Celebrating 17 Years of #Lean Podcasting Today — A Birthday-versary


TODAY marks the 17th birthday (or is it an anniversary?) of my Lean Blog Interviews podcast (known in the early days as the LeanBlog Podcast). It's an awkward name and part of me wishes I had chosen something with more pizzaz, but it's straightforward… it's an interview podcast that was born from my blog.

The first episode 17 years ago was with the late Norman Bodek. As I mentioned in this memorial post, the whole idea for the podcast is Norman's idea when he suggested that I do a “radio interview” with him.

Including the latest episode where Paul Critchley interviewed me about my new book, I've released 480 episodes, plus a few special bonus episodes over the last 17 years. That's a little more than one episode every two weeks on average.

I've taken occasional breaks and I'll probably do so again through the end of August. I'll be sharing a few older “revisited and remastered” episodes, as I've been doing the past few weeks.

It's amazing to see how the technology (and the resulting sound quality) has changed over 17 years. The “remastering” of some of the older episodes includes me running the old audio through some software that levels out the volume levels, reduces some background hum or hiss where it existed, and boosts the quality to the best of its ability.

Back in the early days, some episodes were recorded via a conference call service. Sometimes, it was a person calling in, by phone, to a Skype connection through my computer. So, sometimes my audio (or the guest's audio) sounds like AM radio instead of sounding really crisp as podcasts sound today when they're recorded through Zoom or other strictly digital tools.

Episodes also used to be shorter. Think about how the listening technology has changed. In 2006, that was before the iPhone. Listeners could either stream through a web page, or they could download episodes to an iPod or another MP3 player. But, it was more difficult. It was more difficult to pick up listening where you left off if you stopped playing.

So, the advice at the time was to keep episodes to 20-25 minutes because most people had a commute of about that length. But now, with smart phones and podcast apps making it easier to start and stop, the episodes are now usually 50 to 60 minutes. So, we have the opportunity for longer conversations and I hope that provides value to the listeners.

Most of the old content is pretty timeless and is, I think, worth checking out today. If you're new to the podcast, the entire back catalog is available for free in the podcast feed that goes to your favorite podcast app or service.

Today, I'm sharing, as a batch, some episodes that I've remastered. There's the entire series of Norman Bodek episodes, below. There's also an entire series with Jim Womack, another legend in the Lean community (founder of the Lean Enterprise Institute).

The most frequent guests on the podcast have been:

I want to thank all of my guests, whether they've been on once, twice, or more. Thanks to everybody I've learned from and I'm happy to give back by helping others start or improve their own podcasts, especially those in the “Lean Communicators” network.

And thank YOU for listening!

Here's the list of Bodek episodes, with Womack episodes below those. Which episodes stand out to you from your own listening?

Norman Bodek's Episodes


Jim Womack's Episodes


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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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