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Kaizen or Continuous Improvement is a Rapid Improvement Event using Lean Six Sigma in a 3-5 day event
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Lean Training and Consulting

Lean Training and Consulting | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it

At Lean Training and Consulting (LeanTAC), we provide certified training for businesses and individuals the opportunity to learn in person at our on-site training sessions or through our self-paced, online environment. http://www.leantac.com

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PEXCast OPEX Summer 2017

PEXCast OPEX Summer 2017 | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it

Download this PEXCast featuring https://goo.gl/mxmCkJ Roy Higgs from K2 to find out:
• What tools businesses are using to implement viable BPM solutions
• How the industry is evolving with the advent of new technologies, including data analytics, automation and AI
• What are the key falls and pain points for most BPM users

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Kaizen Event Leads to 33% Reduction in Room Turnover Time at AMSURG - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Kaizen Event Leads to 33% Reduction in Room Turnover Time at AMSURG - GoLeanSixSigma.com | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
At AMSURG, David Mayer, a certified Kaizen facilitator led a two-day Kaizen event that consisted of AMSURG corporate, clinical and operational staff.By collabo...
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More Thoughts on the Next Japan Lean & Kaizen Study Trip –

More Thoughts on the Next Japan Lean & Kaizen Study Trip – | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
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. Learn more on my website about the trip or you can register through the Kaizen Institute site (please tell them I sent you – as a marketing partner, I do receive a commission for each attendee who learns about the trip through me). You can also use the contact form if you'd like to be added to the mailing list about future trips. Read my blog posts about past trips. In the trips, there's a lot of variety. Here's a photo outside of a large industrial factory that we visited in 2014: And here's a photo from inside a hospital that we visited: Thoughts from Risa Cox of Kaizen Institute Risa Cox is the Managing Director of Kaizen Institute Consulting Group, Ltd. Here are some of her thoughts about the trip, which she will be a part of: “I see the Insight Tours in Japan something that should not be expected as exposure or learning about the best practices or lean practices only. You can do these things anywhere and you don't have to go to Japan. The Insight Tours are for you to ‘FEEL' the real KAIZEN emotionally, so that you become real KAIZENer to be effective to make sustainable way of work that is fun, motivating, and lasting, which would achieve remarkable results. We are investing in the development of how to help organizations to be like Toyota on the fast track over the last three decades. Such learning can be so much more successful when the people FEEL Kaizen, and in my opinion, this tour is the only opportunity we can offer such deep learning. Emotional experience will stay with you forever, I'm looking forward to share such occasion with you!” Thoughts from Mark Graban: Last week, I shared an interview with Carsten Otto, a Senior Consultant with Kaizen Institute Consulting Group. He's the Lead Consultant for the tour. This time, Kaizen Institute had questions for me. You can download a PDF or read the Q&A below: Meet our Guest Facilitator for the KAIZEN™ Insight Healthcare Tour Feb 26 – March 2, 2018 Mark Graban, United States – Author, Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen Q         Please share how you got into healthcare consulting? A         After working for ten years in manufacturing, I was presented with the opportunity to join a consulting group that used to be a part of Johnson & Johnson. This team taught Lean and facilitated improvement projects in medical laboratories and hospitals. I wasn't trying to get away from manufacturing; this just seemed like a great learning opportunity and a way to make a difference. After more than twelve years, here I am, still in healthcare! Q         You have been on the Insight Tours before, please share your unforgettable moments and remarkable learnings? A         Yes, I participated in 2012 and 2014 and learned something new each time. In the first trip, my eyes were opened to the ways the Japanese national culture influences Toyota and Lean. Learning about the importance of harmony, seeing how what we might call “standardized work” or “kata” are followed so consistently when you buy something in a store, and the devotion to customer service that you see in hotels and restaurants remind me of core Lean principles. At the same time, we had many discussions about KAIZEN™ not necessarily being the norm in Japanese companies – that everybody is not Toyota. Toyota has to work hard to create a culture that helps them be successful – a workplace culture that is successful around the world, by the way. I've heard people around the world say, “Lean would be easy if we were in Japan.” But, I've seen and heard from leaders in Japan who explain that it's hard work to create a culture of Lean and KAIZEN™. I've also enjoyed the food, the cultural experiences, and the immersion into a different country's culture. And, each time, the Kaizen Institute staff have made Japan very easy to navigate so I can focus on learning. I've also enjoyed comparing notes and learning from the people who have traveled from many countries to participate. Our transit time and meals provide a great opportunity for discussions and sharing. Q         What is your advice to conduct Lean activities successfully when staff members are new to such concepts? A      I think it's important to help staff solve problems that matter to them and their patients. Avoid the temptation to teach a series of Lean tools and then ask people to go implement new tools. We should focus on making work easier for staff, which makes their work more satisfying and allows them to focus more on the patients. I always try to emphasize that Lean and KAIZEN™ does not mean we are turning the hospital into a factory; we're trying to help the hospital be the best hospital it can be. Q         What is your advice for the organization which has been on the lean journey for some time to do even better? A         I'm still surprised to see how many hospitals explain something to the effect of, “We've been implementing Lean for five years and now we're going to focus on KAIZEN™.” I believe strongly that it's not really Lean without KAIZEN™. I also encourage people to use the phrase “practicing Lean” instead of “implementing Lean,” because the word implement implies that you'll be finished at some point. The word practicing implies learning, trying new things, reflecting, and adjusting. I found it interesting that some Japanese hospitals have been traveling to the U.S. to see examples of Lean in healthcare – after those American hospitals first came to Japan. It's interesting to see how hospitals in both countries sometimes hesitate to learn from other industries. But I'm glad that the Kaizen Institute tours allow us to visit and learn from Toyota and companies in other industries and, in addition, to visit hospitals. There's something to learn from everyone; it's our job to translate or adapt our learning and inspiration back to our own workplace. Q         What kind of expectations should I have when I visit Japan? A         Come with an open mind and try to avoid pre-conceived notions, including what I've shared in this interview. Look, listen, learn and draw your own conclusions. You should expect to have some of your thinking challenged. You should also expect to have fun, to enjoy new food and new experiences, and to smile a lot. Lean and healthcare are very serious, but this visit combines studious learning and reflection with a fun spirit – which is the same impression I have of Japan… simultaneously serious and fun… crowded, yet orderly… busy, yet peaceful. I can't wait to experience it again and for you to join us.   Tour Details: Here is the plan for the week, Monday through Friday (click for a larger view):   And here is a PDF about the tour. Get more info and contact us to get registered. Please post a comment and join the discussion. Subscribe to get notified about posts daily or weekly.
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Key #Lean Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of January 15: Hawaii, Toyota, and More –

