then the, to the actual part, then the tool could easily go into that, that edge, right?

Mit Vyas (37m 43s):
So it's a matter of keeping on asking why until you get to that, that so mean, essentially what we do is we do design, we do, we do CNC programming, we also do full on, I mean process automation if the customer requires it. But what I wanted to build was just a company that was built around removing waste, whether it's it overburden gets removed by automation, I mean process waste gets removed by just eliminating variability gets to move by level loading.

Mit Vyas (38m 24s):
Yeah. So that was our overall goal.

Mark Graban (38m 28s):
So what was, what was your minimum viable product to, cause I I, I've talked to Eric Reese and others in this podcast series about that idea. And you know, they'll always emphasize, I think you touched on this earlier, it's not just minimum, it's viable, it's kinda

Mit Vyas (38m 46s):
Correct, correct. So business is a little bit different. It's more viable service, right? So in terms of, we offer right now the, the company is, is mainly services and we're trying to build some continuous improvement pro products that we can, we can start our customers. So the overall, the problem that we saw in one business segment we have is we do remote CNC programming, right? So if key, if a key member or a machine shop doesn't have a full-time programmer, or they want get the G code for a particular part right now because of May a generational thing or the amount of team members on the production floor that can do machining in addition to do coding.

Mit Vyas (39m 48s):
So kinda a combination of an engineer and a machinist is those are a little bit more rare than they were say 50 years ago, right? So a lot of machine shops are looking for outside resources to be able to machine their products correctly. So the first thing is we do is one service is we just provide G code. So if a customer has a part that they need to get machined, they want us to provide them the G code, they send us the part, they tell us what machine that they want, send it on, and we can provide the, the g code based upon whether if they want do a lot of them, but then we'll have the right fixturing in the right tooling for it.

Mit Vyas (40m 33s):
But if they wanna do a short run, we can provide them that too. So I mean our, one of the minimum viable services we had was offsite remote programming. And I mean, right now it's, it's been a good growth sector for

Mark Graban (40m 49s):
Us. Yeah. So then if you've got good growth, I mean, do you feel like you have, you know, as, as they call it, have you found product market fit or if you service

Mit Vyas (40m 58s):
Market

Mark Graban (40m 58s):
Fit, or how, how much do you have? How much did you have to iterate sort of figure, okay, here's something that that's meeting a real need. Sure. Try to scale this while improving, of course PDCA cycles, like you said.

Mit Vyas (41m 12s):
Yeah. Yeah. I mean the overall product in terms of starting a business, there's a few levels. Number one, do you have a product or a service you wanna offer? That's the right first question. And then the second question has, has one person paid you, right? Essentially the people will talk with their finances and the number, the third question is, are there a lot of companies out there that are wanting pay you for? Right? So are one, step two and step three, I mean the, the, the speed at which you move from step one to step two and step three and what you learn essentially depict how successful of a business owner entrepreneur you actually, right?

Mit Vyas (42m 5s):
So I, of the challenges that we, that you give a, a shop some G code and then we're expecting it to run correctly, remotely without being on the machine, without being on the machine center, right? So unfortunately there, fortunately there are, we live in a day that, you know, way to communicate digitally is significantly better than the way you could communicate digitally before. So whether it's a matter of sending a YouTube video or sending a video about how the machine is performing and then uploading that to a drive and, and then ping it from that.

Mit Vyas (42m 53s):
But we had to learn really quickly that the communication structure, post programming was very important in order for us to ensure success. And you, if you wanted to do it digitally, you have to have a good platform that allows customers to provide feedback. And I actually got this from a, this term from another podcast is one podcast I listen to a lot, it's called My First Million. It's a, it's an entrepreneurship podcast. But one of the quotes that one of the guys on there, he, he had, he said, a good symbol of a good company that started is you're spending a lot of time on customer support, right?

Mit Vyas (43m 40s):
So you're spending a lot of time on customer support means someone's wanting your product or Right. Seeing if people want what you or deliver,

Mark Graban (43m 56s):
Right? Yeah. And, and that customer support, like I think in terms of conexus, you know, a company that's 10, 11 years into its, you know, growth, there's a lot of customer support. We have a a, a far bigger customer support team than we have a sales team. And you know, you'd rather I think have a foot in the door with customers who say, you know, the product isn't perfect,

Mit Vyas (44m 18s):
Right?

Mark Graban (44m 18s):
But it really fits our needs and these people are willing to work with me not just to answer questions about using it, but to take feedback about making the product better. Right. So that, again, those ongoing P D S A or P D C A cycles. Yep. Are there,

Mit Vyas (44m 33s):
Yep. Absolutely.

