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.

Listen on:

  • Google Podcasts
  • Podbean App
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • TuneIn + Alexa
  • iHeartRadio
  • PlayerFM
  • Listen Notes

Episodes

6 days ago

Coach at www.TheLearningFactor.ca
Joining us for Episode #467 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Tracy Defoe.
She is an adult education consultant and researcher specializing in workplace education. For parts of the last 10 years, she has been puzzling over the challenges of participation and leadership in continuous improvement.  
She has taught communication, writing, teamwork, and cross-cultural communication as well as teaching methods to adults in colleges, universities, and the workplace. A regular consultant to business, labour, and government, Tracy is also an advocate for plain language and clear design.
Questions, Notes, and highlights:
Her website
Your origin story for C.I., Lean, Kata…?
How to navigate the distribution of varied mix-level knowledge / experience in a room when it's not 1×1?
How much can somebody absorb at once when learning?
“I don't know Yeti” – the mascot for Kata School Cascadia
The benefit of making learning fun?
Starter Kata questions – when is it OK to move beyond the rigid starter questions?
Teaching and coaching through questions
Being a 2nd coach? Mentor for the coach
Difficult to not jump in with advice when you DO know the process — for kata coaching?
Intervening vs. allowing them to make the mistake?
Being heard vs. feeling heard
The power of plain language… as opposed to jargon? What example comes to mind? Kata / Kaizen?
“Problem solving” sounds too definitive
Kaizen Events off track… Kata goes off track how?
Having a “third coach”?
Tell us about Kata Girl Geeks
Master Class with Tracy and Tilo Schwarz
Time in the coaching dojo and how you learn every time?
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 Jan 11, 2023

Episode page with video, transcript and more
My guest for Episode #466 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is a returning guest, Billy Taylor. Since his last appearance, Billy has written and released a great book titled The Winning Link: A Proven Process to Define, Align, and Execute Strategy at Every Level.
Billy had a long career at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, where he served as plant director for both union and non-union facilities, leading lean transformations in Goodyear's largest and most complex tire-producing sites. Billy more recently founded his firm LinkedXL, where he is CEO.
He was previously a guest in Episodes 293 and 298, back in 2017. He was also a guest on Episode 5 of “My Favorite Mistake.”
Questions, Notes, and highlights:
Before we talk about your book, what stood out to you most at the AME conference this year?
How to understand the level of trust? How do build it??
“Coaching leaders on how to show up”
Productive huddles – Key Performance Actions (KPA)
What is “title-itis”?
Best people… best processes
Defining winning — why is that a challenge for some organizations? Lack of agreement on what winning means?
Purpose mapping – agreeing on this first?
Developing your strategy — how do we know if a strategy is the “right” strategy?? Truly differentiating??
What's your CPI – critical performance indicator? 
“Have you defined what winning means to you?”
SOAP – Strategy on a Page
Aligning to win — As you write — Making jobs better not making jobs go away?
“America… not a hiring problem… a retention problem”
Psychological Safety
“Covid changed the way we do business”
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. 

Thursday Dec 22, 2022

Here's a musical holiday treat for my regular Lean Blog readers and podcast listeners, a song parody, originally released in 2009... remastered a bit here in 2022.
https://www.leanblog.org/2022/12/gemba-claus-comin-town-song/ 
Gemba Claus is Comin' to Town
Lyrics by Mark GrabanPerformance by Steve Sholtes
Oh, you'd better watch outYou'd better kaizenYou'd better not pout, I'm tellin' ya thenGemba Claus is comin' to town
He's making a listJust checking it onceDoin' it twice would waste a whole bunchGemba Clause is comin' to town
He sees you when you're waitin'He knows when your work flowsHe knows if changeovers are too longSo do SMED  for goodness sake
Oh, you'd watch outYou'd better not pauseYou'd better not poutFind the real root causeGemba Claus is comin' to Town!
For voiceover work, music, or more, you can contact Steve via his website, www.stevesholtes.com.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday Dec 13, 2022

Episode page with transcript, video, and more
My guest for Episode #465 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is the legendary (my word, not his) author, consultant, and speaker — Tom Peters. His new book is Tom Peters's Compact Guide to Excellence.
Click here to enter to win a paperback copy (through December 20).
He was previously a guest in Episode 382 of this podcast and My Favorite Mistake Episode 58. See previous blog posts about Tom and his ideas.
Today, Tom and I talk about some core concepts from his book, but we also weave through many topics including leadership that demonstrates “extreme humanism” (and leaders who do not, such as Elon Musk). As always, it's a fun, free-wheeling, and thought-provoking conversation when Tom is involved.
Note: Tom says he swears like a sailor… there are a few occasional mild curse words, so please be warned about that.
Questions, Notes, and highlights:
The moral bankruptcy of “maximizing shareholder value” — are we really moving away from that? Getting lip service from the Conference Board and others?
“People got ‘the brand called you' all wrong — it's not about self-marketing”
“Being good is good business. When you take the high moral ground it is difficult for anyone to object without sounding like a complete fool.”
Caring about people… Reminds me of Paul O'Neill saying nobody should ever get hurt at work (Alcoa) — “habitual excellence“
The HP Way – Management By Wandering Around (MBWA) is an “intimate act”
Following up on our Aug 2020 discussion about leading during Covid… how is MBZA (management by zooming around) working out?
You've been very active on Twitter — still there? Should we still be using Twitter, even the free service?
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 Nov 30, 2022