Key #Lean Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of January 15: Hawaii, Toyota, and More – | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
TWEETSBLOG Key #Lean Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of January 15: Hawaii, Toyota, and More By Mark Graban On Jan 20, 2018 Last updated Jan 26, 2018 Here's the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a (usually) weekly post that presents some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week, including pictures and other interesting stuff. You can follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation, but you don't need a Twitter account to view any of this. See the previous installments of Key Tweets. Monday's blog post today — The Response to the Hawaii False Alarm Can't End With Firing Someone – #Lean Blog https://t.co/jcfHCkIwYx — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 14, 2018 Maybe in the next version of this commercial, Dad gives his business owner daughter a mug that says “Coach” or “Servant Leader” instead of “Boss.” pic.twitter.com/PhicvDH9rX — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 15, 2018 Hawaii alert system with their improvements: MISSILES COMING. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. 2 minutes later: THAT WAS FALSE ALARM. IGNORE PREVIOUS MESSAGE. 13 minutes later: WAIT WAIT WE SENT THAT BY MISTAKE. MISSILES ACTUALLY COMING. NOW. SEEK SHELTER. (kaboom) — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 15, 2018 Anyone who thinks the Hawaii alert is a conspiracy because no computer interface would let that accident happen has obviously never used enterprise-quality software. — SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) January 14, 2018 In case you're curious what Hawaii's EAS/WEA interface looks like, I believe it's similar to this. Hypothesis: they test their EAS authorization codes at the beginning of each shift and selected the wrong option. pic.twitter.com/jxtgYFUMmd — Karl (@supersat) January 14, 2018 “Hopefully, this won’t happen again.” Hope is not a strategy. I’m not certain a “double check” is always effective. Why not have 3 people check then? Why not 4? Or 5? Is that even more effective in preventing an error? https://t.co/mLiZxkaRdf — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 15, 2018 "In fact, [Dr.] #Deming refuses to consult for companies that lack that commitment. ''If the president doesn't have time, neither do I,'' he says.” #Lean https://t.co/ul8SycWp6R — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 15, 2018 “'Satisfying' patients isn’t our primary focus; providing the best possible experience to ensure optimal clinical outcomes is much more important.” https://t.co/PIEi1QaArx — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 15, 2018 I can tell where this news story is headed –> “dozens of Rogers workers say they're under "extreme pressure" to hit sales targets or risk termination.” https://t.co/8mHBXVPcuN — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 15, 2018 “Because of the limited number of the drip bags, some hospital staffs instituted workarounds such as giving pills instead of drips or using syringes to inject critical fluids; but that has threatened to cause a shortage in syringes” https://t.co/pS12C7QpNC — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 16, 2018 “a good leader is a good listener, rather than a good talker… Someone who will emphasize the process over the result, with the idea that a good process will bring a good result. Someone who treats people equally” #Lean https://t.co/1wQkjtLTVX — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 16, 2018 “ I often hear people say that “we are visual learners,” in arguing that slides are a good thing.  That research comes from a long time ago and it has been debunked.” https://t.co/2HpILuKuJs — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 16, 2018 “A city in central Japan has used its emergency loudspeaker system to recall four packages of blowfish meat after discovering a fifth one contained the potentially deadly liver. No one has died. ” https://t.co/tNn63eqX4w — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 16, 2018 Email received today from a hospital employee: "I believe our organization is "doing"#LEAN wrong. People are burnt out. I want insight on how to help my team embrace LEAN instead of it being one more thing they have to do." — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 16, 2018 I just Kaizened a "contact me" page about trips to study #Kaizen (and #Lean) in Japan…. trying to practice what I preach. Found a problem, fixed it. Will make work a bit easier for me. Good change. — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 17, 2018 I liked a @YouTube video https://t.co/BgJLkuxAT6 Don't Fire The Hawaiian Who Hit The Emergency Alert — Mark Smeets (@mrmarksmeets) January 17, 2018 That’s some good corporate speak. We’re not behind! We’re aiming ahead. ��‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/7NvVd863CY — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 17, 2018 Often attributed to #Deming, it was #PeterScholtes, who wrote "The common objection to seniority pay is, “It’s rewarding dead wood!” My response is, “Why do you hire dead wood? Or why do you hire live wood and kill it?” https://t.co/qf4WWyU7li — The Deming Institute (@DemingInstitute) January 17, 2018 A thought from 4 years ago. #healthcare #quality #lean pic.twitter.com/VexIpot7YQ — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 17, 2018 Features or bugs? Future retractable roof Rangers ballpark is being dug into the ground. If grass won't grow, need fake turf. Which then gets too hot, so you have to leave the roof closed in the summer. Why is it retractable again?https://t.co/kuqE4b4P7A — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 17, 2018 Thanks to the Toyota San Antonio plant for letting the @kainexus team tour and learn today. I learn something every time. They are also adding a butterfly habitat by the visitor center. pic.twitter.com/OJh1F4GbO1 — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 17, 2018 Former NUMMI employee: “my life was changed by the Mutual Respect that was lacking in the corporate world. Imagine going to training for Problem Solving sitting with hourly and salaried working together and making changes together!” #Lean https://t.co/uHcKfHuRXX — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 17, 2018 From our @KaiNexus visit to Toyota in San Antonio yesterday. An inspiring first visit for many. I learn something each time there. #lean pic.twitter.com/XVZri8lfad — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 18, 2018 “Employees acknowledge that less food is spoiling in storage rooms, but they describe [“Order To Shelf”] as a "militaristic" system that crushes morale and leads to many items being out of stock.” https://t.co/GZeE1sQJiK pic.twitter.com/Evg6jgd6D0 — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 18, 2018 These @Starbucks coffee box spouts ALWAYS drip. Is there a better solution than putting a napkin down? pic.twitter.com/95BZ9lgLDK — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 18, 2018 I’m pleased and very honored to be able to work with and learn from @ValueCapture1 and their clients. #lean #patientsafety https://t.co/tKZetk1Jca — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 18, 2018 “The Insight Tours are for you to ‘FEEL' the real KAIZEN emotionally, so that you become real KAIZENer to be effective to make sustainable way of work that is fun, motivating, and lasting, which would achieve remarkable results.” https://t.co/e13nwHx1pU — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 19, 2018 The @KaiNexus team enjoyed the chance to tour the Toyota truck plant in San Antonio on Wednesday. Thanks! #Lean pic.twitter.com/JuJrcGwlvo — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 19, 2018 The group discussion questions that appear at the end of each chapter of my book "#Lean Hospitals" are now on the book's webpage. You can also download a PDF document. Link: https://t.co/L2FE4cvumC — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 19, 2018 I just published “Improving the Way We Manage Through ‘Lean’” https://t.co/GRasb38izt — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 19, 2018 Learn more about the upcoming KAIZEN™ Insight Healthcare Tour at: https://t.co/2KOrILgh90 pic.twitter.com/BFpGRVca0w — Kaizen Institute (@Kaizen) January 19, 2018 @MarkGraban While the visualisation is good, red means… https://t.co/8ckf0R0pP8 — Martin Burns����������️‍� (@MartinBurnsSCO) January 20, 2018 It takes zero managerial skill to set a target and then browbeat workers for not hitting the target. It takes skill to help people improve how the work is done so they can hit the target. — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 15, 2018 Suspected UI / UX design on Hawaii state computer system as the employee tried to log out for shift change. Oops. pic.twitter.com/EN6XQjTNR8 — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 14, 2018   Please post a comment and join the discussion. Subscribe to get notified about posts daily or weekly. Key Tweets PREV POST More Thoughts on the Next Japan Lean & Kaizen Study Trip NEXT POST “What would you say… you do here?” — 2018 Edition PREV NEXT Leave A Reply Your email address will not be published.
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The Pocket Sensei: Mastering Lean Leadership One Lesson at a Time