Mark Graban (44m 35s):
So one, one other question, you know, whether, you know it's from your background at, at Toyota or experience as an entrepreneur, like, one thing I think is interesting to me is this question of, and I think this is Eric Reese language persevere or pivot, but I, I see this even like in PDCA cycles in continuous improvement where we had an idea, we're testing that idea and now there's debate of like, is that idea not working or is it not working yet? Like sometimes that's obvious and sometimes that's painfully vague. I'm, I'm curious how you would think through that question, whether it's even like a small scale improvement or with a company. When is a mistake to pivot too soon?

Mark Graban (45m 15s):
When would it be a mistake to persevere too long?

Mit Vyas (45m 18s):
Yeah, I mean, so that, so I'll give you kinda a little bit more of a personal journey and a personal story in terms of that question. So the way that I would, the two words that I would dumb entrepreneurship down to would be executable creativity, right? So all, we're all humans, right? We're all unique. We all, I mean, I have a unique background, you have a unique background. We're not kind of molded into one particular area, right? And we all are very good at a few things and we're very good at a combination of a few things, right?

Mit Vyas (46m 8s):
So once you can find that and once you can figure out where are your creative advantages and be able to execute on that, then you'll be more successful. So you're be essentially becoming authentic to yourself. So one of the, I I mean, I'll throw one more suggestion for your audience in is one of the biggest learnings, or the biggest area where I think the most valuable in let's say timeless advice about, about entrepreneurship is a by a guy named Naval and he has a tweet that's, its called How to Get Rich Without Getting Lucky.

Mit Vyas (46m 56s):
And he kinda some timeless principles in essential in how to create wealth and how to start a company. And one of the biggest things that he mentioned is basically no one is going to be able to compete on being you, you, right? So you can escape competition through auth authenticity, right? So as you go and figure out what you wanna do in terms of starting a company, obviously you have the financial portion of whether you're growing and whether you're developing. But I would urge people to, to think about are you doing more of what you want do with your time as an entrepreneur or are you not?

Mit Vyas (47m 43s):
And if you aren't, that's one way that I would consider pivoting because if there's one area that you wanna go in, there's people that are gonna be able to do that a thousand times better if they don't enjoy it. Yeah. Right? Right. So if, if you don't enjoy, so what I would say is just make sure that you're kind of productizing yourself and that's in that storm is that's, that's, that's very important to, to the growth for a company. And I think in addition everyone understands, okay, I product not, but other question is I doing more with my time that I be doing?

Mark Graban (48m 26s):
Yeah, yeah. There's that over, there's that diagram that goes around on LinkedIn, a lot of overlaps between, you know, in, I I forget the, I don't have it in front of me, I don't have it burned in the memory, but it's looking this overlap a complex event diagram of like, you know, interest and talent and passion and yeah. People will pay for and, and, and I think there's gotta be an overlap there. But you, you, you make me think of that and then you make me think of like, you know, Matthew May, former Toyota guy from, he was in LA or still in California, Toyota University. Have you ever met Matt? May

Mit Vyas (49m 4s):
I haven't met him.

Mark Graban (49m 5s):
He was there well before you, but you, you guys would have a great conversation too. But he, he, he talks, others have talked about it too, you know, starting the year, we're in January, 2023 as we record this, of not just the resolutions and the to-do list, but the, the the stop doing list or the do less of this. Oh yeah. It's a good time to reflect and think back whether you have a strategic a three for yourself or not. Like what were the things in 2022 that I loved doing? What were the things that were a drag and energy or you know, what, what, what am I gonna do less of in 2023 that something I'm, I'm, I won't overshare, but I'm thinking through that professionally and Yeah.

Mark Graban (49m 49s):
Might be as well.

Mit Vyas (49m 50s):
Sometimes that antib bucket list is a lot better than a bucket list. Sure. Cause I'm completely ok. Never doing X and that's a lot more liberating Yeah. Than saying that I want do X, Y, and Z.

Mark Graban (50m 3s):
Yeah. And there's a bear naked lady song that comes to mind about, oh gosh, what's the title? But there's a whole song about the things I'll i i I never want to do,

Mit Vyas (50m 13s):
Which is

Mark Graban (50m 14s):
Maybe a theme song for the episode and I'm a huge fan and I'm, I'm having a brain cramp thinking about that. But there is, so there's an example of, I'm gonna come back to a phrase you used earlier cuz I'm trying to get better with this nervous mind. Right? Nervous mind. It's, yeah. Am I going to is, you know, am I gonna be able to write a new, a good book? Am I going to do a good episode? Am I gonna be a good host? And then there's nervous in terms of my mind's bouncing around to different things. Like you're saying things that are thought-provoking, the good and bad of that both kind of come, come through. So I was gonna ask you about meditation, right?

