lean

Define Lean by Behaviors, Part 2: Behaviors are greater than tools  

04.19.2017

In Part 1: The evolution of lean, we explored how our insight into lean has evolved. In this part, we explore why behaviors are so important to lean. The most important aspect of lean evolution has been the acknowledgement of the role of behaviors as central to a lean organization. I don’t just say this […]

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The relationship between trust and lean

04.07.2015

Lean doesn’t happen just because you want it to. There are enablers that make it possible. Trust is one of those enables. In this brief conversation between Andy Carlino and myself, we explore the relationship between lean and trust.  

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What do you consider the most challenging unsolved problems today for the lean community?

03.03.2015

Over 20 years ago, the biggest challenge was just getting buy-in to even try lean. And as we’ve continued to learn together, we’ve tackled lean culture / behaviors, leadership engagement, business strategy, and much, much more. What’s left? What are the largely unsolved problems that lean needs the best minds to engage?  

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A new lean podcast, Lean Leadership by Chris Burnham

03.01.2015

I encourage lean learners to have multiple sources of learning. Podcasts are a very useful part of the learning portfolio. I have contributed to several podcasts, particularly one of the originals, Mark Graban’s podcasts, and more recently, Gemba Academy’s podcasts. For Mark, I am numbers 5, 6, 10, 64. Mark’s now up to #217 (hey […]

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Superstorm Sandy relief, lean, and Toyota

07.07.2013

This video is great in many ways. First, it’s a great demonstration of how simple lean can be. While it doesn’t capture all of the essence or the experience behind some of the simple improvements, it does show how simple the improvements can be. Second, it demonstrates that when lean is combined with a compelling […]

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How generational changes affect lean transformation

02.06.2012

There are many environmental factors that affect the lean community and their work towards lean transformation. Some of these factors are positive and some are negative. Bad lean implementations hurts the reputation of lean. The weak economy shook out some of the bad implementation, and refocused many of the good ones. The changing generation of […]

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Lean is about waste elimination, or is it?

12.21.2011

Review any company’s slide decks on lean and you’ll likely find a definition for lean. They’re all a little different, but almost all of them center around one common theme: the elimination of waste. So, at least by consensus, this is the definition of lean: the elimination of waste. Of course some are more traditionalist […]

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What Does “Lean” Mean to You? [Guest Post]

09.26.2011

Guest Post: Keith Poirier has over 17 years industry experience with a focus on lean/business process improvement.  He currently manages an EHS Team for a global design and manufacturing company, and also instructs an Operations Management MBA course. What is lean?  What does it mean to you?  Does it mean the same thing to everyone? I’ve […]

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Leaning-out “dead wood” in a subcontractor-based business [Guest Post]

05.23.2011

Guest Post: Kurt Woolley is Lean Champion within Intel’s Fab/Sort Manufacturing (FSM) organization, and founder of Atmos Industries. See more on his LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kurt-woolley/3/941/575. Do lean methods apply within a subcontractor-based business? Oh yes! In my recent journeys, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a sub-contractor business – a millwork operation, making cabinets […]

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Who is responsible for quality?

04.18.2011

For the past two weeks, I’ve been writing about topics related to quality. This is the last topic of the series, and it’s focus is on the role of the quality organization. There is always a tension between the quality organization, regardless of its title, and the rest of the organization: who is responsible for […]

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