Focus

Defining lean is useful, lean definitions are useless

FEATURE – In this article, the author reflects on how his understanding of lean thinking evolved over time – as did the way he defined it.

Our new, leaner Cancer Center

FEATURE – The renovation of one of its departments gave a hospital in Italy the perfect opportunity to redesign his oncology care with lean healthcare principles in mind.

The Sunday-night barista

FEATURE – The author looks back at her time at Starbucks Coffee Company and reflects on the role of leadership in facilitating the spread of lean thinking across the organization.

Learning A3 thinking to become a better doctor

FEATURE – A student in a medical school recently completed a rotation based on A3 thinking. She tells us what learning to use this problem-solving method has brought her.

Blue-sky thinking

FEATURE – Successfully engaging people and building a solid daily management system is allowing a Velux factory in Poland to fulfill its strategic goals.  

Banking on hoshin

FEATURE – What a Brazilian bank has learned from its first few steps in adopting hoshin kanri through structured problem solving and people development.

Paying our dues

CASE STUDY – This Polish debt collection company is refocusing its work around true customer needs and increasing problem visibility by implementing hoshin kanri.

Teaching A3 skills to medical students

FEATURE – Problem solving is a fundamental part of being a leader, which is what led this medical school in the United States to include A3 thinking in its curriculum. 

The hands of many

FEATURE – A dedicated pathway and the introduction of lean healthcare principles is bringing people together to provide better care to older, frail people in an Irish hospital group.

Lean caters for our product development needs

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – This French company has completely transformed its approach to designing and introducing new products to market by embracing lean product development ideas.

Supporting the Australian service industry

INTERVIEW – What skills do coaches need to successfully support lean transformations in the service sector? Our colleagues from Australia tells us about their experience.

Lean as a two-step engine

FEATURE – One of the things making lean thinking so hard to explain in general terms is its dual nature as both an organizational and managerial approach. The authors explain how to handle this tension.

Flexible by design

FEATURE – By leveraging lean product and process development principles, Nichirin Spain is becoming more flexible managing last-minute changes in product design requested by customers.

The energy to get things done

FEATURE – When people become enthusiastic about improvement work, there's no limit to what can be achieved. Join the author on a visit to a Finland-based manufacturer, whose lean efforts range from production to customer service.

Learning to ‘own it’

INTERVIEW – During his recent visit to California, our editor sat down with a Senior VP from Turner Construction to discuss leadership transformation and the importance of diversity in the workplace.

When a hospital meets an airline

FEATURE – In a bid to find inspiration and new ideas to achieve excellent outcomes in patient safety, a group from a Boston hospital flew to Orlando to visit JetBlue Airways. 

Implanting lean ideas in our practice

FEATURE – Lean thinking has helped this dental practice in Italy to streamline the work, develop the capabilities of workers and free up a lot of the head dentist’s time.

Detecting improvement opportunities

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – A culture in which problems are tackled as soon as they appear and the production and product development teams work closely together is helping this French healthcare technology company to thrive.