The Pocket Sensei: Mastering Lean Leadership One Lesson at a Time | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
Many Lean initiatives fail not because of the accessibility to Lean tools, but because leadership is unavailable when it is needed most. There seems to never be time for developing the important skill of Lean leadership - how do you lead team improvement efforts while urgent daily fires consume your project and your attention? Our friends Hal Macomber and Calayde Davey have written a book to aid in this effort, called "The Pocket Sensei: Mastering Lean Leadership with 40 Kata."  The book delivers a rich yet simple repository of Lean leadership and kaizen practices focused on in-the-moment behavioral adaptations you can make within your work situations. This on-the-job learning tool demonstrates how to engage and build fundamental Lean leadership skills across all your project and organizational levels. It is a wonderful starting point to develop individual and team Lean Leadership in a very practical way. The book will be released as a special edition for the Lean Construction Institute, Vancouver, Canada, in 2018. In celebration of this event, the book will be free to download from Kindle until January 26! Throughout the material, you’ll find accompanying illustractions (as Hal and Calayde call them) that bring a fun light-heartedness to a very serious endeavor. Many of the katas focus on developing a mood for learning and how to bring yourself and your team into the enthusiastic mindset of a beginner.  Rebecca Snelling, National Lean Director at JE Dunn Construction, along with her Lean leadership team are using practices from “The Pocket Sensei — Mastering Lean Leadership with 40 Katas”  to develop Lean leadership and kaizen skills company-wide. The book by Hal Macomber and Calayde Davey describes how to instill Lean behaviors through specific practices - or katas - in everyday work settings. Sysun Howell, Senior Project Manager and Lean Leader at Joeris General Contractors, has also been practicing katas for about 15 weeks with various teams across their company. “The kata lessons have changed the team dynamics and are creating an environment supportive of continuous improvement.  It is amazing to see the transformation in employees’ morale.  Hallelujah!” Most katas focus on developing group learning for continuous improvement. “My Hypothesis Kata” and “Our Hypothesis Kata” for example, describe how to develop Scientific Method-based skills. The katas develop a habit of making set expectations about your work ahead of the outcomes you plan to have. Thereafter, follow those expectations with immediate critical reflection. This applies to even the simplest of actions. “Our Hypothesis Kata”  takes this routine a step further.  It teaches you how to engage in an outward mindset with others in the moment of working — at gemba. This practice is so simple, yet it’s a habit seldom seen in workplaces today. Repeating this kata openly teaches you and your team how to build intuitive, quick always-available critical thinking processes, and develop your leadership and kaizen skills in the moment of performing work. Another kata - “Counter-FUD Kata” focuses you on becoming highly aware of new ideas, to test and experiment on them before premature dismissal. We’re used to hearing each other out, but we tend to quickly dismiss our own new ideas without giving them chance — without even discussing your own idea with others at all. The kata practices your ability to pick that idea up — however seemingly audacious or insignificant — and to become open-minded while bravely practicing the skill of testing ideas before dismissal. Anyway, I hope you love the free download - be sure to leave a comment below and tell me what you think!
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Communication Boards for Lean Manufacturing

Communication Board Video – It is our scoreboard

In the same way that a scoreboard drives the effort in a sporting event, we need a scoreboard at work to drive effort. They create a sense of urgency and dynamic tension.

Businesses gain momentum by using teams, communication boards and effective meetings.

We divide by categories or sections:
People – Performance – Projects

RACE = Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed

Under People –
• Pictures/Names of people on the team
• Skill Matrix
• RACY – Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed
• Safety
Performance-
• Key Performance Indicators (Yield, uptime, Scrap…)
Projects –
• Kaizen projects –
• Team meeting schedule, minutes …
• Concern, cause, countermeasure and Check
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A Lean Journey: Educating New Hires to Your Lean Culture

A Lean Journey: Educating New Hires to Your Lean Culture | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
Every organization that has implemented Lean is faced with the issue of how to train new employees so they fully understand the organizational culture and its approach to continuous improvement. Passing along your organizational culture to new employees is as important as any aspect of their training. An effective employee not only understands your organizational culture, but embraces it while performing his duties. There are a number of ways to pass your improvement culture to new employees, beginning at the genesis of their employment. Share the Vision. New employees won’t understand what is important unless you tell them. Share the company’s vision and strategy with new hires immediately. Create and align their goals with the vision and strategy of the company. Let your employees know how they will benefit from embracing the vision. Introduce Them to Lean Principles. Introduce your new employees to the tools that you use to structure your improvement initiatives right off the bat. This signals how seriously the organization is committed to the Lean methodology. Taking the time to explain all of the acronyms, Japanese words, and process improvement tools will help your new hire acclimate quicker. Get Them Involved in Kaizen There is no better way to learn then by doing and that’s what kaizen is all about. The idea behind Kaizen is that all employees are actively engaged in the regular, incremental improvement of the company. Kaizen involves every employee - from upper management to operators. Everyone is encouraged to come up with improvements on a regular basis. Having them involved on a kaizen in the beginning gets them to use the tools you’ve taught but also the approach to how you solve problems. By developing this foundation of every employee having knowledge and understanding of the basic principles and philosophies of Lean you’ll indoctrinate them from the beginning. Those early interactions with your company set the tone for the relationship that can last for years to come. The employee’s level of engagement over the long term can be impacted by how you introduce them to your Lean culture. An impactful introduction of your Lean culture can make all the difference. What way’s do you introduce your Lean culture to new hires?
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Employee Complaints About Lean in Healthcare, Even at Some of the Best Organizations –

