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Lean Blog Interviews
59 minutes | 3 days ago
Jay Hodge: Going From GM to Toyota to Healthcare and Beyond
Founder & President, Jay Hodge & Associates Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/402 My guest for Episode #402 is Jay Hodge, the founder and CEO of Jay Hodge & Associates. He has over 25 years of operational leadership experience in companies such as Toyota, General Motors, Caterpillar, and Tenet Healthcare. Jay is also the author of The Lean Treasure Chest. We talk about Jay's career — going from teaching the Toyota Production System at General Motors to then actually going and working at Toyota. What did Jay first learn about “efficient operations” and leadership in the United States Marine Corps? What did Jay learn about culture and servant leadership? What was the most difficult thing about leaving Toyota and going to other environments, including healthcare? How do we teach somebody to manage and to lead instead of just promoting them? The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity and healthcare industries. Learn more. This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network.
3 minutes | 7 days ago
Announcement on Episode 400
Sorry about the audio problem... please do listen to Jeff Liker in Episode 400. You can re-download the episode or go to http://leanblog.org/400 and use the streaming player there.
62 minutes | 9 days ago
Jim Benson, Talking About Humane Management
Co-author of the book Personal Kanban Show notes: http://www.leanblog.org/401 My guest for Episode #401 is my friend Jim Benson, who you might know as the co-author of the book Personal Kanban (and we talked about that in Episode 155, back in 2012). He was also a guest on Episode #4 of "My Favorite Mistake" with me. We recorded this using the LinkedIn Live platform. Jim and I have talked a lot (and collaborated) over the years, so we intentionally went into this conversation without much of a plan. The main theme is "humane management," a phrase of Jim's that I really like. We talk about workplaces, psychological safety (listen to my episode with Amy Edmondson on that), learned helplessness, respect, autonomy, systems thinking, and more. We also jokingly brainstorm titles for a hypothetical podcast that we would do together. He is going to join me and Jamie Flinchbaugh for the next episode of the "Lean Whiskey" podcast, by the way. Is "Mark and Jim's Vomitorium of Management Ideas" a good name? Probably not. Jim's company, Modus Institute, has a new "Lean Agile Visual Management Certification and Accreditation Series," so please check it out. The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity and healthcare industries. Learn more. This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network.
68 minutes | 16 days ago
V2: Jeff Liker on the Second Edition of "The Toyota Way"
SORRY for the audio bugs, this episode should be fixed now.... Author of the newly-updated book, available now. Show notes and more: http://www.leanblog.org/400 Wow, 400 Episodes!! 400 episodes in roughly 15.5 years… that's about 800 weeks, or one episode every two weeks, on average, over that time. Thanks again to the late Norm Bodek for the idea to get this podcast started, as I talk about in this memorial video. Thanks to everybody who has listened or participated as a guest!! My guest for Episode #400 is Jeffrey Liker, the retired University of Michigan professor who has recently released the second updated and revised version of his seminal book The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer. The new edition has more examples from the service sector, including healthcare, and it incorporates “Toyota Kata” approaches (and he credits his former student Mike Rother). Today, we talk about why he wrote a new edition and what he's learned since the publication of the original back in 2004. We talk about combining the perspectives of industrial engineering and sociology — the mechanistic vs. the organic views of a system like Lean/TPS. What is “coercive bureaucracy” vs. “enabling bureaucracy”? What's the difference between “being Toyota” and “emulating Toyota”? We also learn a little bit about the musical instrument that Jeff has started playing again. We need to form a Lean band! Maybe not. The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity and healthcare industries. Learn more. This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network. Jeff was previously a guest on episodes 3, 4, 37, 39, 41, and 111
66 minutes | 24 days ago
Lesa Nichols: Reflecting on Hajime Oba and Her Toyota Experience
Lesa is the founder of Lesa Nichols Consulting. Show notes: http://www.leanblog.org/399 My guest for Episode #399 of the Lean Blog Interviews podcast is Lesa Nichols, a former Toyota and TSSC employer who now works with organizations through her company, Lesa Nichols Consulting. Today, Lesa shares reflections on working closely with the late Hajime Oba. This is the third podcast in a mini series, following my conversations with Steve Spear and with Hide Oba. In the episode, we talk about topics including: Lisa's non-traditional path to TPS: From public relations to the shop floor Working with plant president (and future company chairman) Fujio Cho Choosing between being a "technical scientist" or a "social scientist" of TPS Meeting Mr. Oba and working with TSSC Helping find American expertise to learn from Becoming a powertrain production manager Key lessons from working with Mr. Oba: "Managers must fight to have floor time" "Safety is an assumed thing?" -- what does this mean? Don't look for waste, look for overburden (both physical and mental) Why is openly admitting mistakes such an important thing at Toyota Why Toyota's "soul is around manufacturing" Lesa was also a contributor of a chapter to the anthology book Practicing Lean. The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity and healthcare industries. Learn more.
