Lean Blog Interviews - Healthcare, Manufacturing, Business, and Leadership

In this series, started in 2006, Mark Graban interviews leaders, practitioners, innovators, and legends in the ”Lean community.” Topics include Lean in manufacturing, healthcare, startups, and other settings. Special emphasis is given to leadership and management system concepts, including the Toyota Production System and related methods. But, we don‘t talk about ”Lean Six Sigma” much around here, if that‘s of interest to you... if you agree that Lean is more than ”just a bunch of tools in the improvement toolbox,” then this is the place for you. Visit the blog at www.leanblog.org. For feedback, email mark@leanblog.org. All past episodes, with show notes and more, can be found at www.leancast.org.

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Episodes

4 days ago

Founder/CEO of CJ Young Consulting, LLC Episode page: https://www.leanblog.org/436 My guest for Episode #436 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Dr. Cynthia J. Young, PMP, LSS MBB, CMQ-OE, the Founder/CEO of CJ Young Consulting, LLC. Cindy helps organizations optimize human-centric knowledge to increase trust and support collaboration and inclusion. She is a TEDx Speaker, an HBR Contributor, and a Veteran (23 years in the U.S. Navy) She is also a Curriculum Developer and Instructor with Leidos, an engineering and defense contractor. Cindy is also presenting a webinar on February 10th, part of the KaiNexus CI Webinar series… learn more and register here: Impactful Methods to Benefit Organizational Knowledge Management and Continuous Improvement Efforts She is also leading an upcoming “Knowledge Management Bootcamp.” Today, we discuss topics and questions including: Origin story as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt? –> In the Navy Combining LSS, PMP, CMQ-OE certifications? What is “knowledge management” in the context of organizations? Leadership & technology?? Five Ways to Protect Yourself from a Layoff Using Knowledge Management We should “Resist hoarding knowledge” — is that counterintuitive? This sharing had big benefits to you and your career? Breaking down silos? Applying KM to Lean and applying Lean to KM? Waste of capturing knowledge that doesn't get used? Examples of good practices?  Mistakes people make with knowledge? 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. 

Tuesday Jan 11, 2022

Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/435  My guests for Episode #435 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast are Sunil Khushalani, MD, a psychiatrist who specializes in Addiction Psychiatry and Antonio DePaolo, PhD, a transformation executive and a Baldrige Fellow with over 22 years of experience in improvement science. My guests today are the co-authors of the new book, released in December, titled Transforming Mental Healthcare: Applying Performance Improvement Methods to Mental Healthcare. You can order the book through the publisher at a 20% discount, using code ESBAC. They are a physician (psychiatrist more specifically) and an industrial engineer: Sunil Khushalani, MD, a psychiatrist who specializes in Addiction Psychiatry Antonio DePaolo, PhD, a transformation executive and a Baldrige Fellow with over 22 years of experience in improvement science. Today, we discuss topics and questions including:  I'm always fascinated to hear your ‘lean origin stories” if you will Antonio? 16 years in manufacturing, Lean and Six Sigma, GM/Delphi, Sensei Nakao from Shingujitsu Suni? At Shepard Pratt – Chip Davis, patient safety course, Steve Spear “Fixing Healthcare“, the “Pittsburgh Way” book, “Perfecting Patient Care” with Spear and Paul O'Neill Antonio coming into healthcare? Via Stiles Associates (our sponsor) Experts in behavior — lessons in behavioral health? Ron Oslin webinar on Motivational Interviewing (still trying to find the new location on lean.org) “Addicted to the status quo” — How does this idea apply to leaders? “A conservative 30-50% of every step in the mental healthcare process does not help patients feel better or stay better”?? Motivations for Lean then and there? Sunil: hearing about quality & safety problems? How did you approach transformation / Lean in the Mental Healthcare setting? 1 in 5 Americans experience a “mental illness” each year — which is most common? How many people don't get access to the right treatment? When should people reach out for mental health care? How do you define Lean Daily Management? Burnout amongst healthcare workers? Sunil – tell us more about the natural reaction to being told? Don't blame people for being resistant to change Pitfalls / lessons learned??  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. 

Tuesday Jan 04, 2022

Professor at INSEAD, author of "Built to Innovate" Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/434 My guest for Episode #434 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Ben Bensaou. He is an INSEAD professor and author of Built to Innovate: Essential Practices to Wire Innovation into Your Company's DNA. Ben earned his PhD at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where I was an MBA student. He was part of Jim Womack‘s research team that studied the auto industry and that group coined the term “Lean.” He's joining us from Kobe, Japan, where he is on sabbatical. Today, we discuss topics and questions including: I'm curious to hear your memories and reflections of the Womack research era “Japanese management model”? – how would you describe that?  Jim Womack episode on “Machine Revisited” Labor / talent shortages — similar challenge in Europe or Japan now? Was there anything from that research that wasn't widely understood by readers and business leaders? “It's a mindset” not tools, techniques, and gimmicks  Parallels to innovation? How much is a mindset? The importance of building trust with suppliers “Innovation is everybody's job” “The fundamental is trust in people” “… permission to innovate” – culture and environment Is there a spectrum between C.I. and innovation? Can innovation be taught? Can innovation be a process? Innovation as a noun vs. innovating as a verb Why are middle managers so important for innovation and is this surprising to people? Not just the “genius leaders” “Innovation ambassadors” – coaches working with the middle managers If people think that Lean (and concepts like standardized work) stifle innovation, what's your response to that? “The power of process” doesn't stifle innovation… leads to innovation? 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. 