Mark Graban (50m 55s):
So I think about that as a countermeasure to a nervous mind share, share your story and your experiences, what you've learned through that.

Mit Vyas (51m 4s):
I would love to, so during Covid, we, everyone was sitting at home, right? And actually, I'll rewind back. So my journey and the person that made me, made me think about whether I want to add some sort of spiritual element to, to my mind was I had a cousin that passed away at the age of 22 of, of cancer, right? And I mean, he was wise beyond his years and one of the biggest things was he, he made people truly question whether they're getting what they want out of life in terms of are, are you doing everything spiritually?

Mit Vyas (51m 48s):
Are you doing everything emotionally to, to be happy? Right? So I I always had this, this inclination because of what he had kinda taught us while he was going through his entire procedure. Right. And in, in addition to that, so while we were going through Covid, the same person I had talked to you about this guy Naval had this challenge that said it's a 60 day challenge. So challenge for 60 days is you need to be able to sit in a room with your closed and not do anything for one hour.

Mit Vyas (52m 29s):
So Wow.

Mark Graban (52m 31s):
That's,

Mit Vyas (52m 32s):
So, I that's tough. I I I I decided to do it and I I I felt that there was value in it due to a lot of the spiritual thoughts and inclinations that I had in the, in the past. So I, I decided to do it and wow, it was really hard. It was absolutely hard. You have no idea the amount of thoughts and regrets and everything that are and desires that just cloud your mind that you're carrying around with you every day that you just don't know about. Right. But then after, after a while, it became a lot easier.

Mit Vyas (53m 16s):
And I, I was wondering, I mean, I, I still do, I still meditate for anywhere from let's say 30 minutes to an hour every day. And

Mark Graban (53m 28s):
Do you tend to do that in the morning or before bed? Right when I wake up. Right when you wake

Mit Vyas (53m 32s):
Up. Right when I wake up. Yep. And I'm, I'm, I'm wondering why, how did it get easier over time? I felt like it would get harder over time. So the, the example that I would, I have a few examples here. So the first example is think of your mind like a bathtub, right? And then you have a few things. You have oil, the, and you have oil, right? So oil is all of the regrets you have in your life. All of the desires that you have in your life that just keep accumulating over time, right?

Mit Vyas (54m 12s):
And then you have water, and water is your everyday life. It's you're building your company, picking people up from school, you have a lot of social obligations and you have, you know, life just, just, this happens, right? And unfortunately, what keeps happening is we have this layer of oil right, that is on the top. But as life progresses, we keep putting water into our bathtub and, but we, we aren't spending enough time draining. We aren't spending enough time processing any of it. So what medication does is it opens a valve at the bottom and it allows stuff to slowly, slowly the oil to slowly, slowly go to the bottom.

Mit Vyas (54m 58s):
And if you keep doing it long enough, then the valve keeps getting bigger and the flow rate starts getting improved. And, and then you can start clearing that oil. And then once you start clearing that oil, that's, that's when you have a lot more of a clear mind.

Mark Graban (55m 16s):
So this is part of how a mechanical engineer thinks through meditation.

Mit Vyas (55m 19s):
Yeah, yeah.

Mark Graban (55m 20s):
Bowels and flow and I fluids,

Mit Vyas (55m 23s):
But absolutely. So essentially what medication is doing is it's allowing you to clear that oil from your mind. And you, by you doing that, you have a lot more of a clear mind and a lot more of clear, right? So I'll give you another example. Let's, you're going through life what meditation or, and just thought assessment allows you to do is to treat your mind a lot like your body, right?

Mit Vyas (56m 3s):
So if you get a cut, right? When I get a cut, I'm obviously the pain from the cut hurts, right? Yeah. But then

Mark Graban (56m 13s):
I cut myself the other day in the kitchen cutting an onion. Yeah. Be careful holding up that finger for those on YouTube. But anyway, sorry.

Mit Vyas (56m 21s):
So No problem. So you got cut, right? But then your mind is obviously it hurts from the cut, right? But then you're not really thinking of whether you are gonna recover from that cut. Are you?

Mark Graban (56m 35s):
It wasn't that bad. I I, I I don't need stitches. Yeah.

Mit Vyas (56m 39s):
You know, it'll eventually get better.

Mark Graban (56m 40s):
It still hurts, but it's gonna heal.

