A Discussion with Amanda Zimmerman and Dominic Stokes on “Squishy Lean”


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My guests for Episode #483 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast are Amanda Zimmerman and Dominic Stokes, two Lean Six Sigma professionals who co-host a new podcast called “Squishy Lean.”

Amanda Zimmerman is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt with a global background. Amanda has worked in Oil and Gas, Software, and in a variety of industries all over the world mentoring professionals in Continuous Improvement. She holds an MBA from Imperial College of London. In 2020 she launched Beautiful Opportunities, aiming to empower people in continuous improvement worldwide and make it easy for people to start applying the tools. 

Dominic is an industrial engineer with a background in manufacturing engineering and management consulting. Ever since he first learned about lean manufacturing principles, Dom has looked for more opportunities in and outside of work to learn and practice. His overall goal is to find ways to convert commercial lean tools to residential uses. When he isn't learning about lean, he is spending time with his wife and dog or cutting his hair.

In today's episode, we discuss their Lean origin stories (or Six Sigma then Lean or Lean Six Sigma). We also talk about the origins of their podcast, using Lean methods at home, the power of experimenting, and helping people not feel bad about making mistakes when they're doing something new.

Questions, Notes, and Highlights:

  • Harder to define what's a “Six Sigma culture” compared to a “Lean culture”?
  • The psychological safety required to point out problems and try things
  • Laundry — smaller batches… eliminating the time spent sorting / pulling apart
  • Why someone is in the middle or anti-Lean?
  • Experiments that led to the podcast?
  • How did you two meet? – Lean Portland
  • How did the podcast come to be?
  • What's squishy lean?
  • How to not let things get “too squishy”?
  • “More important to experiment… than to do it perfectly”
  • How to make it easier for people get started with C.I.?
  • My blog post about lessons from personal trainer
  • How to help them feel they aren't making a mistake when new? A focus on learning not punishment?
  • You mentioned using Lean at home… after learning it at work…
  • Dominic – wants to convert “commercial grade lean” for use at home… to have people learning lean at home… as kids… and then bring to workplace?

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 was also brought to you by Arena, a PTC Business. Arena is the proven market leader in Cloud Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) with over 1,400 customers worldwide. Visit the link arenasolutions.com/lean to learn more about how Arena can help speed product releases with one connected system.

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Automated Transcript (Not Guaranteed to be Defect Free)

Announcer (2s):
Welcome to the Lean Blog Podcast. visit our website at www.Leanblog.Org. Now, here's your host, Mark Graban.

Mark Graban (13s):
Hi, it's Mark Graban here. welcome to the podcast. It's episode 483 for August 23rd, 2023. Our guest today we're joined by a duo. They are Dominic Stokes and Amanda Zimmerman. They host a new podcast called Squishy Lean. It's available now. We'll talk about that, what that means, what that name means, and we have a great conversation here in the episode today. We don't often talk about Lean Six Sigma here in the podcast, but we're gonna be talking about that continuous improvement. And again, If, you, If, you don't do anything with Six Sigma. I think you'll still really enjoy the conversation and the discussion here today.

Mark Graban (53s):
So to learn more about Amanda and Dominic and their podcast, look for links in the show notes. Or you can go to Leanblog.org/483. As always. Thanks Thanks for listening. hi everybody. Welcome back to Lean Blog interviews. I'm Mark Graban. We're joined today by two guests. They are Amanda Zimmerman and Dominic Stokes. They are each Lean six Sigma professionals, and they host, they co-host a new podcast called Squishy Lean. So before I introduce you to each of them, Amanda Dominic, welcome to the podcast. How are you?

Amanda Zimmerman (1m 28s):
Thank you. Doing great. Doing

Mark Graban (1m 29s):
Great over here too. So I'm looking forward to the conversation today and learning more about you. And we'll find out what you mean by squishy Lean. But first lemme tell you a little bit more about Amanda and Dominic. First off, Amanda. Zimmerman is a Lean six Sigma master black belt with a global background. She's worked in oil and gas software and a variety of industries all over the world, mentoring professionals in continuous improvement. Amanda holds an M B A from Imperial College of London. In 2020. She launched beautiful opportunities aiming to empower people in continuous improvement worldwide and to make it easy for people to start applying the tools. So Amanda, when you speak of a global audience, it's Friday afternoon for me and Dominic, it's Saturday.

Mark Graban (2m 15s):
Happy Saturday morning to you. Tell us where you are, even though the accent would not suggest as much.

Amanda Zimmerman (2m 22s):
Yeah, I'm in New Zealand right now, so I moved here about a year and a half ago. So for me it's, it's early morning, but I'm super excited to be here with the two of you who I think are ending your workday. So yeah,

Mark Graban (2m 38s):
Getting close. This is the last thing on my calendar for the day anyway, in the first for Amanda. So lemme tell you about Dominic Stokes. He is an industrial engineer with a background in Manufacturing engineering and management consulting. Ever since he first learned about Lean Manufacturing principles, Dom has looked for more opportunities in and outside of work to learn and practice. So his overall goal is to find ways to convert commercial Lean tools to residential uses in the home. So when he isn't learning about Lean, he is spending time with his wife and dog or cutting his hair, cutting the dog's hair, cutting your own hair, both first.

Dominic Stokes (3m 14s):
Yeah, for right now it's just cutting my own hair. Cutting hair was something that I did in college, just as a small side job, but eventually it could turn into dog grooming as well. It's pretty similar.

Mark Graban (3m 25s):
Yeah, my, my wife cut my hair once and that was an early pandemic thing. She was really afraid, really afraid to do that. You have to forgive the pun news, she learned after the first couple of times she had to Lean into it, like let the, let the guard do its work otherwise. Yeah,

Dominic Stokes (3m 42s):
That was a good way to say that.

Mark Graban (3m 45s):
And so Dom, where, where are you joining us from today?

Dominic Stokes (3m 47s):
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,

Mark Graban (3m 49s):
All, right? Some of the

Dominic Stokes (3m 50s):
Steelers, yes.

Mark Graban (3m 52s):
So I wanna hear, as we normally do here on the podcast, each of your Lean origin stories. And I think there's an origin story for squishy Lean and, and how that came and how you two met. So kind of the, the open-ended question, we'll start with you Amanda, what would you say is your origin story, whether that's framed as Lean or is that Lean Six Sigma?