Employee Complaints About Lean in Healthcare, Even at Some of the Best Organizations – | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
Last week, I blogged about some employee complaints related to rotating day and night shifts at the Toyota San Antonio plant. In that post, I mentioned that employees who post on Glassdoor.com and other sites might not be a representative sample of the full employee population. With that in mind, what happens when we search the Glassdoor surveys of some well-known “Lean hospitals?” I posted a few of these employee comments on LinkedIn the other day (a short post that has received over 50,000 views and prompted a lot of discussion). Here is one of those employee comments about a health system that many would consider to be a long-time leader in “Lean healthcare:” “Management needs to have a better understand of the work, because of [Health System's] Lean Culture changes are made on a continual basis by people not in the work and who don't understand who is all impacted by the change.” As I said on LinkedIn, in a Lean culture, improvement is supposed to be done WITH people or BY people… it's NOT supposed to be done TO them. Here another sad comment from another well-known Lean hospital: “[Redacted] has gone too far in its attempt to cut costs. Many behind the scenes employees work in squalor and are treated like slaves. They are encouraged to skip lunch and breaks and are in constant fear of being fired. As a new employee, It only takes a few days to realize that you will be asked to commit hari kari if you make an honest mistake. That is the Japanese (LEAN) way.” NO! via GIPHY The Lean way doesn't blame or punish individuals for an honest mistake. I don't understand how the leaders in these organizations misunderstand Lean… or maybe didn't bother to learn. If even one employee has this perception… I guess perception is the reality, as they say. We need to do better. Hear Mark read the post (Subscribe to Lean Blog Audio): Another comment says: “There is so much focus on lean and no focus on building better managers.” That's sad to hear. Lean is supposed to focus on developing people, including managers. Lean is a different way of leading and managing, not just a set of tools or projects. Are those comments representative of what most employees think? Of course not. But, if even a handful of employees have major (and understandable) issues with what they're experiencing with Lean, then that represents an opportunity for improvement. Do those organizations need to be more consistent with what Lean really is? Do they need to invest more in additional or more capable coaches for those leaders who are perhaps misunderstanding or misapplying Lean? We're almost 20 years into the “Lean movement” in healthcare. But, there are still way too many organizations where Lean is limited to relatively trivial things, including straightening up the workplace or having daily huddles at the frontline. I'd say a majority of those organizations that are “implementing Lean” don't have executives who are actively learning about Lean, let alone teaching it or modeling the behaviors we'd want to see in an effective Lean culture. What health systems are these comments about? To harken back to a scene from the movie “Fight Club,” “a major one.” Actually, it's “major ones.” Here are some of the comments from LinkedIn about my post and those employee comments: Kevin Potts — Process Improvement Manager | TPS | Seeking a Talent Development, Project Management, or Manufacturing Leadership Role Leaders should be the teachers and developers of their direct report in lean. This can't happen if the leader is vacant or misinformed on lean. Where was or who is the teacher of the leader? What is their understanding of lean? Terence T. Burton —Passionate CEO and Chief Client Officer, Strategic and Operations Improvement Leader, Turnaround Expert Many of these and similar comments are testimony to a failed Lean approach in Healthcare. Many consultants simply ported over the tools and methodologies from manufacturing and implemented Lean as “imposed improvement program.” They did not take the time to understand the unique healthcare industry and adapt CI to a very different organization and cultural environment. I too have heard many comments like “We finished Lean five years ago” and I've heard about the silly Lean demonstrations like setting up a pull system to replenish yogurt and pudding on the floors, having nurses wear a rainbow of color coded bracelets, and many other things that have not impressed the docs and clinician staff. Lean is viewed by many as “getting in the way” of patient care. I went for bloodwork a few weeks ago and talked to the nurse about the hospital's previous Lean initiative. She mentioned, “I'm glad it's over and don't want anything to do with Lean.” So the big question – How do you resurrect Lean and CI in healthcare as the accepted daily cultural standard of thinking and working? The need for improvement did not go away, it is greater than ever before. James C. Larson, FACMPE — Consultant at MedPractice Solutions, LLC Good question. A big part of the problem is 6 Sig and LEAN are often used as tools for the self-aggrandizement of an elite few. These people espouse values like quality and patient-centeredness, but what they really value is power and money. The true ‘value creators' in healthcare are the people who get the job done – the doctors, nurses, techs, housekeepers, cooks, aides, billers, etc. When executives and managers value these people – that's when the magic happens. Kenneth Stem — Operational Excellence Coach at thyssenkrupp Elevator Americas The failures of Lean are caused by the same reasons for the failure of TQM back in the 80s. The vast majority of upper management views Lean as a set of tools to be implemented. Deming used to rail against the whole concept of “implementing” quality management. The same thing is happening now. Sadly most upper managers believe they already know all their is to know and therefore fail to realize that their job is to deliver value to the customer, develop people and drive out waste throughout the organization. Many would agree. But what most managers do not understand is that there is no known answer how to specifically do each of those. In other words, we must learn. This comment reminded me about this still-relevant book about “TQM Failures”: From 1994, But Relevant Today: “Why TQM Fails” & Parallels to Lean Bernalda Fritton MSN, RN, CEN — Nurse Coordinator at Community Memorial Health-Syracuse, NE This is an excellent point. I have recently started to read about LEAN and some other change principles and you're exactly right the idea is that changes are lead essentially by the folks who are implementing them. I've been fortunate enough to work with Studer and that is exactly what the focus is on creating effective leaders. However, so many of these organizations have a paternalistic view of leadership. Todd McCann — Executive Transformation Leader | Innovator | Lean Operations | I help organizations reduce Cost improve Quality, Profit, Safety, Delivery and Create a Continuous Improvement Culture | Leadership Awakener People who do the work should be the idea generators to improve the work, if they need help, leaders clear the way, not stand in It nor create barriers for patient care. Management of change outside the span of control should be managed up and leaders should be stepping up to ensure positive outcomes. Focus on the patient! Holly L. Barrett — Fortune 50 Finance VP. Board Member. ASU Executive in Residence. Volunteer.   As the leader of a large global organization, I became a LEAN student and zealot the day I participated in a structured direct observation of work performed by some of my more junior finance employees. Tapping into those “experts” using Kaizen events, etc. to improve the quality and efficiency of the work was invaluable. Their results far exceeded those a top-down approach would've delivered and with minimal resistance to the changes because the buy-in was “designed in.” What are your thoughts and reactions? Please post a comment and join the discussion. Subscribe to get notified about posts daily or weekly.
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Key #Lean Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of January 29: Healthcare, Whole Foods, and More –

