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Mark Graban’s Lean Blog

The One Thing That Almost Messed Up the First Moon Landing 50 Years Ago
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This past Saturday was, of course, the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. It still puzzles me why mankind hasn’t been back on the moon in my lifetime — see an article about that. The first trip to the moon was an exercise in science, planning, practice, and contingency plans — like the speech […]

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Operational Excellence Mixtape: Best of 2019 – Mixtape A-Side
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Hi All – Summer in Manitoba requires part-time work, as the precious weeks of glorious weather need to be savoured and stored up for the grueling winters.  As such, I give you a summary of the most frequently clicked links from each mixtape from the first half of 2019.  Enjoy! Best of the First Half of […]

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Leadership as Defined and Depicted so Well by a Normandy War Memorial
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Regular readers will realize I’ve been away from the blog a lot this month. I was fortunate to get away for two weeks of vacation in Spain and France with family and friends. Blog readership is always low in July, so I know a lot of you were busy with summer things or vacations and […]

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Episode #4 of the “Lean Whiskey” Podcast: Nikka, Performance Reviews, KPIs, and an Interrupting Cat
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After the last episode that had the first guest host (Chris Burnham), I’m once again joined by Jamie Flinchbaugh for another “Lean Whiskey” podcast. In Episode 4 of Lean Whiskey, Mark Graban and Jamie Flinchbaugh (and a cameo from his cat Rocco), longtime friends, lean thinkers, and whiskey enthusiasts, join forces to enjoy a casual […]

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Embracing and Helping Surgeons Accept Change — Instead of Blaming & Labeling Them
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Here is an article that caught my eye recently, from HBR: “How One Health System Overcame Resistance to a Surgical Checklist“ Seeing the word “resistance” always makes me wonder if the health system in the article was blaming surgeons (or others) for being “resistant.” As I’ve written about before, blaming others is a really poor […]

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A Lack of Standardized Calendars Contributes to my Scheduling Mistake
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My wife recently had some work meetings in Louisville, Kentucky and she had a great idea… “Why don’t you fly here on Thursday night instead of flying home?” That was an easy decision and we had an opportunity to do some, ahem, “gemba walks” at a few Kentucky bourbon distilleries on Friday and Saturday. On […]

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Operational Excellence Mixtape: July 5, 2019
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Healthcare – Creating Value for Patients Imagine a healthcare system that responds to each patient’s circumstances and preferences in real-time.  Real-time measurement of a patient’s experience could be the holy grail of patient-centred design, and a group of physicians tested out a system to capture real-time outcomes that matter to patients.  There are many competing philosophies […]

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Podcast #344 – David B. Reid, P.E., Lean & Kaizen Across Chick-fil-A Stores
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Joining me for Episode #344 is David Reid, a mechanical engineer whose career has taken him from improvement work at Michelin Tire, to being a pastor, to now helping the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain improve through Lean and Kaizen practices and mindsets. I was really excited to see the cover story that was in the May […]

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Measures of Success Related to “Measures of Success” Workshops
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Each time I teach my “Measures of Success” workshop for Catalysis at one of their events, they give me feedback scores from the attendees. I try to practice what I preach — around reflection, the voice of the customer, continuous improvement, and the use of metrics to better understand if I’m really improving or not. […]

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