Amanda Zimmerman (4m 15s):
Yeah, for me it's probably more Six Sigma. And I discovered Lean along the way and thought, Hey, this is really important. We should be doing a lot more of this. I started in oil and gas in California for a rig company and originally I had gone to school to be a teacher and it just didn't work out. Children in large quantities don't work for me. So I took a temp job and then ended up staying there for six years. So it was the first assignment I was sent out on. They told me I wasn't qualified, but they needed someone last minute. So they let me slip in and make copies for this company. Yeah. And I ended up working my way up to being the assistant to the West Coast director of that group.

Amanda Zimmerman (4m 59s):
And when I did that, I had the opportunity to see more about the continuous improvement department. So I studied and I, I worked really hard to try to know what I could about continuous improvement or in that case it was Six Sigma, was the program interviewed and was told no. So did not make it even after doing my best. But at that point in my life I was super interview introverted at work as well. I was very robotic in the things that I did. So I realized I had to, to learn new skills that we use in continuous improvement as facilitators, which is networking and talking to people and being comfortable in that space.

Amanda Zimmerman (5m 42s):
So I spent 30 days every day doing something social and Oh, really? After that, yeah, it was tough. It was panic attacks outside of people's houses kind of thing. But you know, you get through it and after that they actually came to me and asked me to join their department. So, you know, it was a lot of hard work. It's, I think a lot of people look at us and they think this is natural or or normal for us, but sometimes it does take that work and finding out what you wanna do and where you wanna go, it was really exciting to me using the tools so it was worth it to, to take those kind of steps.

Mark Graban (6m 23s):
Hmm. So you, you mentioned before we started recording that you had taught a greenbelt class. This, this week is, is it easier teaching adults or is that just part of your Oh gosh, evolution and being able to, that's a good point. Be more comfortable teaching in general.

Amanda Zimmerman (6m 40s):
Yes. It's so much easier teaching adults. I, I mean, I think there's two pieces there. One, I no longer have to tell a child, sit down, sit down, sit down and spend so much of my day trying to get this child to sit in their seat. And you know, If, you get mad at six year olds for being six year olds. That's, that's on you, right? Yeah, that's correct. And so, you know, that was just not a space that I was doing well, but I, I, I think the other issue with like classroom management, if we wanna call it that, is I'm a person that didn't have a lot of confidence when I was younger. Even now I struggle with that. So being a classroom manager was really hard for me right out of college.

Amanda Zimmerman (7m 20s):
Whereas now I'm much more comfortable telling people, okay, we're gonna start again. You know, we need to come together, you need to be quiet. Whereas back then it was just so tough for me to have some of those conversations. So I think it's a combination. Yeah,

Mark Graban (7m 35s):
That, that's one of my least favorite things of teaching is trying to corral a room full of people back to, okay, we, we gotta go there are these teacher techniques for trying to get attention and, and silence and, and all. But I wanna ask one other follow-up question, you know, about your journey. You, you say you later discovered Lean, like I, I'm curious, you know, how and when that was and, and and how did that resonate with you as something important to bring into the mix?

Amanda Zimmerman (8m 4s):
Yeah, so our oil and gas program was pretty six Sigma focused. So it was very green belt, white belt focused. There was Lean in there, especially with the eight waists. I don't know that we had the five principles of Lean that we used. So the majority of the course really, you know, you're getting maybe half a day of Lean or a couple hours of Lean. And as, as I progressed in my career and I saw more and more opportunities really for visual management, I felt like why are we jumping to these complicated projects when there's some obvious simple things that we could do that could help people? And then it just so happened I was working to actually leave the oil and gas industry 'cause I wanted more experiences.

Amanda Zimmerman (8m 48s):
And so I took a job with a consulting firm that was still in oil and gas, but had other opportunities. And I ended up at a refinery doing a Lean transformation. And that was one, you know, it, it was similar to the other tools that we use, similar structures, similar way of getting people on board, but really doing a much deeper dive into the Lean tools. And so that for me kind of cemented the knowledge that I already had on my own of researching it and seeing how it can actually work and transform a team. So that was a, a wonderful experience. I'd say it also had quite a few elements of agile, if we can say that, in oil and gas, right?

Amanda Zimmerman (9m 32s):
Yeah. And so it's, it's been a really interesting progression to kind of start with Six Sigma and then go back and say, Hey, something's missing. And I think so many organizations do that, right? They start with a Six Sigma program.

Mark Graban (9m 49s):
I think that that certainly happened with, with a lot of, a lot of companies and, and they, they've added on Lean and I mean the last Manufacturing company I worked for almost 20 years ago, I'm trying to think what came first. Maybe it was Lean, but it was Lean and Six Sigma, which I think is, is different. Maybe just open dis we open some discussion on this a little bit before we get to your origin story. Dom, you know, there there's Lean and Six Sigma, where at Honeywell those were two very different fold, which disciplines being used together. Where I see a lot of times this kind of single Lean six Sigma is quite often 80 or 90% Six Sigma with a little bit of Lean.

Mark Graban (10m 34s):
Here's to hear exactly, you know, your, your thoughts Amanda or or Dom kind of on that mix, that balance. Is it separate things that coexist or is it a, a combined methodology to you?

Amanda Zimmerman (10m 46s):
To me, I prefer it as a combined methodology, but I think there's a progression of maturity. So I think organizations need to start with Lean tools. Once the easy opportunities are out of the way, once you have management support, then you can go on to those really complex prob projects that you use to make in a more structured way with and those harder tools. I think most organizations I've worked with don't need, you know, design of experiments. They need Kanban boards, they need control charts maybe. Yeah. So I see it as like a maturity progression. What about you Dominic?

Dominic Stokes (11m 26s):
I have a very similar answer to you and I think it's because I heard about it through somebody that's in a group that we're in Lean, Portland. But my experience has only been in Lean, in Manufacturing settings and a little bit in distribution in retail. And somebody else that I trust also said that Lean is that foundation that would allow people to have the palette to take on six s projects once everybody's involved in understanding that they can improve their own workspaces and that it's not a fad that everybody has to work together on it. I so I heard the same thing as you Amanda

Amanda Zimmerman (12m 6s):

Mark Graban (12m 7s):
Yeah. And yeah, I think in, in my experience or my view and, and look, I'm, I'm not asking these questions 'cause I'm in the role of like teacher looking for the answer. There's lots of ways of answering this and doing this, but I would be, I would have an easier time explaining what a quote unquote Lean culture is. I, I would be hard pressed to describe a quote unquote six Sigma culture, but I would, I would certainly argue that Six Sigma methods and tools and projects could fit within the context of Lean as both continuous improvement and respect for people.