Key #Lean Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of January 29: Healthcare, Whole Foods, and More – | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
Here's the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a (usually) weekly post that presents some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week, including pictures and other interesting stuff. You can follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation, but you don't need a Twitter account to view any of this. See the previous installments of Key Tweets. pic.twitter.com/Mh5STYhDPq — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) February 3, 2018 TMMK Plant Manager: “It is important for me to be part of a company that has a strong set of values. At Toyota, we build great products while following two main principles: respect for people and continuous improvement.” – #Lean https://t.co/1EgtfYjD7c — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 29, 2018 From 2014: Another PDSA: Please Don't… – #Lean Blog https://t.co/uxWQR791w5 pic.twitter.com/KpAqgViVfv — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 29, 2018 Jim Womack: “I recently asked a supplier serving most of the world’s OEMs who their worst customer was and got the answer: “Tesla by a wide margin.”https://t.co/PS0Erf6g7y — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 29, 2018 It’s interesting to me that the Fitbit app shows one time series as a line chart (which I prefer) and one as a column chart. Why the inconsistency? Different developers? #plotthedots pic.twitter.com/vYXnIliNxl — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 29, 2018 As patients, how are we supposed to know based on symptoms? This is hindsight decision making on the part of Anthem. Ugh. “Anthem tells patients: “save the ER for emergencies — or you’ll be responsible for the cost!” https://t.co/aazX30K39e — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 29, 2018 “Trying to predict a return on investment (ROI) can be smart business, but when it’s tied to innovation, there’s no way of knowing what it will be.” Same is true with continuous improvement ideas. https://t.co/DaxNYIAfkP — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 29, 2018 This is not what a “#lean” culture or management approach in healthcare is supposed to represent. pic.twitter.com/foa6k9s8sf — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 30, 2018 pic.twitter.com/sAn38mCF9c — Basis (@BasisAgile) January 29, 2018 How my blog, https://t.co/V1KoMImrby, looked in 2005: pic.twitter.com/jiBX8VXd29 — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 30, 2018 “The ballooning costs of health care act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” said Buffett https://t.co/bLNgLDtNIc — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 30, 2018 Webinar Preview in this Podcast Episode – #lean Register at https://t.co/toJpfqPohW How to Use A3 Thinking in Everyday Life February 8 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm EThttps://t.co/GmpX3dBMrk — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 30, 2018 “"A lot of doctors say, 'Look, you can always be dead later. Don't take a course that's irreversible,' " explains Dr. Kenneth Goodman” https://t.co/BTBD2hSb7C pic.twitter.com/JrvfXsLYGw — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 30, 2018 “Vern Miyagi, administrator of the state emergency management agency, resigned Tuesday. Miyagi accepted full responsibility for the incident and the actions of his employees,” The "button pusher" was also fired.https://t.co/jfiygbXfZ3 — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 31, 2018 “ "Tesla is going to see serious competition from automakers… This does not mean Tesla will fail, but it will no longer be a unique proposition and its competitive landscape will shift dramatically."” https://t.co/0BklHvFLKc — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 31, 2018 “Yet Med­icaid of­fers cheap ac­cess to as­tro­nom­ical quan­ti­ties of pills that can be resold on the black market. For as low as a $1 co-pay Med­icaid beneficiaries can get up to 240 oxy­codone pills that can be resold for $4,000.”https://t.co/PHrC7H8MZK — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 31, 2018 “#Kaizen offers the possibility that through small acts of kindness, and even small moments of compassion and curiosity, we can change ourselves – and eventually, humanity.” – #Lean https://t.co/gYTKR7FE5t — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 31, 2018 Lean Healthcare is not yet here. Far too many health systems have a limited view of Lean as just an improvement methodology. Lean is a culture. @MarkGraban https://t.co/uauLbk7hkJ pic.twitter.com/ir7VR9Jvqo — Tristan Kromer (@TriKro) January 31, 2018 New CEO “received a professional certification in #lean healthcare management — simplifying the healthcare process for patients — from the University of Michigan" (Lean also simplifies the process for healthcare staff, I'd add) https://t.co/CjaNxqsM9J — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 31, 2018 Adventures in publishing… when the author has to proof read the publisher’s work. pic.twitter.com/Rwoch4QyOz — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 31, 2018 “Tens of thou­sands of women were over-treated, they got surgery they didn’t need, they got ra­di­a­tion they didn’t need, and they got chemo­therapy they didn’t need,” says Steven Katz, a pro­fes­sor of med­icine at the Uni­ver­sity of Mi­chigan” https://t.co/XKEqwday9m — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) February 1, 2018 Except ThedaCare has always used #lean as an improvement method and management system. They have never used formal #SixSigma. New CEO Andrabi misspoke or doesn’t know the difference between #lean and #leansigma. pic.twitter.com/Lwgz9itpCn — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) February 1, 2018 The overprescription of pills can be deadly. Some MDs now prescribe 10 pills instead of 30 or 50. Can be good to challenge “how we’ve always done it.” How Many Opioid Pills Do You Need After Surgery? https://t.co/OBCqtyzgtL — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) February 1, 2018 Walking the walk of #ContinuousImprovement, and bringing even more expertise to our impactful team, we are very pleased to partner with @MarkGraban. #PatientSafety #LeanHealthcare https://t.co/98F2IMVlAt pic.twitter.com/niNivphQsR — Value Capture LLC (@ValueCapture1) February 1, 2018 Saying "Hey everyone, we need to cut costs!" doesn't work nearly as well as "Let's make our work easier!" Cost is the end result ~@MarkGraban — Woody Zuill (@WoodyZuill) February 1, 2018 Wozniak is a bit skeptical about Elon Musk and Tesla. https://t.co/ltSNJLG5E3 — CNET News (@CNETNews) January 30, 2018 Webinar Preview: How to Use A3 Thinking in Everyday Life https://t.co/UqlDPxvyEO — KaiNexus (@KaiNexus) February 1, 2018 I’ve long said that data is to be used for improvement, not for punishment. 'Seeing someone cry at work is becoming normal': Employees say Whole Foods is using 'scorecards' to punish them https://t.co/W0QvM4yORL — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) February 1, 2018 2016: “ThedaCare has been on their “#Lean journey” for about 14 years now. The program has become, pretty much, “the way they do things” and it survived the transition from one CEO (Dr. John Toussaint) to another (Dr. Dean Gruner).”https://t.co/sMY1qQo9sc — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) February 1, 2018 Barf. No company has "otherworldly flawlessness." “He became the highest-profile evangelist for Six Sigma, a management philosophy based on the systematic pursuit of otherworldly flawlessness.” https://t.co/AvYnZCGTEi — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) February 2, 2018 “As someone who has spent the last 10 years in the trenches of healthcare delivery as an RN, I have witnessed firsthand the detrimental effects on patient outcomes caused by our current autocratic, bureaucratic and outdated healthcare management system.” https://t.co/lxmn3iOObu — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) February 2, 2018   Please post a comment and join the discussion. Subscribe to get notified about posts daily or weekly.
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Podcast #299 - Joe Swartz, 10+ Years of Kaizen at Franciscan –

Podcast #299 - Joe Swartz, 10+ Years of Kaizen at Franciscan – | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
Joining me again for episode #299 of the podcast is Joe Swartz, my friend and esteemed co-author for our books Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements and The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen: Leadership for a Continuously Learning and Improving Organization. You can learn more about our books here. He was previously the guest in episode #187. Joe is Administrative Director of Business Transformation for Franciscan Alliance, which owns Franciscan Health in Indiana (his full bio is here). He also contributed a chapter to the book Practicing Lean. (read an excerpt). Joe is also a co-author of the book Seeing David in the Stone.  Today is the first part of a two-part discussion, where Joe reflects on the history and evolution of more than ten years of “Kaizen” or continuous improvement in his system. In our next episode together, Joe will be talking about “Champions of Change.” I hope you enjoy the discussion! Streaming Player (Run Time 40:34)     For a link to use for this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/299 For earlier episodes of my podcast, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS, through Android apps, or via Apple iTunes.  You can also subscribe and listen via Stitcher. Links, Topics, and Questions: About Joe's professional background What are the strategies that created better acceptance of continuous improvement? 1) They have to see the benefits for themselves 2) Understand the perspectives of the people involved 3) Respond and rethink your approach based on their feedback What motivates people in healthcare to choose to participate in Kaizen? The flexibility and balance of working on things that are self-motivated vs. being aligned with organizational goals How did you evolve from Kaizen to a broader Lean management system and strategy deployment? How as strategy deployment introduced and how does it create alignment? Asking executives: What are you trying to drive? What's the most important thing? What are the relevant leading metrics for front-line staff? Example of improving patient satisfaction Cycles of Plan-Do-Study-Adjust Does it help to learn PDSA through Kaizen before applying that to Strategy Deployment? The leaders who participated in Kaizen are better at driving organizational change Combining Kaizen with other Lean management practices like huddles, huddle boards, and tiered huddles? Shifting from projects to transforming whole value streams Addressing customer needs instead of just one part of the process Would you recommend that other organizations start with daily improvement and add other practices or try the entire “bundle” of Lean management practices all at once? What advice do you have for organizations that say “there's too much uncertainty to start with continuous improvement right now?” Healthcare organizations tend to be risk-averse. His organization tries to set a course and stay true to that direction over time. Franciscan has been part of the Healthcare Value Network to learn from other organizations Video and Webinars With Joe Swartz:     Please post a comment and join the discussion. Subscribe to get notified about posts daily or weekly.
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Nigeria Partners With Japan to Implement Kaizen to Manufacturing Sector - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Nigeria Partners With Japan to Implement Kaizen to Manufacturing Sector - GoLeanSixSigma.com | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
The National Productivity Centre of Nigeria has two goals: boosting economic development and improving the standard of living. By partnering with the Japanese Government, a journey begins in applying Kaizen, hinted by at the 2nd Productivity Promotion Seminar on Application of Japanese KAIZEN Concept for Productivity Improvement in Lagos, Nigeria. “The ultimate goal of productivity improvement as a driving force of economic development is to enhance the quality of life through creativity, innovation, wealth creation, employment generation and poverty reduction,” Dr. Kashi Akor, Director of the National Productivity Centre shares. The two companies of focus, Bertola Machine tools and Mouka Ltd, are manufacturing companies whose goals are to begin the process of eliminating unnecessary actions and maximizing the use of existing human and non-human resources. Yasuhiro Hashimoto, head of Economic and Commercial Section at the Embassy of Japan, shares that “there is no country or organization where Kaizen has failed to improve quality and productivity when properly applied.” He states that Kaizen would serve as an effective and efficient vehicle that would enhance Nigeria’s economic performance. The quest of process improvement begins for Nigeria with Japan as it’s partner to guide the way. Read More at The Eagle Online.
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What the KaiNexus Team Saw and Heard Visiting a Toyota Plant

