Lean people engagement

The formula behind the success of Toyota

INTERVIEW – What is the secret to Toyota’s ability to engage people in continuous improvement? Tracey and Ernie Richardson look back at their time with the company and tell us.

Pioneering lean thinking in hotels

FEATURE – Dreamplace Hotels in Tenerife have been on an improvement journey for several years, but only recently did they find a way to truly become a learning organization: lean thinking.

Kgotla, a foundation for lean thinking

FEATURE – Is it possible to build our lean transformation efforts on pre-existing cultural aspects we find in our societies? According to the author, it is… and it works really well.

The lean veterinarian

INTERVIEW – A 22-people veterinarian hospital in Barcelona has recently turned to lean thinking. We caught up with the owner to learn how things have changed six months into the journey. 

The power of our origin story

PROFILE – Earlier this month, our editor visited the US and sat down with the CEO of a community health center near Boston. His humility and honesty about his lean leadership are striking.

Retaining talent to make a difference

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – This French company provides support to the severely disabled, and is currently using lean thinking to limit employee turnover and recruit faster.

Can you standardize creative work?

FEATURE – The belief that standardization kills creativity can be a severe hindrance in a lean transformation. The author discusses how he convinced his team of architects to give standards a try.

Good Thinking, Good Products

FEATURE – Following a recent visit to Toyota, the authors strive to challenge popular beliefs and shed a light on the underlying philosophy that has made TPS a success for over half a century.

When front-line employees open the eyes of management

INTERVIEW – The CEO of a Scottish health board takes us through the organization’s long lean journey, reminding us that allowing people to take the initiative often leads to the most impressive discoveries.
lean construction Kloet

Lean in a building maintenance and renovation company

FEATURE – Visualizing the work, increasing customer focus and changing the way to interact with employees has helped a family-run Dutch building maintenance and renovation firm to transform itself.
lean management human nature

The relationship between lean change and human nature

RESEARCH – Human behavior tends to make change even harder to attain than it already is. This brilliant research paper looks at change from a psychological, technical and leadership point of view.
talent retainment digital revolution

A modern HR department must offer a dynamic work partnership

OPINION – The digital revolution has forever changed the nature of employment: today's workers have more choice and employers competing for them than ever before. It's about time our approach to HR reflected that.
womack yokoten answer man

Jim Womack on asking questions rather than providing answers

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.
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.

How Iceland firm Marel motivated engineers with a hackathon

FEATURE – As an experiment to boost cross-functional collaboration, creativity and joy on the workplace, Iceland-based machining manufacturer Marel recently ran a hackathon. Here's what the experience taught them.

The staff-driven transformation of a children’s hospital

FEATURE - What if it were your staff driving change rather than managers? A focus on improvement at the front line and on people development proved critical to the lean transformation of a Stanford hospital.
software development Menlo front line

This new column gives a voice to people at the front line

COLUMN - Menlo Innovations may not define itself as a "lean organization" but there is no doubt that its management style is akin to the principles lean teaches. Here, a front-line Menlonian shares her thoughts on the company's culture.
lean resistance beyond kata

Dealing with resistance? Adopt a flexible stance

ARTICLE – In her second piece for PL, Frances Steinberg returns to the topic of working more effectively with people and the importance of going beyond the structured approach of kata familiar to so many of us.