55 minutes | a month ago
Brett M. Cooper and Evans Kerrigan on "Solving the People Problem"
Co-founders of the firm Integris Performance Advisors Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/398 My guest for Episode #398 of the Lean Blog Interviews podcast are Brett M. Cooper and Evans Kerrigan, both co-founders of the firm Integris Performance Advisors. Brett is the President and Evans is the CEO. They are co-authors of a book with a provocative title: Solving the People Problem: Essential Skills You Need to Lead and Succeed in Today's Workplace. When I first heard about the book, I challenged them a bit on the title — is this really a “people problem” or a “systemic problem”? We have a really good conversation about all of that today and they ask a question that resonated with me: “The problem begins with you?” meaning that leaders have to go first… You can learn more via the book's website or Amazon. In the episode, we talk about the DISC-EQ model of emotional intelligence and you can take a free personal assessment via their website, use code LEANBLOG. They also answer questions including: Why do you say “leadership is a relationship?” What are the “essential skills” that leaders need, at a high level? What's “the right kind of disagreement” in a workplace? The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity and healthcare industries. Learn more.
55 minutes | a month ago
Hide Oba Discusses His Father, Toyota's Hajime Oba
TPS / Lean Consultant based in NYC https://www.leanblog.org/397 Joining me for Episode #397 is Hide Oba. His father was the late Hajime Oba, famous for his work at Toyota and the TSSC, as Steve Spear and I discussed back in Episode #386. Hide worked with his father at TSSC and also worked with him through the company H&M Operations Management, LLC. He is based in New York City. He says that his mission is to continue spreading his father's wisdom and I appreciate him doing so here with me on the podcast. I asked Hide to summarize his father's life and work and he then talks about some of the unique aspects of his approach. “Going to the shop floor was fun… his hobby.” Hide tells a story about his father telling Bruce Hamilton, “You should do Kaizen, too,” and you can read Bruce's side of the story here. We discuss the balance between asking questions versus pointing people in a direction. Hide says Hajime “never asked people what they should do,” but he asked questions based on his vision. Hajime saw TPS as “management engineering” — being very scientific about creating the right structure that allows you to create a kaizen culture. Hajime was also “careful” about the word “scientific” as it is meant to mean “continuous discovery and learning… understanding why.” Hide says his father was “addicted to learning.” Hajime aimed to always learn from the client. From the new 2nd edition of The Toyota Way (an interview with Jeff Liker about that is coming soon, by the way): “Oba said “TPS is built on the scientific way of thinking… How do I respond to this problem? Not a toolbox. You have to be willing to start small, learn through trial and error.” Hide also talks about how his father visited hospitals in Pittsburgh via Kent Bowen and Paul O'Neill. We also talk about why others have struggled to copy or emulate Toyota. “Stick to Ohno,” says Hide. Solve problems one at at instead of having a big program. He “never asked a company to start by creating a Lean / CI office, sitting and making presentations.” Hajime said the plant manager is the key person, and he would say, “Come with me and let's go through the process together.” Why does the idea of “challenge” not mean “asking people to do things that are impossible?” Why did he “hate giving a format for problem solving?” We discuss all of that and the idea of “respect for people.” Hide says he father taught that we should “respect humanity” — human life is limited and we shouldn't waste it… that's why we do kaizen. He also “saw a lot of waste in his final days” in the hospital. I'm very thankful that Hide can keep his father's work and legacy alive for all of us. The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity and healthcare industries. Learn more.