What the KaiNexus Team Saw and Heard Visiting a Toyota Plant | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
As I wrote about last month, the entire KaiNexus team was excited to have the chance to visit and tour the Toyota truck factory in San Antonio, the plant known as TMMTX (Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas).  Here is the team inside the visitor center:   In the visitor center, we checked out the exhibits that cover some of the history of Toyota and key principles of The Toyota Way and the Toyota Production System.  Kaizen, as Toyota explains, is “the relentless pursuit of perfection.” At Toyota, “innovation drives continuous improvement.” We try to live by those ideals at KaiNexus, as do many of our customers. Here’s a shot of some of us in front of the Kaizen definition. Yes, it was cold that week in Texas, as you can tell from our coats.    A few of our KaiNexus team members looked forward to seeing the “andon cord” process in the factory. As we were driven through the plant, we could hear the chimes and music playing, indicating that a team member had pulled the andon cord at some point along the assembly line. Some of our KaiNexus colleagues were surprised that the andon tunes were children’s songs (especially London Bridge is Falling Down, which Maggie thought to be a particularly odd choice in a plant with cars rolling up ramps overhead), but the recognizable music helps team leaders and group leaders know where the andon cord was pulled (in addition to the lights that go off). The andon cord process is part of how Toyota ensures quality is built in and that defects are not passed on down the line:        Some of our KaiNexus colleagues took advantage of the opportunity to pull the andon cord in the visitor center, just for fun:    In the next photo, Clint Corley was pretending to look worried. There’s no reason to fear pulling the andon cord. Toyota encourages and celebrates the idea that you’d speak up and raise a concern, as our tour guide described during the tour.         You keep pulling the andon cord, Clint. During our debrief discussion, we talked about ways to embrace this concept in a software company. We’re not going to hang a literal cord over everybody’s desks. But, we can create a culture in which people don’t hide or cover up problems. It’s better to speak up and resolve things. And we try to have a systems-focused blame-free culture, which is one of the ways you encourage people to speak up in the name of quality. The music from the andon pulls was just part of the “sensory overload” that our CEO Dr. Greg Jacobson explained. There’s so much to look at when going through the plant: the process, the people, the signage, the robots, the metrics and Kaizen boards. It really is a plant worth visiting many times. I see and learn something new each time. Jeff Roussel was impressed with Toyota’s focus on the long-term perspective, including the environment.   Jeff said, “Seeing their commitments and long term beliefs was very useful to me, that’s one thing that stood out. The commitment to the long term blew me away.“ On a lighter note, we laughed at how the Toyota display mannequin looked like one of our software developers, Jett Raines:      Other things that were noticed, during the tour, by KaiNexus team members included: We saw lots of charts and data posted everywhere. I noticed that there didn’t seem to be a standardized improvement board in different areas. Some teams had a whiteboard that looked like it had an in-progress A3 going. Some areas had lots of paper posted or whiteboard lists of improvement to do items. The team was impressed by the way “mixed model” took place. It was readily apparent that Tundras and Tacomas of different cab styles were mixed evenly behind one another on the assembly line. They don’t batch up all of the Tundras on some days and all of the Tacomas on others, for example. Ergonomics and work design stood out: “The drill and bolts were exactly where they needed to be, at exactly the right height on the rearview mirrors. You could tell there was a history of improvement.”   One other key takeaway was the pace and the environment. Greg noticed “there was no yelling” and that it was a busy, yet calm environment. Clint told a story from his days playing basketball, where a coach said to “be quick, but don’t hurry.” That seems to describe the Toyota environment. People are working with a purpose, but it doesn’t seem hectic. Clint said, “They were all working efficiently but nobody looked rushed.” People are able to look up and say hi and wave when a tour group is being brought through. Our Jake Sussman asked our group to give one word that described their experience and what they saw. Here is a word cloud that represents our takeaways:        On the way out, we noticed how Toyota emphasizes how their trucks are “built by Texans.” Yet another thing Toyota and KaiNexus have in common - KaiNexus software is built by Texans, too.      Have you visited a Toyota plant? What have you seen and learned? At KaiNexus, we’re inspired by companies like Toyota and our customers that are starting, spreading, and sustaining a culture of continuous improvement.
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Rapid Action for Lean Six Sigma | Leap Technologies

Rapid Action for Lean Six Sigma | Leap Technologies | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
Energizing conventional Lean Six Sigma deployments with a suite of easy-to-learn, highly-reliable team engagement toolkits from Leap Technologies.
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Kaizen Overview on

The overview video of Gemba Academy's 13 video course on The Kaizen Way.For more information visit http://www.gembaacademy.com...
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Kaizen – Beyond Retrospectives! (8 June '18)

Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy that focusses on Continual Improvement in workplace. For an organisation in their Agile Journey, they need to have a Kaizen f...
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KAIZEN CONCEPT IN LEAN MANUFACTURING

The Japanese word kaizen simply means "change for better", with no inherent meaning of either "continuous" or "philosophy" in Japanese dictionaries or in everyday use. The word refers to any improvement, one-time or continuous, large or small, in the same sense as the English word "improvement".
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Toyota is Admired for Good Reason... But About Those Rotating Job Shifts... –

Toyota is Admired for Good Reason... But About Those Rotating Job Shifts... – | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
There's much to admire about Toyota and even regular readers of this blog might throw the "fanboy" label at me. Toyota employees in San Antonio have a lot of positive things ("pros") to say online about working there.
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Key #Lean Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of January 22: Healthcare, American, Tesla, and More –