Mit Vyas (56m 42s):
Yeah. You know, that exact comment is, you know, it's gonna heal. Right? But unfortunately, when stuff happens to our mind, we don't think that way. Well if something negative happens to your mind, right? And you think, oh man, I had this person do this bad thing to me or some, I I I didn't perform the way I wanted to perform. So you, you essentially have a cut in your mind. So you're worried about two things. You're worried about the cut that's in your mind, but you're also worried about the fact that's gonna keep being there and you know, the true is that's not gonna be there forever. Right?

Mit Vyas (57m 22s):
So it's you to basically treat these thoughts and negative emotions that go on in your mind a lot more like a physical cut because you don't really worry about the physical cut being there. Correct. So it's been one of the greatest things that I've had I've had to do in my life is to start this meditation process. And I mean, my wife does it too. And I mean we definitely, it's an individual process, but it's good to have somebody to, to share it with. Yeah. I mean I, I think that it's been maybe the best thing that I've taken account because fortunately, unfortunately it does mine that I have, barring any large AI breakthrough, I'm gonna have this mine for the rest of my life.

Mit Vyas (58m 13s):
Right. And Right. If I don't take care of it, then it's, it's, it's not gonna be a happy life. Yeah. And that's, that's, that's important.

Mark Graban (58m 21s):
Yeah. So, and there was this challenge to do 45 to 50 minutes. I, I, that would be terrifying. I feel I I wouldn't be able to do it. You know, I've, I've had a guest before Bob Moore who's a psychologist who talks about kaizen and you'll challenge breaking it down the baby steps. Right. So his advice, singing back to his books and his episode would be like, somebody were to propose this to me. I've tried meditating during the pandemic, I hit my, did the app, I tried the app, it was free, I tried it. I'm like, I just can't, I can't do this. And, and you know, Bob Moore would say, okay, if it sounds terrifying to try to do 30 minutes, try to do two Right. And then sort of prove yourself, okay, I could do two and then like, I would expect it to get easier.

Mark Graban (59m 5s):
Did, yeah. Did did you think of the baby step's approach or did you try to dive right in and say, I'll I'll get better at doing 45 to 60 minutes?

Mit Vyas (59m 12s):
Yeah, I have a, I guess I dunno if it's a different opinion or, so a lot of the way your mind works is cause effect. So I started this X amount of thing, right. And that should help me in this particular area of my life. Right. And unfortunately, you're never gonna think in your mind that this meditation helped because it's not gonna become helpful until it becomes a little bit more of a habit. Right?

Mark Graban (59m 43s):
Right, right. The same would be too with physical exercise, right? Yeah. Two minutes of exercise a day isn't helpful, but then if you can build yourself up to a level that's helpful, whether it's meditation or exercise, it's better to work your way up to it than to be intimidated and not try. But I'm sorry I cut off your No,

Mit Vyas (59m 60s):
No, no, no problem. So very, very similar example is I got to a point where I was, I was meditating obviously for quite a bit of time, and then I got to a point that my mind was very clear and I almost asked myself, why am I, why is my mind so clear right now? And then I'm like, wait a minute. I started this thing about 45 days to 50 days ago that was supposed to help me with my mind. So it's almost just like a personal risk that you have to be okay with taking it and you have to trust that the what you're trying to do is worth it or not. But I mean, unfortunately it is just a personal risk.

Mit Vyas (1h 0m 44s):
So you're, you, you are taking that risk. You know, I could have spent, I mean I've been doing it for quite a bit of time now, so I take that and multiply that amount of years and, you know, I could had a multiple full-time jobs just done, done a lot more for a lot of things, but it, it was just a personal risk and

Mark Graban (1h 1m 7s):
It's lower risk. It's it's risk of opportunity, cost or wasted time. It's not like something physical where if I were to go and try to run a marathon tomorrow, I would probably physically hurt myself. Cause I'm not a runner. I exercise, but I, I, I don't, I I I'm not training for that. But yeah, the risk of trying is low, that Mitigates the risk of it being a mistake. Yeah. But when, when you think of like the difficulty in cause and effect relationships, like the field of system dynamics as they teach to m i t and other places is that humans really struggle to understand cause and effect when there are delays or labs.

Mit Vyas (1h 1m 44s):
Right. We're

Mark Graban (1h 1m 45s):
Not patient. If I, if I dropped this coffee mug on my foot, it would hurt immediately. I would understand. Yep,

Mit Vyas (1h 1m 50s):
Exactly.

Mark Graban (1h 1m 51s):
Cause I dropped this mug now, like my, my, my situation and I've had a recent discovery around, I think cause and effect persevere or pivot has been more around lower back pain. That's harder to ascribe a root cause to, right? Yeah. I've done the physical therapists and describing different symptoms and the one physical therapist said, that's weird. Okay, thanks. Great. I've stumped the physical therapist. So she suggested different countermeasures, but the one sporadic countermeasure I hadn't been disciplined enough about was yoga, right? So my wife was kind of, you know, pushing me to do this.

