OPINION – After reading the latest book by Edgar H. Schein, the author reflects on the nature of consulting and management, and explains why humility must become a defining trait of both.
VIDEO – We constantly talk about the role of leadership, but perhaps we don't realize just how intertwined leadership transformation and business transformation really are. This short video discusses why.
INTERVIEW – The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) has been working with a lean-inspired improvement program that is gradually transforming the culture of the business – one creative idea at a time.
PROFILE – We may think it is cut and dried, but lean thinking is, in fact, full of paradoxes and trade-offs. According to Cécile Roche, learning to navigate them is one of the defining traits of a lean leader.
FEATURE – With an open-minded approach to improvement tools, a long history of quality and engaged top leaders, wire manufacturer Ducab aims to fulfil the strategic needs of the Emirates.
CASE STUDY – The story of how a humble leader, who recognizes the importance and contribution of each individual to the company’s success, is making a car dealership in Botswana a fantastic example of lean transformation.
EDITOR’S LETTER – What a year 2016 has been! Many of us will be happy to see it go, but with challenging times comes a great opportunity for reflection. Our editor looks back at the best content of the past year.
WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – As a first instinct, most of us tend to provide answers and solutions rather than ask questions. In this month's Yokoten, Jim Womack provides advice on how to fight this behavior and become a coach.
FEATURE – We all want to create a lean culture in our organizations, but what makes cultural change possible? And, more importantly, what are the leadership behaviors that enable a new culture to take root?
FEATURE – How many times do we hear people say lean is not for them because “it’s a Japanese thing”? After spending 18 months in Japan, the author explains why the country’s culture is not necessarily "lean by nature".
FEATURE – When market changes caused operational problems in their firm, two top managers decided to stick to lean thinking (and a set of specific practices) – learning to focus on what truly matters and letting their people embrace problem-solving.
OPINION – The latest banking scandal had us all wonder whether Wells Fargo has lost its way. But how does a pioneering bank that once had lean at its heart betray its core values so profoundly?
ONE QUESTION, FIVE ANSWERS – Change might be scary but, when things do work out, it also brings us incredible pride and sense of accomplishment. We asked five practitioners to tell us what the most satisfying moment in their lean journey was.
FEATURE - We often hear that lean is a fundamentally different approach, but what does this really mean? The authors reflect on how lean challenges and debunks our assumptions on how to run a firm, which might also explain why it meets such resistance.
PROFILE - When years of hard work to re-organize Patria's IT operations led to disappointing results, Sari Torkkola didn't throw in the towel. Instead, she started to build her department's understanding of lean.
ONE QUESTION, FIVE ANSWERS – With this month’s question we try to understand what lean idea or principle our interviewees would have liked to learn sooner or better in their journey. So, heads up… You might be in a similar situation.
INTERVIEW – A program that aims to help disadvantaged school districts in Ohio used A3 thinking to teach principals how to scientifically solve problems together with their teachers. We met a principal and one of her teachers.
INTERVIEW – In this interview, the former CFO of uber-lean company Wiremold explains why our finance people hold the key to our transformation and gives us the lowdown on lean accounting.
FEATURE – The warehousing department of a Dutch hospital has been implementing lean for a few years. Its Head of Logistics believes in an approach to change based on respect for people and on making small but steady steps.
PROFILE – Children can dream big. They always have a million questions and are not afraid of making mistakes. So why are we not thinking more like them? It turns out it might be a great way to unleash our full potential as lean leaders.
WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – In our lean journeys we spend so much time on improvement (kaizen) and innovation (kaikaku) that we often forget to address the issue of how to maintain our gains. Do you know iji? Perhaps you should.
OPINION – Involvement, active listening and concern are crucial traits of lean leadership and the foundations on which respect for people is built into a learning organization, says Boaz Tamir reflecting on his evolution as a writer.
1 QUESTION, 5 ANSWERS – Without the active participation of people in improvement activities, lean is nothing but theory. Sadly, engaging folks is easier said than done. We asked five lean practitioners to share their approach to people engagement.
CASE STUDY – The whole of Helsinki’s hospital district is leaning out, with incredible results. It isn’t every day that we come across – let alone have the opportunity to observe – a lean transformation in such a large healthcare organization.
FEATURE – The role of experts in lean thinking is often the subject of heated discussions. Here, Michael Ballé tells us about the common mistakes lean experts make, and explains why – before helping others – they should help themselves.
1 QUESTION, 5 ANSWERS – Lean management causes a huge shift in the mind of leaders, one that dramatically changes the way they think of themselves and the way they behave. We asked five leaders to tell us how lean changed them.
PROFILE – Lean is spreading like wildfire across the Catalonian healthcare sector, following a do-it-yourself model unique to this part of the world. Our editor met one of the practitioners who are making it happen.
FEATURE – There are five dimensions to a lean transformation – purpose, process, people, management behaviors, and mental models – and it is the role of leadership to adjust its stance to each of them.
FEATURE – When middle managers are stressed and overworked, there is no time left for them to improve. Changing the interaction between leaders and teams, using lean principles and empowering people, can truly ignite your transformation.
PROFILE – A commitment to learning and the humility to understand we never really know enough have led a Belgian mathematician to become a polyglot… and the CIO of Toyota Motor Europe.
PROFILE – This month we meet another member of the lean community, a true pioneer of lean thinking, who contributed to introducing the methodology in Australian cities and healthcare organizations.
INTERVIEW – We asked Greg Lane to reflect on his experience with lean transformations and to share his thoughts on the leadership behaviors that best support them.
PROFILE – While pioneering the application of lean thinking in healthcare, Alice Lee realized that you should always approach teaching as you do problem solving: scientifically, situationally, and with the humility of a learner.