Amanda Zimmerman (12m 48s):
I, I a hundred percent agree with you. I think Lean is at its heart that culture shift and it lays a foundation for Six Sigma to be successful because If you talk to people about why their projects didn't work, it's because management didn't support them because they are not high enough impact because the organization doesn't value improvement in that way. And, you know, If, you don't have that Lean culture that sets that foundation then it doesn't support people, it doesn't set them up for success in their projects.

Dominic Stokes (13m 20s):
You're kind of working against yourself then at that point.

Mark Graban (13m 24s):
Yeah. But you know, maybe as a, a follow-up question for, for either or both of you, you know, back to that point you raised Amanda of people saying management didn't support me. Well then the question is, well how, how do we define the support gap and what countermeasures are we recommending then? Like what, what does it mean to have management? What's the right kind of support, what's the right level of support?

Dominic Stokes (13m 50s):
That's a good question I have. Yeah. What do you think Dominic? Yeah, I can, I can kind of speak to that. In my experiences, the, the management support was enablement. Sometimes they were involved, but it was more overseeing to the point where they were excited to see what everybody else had to say now that they had different ways to say what they've always seen, if that isn't too much of a convoluted way to say it. So I remember at the end of Kaizen weeks, whenever the owners would come down to the floor and we're standing next to our flip charts and speaking about what we did, and they're just excited to see other people stepping up to speak about how much fun they had that week.

Dominic Stokes (14m 32s):
And I think that's, that's the piece that I'll go into in my Lean journey that I think really like hit home for me. But I think that's the, that's the piece whenever you're enabled by management and they allow you to have that time to practice and try or iterate or something.

Mark Graban (14m 52s):
Yeah, yeah,

Amanda Zimmerman (14m 53s):
Yeah. And continue to support you, right? I think management, it's also up to them to set that strategic vision and to communicate that effectively so that we're all working towards that same goal. And yeah, just exactly what you said, Dominic, supporting the team, helping them identify projects, helping them be empowered to make changes truly empowered. Not just saying, it'd be great If, you could tell us what to improve. Yeah,

Mark Graban (15m 19s):
Yeah, yeah. There, there's language sometimes people use, they'll say things like, I want people to feel empowered. And I'm like, well I guess that is a feeling that they, they decide if they have, but I mean, you know, they, they we, we can actually empower people. You know, we have be careful of fake empowerment or the, the the worst versions of the phrase or things like, I want people to feel like they're involved. I'm like, well maybe we could actually involve involved, get them involved and they'll feel involved. Yeah. But not fake involved in terms of like, yeah, well we want you to feel like you had input when we have no, you know, no, no real intent to take the input.

Mark Graban (16m 1s):
I would say don't waste people's time. People get discouraged if they've been told absolutely to speak up, to chime in and they're not listened to Amanda. I'm sorry, you, you were gonna say I'm sure you've got stories or

Amanda Zimmerman (16m 12s):
Thoughts on that? Oh, no, no. I, I I mean I, I probably tend to be like Yes, yes, too much. But you know, I always think of it like, like we're playing baseball and the work that we do as consultants is we get that team all ready to pitch the ball to management, but it's up to them whether or not they're gonna hit it. And so, you know, to me it, if they throw that ball and it doesn't get hit, that cuts deep. And a lot of the work that we end up doing is actually getting the people back on board after they've had those experiences previously. And, and you know, that to me is just so disappointing over and over again. are you going to an organization where the top management doesn't know about the program or the things that are going on?

Amanda Zimmerman (16m 58s):
You know, it's just, we want true empowerment. So I think that's a great call out Mark.

Dominic Stokes (17m 4s):
Yeah. It's recognizable when it isn't as well. Yeah,

Mark Graban (17m 8s):
Yeah, yeah. There's no fooling people when it comes to that. Yes. But yeah, I mean I think, like to me the role of the leader is, I, I love the word, the e words that you use there enable empower, not jumping in to do it for you, right? There's this difference between giving people a space or even, you know, trying to create the conditions where, where there's psychological safety, where people can first, you know, point out problems and then b, go try things. And, and, and one of you touched on already, sometimes we're gonna try countermeasures projects, improvements that don't work out the way we expected. And if that gets punished, you know, people will stop, stop participating.

Mark Graban (17m 49s):
It's understandable.

Dominic Stokes (17m 51s):

Mark Graban (17m 53s):
Absolutely. Yeah. All right. Well, so, so Don maybe let, let's bring it back to your origin story. I mean, I think this is a fun open-ended question 'cause your story is different than Amanda's, which is different than mine, which is different than, than in than others. So what, what about yours?

Dominic Stokes (18m 8s):
Yeah, so I'm fresh outta college, majored in industrial engineering, went to the University of Pittsburgh and I started at my first Manufacturing company where it was a big, it was a big lift for me to find where I fit in, where I would fit in with the shop associates, with the engineering team, with the design team. and we were a company that was releasing a lot of new products fast. So I had to be able to speak well with all of the associates on the shop floor. And me coming in so young not knowing how to work any of the tools physically, like drills or wrenches or anything like that. And not knowing the industry, it was really difficult for me to gain trust.

Dominic Stokes (18m 51s):
So while I was at that company, I had three different directors and I say they all fit on the spectrum of I like Lean and I don't like Lean very well. Like one on the one end, another one on the other end, the other guy right in the middle. And it was whenever we switched from our first director to our second director that I saw such a change in the overall attitude of the associates because he was the person that introduced Lean to the whole organization. It may have lived a little bit within the engineering team, But. he took it straight to the floor, put on the jeans, drove the, the Roadhouse car to work just in case anybody got mad and wanted to slash his tires and just got right out on the floor and said, show me how you do it.

Dominic Stokes (19m 36s):
And then went to the next person, show me how you do this. And it was never one specific thing that he had implemented or he had encouraged us to implement. It was just this general wave of a better feeling of being at work. And I physically saw it because I was able to gain the trust of the same people that were so work hardened and ready to work against me. As soon as we brought in those methodologies, identifying wastes five Ss, it was an easier way for me to communicate with them every single day on the work that they did, rather than going out with this preconceived task of I need to find this time so I can put it into a system. This was more show me how you work. So I was actually encouraged to wear the same clothes as everybody else and go out and build product and I learned how to work the tools.