Tuesday Dec 07, 2021

My guest for Episode #433 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Gerard Ibarra, an author, business consultant, speaker, and entrepreneur. Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/433 Gerard is the author of the book Good Decisions, Better Outcomes: A Simple, Five-Step Process to Help You Make Important and Difficult Decisions with Confidence and Clarity, available now. Gerard received his PhD from Southern Methodist University's (SMU) Lyle School of Engineering with emphasis in Logistics Systems Engineering and Operations Research. He has taught graduate courses in logistics systems engineering at SMU, as well as logistics, supply chain management and e-business courses at the University of Dallas' Graduate School of Management. He's had executive roles in logistics companies, has had his own consulting firm, and was President and CEO of a company from 2008 to 2010. He was also the CEO of Jaguar Logistics, the largest medical on-demand transport company in Texas until acquired by Dropoff in 2018. Today, we discuss topics and questions including: What's your origin story related to continuous improvement? Where and when and why? The story behind the book — why a book on decision making? Efficient and effective decision making? Decision making is not strictly rational, is it? How do emotions influence us and how should we take that info consideration? What is the P2MODE methodology, in a nutshell? How much of good decision making is process vs. having the right info? Evaluating needs vs. wants? How does that enter into decision making? Group decision making and this framework?? Types of consulting you do — general training? Help with a specific big decision? My Favorite Mistake guests — often the decision seems like a good one at the time… but later reveals itself to be a “mistake.” How often would you expect this to be the result of a bad decision making process vs. a good process with bad information? 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. 

Tuesday Nov 16, 2021

Show page: https://www.leanblog.org/432  My guest for Episode #432 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Jamie Flinchbaugh, an old friend of mine and a frequent guest (Episodes 5, 6, 10, 64, and 261, plus the two times he's interviewed me, Episodes 50 and 316). He's also the co-creator and frequent co-host with me on the Lean Whiskey podcast series. Today, the talk is all Lean, no whiskey. We talk about leadership, problem solving, more today — talking about his new book, People Solve Problems: The Power of Every Person, Every Day, Every Problem. I put Jamie on the spot to coach me through some problem solving I'm doing related to podcast growth, and he makes a lot of great points. Today, we discuss topics and questions including: So, we don't need to worry about AI problem solving? The role of software, like KaiNexus The story behind the book – after The Hitchhiker's Guide to Lean in '06 Why this book? Why now? Behaviors drive action — what are some of the key behaviors that drive problem solving? Testing to learn… testing throughout? Open to the idea you might be WRONG – humility Entrepreneur — book is a product that scales – thinking about it like a startup? Book isn't A3 or PDSA or Kata centered… agnostic about the specific method?? A3 — The importance of a good problem statement? How do we better understand cause and effect in problem solving? You can coach without being an expert The role of intuition vs data? 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. 

Tuesday Nov 09, 2021

Show notes and links: https://leanblog.org/431 My guests for Episode #431 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Sonia Singh, a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, executive coach, and professor with 19 years of experience in healthcare operations, management consulting, leadership development, and culture transformation. She's worked with dozens of companies in improving their performance, resulting in a collective financial impact of $30M. She's trained and coached over 2000 emerging and experienced leaders.  Sonia is the founder of Sonia Singh International, and one of her offerings is the Influential Leadership Academy, where she helps leaders build emotional intelligence and master their influence.  She was previously an employee at some healthcare systems and Cardinal Health. Sonia holds a degree in Psychology from Northern Illinois University, a Master's degree in Health Administration from Tulane University, and completed her professional coaching training at the University of California, Davis. Today, we discuss topics and questions including: How did you first get introduced to Lean or continuous improvement concepts? What were some of your best experiences working in healthcare improvement? What was a “school of hard knocks” lesson you gained working in healthcare? How did you decide to start working independently? Why go through professional coaching school and how did that change how you coach? It's hard to just ask questions To you, what are the differences between the words “coach” vs “consultant?” What has it been like shifting from lean coach to leadership coach? Getting to root causes of behaviors or reactions? How to help people shift from telling to asking questions? Influential Leadership Academy – who is this targeted to? “It's a strength when you can share your power.” 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. 