Mark Graban (1h 2m 31s):
And so here's what I think I've learned is like doing it a couple times a week or sometimes going a couple weeks without it, I'm like, well, it's not really helping. Well I wasn't really doing it, but then back in December I made a comMitment to it. I'm up to 33 consecutive days of about 30 minutes of yin yoga is what I've really kind of gotten into. So now that's kind of halfway between, you know, meditation and yoga, right? You're holding poses a very long time. I'm fidgety. So like being able to stay still is helpful in addition to stretching my lower back. But now I got about 20 days into it, I'm like, now I'm seeing the effect.

Mark Graban (1h 3m 14s):
And instead of it feeling like something I should do, I'm excited to do it. And I would like, you know, I want to keep that, that momentum.

Mit Vyas (1h 3m 21s):
Yeah. And the excitement. Absolutely. I know, I know it feels really weird to say, but the 30 minutes to an hour that I spend with myself every day is once that becomes one of the best things you ever do. Yeah. The world has kinda a little less to offer. I mean, you could participate in a lot of this stuff, but I mean, and obviously I love everyone that I've surrounded myself with, but it's, it's just an amazing journey and I mean, I've learned a lot from, from this 60 day challenge and this, it's the art of doing nothing.

Mit Vyas (1h 4m 5s):
I think that's the tweet storm by this guy Naval wrote.

Mark Graban (1h 4m 7s):
Ok, I'll look that up to the art of

Mit Vyas (1h 4m 12s):
Doing nothing.

Mark Graban (1h 4m 13s):
Great. Well, so I won't ask it. Well, you've already answered the question though. Okay. This wasn't the best 60 minutes of your day Mit, but thank you for surrounding yourself with me and the

Mit Vyas (1h 4m 24s):
List. It, it was awesome, Mark,

Mark Graban (1h 4m 25s):
I appreciate you doing it and sharing, you know, kind of this, this mix of perspectives and, and I just love it. You know, you're connecting dots when people would ask, you know, how are ideas from a manufacturing company? Transferable people in the startup realm are still, you know, we're still trying to, you know, convince 'em there's something of benefit in healthcare. There's a lot of people asking, how do we know if there's benefit? And there's something to be said for, try it and see, be comMitted to other, what comMitted to it, whether it's meditation or yoga or lean, like maybe there's a lesson or a final point here of like, don't do it. Half ask, don't do it sporadically. At some point you've really gotta comMit to it, or otherwise you might not see results.

Mit Vyas (1h 5m 8s):
Absolutely. Trust yourself, be patient and I mean, if you don't see yourself doing something for a long term and may not be good for you to start it. So, I mean, it's, it's a, it's a great journey and I mean, you know, we all have this, we all have our lives and might as well do what we can to make him better.

Mark Graban (1h 5m 30s):
Well said. So our guest today, again, has been Mit, Mit Vyas. He is the managing director for Gemba Automation. Go check out this website, gemba automation.com. Final, final question. Like, you know, who, you know, if people listening fit certain profiles, you know, who are the people most likely to benefit from coming and learning about your services?

Mit Vyas (1h 5m 51s):
Sure. So in terms of the people that I feel would, I would say if, if you are starting your professional journey as an engineer, I think that this would be a very good podcast for you to listen to. And I mean no,

Mark Graban (1h 6m 9s):
But I mean, go check out your company.

Mit Vyas (1h 6m 11s):
Oh yeah, absolutely.

Mark Graban (1h 6m 13s):
Gemba Automation.

Mit Vyas (1h 6m 14s):
Sure. So if you are a company that has a machine shop, you're a company that manufactures a product that gets designed in SolidWorks, Autodesk, inventor, or you are a company that needs some more support in automation on production for so, or three major segments are engineering services, manufacturing, automation, and machine shop solutions. So anyone that would fit in those categories, and I'd be happy to discuss how we could remove some waste in your organization.

Mark Graban (1h 6m 54s):
All right. Well, so again, you can go check that out, gembaautomation.com. Mit Vyas, thank you so much for being a guest here today. Really, really enjoyed it.

Mit Vyas (1h 7m 2s):
Yeah, it was awesome. Mark, thank you very much.

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Thanks for listening. This has been the Lean Blog podcast. For lean news and commentary updated daily, visit www.leanblog.org. If you have any questions or comments about this podcast, email Mark at leanpodcast@gmail.com.


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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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