Dominic Stokes (20m 23s):
I sat next to the same people that did the job longer than I had been alive at that point. And I learned so much. So I think that I've been chasing that feeling ever since I saw it for the first time. And to double down on that, that director ended up taking us back to his original location where he was able to learn lead his old company. And I had seen, I saw ways of Manufacturing there that were, were so simple, their Andon lights were velcroed yet red, yellow, and green stripes that just stuck above their organizations. They used like fence gating on the back to hold their bins. Like nothing was like top of the line.

Dominic Stokes (21m 3s):
But I saw rabbit chase assemblies where there were three people in the line and if somebody in the center had to back wasn't going fast enough, they backed up. And the person behind that person in the center moved forward. It was just the coolest thing to me. And I just kept saying like, what a great environment for people to work in. So that's what really sparked off the interest in Lean and I've just been trying to practice it ever since. Yeah. And every time I learned a new thing or a new tool, I really didn't wanna focus too much on the tool, but it was really hard for me to separate seeing a tool in the industry and then also seeing that same type of tool in what we do every single day. So when I see Kanban shelves, I'm thinking about gonna the grocery store, right?

Dominic Stokes (21m 48s):
If I'm seeing five s I'm thinking about how I'll try to make my bed every day, or the organization of where my toothbrush is and all of those things. Getting things closer to where you have to grab it from. So I think that that whole feeling is what I've been chasing ever since. And I've just been trying to do that every single place that I've ever worked and every organization that I'm in outside of work ever since.

Mark Graban (22m 12s):
Yeah, it's, it's interesting that you mention seeing Kanban thinking of the grocery store. I mean, that that's, you, you probably know part of the history of, of to Pig Wiggly coming to the US Piggly Wiggly. Exactly. And that's just kind of fun to say. I've never shopped at a Piggly Wiggly. I've driven past a Piggly Wiggly. But, but yeah, I mean there, there are concepts and I think we'll have a chance to dig into this more with some pretty universal applicability. I mean, I have things at home like toilet paper and paper towel. I don't ever want to be in trouble for running out. And so like, you know, there's kind of like the, the, the, the Costco sized Kanban bin.

Mark Graban (22m 55s):
I don't have Kanban cards, I don't have a tape outline, but it works. There's a tube in Kon system when one of those 24 packs is empty, I don't need to drop everything and run to the store. Just like, we wouldn't want someone in the factory or in an operating room to have to drop everything and go run like the next time we go, it's on the list and it gets replaced, pick it up. You know, we, we can, we can do simple things like that at, at home to make our, it's, it's kind of self-motivated the way I I think it can be in Manufacturing. I, I was curious, you know, If, you can share a little bit more on motivation, like either to you applying Lean at home or, or tapping into people's motivation where they want to do their work better.

Dominic Stokes (23m 37s):
Yeah, the, so work so that they see that they can get through a day without being as mentally bogged down because they're not searching for tools or using the wrong tool and then having to do rework. I remember seeing somebody specifically in one of the departments, so taken over by all of the tools that we learned that he had like elected to be the guy that took on this new ultrasonic wire cutter stripper machine. It was a new technology and he kind of like stepped up to the plate. And I actually think, and I saw this on Facebook recently, I actually actually think he's the supervisor of that department now.

Dominic Stokes (24m 22s):
Like a department that was a piece of an, a piece of another department. Now this person could possibly be the supervisor of that department because of how much interest they took from seeing how much better their work could get every day with me in the home. And Amanda, I know you're thinking of what I'm about to bring up. I really like to do it with laundry because I have damaged my wife's clothes way too many times or have been like walking in Home Depot and a sock falls out of my hoodie because There's too many things that just are being washed and dried together. So I've had like three or four iterations of how I store my laundry, do my laundry, and I think I found a pretty good groove so far.

Dominic Stokes (25m 6s):
But it's just, it's fun to know that you can improve on little things that end up creating extra time for you to focus on the things that you really wanna focus on throughout the day. It's a, it's a value that I think you can't even put money on sometimes. Being able to earn that time back. Yeah.

Mark Graban (25m 25s):
So I'm, and to

Amanda Zimmerman (25m 26s):
Your 0.0

Mark Graban (25m 27s):
No, go, go go ahead Amanda.

Amanda Zimmerman (25m 29s):
I was just gonna say, and to your point earlier, Dominic, it doesn't have to be expensive, right? Correct.

Dominic Stokes (25m 35s):
It doesn't, that was actually a really big point for me. 'cause I thought going back to a facility that this guy who taught me everything that I knew about this great feeling of continuous improvement and respect for people, I was thinking the floors were gonna be spotless and there were some really nice technology technological things, but it was simple where it needed to be simple. It was a, a really, really big like revelation to say like, use what you have to make your space better now, then decide If you need something new and shiny. So good thing you brought that back up, Amanda.

Mark Graban (26m 7s):
Yeah, I, I I was gonna ask a follow-up question about laundry. Is this a, a small batch strategy, even if the washing machine machine is not a smaller batch washer? Correct.

Dominic Stokes (26m 20s):
It's, it's, I was trying to eliminate the time spent folding and sorting through things that would get nested together in the, in the dryer. So yeah, I switched to small batches. It's, it's a big five ss effort and I know that I can spend the least amount of time folding and putting it away, which was always the thing that would just last until the next day. Yeah. Have a laundry basket sitting behind my couch for a couple days that had some folded items in it. Maybe I didn't, they were all folded and I just didn't feel like putting them away yet. So yeah, smaller batches, quicker turnaround that, that was the goal.

Mark Graban (26m 56s):
So as an industrial engineer, we, we won't get too deep into this, but we leave it even for the audience to think through like these different trade-offs of your labor time, your frustration, however you would quantify or characterize that versus let's say energy cost of running a cycle, soap detergent cost. I mean, I think of like, you know, dishwashers, you know, it's said that, you know, modern dishwasher is still really efficient. You don't necessarily have to wait until there's a full load that even running a partial load is more efficient water wise than hand washing a small set of dishes in the sink.

Mark Graban (27m 40s):
I mean, there's, there's more energy use, but when we think about these trade-offs though, it's interesting to think through how, how you're, you've decided how to optimize things for you. It seems

Dominic Stokes (27m 49s):
I think that right now that pro the problem of damaging clothes just became a bigger issue and the energy costs at the moment, that doesn't mean, and this is why I love continuous improvement Yeah. That in the future we don't reoptimize and reorganize this to actually be more energy efficient and find a way to just like, identify the clothing that doesn't need to go into the dryer. So it doesn't get accidentally put there. But yeah, that's a, it can change. But the big screaming problem was I was ruining very expensive clothing.