Key #Lean Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of January 22: Healthcare, American, Tesla, and More – | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
TWEETSBLOG Key #Lean Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of January 22: Healthcare, American, Tesla, and More By Mark Graban On Jan 26, 2018 Last updated Jan 29, 2018 Here's the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a (usually) weekly post that presents some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week, including pictures and other interesting stuff. You can follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation, but you don't need a Twitter account to view any of this. See the previous installments of Key Tweets. These #Kaizen templates are free. All we ask in return is that you: 1) Use them 2) Improve them! (we’d love to hear about how you do that – tell us!) 3) A few other favors https://t.co/SYiIk8t9yF pic.twitter.com/lYleB99QJg — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 25, 2018 “Can you prove that engaging employees in Improvement will improve performance? Where are the journal articles?” Well, do you want to keep proving that not engaging employees isn’t working? What journal article told you to not engage people? The status quo is strong. — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 23, 2018 Auto industry legend Bob Lutz: “Twenty-five years from now, [the Model S] will be remembered as the first really good-looking, fast electric car. People will say ‘Too bad they went broke.’” https://t.co/qwhkOI76CW — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 21, 2018 Fudging the numbers: “the pro­vincial gov­ernments lie about the ex­tent of the prob­lem. The of­fi­cial clock starts only when a sur­geon books the pa­tient, not when a gen­eral prac­ti­tioner makes the re­fer­ral.” https://t.co/CAAB5zy9QO — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 22, 2018 Similar errors have been made twice by the same hospital. “He said they were promised that protocol was in place to ensure that paperwork and wristbands were double-checked so that incidents like this couldn’t happen again.” https://t.co/ifVV03PCwr — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 22, 2018 .@MarkGraban here’s my Scripps in person experience: 7:35am waiting room for 730am appt. (instructed to arrive 15 min early) pic.twitter.com/dN4SvYp6yB — Brant Cooper (@brantcooper) January 22, 2018 Experienced this in a patient-facing iPhone app today pic.twitter.com/7yUW7viNNb — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 22, 2018 “the confrontational nature of the relationship that had been established in Fremont between workers and bosses was not a result of opinionated operators or over-aggressive union leaders. Rather, it stemmed from the approach of management.” – #Lean https://t.co/1wQkjtLTVX — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 22, 2018 It’s so @americanair to give out a password card that is NOT the password. ��‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/6NmuT55MBs — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 22, 2018 To make up for it, all 3 of three @americanair snack tubes are labeled wrong. I hope the regular and decaf coffee weren’t also mixed up. pic.twitter.com/yP9Gi4NRTc — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 22, 2018 “I think the better way to say it and approach improvement is that you cannot manage or improve what you cannot EVALUATE.” – @flinchbaugh https://t.co/kO3ycxEW2G pic.twitter.com/tpzIEsPlvO — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 23, 2018 Irony: Listening to a podcast about human error on a flight and then arriving at your hotel to be told “we don’t have a reservation for you this week.” Human error: mine. — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 23, 2018 Oops — “Mr Immelt’s valedictory cover story in September’s Harvard Business Review (“How I Remade GE”) now looks embarrassingly self-congratulatory.” https://t.co/qbjZLChm8W — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 23, 2018 If you expect everybody to be 100% busy in a system, people will find ways to look busy, which hides waste and hurts flow. ~@MarkGraban — Woody Zuill (@WoodyZuill) January 23, 2018 “The correct response is for the committee to ask, “What caused the human error? How could that have been prevented?” Find the root cause and then cure that” https://t.co/GztQceupaE — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 23, 2018 “We found that the only way that we could really do this is standardize and centralize things," Nguyen-Huynh says. "There needs to be one system, one protocol.” https://t.co/EF6I1w5fqL — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 23, 2018 It might be "innovation" or it might be "messing with the way we've always done things around here," Scotch edition:https://t.co/xlXyLXOU4t — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 24, 2018 “A “core Kaizen concept,” as Joe says, is that leaders who want their employees to participate in Kaizen should first make an improvement to their own work.”https://t.co/klhB7xk8Xh — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 25, 2018 A story from Kenya. Awful. “The hospital has denied all allegations of rape, and its CEO said the women are lying because they didn’t report the incidents in the hospital's suggestion box.”https://t.co/j7aoA7iHeH — Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) January 25, 2018       Please post a comment and join the discussion. Subscribe to get notified about posts daily or weekly. Key Tweets PREV POST Toyota is Admired for Good Reason… But About Those Rotating Job Shifts… NEXT POST What Was My First Process Improvement (or “Kaizen”)? PREV NEXT Leave A Reply Your email address will not be published.
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What Was My First Process Improvement (or "Kaizen")? –

What Was My First Process Improvement (or "Kaizen")? – | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
When I shared a link to my post about applying Kaizen to my websites, I was asked a fascinating question on LinkedIn last week: “What was your very first process improvement?” When I was a kid, my first job was actually being an independent contractor to deliver papers for The Detroit News. I had the route in my neighborhood from about ages 12 to 15. I delivered papers on the street I grew up on and also on the street back behind. The density of newspaper customers was high enough that I had about 40 customers on a few streets. Maybe 50% of the houses took the paper each weekday afternoon and weekend mornings. I imagine the numbers are much lower today. I had a newspaper bag that was designed to go over the back of a bicycle. I forget if I was given the bag or had to buy it. It looked like this but had the Detroit News logo on it. I had a ten-speed bike, but it wasn't really sturdy enough to put on the back of a bike. The route was small enough that it was practical to walk. So, I cut a hole in the middle part of the bag so it would go over my head (or my mom did it). I'd put papers in both sides of the bag so it would hang with some papers on my chest and some on my back. It probably looked a bit like this photo I've linked to. Or this (not me pictured): Embed from Getty Images I'd deliver papers out of the front pocket and, when the front was empty, I'd swing the bag around so the papers on my back were now on my chest. Sometimes I'd ride the bike. More often, I'd walk and wear the bag that way. I think that improvement to the bag counts as Kaizen. It didn't cost any money. It was putting creativity over capital. Although sometimes on weekends, when it was early, the papers were heavier, and the weather was sometimes bad, my dad would drive me in the car to deliver the papers. It was their capital, but I appreciated the help. It was also Kaizen because it made my job easier compared to using my bike or pulling stacks of papers in a red wagon, which I also did too. I'll have to ask my parents, maybe I used the wagon until I was strong enough to carry the papers. I do remember pulling the papers in a wagon the day of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 when I was 12 years old, actually. Did you have a first job where you practiced Kaizen? Were you naturally a process improvement thinker (and doer)? What was your first Kaizen, at any age? What was your most recent Kaizen? Please post a comment and join the discussion. Subscribe to get notified about posts daily or weekly.
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Santa's Little Kaizeneers? –

Santa's Little Kaizeneers? – | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
Thanks to my friend Sylvain for sending me this cartoon. It would have been more timely for me to share this before Christmas, but there's an opportunity for improvement. The cartoon series is called Real Life Adventures by Gary Wise and Lance Aldrich. This particular cartoon appeared on December 13, 2017. Here's the top part… please click through to their website to see the entire cartoon: The joke doesn't need any explaining, but I think these are familiar themes in many organizations. We have elves who are, of course, quite handy and skilled. They are probably technically capable of lowering the time clock or adding a platform or building something that would allow them to reach it more easily and more safely. They want to improve. They want to make their work easier. But, they're frustrated. At least they care. Having ideas is great, but you need to be able to implement the idea. Sometimes the barrier is cultural. Sometimes, it's a matter of the frontline staff needing support from maintenance, IT, or another department. When our KaiNexus group toured the Toyota San Antonio plant recently, the guide pointed out a part of the plant they call the “Kaizen Area” more or less. I explained to the KaiNexus team that the guide didn't mean that workshop is the only place where Kaizen occurs. Kaizen occurs where you have ideas anyplace in the factory. But, that Kaizen workshop is where fixtures, racks, or other tools are constructed when a Kaizen requires that sort of physical change and support. I see many situations in workplaces where people have ideas AND the capability to implement them. But, leaders and the culture won't allow it. It's sad to think that Santa has created an environment here where the elves can't bring up their concern to him directly. Effective leaders not only listen to their employees… they also encourage people to speak up. That means responding in a way that reinforces that it's safe to speak up. Leaders need to avoid discouraging people. If we ask people to speak up and then just file away their concerns or ideas, people will stop speaking up. Professor Ethan Burris refers to this as “futility,” as I've blogged about: Is Fear the Only Reason Employees Don't Speak Up? HBR Article on Avoiding the Futility of Suggestion Systems We've known for a long time that suggestion boxes aren't the way to build and sustain a culture of continuous improvement. So, even if the elves lowered the suggestion box, what good is it if the box is where “good ideas go to die?” A “Kaizen” methodology is very different than the stale, old suggestion box method. Here are some of my blog posts on suggestion boxes: The State of This Restaurant's Suggestion Box Didn't Really Surprise Me Much Suggestion Boxes are Disliked & Ineffective Around the World When Will The Federal Government & VA Learn? On Suggestion Boxes & Incentives Why It's OK That This Suggestion Box Was Full of Cobwebs And a few videos: And a longer webinar on the topic: Is your organization more like Santa's village than you'd want to admit? Please post a comment and join the discussion. Subscribe to get notified about posts daily or weekly.
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3 Arguments Against Kaizen Tracking in Spreadsheets

