Leadership

Katie Anderson Japanese culture

Japanese culture and lean culture: not always the same

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".
Gemba tokheim italia

Focusing on problem solving at the front line

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.
Wells Fargo scandal lean culture

The Wells Fargo scandal teaches us lean must be nurtured

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?
most satisfying moment lean journey

Five lean practitioners answer the same question #6

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.
thinking upside down ballé liker

Why lean thinking challenges our assumptions on management

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.

Knowledge-building for lean: a profile of Sari Torkkola

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 idea learned sooner

Five lean practitioners answer the same question #5

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.
bright program a3 thinking

A3 problem solving to develop Ohio’s school leaders

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.
lean accounting orry fiume

Lean accounting: a few key lessons from Wiremold

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.
lean logistics holland

Revolutionizing warehousing in a hospital with lean thinking

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.
Klaus Petersen leader profile

Think and see like a child to achieve your lean potential

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 – sustaining gains must become a focus of management

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.
Tamir people development

How lean leaders can help turn obstacles into opportunities

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.
five answers on people engagement

Five lean practitioners answer the same question #4

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.
hospital district helsinki lean healthcare

Lean healthcare at a large hospital district in Finland

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.
ballé lean experts

Ballé: before others, lean experts should heal themselves

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.
One question five answers #3

Five lean practitioners answer the same question 3

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.
Rosa Simon profile healthcare

Meet a champion of Catalonia’s lean healthcare movement

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.