Last week, I wrote Part 1 of this piece about TQM and "Small Kaizen" at a Japanese Hospital pharmacy. The hospital was happy that employees were participating in their "Small Kaizen" process, but there was a month in which they saw the number of submitted Kaizens drop, from about 138 to 58 or so. As I write about in Measures of Success, two data points usually don't make a trend.
I'm overdue in writing more about my last trip to Japan a few months back. Today, I'll like to share some highlights from one organization we visited, Seki Chuo Hospital, which is located outside of Nagoya. I have visited this hospital in 2012 and 2014 and it's interesting to see how their approach to Total Quality Management (TQM), Lean, and Kaizen has progressed and evolved. I mentioned them in a 2014 post about "quality circles."
My guest for Episode #302 is Katie Anderson. Today, we're chatting because I've just returned from a short trip to Japan and Katie's going back in May (and you can join her). We're sharing observations and reflections on topics ranging from standardized work to Kaizen. Would it be easier to "implement Lean" (or whatever term you'd use) if you're a Japanese organization? And what are some of the approaches you see with quality improvement and Lean in Japan's hospitals? Our conversation also meanders into topics like eating sushi and more.
Monday, I blogged about the sushi-making class I took on my last Sunday in Japan. Later that same Sunday, I did a walking food tour in the Shibuya area. Walking food tours are a great way to explore and learn about a city. In our small group, there was a couple from Australia and a retired couple from South Africa. Between stops on the tour, the South African gentleman, a retired mining company manager or executive, asked me why I was there in Japan for work.
Last week, I got back from my third trip to Japan and we visited three hospitals, Toyota, another manufacturer, and heard from a cafeteria services company leader about their Lean and continuous improvement journeys. As I've blogged about before, some of these organizations have been practicing TQM for 30 years and are adding elements of Lean methods on top of that foundation. I'm hardly an expert on Japan. I still feel like I view the country with fresh eyes. Standards and Standardized Work... at Work During this trip, I heard a number of people talk about the cultural imperative about following rules and laws. In the workplace, we might call these rules "standardized work"...
Konnichiwa from Japan! I am having a great time with my friends from Kaizen Institute and our tour attendees. I wrote a post on Monday, but I never expect to be able to write much while here because it's very busy and I also want to reflect a bit before writing. In this post, I share two articles I wrote recently and some other tidbits...
It's Monday morning in Nagoya, Japan as I write this. I'm still jet-lagged and up early, so here's a blog post after all... Sunday, I had the chance to visit the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology in Nagoya. There's so much that I can blog about...I'll write more posts about my museum visit in the future. In this post though, I share a little bit about some of the books that they sell - in English and Japanese...
As I prepare to go back to Japan, I'm sharing some insights about the Japanese health system from the excellent book "The Healing of America," by T.R. Reid.
Not all Japanese companies are the same. "Lean isn't easy" if you're a Japanese company. Toyota has created something special, since "Toyota culture" is not exactly the same as "Japanese culture." The WSJ says the "model is cracking." Do scandals involving quality and ethical lapses involving companies including those and Nissan tarnish Lean and the Toyota Production System? No. That's as silly as thinking the Wells Fargo banking scandal tarnishes Silicon Valley (although the Valley does enough to tarnish itself).
Again, there's still time to sign up for the next Lean and Kaizen study trip to Japan that I'm facilitating with Kaizen Institute, from February 26 to March 2, 2018. There's still room in the tour if you'd like to join us. In this post, I share some of my thoughts - answers to questions posed by Kaizen Institute. And, I share some thoughts from Risa Cox, from Kaizen Institute.
Come join me and Kaizen Institute in the last week of February as we lead a study trip to Japan. This will be my third trip to Japan and I'm very excited... we still have space in the group if you can join us.
Yesterday, I saw this headline from the Associated Press: "Tatsuro Toyoda, former head of Toyota, dies at 88" He passed away on December 30, 2017. I offer my condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. In this post, I share some of his history and some reflections from two Americans who worked with him directly.