66 minutes | a month ago
Patrick Adams on "Avoiding the Continuous Appearance Trap"
Consultant, author of a newly-released Lean book Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/396 My guest for Episode #396 is Patrick Adams, the author of the new book (released as a paperback today!), titled Avoiding the Continuous Appearance Trap: 12 Questions to Understand What's Truly Underneath Your Culture. You can learn more about the book at avoidcontinuousappearance.com. Patrick is CEO / Executive Lean Coach with his firm Patrick Adams Consulting Services and host of the Lean Solutions Podcast (and he had me as his guest last year). Patrick served in the United States Marine Corps for 8 years before he was injured and medically retired. He received his Bachelor of Science from Eastern Michigan University and also holds a Master of Business Administration. He's also a Six Sigma Black Belt. In today's episode, Patrick talks about how he got introduced to Lean and connections to McDonald's (and the movie “The Founder“). He then talks about his early experiences as a production supervisor in a plastics plant and an auto supplier. We talk about leadership concepts (including servant leadership) that he learned in the military and we learn the story behind the book and why he wrote it.
30 minutes | 2 months ago
Remembering Norman Bodek
Norman passed away on December 10, 2020 http://www.leanblog.org/rememberingnorman I'm republishing a "remastered" and commemorative version of Episode 1 of this podcast series from 2006. I was incredibly saddened yesterday to hear that Norman Bodek passed away this week. Norman was 88. This was announced through an email from Norman's company, PCS Press. Norman Bodek, famed as “the Godfather of Lean”, inducted into Industry Week's and American Manufacturing's Hall of Fame, published over 250 management books, taught at Portland State University, and created the Shingo Prize at Utah State University. He recently wrote “Leader's guide for social responsibility” and this week published CEO Coaching by Kazuyoshi Hisano. We should all be so fortunate as to be as energetic as Norman was in his 80s. He was an enthusiastic teacher and mentor, but he also had a hunger for learning that was impressive and inspiring. He suggested that we do an “audio interview” series… that became this podcast and he was the first guest. He was the second guest… in fact, he appeared 14 times. I’ve written some additional reflections — you can find those, share your own, and find links to all of his past episodes by going to leanblog.org/rememberingnorman Republishing episode 1… remastered a bit. Boy, the audio quality wasn’t as good back in 2006… I enjoyed re-listening to this the other day. I hope you will too.
39 minutes | 3 months ago
Michael Parent on Lean Six Sigma in HR and Talent Acquisition
Lean practitioner, industrial engineer, and consultant https://www.leanblog.org/395 My guest for Episode #395 is Michael Parent. He is Managing Director of his firm Right Brain Consulting and he is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt with the AAA Auto Club Group. Michael has a BS in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from William & Mary. Michael and I are both from the same home town, by the way -- Livonia, Michigan. In today's episode, Michael first shares what he learned working for Bridgestone, a "typical Japanese company, " as he puts it. He learned, among other things, that "culture is everything." We then talk about the LSS project that he led in HR and Talent Acquisition for the AAA Auto Club Group. What was the problem statement? "Time to fill" a position. What was the approach for the project? Who was involved and how? What was Michael's role as a facilitator? What was learned about the current state and variation in the work? How were the results and benefits determined? And, what were his lessons learned from this work? His case study is available to read through iSixSigma.com. https://www.isixsigma.com/implementation/case-studies/case-study-streamlining-a-hiring-process/
69 minutes | 3 months ago
Lean Communicators Talk About Their Podcasts and More
Nine short discussions with other podcasters https://www.leanblog.org/394 Today's episode, #394, is a little different. I have nine different guests today... not all at once, but sequentially in today's episode. Many people have started podcasts (or similar projects) during the pandemic. I've started two (Habitual Excellence and My Favorite Mistake) in addition to this series that's about to hit its 15th birthday). Some of my guests today started a podcast during the pandemic... some of them were already going. Most of them are doing podcasts related to Lean (and one is a college buddy who has an HR podcast). We've all been part of a formal networking group recently that we call "Lean Communicators." I have experiences to share with them, but I'm also looking to learn from what they're learning as they get started -- what new ideas or best practices was I missing? I talk with each guest about why they started their podcast or video series, what they've learned, and more. My guests and their projects are (in order of appearance): Guest Podcast or Project Bella Englebach The Edges of Lean Jon Thurmond The #HRSocialHour Half Hour Brian Buck People, Purpose and Profits Business Coaching Podcast (and YouTube) Jamie V. Parker Lean Leadership For Ops Managers Brion Hurley Lean Six Sigma Bursts and Lean Six Sigma for Good Deondra Wardelle High Five Fridays (and more to come) Paul Critchley The New England Lean Podcast Sam Morgan 90 Second Purpose and C.I. in 5 (YouTube) Patrick Adams The Lean Solutions Podcast
68 minutes | 3 months ago
Woody Zuill on Mob Programming and the Power of Flow
Speaker, consultant, and coach in the world of software https://www.leanblog.org/393 Joining me for Episode #393 of the podcast is Woody Zuill, who does "Mob Programming workshops, talks and presentations on agile topics," and "coaches and guides folks interested in creating a wonderful workplace where people can excel in their work, and in their life." I had a chance to meet Woody last year when I saw him speak at an Agile conference and I really enjoyed his perspectives. Woody has also participated quite a bit in a "Lean Consultants Stuck at Home" group that I had organized earlier in the pandemic times. Topics today include "flow" in software development, the difference between "mob programming" and "paired programming," and the "no estimates movement" and why that is important. I hope you'll find this interesting even if you don't work in software.