Mark Graban (28m 22s):
There was a, a financial cost and emotional cost to that. I bet. Yes,

Dominic Stokes (28m 29s):
Yes, yes.

Mark Graban (28m 30s):
Yeah. I was also gonna ask, you know, thinking back to that first company that you were at Dom, you know, I'm thinking back to my first company coming outta College General Motors, you know, there was certainly a mix. There were more people who were probably in the middle or anti Lean for different reasons. You know, it just flies in the face of what they've been used to doing for 30 years. And, and I'm mainly thinking about leaders, not frontline employees being resistant. Did you, do you recall talking with, or do you have a sense of the people, the three, the, the, of the three, the two you described as being in the middle, or let's just say anti Lean, was it just unfamiliarity didn't believe in it?

Mark Graban (29m 13s):
Do you know what was involved there?

Dominic Stokes (29m 15s):
I think that it was, they were, they were definitely familiar. All three were definitely familiar. I think that it was only one of the three had the opportunity to get their hands on this experience as much as that person did. Hmm. Like this director came to us with over 200 kaizens that he had run under his belt. It was the, it was ingrained into the d a of the company that he came from. And that is where I think that I've been so inspired to really practice as much as possible and gain that firsthand experience. So everybody know, everybody knew what it was. I just don't think they really understood the value of how far it could reach because they didn't have the chance, maybe in their experiences, in their careers to practice it as much as this person did.

Dominic Stokes (30m 2s):

Mark Graban (30m 3s):
That, that was exactly the situation at my GM plant. You know, the, I've told this story on the podcast many times, I think, but the second plant manager I worked under was one of the original GM people who was sent to the Newie plant to learn from Toyota. And I remember asking him years after I had left gm, like, why the number two in the plant just wasn't aligned or wasn't on board with this Lean direction. And he said basically what you did, like he didn't have the opportunity to have the experiences that I had to see firsthand. But we, you know, for you and then maybe, you know, Amanda, we can turn it back to you also. What from your first exposure, I mean, you know, first Dom, like, was it more of kind of an intellectual acceptance that, okay, well this, this is a better way now let, let's go do it, and gain experience compared to somebody who had been through all of those events or, or circumstances?

Dominic Stokes (30m 59s):
Yeah, I think I was just more struck by how fast it reached everybody. There was a, there was a special assembly line. This is, this is the turning point I think that I had that made me realize that this sparked an interest in everybody's minds. There was an assembly line that was very rigid. It didn't allow you to build bigger products or smaller products on it. It only, and it was like a cart and elevator system that moved to certain stations. So you can only build products that fit on it a certain way. And one of the tasks was for us to push that out of the building, like, and throw it away into one of the dumpsters because we wanted more space to be able to build multi-model products.

Dominic Stokes (31m 42s):
And it took like 20 people to push it outta the building and they just left it all intact and just slid it out. It was like the biggest uproar of a, of, so I don't think that it's, I think that it's an intellect, that intellectual aspect of me seeing like, wow, this really gets people motivated and has everybody work together. That's all that I needed. It has been fun to learn about, like deeper meaning things maybe like what the Kanban equation is based off of. If we wanna get into like nerdy things like that. It's fun to pay respect and understand where that comes from. But you can just start with the tube in system and tweak it from there.

Dominic Stokes (32m 22s):
If, you really wanna get it in the hands of the people fast.

Mark Graban (32m 25s):
Yeah. Amanda, any thoughts there about even your journey or what you see with others of like, you know, belief versus evidence or hand in hand?

Amanda Zimmerman (32m 36s):
Yeah, I have to say, you know, for me on, on my experience where I had kind of that breakthrough moment was because when people came to me with tasks or things they needed done, I kept being very, maybe too much so very focused on why, why do you need this? And what are those deadlines? What is the demand behind that? And you know, with some tasks that you get handed to as an admin, they're often not connected with anything deeper. And so, you know, in asking those questions or having some of those challenges, I think I felt like, am I doing the right thing?

Amanda Zimmerman (33m 21s):
Right. Am am I, am I saying no to things that I should be saying yes to? And then I found, what is it? Oh, I guess it was Lean six Sigma for Dummies was probably the first book that I purchased. And I found out there's words for those things and that there's, there's, you know, information behind that that I could learn from. And so that's the first time that I went, okay, demand is a thing. Aligning our tasks to demand, that's a thing. It's not just in my head, there's words for it. And so that for me, you know, I was already on board, I was already using the tools, I just didn't know these fancy names for 'em.

Amanda Zimmerman (34m 1s):
And so, you know, I think it's just part of who I am as a person that I was on board and interested. And I think it's that enthusiasm that helps me break through to some of these people like you're talking about that maybe don't have that experience or confidence that things can change. And so I think I kind of have that blind passion or enthusiasm to go in there and be like, cool, that's fine, but we're still gonna take these steps forward. And there still is opportunity there. Yeah.

Mark Graban (34m 36s):
Yeah. And I, and I think we probably all had the benefit of learning about these things when we were young and we had not yet gotten into Yeah, that's true. The cycles of, you know, people who had seen all these programs of the month, the program of the ear, that, that, that disappointment that maybe turns the cynicism of leaders saying, okay, here's this, here's this program, here's this thing, and then it doesn't stick. It doesn't really lead to anything. And then, you know, again, it's understandable why people might then shrug their shoulders or roll their eyes when they hear about something new. Even when then yeah, we, we've got experience and evidence and we wanna say, Hey, we know this can work. They might not want to even let you prove it, you know?

Mark Graban (35m 17s):
Oh, yeah, yeah. Until even show it's different this time. Oh, yeah,

Amanda Zimmerman (35m 21s):
Yeah. Coming from oil and gas, everybody was really excited Yeah. For a, you know, 27 year old woman to step out into their site and tell them about continuous improvement. Yeah. Or do a time in motion study. Right. You know, I guess in my career I've had some extreme examples maybe of people that were not on board that you still had to interact with and do projects with. So it's, it, it's, I think part of the journey that we don't always teach people is being comfortable in that uncomfortable space and understanding people are not gonna be excited sometimes.

Dominic Stokes (35m 56s):

Mark Graban (35m 58s):
Well, so one thing I was excited about, back to why I had reached out to the both of you on, on LinkedIn, like the, to me this is the best of LinkedIn is when you know somebody, you, you get exposed to somebody, or in this case, the two of you who I, I didn't, I didn't know, it's probably because somebody I know may have commented or liked a video that you did a conversation between the two of you that you called Squishy Lean. And I enjoyed that discussion and the term kind of caught my eye. I mentioned earlier the podcast that, that, that, that video was, was was that basically a, a prototype of, of what is now becoming a podcast?