INTERVIEW - Last week's Lean Summit in Lyon was a great success. We asked Michael Ballé of the Institut Lean France why that was, what the key takeaways were, and what was new in this edition.
INTERVIEW – Last month we caught up with Toyota veteran Art Smalley in Las Vegas and discussed with him the role of leadership in a lean transformation and the four different types of problem solving he talks about in his new book.
PROFILE – It isn’t every day that you come across a hospital CEO coaching people on A3s and following his own standard work. So when you do, it’s important to share their story. This month, we profile Carlos Frederico Pinto, CEO of a Brazilian cancer treatment center.
PROFILE – Lean leaders are often tempted to jump in and fix the problems they see. Julie McGrory is successfully transforming the culture of a large and traditional government organization by learning to take a step back and letting people take the lead.
PROFILE - Three decades in Toyota South Africa and an ability to see the value stream as a whole are helping Terry O'Donoghue, COO of Halfway Toyota, to bring lean thinking to a chain of car dealerships.
PROFILE – Before anything else, a good lean leader must be open to changing and continuously running experiments – something Christophe Riboulet, CEO of a small French manufacturer, knows quite a bit about.
FEATURE ARTICLE – Starting off a lean journey is no easy feat, and existing models won’t tell you what the next steps are. That’s why you should go back to basics and let the Toyota Production System “house” from the mid-1980s show you the way.
PROFILE – In this new section, Planet Lean features some of the most inspirational lean leaders out there. For the first profile, we have selected James Hereford, a former high school teacher who is now leading his third healthcare transformation.
COLUMN – Digitalization is now on the agenda of executive teams and is encouraging organizations to review their business models. But how does IT fit into the picture? What is its role? How can lean help?
FEATURE ARTICLE – By offering an alternative approach to management, lean thinking has disrupted the business world in the past three decades. But in what way has it really innovated?
ARTICLE – While supporting the adoption of lean in a Mozambican hospital, a young engineer learned a number of valuable lessons on leadership and what it really takes to help developing countries to grow.
ARTICLE - Michael Ballé shares a few thoughts on leadership and respect for people, and tells us why lean management is the only way to make adaptive change a way of life.
CASE STUDY – Following one of the deadliest hurricanes in US history, an NGO started to use lean management principles to speed up the reconstruction of homes in the Louisiana city… and the results were impressive.
ARTICLE – Menlo Innovations has proved there is a different, more "joyful" way of running a software development company – could those same lessons be applied to the healthcare industry?
ARTICLE – No healthcare transformation can succeed without a system-wide approach to change. In this article, Dr. John Toussaint, offers his take on the issue, providing a guide for healthcare executives.
INTERVIEW – At the recent Lean Transformation Summit in New Orleans, we sat down with Richard Sheridan of Menlo Innovations to discuss the ground-breaking concept of joy in the workplace.
INTERVIEW - What do the United States Army’s Special Forces unit and Toyota have in common? To find out, we spoke to the Green Berets’ former Director of Training at the LEI summit in New Orleans.
INTERVIEW - Eric Ethington shares what he has learned about lean thinking implementations during his 30-year career holding positions at General Motors, Delphi and Textron.
COLUMN - In the first installment of her new column, the CIO of Finnish defense company Patria shares her thoughts on what makes lean management so critical in the life of the leader of an IT department.
VIDEO INTERVIEW – Hierarchical organization, goodbye! Embracing servant leadership and a horizontal reporting structure, Spotify is redefining the idea of company.
VIDEO INTERVIEW - How does the behaviour of a CIO change when lean IT is embraced? At November's Lean IT Summit, we spoke with Sari Torkkola of Finnish defence company Patria.
ARTICLE - To operate successfully we need systems, but as we grow these often give us "big company disease." The solution is bringing leadership at work level to really guarantee customer satisfaction.
RESEARCH - Standard work is not meant for senior leadership, but there are activities that CEOs can carry out systematically to support a lean management system, starting from problem solving.
CASE STUDY – A unique approach to lean management and the involvement of CEO Mario Nardi helped Pietro Fiorentini, provider of solutions for natural gas distribution, become a model for lean companies in Italy.
VIDEO INTERVIEW - Planet Lean meets John Shook at the Lean Summit in São Paulo earlier this month and discusses innovation, the Lean Transformation Model, and the state of lean in Brazil.
COLUMN - In the third article of our series, the CEO of a healthcare institution in Catalonia, Spain, discusses the implementation of lean as a mindset that has its foundations in continuous improvement.
RESEARCH - Offering us a glimpse into how the human mind works and into Toyota's approach to people engagement, this article tells us how to create a better working environment for our employees.
ARTICLE - Mark Reich, Director of Strategy and Operations at the Lean Enterprise Institute, shares some of the key lessons he learned throughout his career at Toyota.
COLUMN - In the second article of our series, the director of an elementary school in Budapest tells us how using PDCA can help to improve education and provide students with the right skills.
INTERVIEW - In this video interview, René Aernoudts, Michael Ballé and Dan Jones answer a few key questions on what's next for the lean movement.
In the first of a series of columns written by CEOs, John Bouthillon of PO Construction explains how lean has kept his company afloat through the recession.
INTERVIEW - What does "leading through incompetence" mean? Peter Willats discusses the role of leadership in a lean management system and the evolution of lean thinking.
INTERVIEW - Anton Ulanov is the CEO of one of the largest agricultural businesses in Russia. Here, he speaks with LGN about the application of lean at Agroholding Kuban, discussing the challenges and opportunities for the implementation of the methodology in agriculture and in the wider context of business in Russia.