Tuesday Nov 02, 2021

Show notes and links: https://www.leanblog.org/430 My guests for Episode #430 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast are Eric Ethington and Matt Zayko, the authors of the new book The Power of Process: The Story of of Innovative Lean Process Development. They are both faculty for the Lean Enterprise Institute, among other roles. Eric has a firm called Lean Shift Consulting and Matt has a new role as Lean Leader at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy. The book is available now through the publisher, or from Amazon in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats. Today, we discuss their book, with topics and questions including: I like to ask guests about their “Lean origin stories” — When did you first learn about Lean and what was the context? Deming's book Out of the Crisis The way it's always been? – how to get past this? LEAN PROCESS DESIGN –> There's a lot emphasis on “process improvement” in organizations, often in the context of Lean. How do you define “process development” and why is this so important? How do we avoid disconnects between process design intent and those running the process? GO SLOW TO GO FAST? Iterative design and being more ready to launch and go fast in ramp? Doing something new — A new mass vaccination clinic? How do you strike the balance between “we've got to design it well” vs. “it's never perfect, but we can improve it”?  If you have flexibility, you don't have to be as perfect BACK TO SLOGANS — In your book, you talk about process design with “no slogans, no absolutes” — what do you mean by that? What are some slogans or absolutes that have gotten people in trouble? “Small lot flow” vs. single piece flow (Yamada), as small as possible is what he taught Who do you expect to be the typical readers of this book? What roles, levels, or industries? 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.   

Wednesday Oct 27, 2021

Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/429 My guest for Episode #429 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is John Chacon, the Director of Construction Excellence at Black & Veatch. We've been connected on social media for a while and John's reply to a tweet led to this podcast conversation, where he said: “If you have read this blog post and are still thinking about incentivizing folks for ideas…stop…give me a call and I will tell you some stories about paying your folks to think.” Today, we discuss topics and questions including: John's Lean origin story? In the Marine Corps. Deployed to Japan – painted a different picture – in what way? Cultural differences? A different level of respect? Why didn't you like it at first? How do you define Kaizen? Not just the process, it's the people Continuously improving the people Later company — “The work was to improve the work” How do you foster that culture? Curiosity and genuine wonderment What does Kaizen (what does John) suggest about how to incentivize people to submit ideas? DO we need to incentivize? What happens when you run out of rewards funding? Improvement stops How do you tap into in intrinsic motivation? Kaizen and Kata? Putting things into plain English? Working in other countries – Thailand, India, China — how does the Lean/Kaizen message get delivered differently? Marine Corps like Kaizen — the way you are vs something you do 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.   

Tuesday Oct 19, 2021

Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/428 My guests for Episode #428 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast are Nick Katko and Mike De Luca. Nick is president and owner of the firm BMA and Mike is a Lean coach, serving as principal and owner of Torre Consulting. Nick and Mike have a new book out called Practicing Lean Accounting. And I'm thrilled that the title is inspired by the book I edited called Practicing Lean. Their book is available now in paperback and Amazon Kindle formats. Nick has been practicing lean accounting for over 25 years, both as a CFO and as a lean accounting trainer and coach. Nick is also the author of the book The Lean CFO (2013) and is co-author of The Lean Business Management System (2007). Mike's lean journey began with implementing lean accounting as a finance leader in the early 2000's – evolving the finance department's role to meet the changing needs of a lean organization. Today, we talk about the book and more, with topics and questions including: Nick and then Mike, how did you first get introduced to Lean and what was the context? Manufacturing and healthcare How did you come to collaborate on this book? Budgets – from quarterly batches to daily practice The “tyranny of budgets” leads to blame? What is “Lean Accounting” in relation to the accounting function, payroll, paying suppliers, etc. “Becoming immune to waste” Why is it important for others to understand “how accounting thinks”?? What does “respect for people” mean to you? “It's not about the numbers, it's about the people using the numbers” Lean accounting applications in healthcare? What's uniquely healthcare? Final tips — How to best engage CFOs? Is there a clear message about what Lean means to the org? 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. 

Wednesday Oct 13, 2021

Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/427  My guest for Episode #427 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is a returning guest, Karyn Ross. She was previously a guest in Episodes 266 and 411. She was also my guest for Episode #3 of My Favorite Mistake. Karyn has a new book called The Kind Leader: A Practical Guide to Eliminating Fear, Creating Trust, and Leading with Kindness. Scroll down for a 20% coupon you can use if you buy through the publisher. You can also enter to win a copy. Today, we talk the book and more, with topics and questions including: How do you define kindness? NPR story on the kindest family How do we help people understand that kindness is not a sign of weakness?  My Favorite Mistake (out Thursday) Moses Harris interview Episode #110 How much unkind behavior is driven by people being scared? "Vicious circle of fear" "Collaboration, cooperation and kindness" chapter heading -- reminds me of how Dr. Deming used to rail against competition -- and I think that's especially true when talking about internal competition Systemic root causes of fear and unkind behavior -- Kind leaders can affect the system... Kindness and respect? Connections to Lean in the book A time when someone was kind to you at work? Recent KaiNexus webinar on psychological safety... also proven to drive results Workshop with Jessica House on the topic Blaming instinct...What do you mean by "always assume positive intent"? - examples? Negativity bias "Prefectionism isn't Kind" online workshop with Amy Mervak Morning session Afternoon session Little Kind Words Talk Show -- lessons learned from that? Doing live streaming -- "practice accepting what is" We're always learning... what have you learned about kindness since the book was published? "Pop up kindness stand"? -- WSJ article 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. 

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