Amanda Zimmerman (36m 37s):
Yeah, we did, we decided to not worry too much and kind of experiment with this squishy Lean space So, we did a few videos when we could connect to see, hey, how do we vibe? What are some of the topics we could talk about, about is there value here? And after a few of those we felt like, Hey, we really like where this is going. Let's, let's make this into something more.

Dominic Stokes (37m 4s):
Yeah, that's exactly it. And those first couple videos that we made, it was, that whole process was so much fun, much fun just getting into a space because Amanda and I had met in another like Lean organization called Lean Important, and we had good discussions there. And then Amanda had contacted me and said, we have great discussions there, let's try to have our own discussions and kind of see where that goes. So yeah, call it a prototype.

Mark Graban (37m 32s):
Yeah. But I mean that, that's what we do, I think with, with Lean is, is have this, you have the freedom to run a small test of change to run the experiment. Rich Sheridan, the c e o from Menlo Innovation loves to say run the experiment. You know, if, if in doubt, you know, if there's no harm that's gonna come from it, run the experiment. So what, what, what I hear you saying was doing a couple videos was kind of no pressure of like If, you decided not to keep going. Well, you put out a couple videos, that's not a failure. Yeah. You, you, but tell, tell me more about how you evaluated some of that thought process of like you, well clearly you figured out you could do the videos, it seemed like you were enjoying them. What was some of the thought process for evaluating that experiment and deciding to say, okay, this is gonna be a podcast?

Amanda Zimmerman (38m 19s):
Yeah, let Dominic answer that. I

Dominic Stokes (38m 21s):
Think, yeah, I think that once we got past the mechanic aspect of being in two completely different time zones, are there times that we can meet, check that box? Yes. We found that then it was, are there topics that we think that we both feel comfortable looking to that I think we kind of danced around as we went through the videos until we decided on what kind of audience we were trying to reach for. And that's where I think Squishy Lean, the name of that speaks more to the audience that we're kind of trying to reach out to. We understand that there's tools and resources for people that are in the roles now, but if there's anybody else that's outside of that or wanting to get into practicing Lean and continuous improvement in Six Sigma, we want this to be a launchpad for them in that sense.

Dominic Stokes (39m 10s):
So yes, then once we found that checkbox and we said, yeah, we have the audience, we have the name, then it was more how structured can we get? and we came up with a pretty good structure, did a SWOT analysis to see what we wanted to do with our podcast, and then basically mapped out a couple the next year, basically, of topics that we could talk about, how that was gonna be broken up and then assigned some roles. So I think that it was a pretty natural progression and once two or three of those boxes were checked in the beginning, I think it was a, a very clear indication that we were ready to go. Anything else that I missed Amanda on that?

Dominic Stokes (39m 51s):

Amanda Zimmerman (39m 51s):
I, I, I think, I think what you may have missed actually, I said no, but I think what you may have missed is that, you know, I tend to be someone that if I wanna know more information, one of the places I go first is YouTube and I look at the videos there or I just listen to it before I'm gonna teach it to hear how others explained it. So even though I'm listening to it, probably the podcast is a better option for that, but I tend to go towards those videos whereas Dominic comes in and he's, he's on top of the podcast game. So I think some of it's also that Dominic is quite passionate about podcasts. So I think some of that passion kind of rubbed off on me that let's try it, let's, let's go to that audience because essentially it's, it's what we're doing already.

Amanda Zimmerman (40m 39s):
And what I really kind of liked about the podcast idea is it forces us to describe things I think in more detail because people are not seeing that visual, visual. So I think it also forces us to take a step back and look at things a little bit differently as we're describing them, which I think is a really, a really good challenge when we're looking out to people who are new to these tools.

Dominic Stokes (41m 6s):
Yeah, it sharpens our communication 100%.

Mark Graban (41m 10s):
Yeah. So, so tell me more about where the word squishy came from and, and, and why that became kind of the driving word in the title Squishy Lean.

Amanda Zimmerman (41m 22s):
Yeah, so this is a word that I've used quite a bit over the last few years. I did a just-in-Time cafe last year, I think where I talked a little bit more about the ways that we kind of isolate people away from continuous improvement. We, we bring them in and then sometimes we sour them to it or we make it too hard or we make it very complicated, right? We use words they're not familiar with or tell them that they're doing it wrong. And I just feel like there is a space there to be squishy, to be, you know, less about those hard corners and doing it perfect and being more comfortable and just trying it out. And so I think, you know, I use that word squishy a lot and I think Dominic liked that, that interpretation, that approach to those tools because I don't think, one of the reasons I reached out to Dominic was because we have very different backgrounds, we have different skills.

Amanda Zimmerman (42m 19s):
I don't know it all. I'm happy to not know it all. There's no way that I can, none of us can, but I, I can reach out to other people that do. And so I think Dominic gives a nice perspective for things that I wouldn't have that visibility of. I come from mostly non-manufacturing backgrounds, whereas you come from Manufacturing. And so I think getting those two perspectives together, you know, when I heard Dom speaking, it was obvious to me that he also was in that squishy space that we didn't have to, to be that traditional continuous improvement professional. And so I thought it was super interesting to see his perspectives from a completely different background and see where we connect and where we might not agree and you know, so it it just came together nicely I think with those two different perspectives.

Dominic Stokes (43m 13s):
Yeah, you hit that right on the head, Amanda. That is how I interpreted squishy.

Amanda Zimmerman (43m 18s):
Yeah. Mm,

Dominic Stokes (43m 19s):
Exactly right.

Mark Graban (43m 21s):
So like to to, to me that word and what you're saying kind of implies this, and tell me if I'm hearing it right or if, if I'm in the ballpark, like squishy means not being overly rigid about rules. Like for example, like people will throw out a rule like, oh yeah, you should always start with five. Sss I don't like always or never statements. A lot of this is very situational. It may very well be that these people who say always start with five Ss found great success in doing that, or they were taught to do that and they had good experience, but we could be squishy around that.

Mark Graban (44m 2s):
Or somebody saying a kaizen event always needs to be five days. Like, well that seems to not be so rigidly true. We could be sort of squishy, but we're not getting to a point where like anything goes, there are no principles we can call anything Lean. I'm sure you're not going there and your face Amanda confirms No, and you're both nodding. So yeah, and I'm not accusing

Amanda Zimmerman (44m 23s):
That. No, definitely not.