59 minutes | 4 months ago
Mike Leigh on Breaking Down Barriers, Lessons from the Navy, and More
Lean consultant and contributor to "Practicing Lean" http://www.leanblog.org/392 Joining me for Episode #392 is Mike Leigh, the President of his firm OpX Solutions, LLC. Mike was one of the contributors, writing a chapter for our anthology book Practicing Lean. Some highlights from Mike's career, from his bio: Began his career as an officer in the US Navy in the late ‘80s, specializing in nuclear propulsion and surface warfare Mike spent 13 years with General Electric and held various leadership and senior management positions at several different manufacturing sites During his last five years with GE, Mike was an internal lean consultant and helped over 25 GE factories/suppliers and hundreds of work teams become more productive, reduce costs, and improve their bottom line Had 45 weeks of training by mentors from Shingijutsu, considered by many as the best Lean consultants in the world Today, we have a wide-ranging conversation, starting off by talking about the need for leaders to "break down barriers" (and to understand what those barriers really are). What lessons did Mike learn about leadership from the Navy? What leadership behaviors are really problematic? And what are the root causes of those behaviors? We talk about all of this and more. https://vurbl.com/station/5vxV3TPwDGW/
63 minutes | 4 months ago
Mary and Tom Poppendieck on #Lean Software & More
Authors and innovators in Lean Software development, Lean thinkers https://www.leanblog.org/391 My guests for Episode #391 are Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck, the authors of books including Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit, Implementing Lean Software Development, and The Lean Mindset: Ask the Right Questions. In the episode, we'll hear their thoughts on Lean as "a way of thinking that values people" and how teamwork, problem solving, and customer focus are integral to Lean -- in software or otherwise. How can we build capabilities for problem solving ("producing people") and how can we "learn how to learn"? Questions, Links, and More How did you first discover Lean? How did you come to see the potential applications to software development? You published Lean Software Development in 2003 -- how do you define that term “Lean” and what does it mean to you? How has your view of Lean evolved over those 17 years? What have you learned about Lean / TPS from visiting Japan? Your 2013 book is called "The Lean Mindset" -- as the subtitle says, asking the right questions is important... why so? How do we know what the right questions are? 2009 -- Leading Lean Software Development -- another provocative subtitle... "results are not the point" -- what do you mean? LeanEssays.com Their website: http://poppendieck.com/ Mary on Twitter
65 minutes | 4 months ago
Keith Ingels on "Adopting and Adapting" TPS to the Raymond Lean Management System
Manager at Raymond Corporation (part of Toyota) Show notes, with transcript and more: https://www.leanblog.org/390 My guest for Episode #390 is Keith Ingels, the TPS (Toyota Production System) Manager for Raymond Corporation -- Raymond is part of Toyota Material Handling North America, which is part of Toyota Industries. Wait, so a Toyota company needs a "TPS Manager?" Yes, when that company was acquired by Toyota, which creates a need to "become more like Toyota" instead of just "being Toyota." What are the differences between TPS and the Raymond Lean Management System, if any, and why does that terminology matter? What is the "adopt and adapt" strategy and why is that so important? I want to thank Raymond Corp. for making Keith available and for sharing the videos and resources that I've linked to below. Also, here is an article that Keith had published recently on shifting to a culture of continuous improvement.
54 minutes | 4 months ago
Elisabeth Swan on the Problems With Brainstorming and Why "Structure Sets You Free"
Author, podcaster, and consultant https://www.leanblog.org/389 My guest for Episode #389 is Elisabeth Swan. She is the co-author of The Problem-Solver's Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe Podcast. As her bio says, she's "been helping people successfully build their problem-solving muscles for over 30 years, and she loves what she does every single day." In the episode, we discuss brainstorming, using an article she wrote for GoLeanSixSigma.com as the starting point: "Green Belts: Group Brainstorming Is a Waste of Time." Why has classic brainstorming proven to be ineffective, especially in the context of Lean, Six Sigma, or process improvement? And how can it be better given the reality of remote teams? The conversation also veers into talking about Elisabeth's history in improv comedy and how lessons from the improv approach influence her to this day. Why does "structure set you free" in improv or Lean Six Sigma? We'll talk about that and more.