3 Arguments Against Kaizen Tracking in Spreadsheets | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
If you are still tracking your Kaizen activities in spreadsheets, I get it. Spreadsheets are a tempting approach because you already have them, most people know how to use their basic functions, they’re infinitely configurable, they never get the math wrong, and rows and columns are an intuitive way to organize things.   But let me ask you a question. Do you use spreadsheets to track sales activity, inventory, customer support requests, and employee data? Probably not. You probably have a CRM, and ERP, and HR software. Could you track those things in spreadsheets? Sure, but you don’t because those functions are important enough that you want a solution custom-built to support them. You want consistency across users, you want data security and integrity, and you want active functionality. If you are serious about continuous improvement, you’d want all of those things for Kaizen tracking as well. There are a number of reasons that spreadsheets are a particularly bad fit for Kaizen tracking.   Spreadsheets are Passive A spreadsheet contains information, it does not distribute or remind people about it. If you are tracking due dates for tasks in a spreadsheet, for instance, the task owner has to remember to go look to see when something is due. Her manager has to remember to go check to see that the tasks are being done on time. If you are tracking Kaizen projects in spreadsheets and missing targets, this is partly to blame. Software built for Kaizen tracking has automated alerts and notifications so that when a due date is coming up or has been missed, everyone who needs to know gets an in-app alert and an email. This ensures that stuff gets done on time and that everyone knows the status of projects.   Spreadsheets Are Not Designed for Multiple Users Although we now have online spreadsheets that can theoretically be edited by more than one person at a time, spreadsheets were never designed for multiple users. They were designed for accounting, generally a solo sport. This means that everyone has the same view, regardless of their role or function, making it hard for people to get quickly to the information that is most relevant to them. Two people working on the same section of a spreadsheet at the same time can be a nightmare that causes important information to be lost. Don’t even get me started on the perils of off-line spreadsheets flying around in email. On the other hand, Kaizen software is built exactly for the purpose of allowing multiple people to collaborate on improvement work. The best solutions allow each user to set up their own Kaizen boards and meaningful reports. They’re a Non-Starter on Mobile Have you ever tried to enter data into a spreadsheet on your mobile phone? Neither have I. That’s a problem if you are using spreadsheets for Kaizen because great ideas can come to employees at any time. If they think of an opportunity for improvement or complete a task, you want your team to be able to access the system and log the information right away. Using Excel or even a Google Doc creates an unnecessary barrier. Modern Kaizen tracking software is built to be used on any device, anytime, anywhere. Spreadsheets Start Out Empty One of the reasons that spreadsheets are so popular is that you can turn them into just about anything you want. You control the vertical, you control the horizontal. (Bonus points to anyone who gets that ancient reference.) This level of customization is great in a lot of cases, but what it doesn’t offer is any added value. What I mean by that is that there are some best practices and common Kaizen tracking techniques that might help streamline your approach to continuous improvement. A spreadsheet doesn’t give you any help in this regard. However, software designed specifically for Kaizen gives you a structure - or at least a place to start. You get things like huddle boards, impact reports, and improvement broadcasting right out of the box. It also comes with help guides and training so that folks know exactly what they should do. A brilliant marketer once said to me, “If something’s important, it has a name.” In business, if a function is important, it has technology to support it. Using spreadsheets just signals to the organization that Kaizen is an ad-hoc, DIY operation. We’ve seen time and time again that the results are commiserate with this level of investment and attention. That’s why so many of our clients have ditched the spreadsheets, leveled up with Kaizen tracking software, and achieved substantially better results.
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Looking Right at the Essence of TPS –

Looking Right at the Essence of TPS – | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
My friend Reiko Kano began her career as Taiichi Ohno’s interpreter thirty years ago. She then supported Ohno’s disciples, the Shingijutsu consultants, for decades. She recently wrote a book about her experiences. One of her stories resonated with me in particular. In the late 1980s the world was just beginning to take note of Japanese manufacturing, drawn to buzzwords like QC circles, kanban, just-in-time and kaizen. Teams of American executives visited Japan hoping to see best-in-class practices. These visits featured bright and clean electronics factories, the Nissan plant which was full of shiny new robots and automation at the time, and other examples modern and high tech. One visit included a Toyota plant that Taiichi Ohno had recommended to the group. This plant featured people working amongst old, well-worn machines in what were by comparison, dull and dingy conditions. The group expected to see cutting-edge manufacturing technology. Instead, they saw a humble plant with evidence of a stingy capital budget. One of the American executives on this study group was so disappointed with the Toyota plant that he wrote Ohno a letter to that effect. Taiichi Ohno’s reaction to reading the letter was, “He was looking right at the essence of TPS and he missed it.” This story struck me because it was as true 30 years ago as it was 10 years ago when I was organizing similar benchmarking visits to Japan. There were a couple of occasions when a tour group member just couldn’t get over the lack of safety glasses in the plants, the age of the machines, or the limited breakfast options at the hotels, convinced by such things that they had nothing to learn on this trip. We adjusted by setting expectations of what they will see before setting foot in the plants, and helping them make sense of it afterward. What did you look at? Why? What surprised you? What does this tell you about the thinking behind what you saw? What things would you like to adopt in your organization? What would it take to do that? And so forth. The leaders on a factory visit aren’t really coming to “see” best-in-class. Seeing is a means to understanding, to developing a vision. But even understanding is useless without action. Perhaps they are seeking evidence to give them courage to act, to overcome mental obstacles keeping them from leading others towards world class.  It is important for the leader on a benchmark visit to be as clear as possible on this point, otherwise they may miss the answer staring them in the face. As thirty years ago, so today, when people ask for recommendations for lean tours, “You know, a world class facility where our leadership team can see best-in-class lean culture with engaged employees in a highly variable demand and complex product mix environment while leveraging IoT,” preferably within driving distance. That’s all good, a delight all around when we can accommodate. But from now on, I’ll have to find a polite way to ask the question, “If your leadership team was looking right at it, would they know?”
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What are some good examples of Kaizen Events? - GoLeanSixSigma.com

What are some good examples of Kaizen Events? - GoLeanSixSigma.com | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
Here are some typical things that could require a Kaizen Event: Develop Visual Workplace and Communication Boards Develop Work Cells and Single-Piece Flow Devel...
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Using psychometric testing? Here are five new year's resolutions you'll want to keep

Using psychometric testing? Here are five new year's resolutions you'll want to keep | Kaizen Group | Scoop.it
I’ve taken my cue for New Year’s Resolutions from the Japanese this year and focused on implementing small, manageable changes to help me achieve my 2018 goals. Rather than embarking on a complete overhaul which often sets us up to fail, the Japanese refer to “Kaizen” as a way to achieve...
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