Mark Graban (44m 23s):
But just saying tell, tell us more about maybe it doesn't get too special, If you will.

Amanda Zimmerman (44m 28s):
Yeah, so I, I definitely is fully on board with what you first said. One of those examples from my career is the o e e calculation. When you're not working in Manufacturing, it doesn't always make sense. So you have to adapt the tool to the industry you're working in. But the people that I was working with but were, you know, 20 or 30 year career Lean, six Sigma people said, no, this is how you do it, this is how you calculate it. There is no other way. So yes, it's definitely about not, not not being too rigid with those rules, but at the same time there are, there, there is guidance there that you should use and that you should leverage.

Amanda Zimmerman (45m 16s):
To me it is more important that you experiment with these tools than you do them perfectly. I don't know, I haven't thought so much though about how do we make it not too squishy Because I think the people that are would be listening to the podcast are not people that are going to throw off all the rules because then why would they, why would they care about learning more about these topics? And I don't know. Dominic, what do you think?

Dominic Stokes (45m 46s):
That's a, that was a good point, Amanda. I think that whenever we start to feel the, the, the squishy part for me is whenever you introduce a tool or you introduce a methodology, it doesn't have to a hundred percent say the use the same words. So if there's a simpler way for me to say five Ss or if five Ss is good enough or the eight wastes, then I'll just say the simpler version of those things to get people to come along. So the squishy part for me is a personification of that on-ramp to the point where you're ready to hear about the real words, ready to hear about the real history and then it's like, yeah, because I felt comfortable in this safe space to learn. So I'd hope that there would be people that would call flags on us if they're like, you did the five sss out of order, or where's, how did you add a ninth waste into your last podcast?

Dominic Stokes (46m 35s):
Like, why was that legitimate? We, I'd want people to call us out on that, but we don't have any intentions of of doing that either.

Amanda Zimmerman (46m 43s):
You're testing my limits there. A ninth waist. Woo.

Mark Graban (46m 46s):
Well, I I was gonna say that well being, being overly rigid is the 14th waist, but I've just invented than no, But I I I love what you said Amanda of, to paraphrase it back, it's more important to go and experiment and all and and to, to try things and to learn and go through P D s a cycles than it is to go do it perfectly. And and I think that's a great point and that seems to be one of the themes of what you're going for with the podcast of, you know, how can we make it less intimidating or easier for people in different settings to get started. So I was, I was wondering If you could, you know, tell us a little bit more about the audience profile that you've identified and, and, and, and how you think we not, you know, the two of you as podcasters or how all of us what advice you would have about how to make it easier for people to get started.

Amanda Zimmerman (47m 41s):
So I'm gonna answer something that you didn't quite ask there and then I'm gonna let Dominic answer those questions. So one of the things that we get over and over again, 'cause I'm still super passionate about dmaic, I love dmaic, but how do you know if you're doing it right? And to me it's If you have sustainable benefit, right? And, and, and when people ask me do, am I doing it right? Did I do define right? Did you get a common understanding of the process and the problem and define yes, you did it right? Yeah. Did you sustain benefit? Yes, you did it right, right. So like, yeah, that was the beginning of what you said there. So, but I'll let Dominic answer some of those additional questions.

Dominic Stokes (48m 23s):
Thanks Amanda. Mark, can you state that

Mark Graban (48m 27s):
I, I have a bad habit of sometimes combining a couple of questions together. You're okay. One, so, you know what, what, tell us more about the audience profile that you've identified and for them or for anybody. What, what are your thoughts on making it easier for them to get started with continuous?

Dominic Stokes (48m 44s):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So the, the audience profile is, like we said a little bit earlier, people that are looking to get started, maybe they're working in a, in a company and they wanna move into a more Lean space, similar to Amanda. She started off as a tea, as a teacher and maybe there's somebody that's coming up that just started in a job and they're looking for opportunities to get their first quick win, just like I did as an industrial engineer in a Manufacturing setting. We wanna give them that lens so that they can see the things that they look at, look at every day in a different way because we're using common language and we're talking about things in a very casual way.

Dominic Stokes (49m 26s):
So if they're on their way to work and they're listening to our podcast about process mapping and they're like, Hey, I can make a process map as soon as I get to work. You can do that. Whether you're a teacher or an industrial engineer or somebody else that works behind the counter at a gas station, anybody can do that. So, we wanna try to build that common casual language to encourage accessibility and just the ability to try something and try to take it further than just the words of the podcast. Just kind of pose challenges for people so that they can try that. And then they're excited to listen to the next episode to build on the skills that they learned the last time.

Amanda Zimmerman (50m 7s):
And I had someone a few months ago that had reached out about wanting to move into continuous improvement as a career and he had been a CrossFit trainer for seven years and he said, I, I don't have any experience. And I went, you have, yes, you do ton of experience, you've been helping people change, take on change. It's really hard. Identify maybe what those gaps are in their body to be able to find those solutions that help them and transform their lives. Like to say that you don't have that experience or to reframe that for a person so that they understand that actually they've been using these tools, even if it's not the traditional application is, is exciting.

Amanda Zimmerman (50m 50s):
It's powerful. And I mean, I guess at the end of the day, we wanna enable those people that are new to be able to run with these things, to experiment with these things.

Mark Graban (50m 60s):
Yeah. Well it's funny you mentioned a trainer, I'll, I'll put a link to it in the show notes. I wrote a Blog post, I think this was back in 2016. I started working with a, a personal trainer and I wrote a Blog post about what I learned from him and how that connected to Lean and continuous improvement. It's not that I had never exercised before, but there were things that I was learning that were new. There were some bad habits that he was trying to coach me out of. And I, I think there's this theme that, that's related to what we're talking about here, of not making me feel bad about my Mistakes. That the focus was on learning and improvement instead of, you know, punishing me in some way.

Mark Graban (51m 44s):
And that that's near and dear to me. Yeah. With, with my book The Mistakes that make us, sorry for the shoehorning that in, but what, what are your thoughts of, you know, kind of as, as as we make it easier for people to get started reducing that, that that fear factor of I'm gonna do it wrong, I'm gonna get in trouble, I'm gonna get embarrassed, I'm gonna be punished.