54 minutes | 4 months ago
Michael Lombard on Kata, Crises, and his AME Conference Keynote
Healthcare leader, coach, and Kata Geek https://www.leanblog.org/388 My guest for Episode #388 is my friend Michael Lombard. I first met Michael when he lived in the DFW area and first got into healthcare. He has been a Lean facilitator / coach in numerous healthcare organizations and has been a hospital CEO in Louisiana before taking his current role, again focusing on process improvement, at Kaiser Permanente in California. Michael is doing a unique and, I think, groundbreaking keynote talk at the upcoming AME Virtual Conference. The session, which he invited me to moderate, is called "Striving together in a crisis: How improvement science can build resiliency in a crisis and perhaps even progress complex social issues." These crises include Covid-19, wildfires, and social injustice and unrest. He will be incorporating videos by two physicians, Dr. Rita Ng and Dr. Carla Wicks and they will both be participating in the Q&A for this "conversation-style" keynote. Our podcast today is a preview of this session. Michael and I also talk about how (and why) he got into healthcare and why the Toyota Kata methodology is so important to him.
68 minutes | 5 months ago
Seán Paul Teeling on Lean Healthcare and Covid-19 Treatment in Ireland
Irish Lean healthcare leader and nurse Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/387 My guest for Episode #387 of the podcast is Sán Paul Teeling, who joins us from Dublin, Ireland. He is the Programme Director for the Professional Certificate and Graduate Diploma in Lean Healthcare at UCD Health Systems. Seán Paul is also an Assistant Professor in Health Systems/Mater Lean Academy. He was previously Lean Manager at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital Dublin. You can read his full bio here. Seán Paul and I have collaborated a few times — I was invited to give a virtual lecture last year and I had the opportunity to visit the hospital and the Lean Academy last November, leading a workshop for a group there about continuous improvement and the methods from Measures of Success (yes, I had my “red bead game” kit with me). Seán Paul also invited me to review articles and to contribute an editorial to a special supplement about Lean and Six Sigma in the journal International Journal for Quality in Health Care. In the episode, we discuss the Irish health system and his experience practicing and teaching Lean. We also have the unique opportunity to chat with somebody who designed a Covid-19 clinic and then got treatment in that same clinic (thankfully, he has now recovered). I hope you enjoy the conversation like I did.
29 minutes | 5 months ago
Bonus: Billy Taylor's "Favorite Mistake"
I'm crossposting Episode #5 of my new podcast series "My Favorite Mistake." My guest here is Billy Taylor, who was my guest on episodes #293 and 298 of this series, Lean Blog Interviews. Billy is a retired operations executive with Goodyear who now has his own consulting group. In this episode, Billy talks about how he learned from mistakes related to not respecting standards -- when he was a kid and when he was a rising operations leader at Goodyear. I know you'll enjoy this episode as a Lean practitioner and I think you'll like the whole "My Favorite Mistake" series on the theme of learning from mistakes.
45 minutes | 5 months ago
Steven J. Spear Remembers Hajime Oba of Toyota
MIT professor, author, and consultant http://www.leanblog.org/386 Joining me again for Episode #386 is Steve Spear, who reached out to share recollections of one of his most influential teachers and mentors, Hajime Oba, who passed away earlier this month at 75. I never had the chance to learn directly from Mr. Oba, but he is legendary in Lean circles and I know many people who were deeply influenced by Mr. Oba. I hope to interview more of them in the near future. My deepest condolences go out to Mr. Oba's family, friends, and colleagues. Here is a classic 2001 WSJ article that features him: "How Does Toyota Maintain Quality? Mr. Oba's Hair Dryer Offers a Clue" In today's episode, Steve talks about meeting Mr. Oba and how he learned from him as a PhD student. One story that Steve shares was about sitting at his desk, thinking about a problem, and Mr. Oba told him: "Don't think -- do!" Hajime Oba You'll hear more from Steve talking about the need to learn by doing and to test changes in an experimental fashion. It's not just "do" --- it's Plan Do Check Act (or Plan Do Study Adjust or even Plan Test Study Adjust).
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