Dominic Stokes (52m 7s):
Reducing that I think is, is really important because then it would turn continuous improvement and feeling that you need to be certified in it into a prerequisite. Like everybody just knows how to do it. It'd be great if whenever I approach somebody in the job that I have now and I talk about how I'm gonna make a process map for their exact process they do every single day. If this isn't the first time that they've heard about that type of process mapping or if I offer an idea for an improvement, it's not the first time they heard about reducing waste, it'd be great if that was more of a universal language and we could leverage some of the tools that we have today to spread that message a little bit more.

Amanda Zimmerman (52m 49s):
I think two people start to, to when they don't have maybe a job that's a continuous improvement job, they, they struggle to say, how can I use these tools? But you don't have to call it what we've, what we have in the book, have your team get together and do a workshop with your team and maybe you're using these tools. You know, so I I I think it's also giving them the confidence that they can take those steps, you know, just kind of enabling that and saying that it is okay to do that. It's not outside of, of what, what's required.

Amanda Zimmerman (53m 29s):
Right. Like you said, mark, you're not doing anything wrong. Right.

Dominic Stokes (53m 34s):
And Amanda, I just wanted to kind of comment off of that one thing. That's why I think the podcast is gonna be such a, a good way to reach the masses because I can name multiple times where I've heard something on a podcast, immediately tried it the next day and then that became a major point of my routine. And I told you this, mark in our pre-call, that two foot rule, that one of the very first people that were on your minus biggest Mistakes podcast, I've implemented that and it's awesome. There's days where I don't wanna say hi to somebody that's two feet from me and I still do. And I think that it's really put me into a better position when I speak with people at different facilities, higher ups, people on the shop floor, everybody.

Dominic Stokes (54m 17s):
So if I've done it, I'm sure that other people are gonna wanna do it too if they hear about it through our podcast. Yeah,

Mark Graban (54m 26s):
Squishy Lean. It's kind of fun to say once we used to say squishy. Squishy Lean. One. One other topic before we wrap up here. You know, Dom, you mentioned earlier it sounded like you know, you know, like most people, you're introduced to Lean practices in the workplace. You end up doing some of these things at home. But I know you've got a passion for maybe even trying to flip that of exposing people to Lean concepts at home, maybe even as children, as a way of equipping them for the workplace. Tell, tell us, tell us more about that.

Dominic Stokes (54m 57s):
So nothing's set in stone yet, but I can definitely think back to times that I was younger with ways that certain things were done. Like even the organization of my refrigerator that helped me do things at a better pace, at better quality. I was able to really help out around the house because of some of the Lean practices that were implemented that I didn't know were Lean practices, let's put it that way. And I think that that gave me confidence as a younger kid to step up and be a leader in other situations, school, sports, other things. And I think that everybody has that same home base with opportunities that they can find to start to gain confidence and practice and show how they can contribute more whenever they're working with a team.

Dominic Stokes (55m 45s):
So I think that there's opportunities within families to share work, identify areas where people can help or stop doing things that are non-value added and gain that confidence to then take out into their other endeavors. I also think there's an opportunity for people to earn scholarship money in a sense, off of finding and identifying wastes and eliminating wastes. And that might be something else that pops up later. But I really think it goes back to the confidence I gained from helping out around the house just as a kid.

Mark Graban (56m 16s):
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we've got this opportunity now since Lean is no longer so new, we're a couple generations in as, as a, a adults are. Yeah. Now with the opportunity to, to help, you know, shape what their kids are doing. And I, it's always fun to see examples of, of people engaging their kids in improvement at home. I've seen examples, Joe Schwartz and I, in the last chapter of our book, healthcare, Kaizen intentionally did a chapter of, you know, how his health system encouraged people to document kaizen improvements they had done at home. And, and they didn't mean Kaizen events, but, you know, people come in with pictures of like, the kids, you know, the problem statement was, kids aren't getting out the door to school on time.

Mark Graban (57m 3s):
So, we organized the, the boots and the lunchbox and the thing, and like these, these process improvements that don't have to have an r o i, it's making your life run more smoothly. I just, I I love seeing examples like that. And I'm sure, you know, hopefully the kids feel better about it too, that they're not being forced. It's not like being forced to go clean your room.

Dominic Stokes (57m 22s):
Yeah. Yeah. It's something that should be fun for them. And you'll see that in the sustainability piece. How well does it really keep up? And how well did you sell that idea? But yeah, I'm right there with you.

Mark Graban (57m 34s):
Oh, it, it'll, it'll be good to see how this all evolves. And, you know, Amanda, I'm curious before we wrap up, if you've got thoughts or stories around that as well.

Amanda Zimmerman (57m 46s):
I mean, it's definitely something that I'm very passionate about, but I think my perspectives may be a little bit different because the last 10 years I've been traveling, so while for me at home was my suitcase, so, so I definitely agree. You know, there were tons of things of, when I get into a hotel room, these are the things that I do. This is how I unpack my suitcase. This is where everything goes. These are the things that need to be organized. These are the things that just need to be stuffed in. I do have a lot of passion about making it as easy as possible to manage our home life so that we can spend as much time as possible doing what we love.

Amanda Zimmerman (58m 28s):
But Mark, you mentioned that r o i, the r o I doesn't have to be dollars. Right? So like whatever goal you're going after, which maybe it's getting kids out of the door with as little frustration or getting them out on time, the return on investment is they get out the door on time, you have less stress about it. Right. Like, I, I think too, you know, it doesn't all have to be dollars. Yes,

Mark Graban (58m 53s):
I agree. And as a traveler who has no kids, the suitcase and the travel routines, that's an app, that's an application for standardized work in Kaizen for sure.

Dominic Stokes (59m 5s):

Mark Graban (59m 6s):
And learning from our suitcase packing Mistakes.

Amanda Zimmerman (59m 11s):

Mark Graban (59m 12s):
Well, again, we've been joined today by Dominic Stokes and Amanda Zimmerman. Squishy Lean is what you should go search for. Wherever you are listening to this podcast, we'll put links in the show notes. So congratulations on the launch. And boy, I know it's great to hear that you've got a plan. Too many podcasts do sort of fizzle out and it sounds like you're, you're gonna stick with it and not, not fizzle out. So I'm excited to, to be able to keep listening and, and hear what you have to say and encourage others to do the same.

Amanda and Dominic (59m 44s):
Awesome. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Mark Graban (59m 47s):
So this has been a lot of fun. Thanks. Thanks to thanks to you both. Well again, thanks so much to Amanda and Dominic for joining us here today. For links to their podcast, more information about them, look in the show notes. Or you can go to Leanblog.Org/483.

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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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