Katie Anderson, her 6th appearance
Episode page with video, photos, transcript, and more
My guest for Episode #464 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Katie Anderson, who is, among other things, the author of the book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn.
She has previously been a guest here in Episodes 233, 275, 302, 326, and 425. Katie has also been a guest twice on “My Favorite Mistake” — once with Isao Yoshino and once on her own.
Today, Katie and I talk about the recent AME annual conference that was held in Dallas. We both heard Larry Culp, CEO of General Electric (and GE Aviation) speak for 15 minutes, and we discuss that here today. We also recap highlights from (and our reflections about) the fireside chat that Katie had with Larry on stage.
Notes and highlights:
Listen to Katie on the internal GE podcast (named “Andon That Note”) she mentions in this episode
Discussing the panel discussion that I moderated with Deondra Wardelle and Amy Gowder
Gary Michel, another great CEO speaker at the event
Larry: “This is how we manage” (Lean)
Going to the gemba? Why? Process and people
Top down and bottom up – operationalizing Hoshin Kanri
Learning from mistakes, how a leader reacts to bad news
From telling to asking questions – breaking the telling habit
Having a coach as CEO… why Larry thinks that's so important
Larry: “You don't go to HBS to learn how to ask questions”
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 Nov 16, 2022

Episode page with transcript, video, and more
My guest for Episode #463 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Jim Benson, the CEO of Modus Cooperandi, and co-founder of Modus Institute.
He was previously a guest on Episodes 155 and 401. He was also a guest on Lean Whiskey #25 with me and Jamie Flinchbaugh (and #31), and was guest #4 on My Favorite Mistake.
A pioneer in applying Lean and Kanban to knowledge
work, Jim is the creator of Personal Kanban and is co-author of Personal Kanban: Mapping Work, Navigating Life, winner of the Shingo Research and Publication Award. His other books include Why Plans Fail, Why Limit WIP, and Beyond Agile.
His latest book is The Collaboration Equation: Strong Professionals, Strong Teams, Strong Delivery.
Today, we discuss topics and questions including:
How do you define collaboration? 
As an angry punk rocker? Parallels to startup software companies??
The balance between “every building/patient is unique “vs. having knowledge/structure/process??
Standard work for encountering complexity
When a major problem gets solved and nobody ends up in tears – From lawsuits, yelling, and strife — to collaborative problem solving? How?
Culture as it exists… culture as we are creating…??
Team deciding the culture vs. the CEO or leader having a vision of what the culture should be?
What the CEO says vs. what is the reality?
Value Stream Mapping as a “ruse”… a way to uncover team breakdown problems
Flapping our mouths vs. information about what's really happening??
Get comfortable with change happening every day
Be hard on the process, not the people? But the system is made of people…
The FEELING of being respected
Fear as a cause of problems — “Every real collaboration has psychological safety”
What have you learned about PS, how to gauge it, and how to create it?
“You can't go buy a box of psychological safety”
An NBA superteam… how would YOU lead them?
Getting over your damn self
The power of team members who are more likely to talk about others than themselves
“Do you feel heard…” — or are you actually heard?
What readers would get the most out of this book?
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 Nov 09, 2022

Expert on mistakes and mistake proofing, professor and former business school dean
Episode page with video, transcript, and more: https://leanblog.org/462 
My guest for Episode #462 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Professor John Grout the former dean of the Campbell School of Business at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. 
He was recently a guest on “My Favorite Mistake” — Episode 186, so I encourage you to check that out.
He's the current Chair of the Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Data Analytics Department and the David C. Garrett Jr. Professor of Business Administration. John has overseen the development, approval and implementation of Berry College's Creative Technologies program and Berry's makerspace, HackBerry Lab. 
Dr. Grout has researched mistake-proofing extensively and published numerous articles on mistake-proofing. In 2004, John received the Shingo Prize for his paper, “The Human Side of Mistake-Proofing” with Douglas Stewart. John has also consulted with a large variety of firms to mistake-proof their processes.
He's also published “Mistake-Proofing the Design of Health Care Processes” a book that's freely available online.
His Website: https://mistakeproofing.com/
Today, we discuss topics and questions including:
Your origin story – how did you first get introduced to TPS, Lean, etc? Context of discovering mistake proofing?
Shingo's book on Poka Yoke
“Shingo was not kind to Statistical Quality Control”… use SQC and/or mistake proofing?
Acceptance sampling… keeps bad product out… maybe?
Field goals — Conformity to specs vs. closer to center?
Successive checks and self checks
Source inspections – Shingo's gold standard
Why should you react when a part's out of control but still in spec??
Do you HAVE to stop the line? Don't be dogmatic??
Statistics don't do well with rare events
Do we have data on how universal the “universal protocol” is?
Doctor signing vs. you signing the surgical site?
ZERO – “the only way to go” in terms of goals
The goal of “zero defects” can be controversial.. is it possible? Motivating? Demoralizing?
Possible research – optimal time to stop doing final inspection??
Why is it easier to error proof now? Technology
“People don't like to own up to mistakes”
Naida Grunden episode on aviation safety
Can't error proof everything??
Preventing execution errors is easier than preventing decision errors
The balance and benefits of examples to copy vs. developing thinking?? “Catalog or catalyst”?? BOTH
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. 

Thursday Oct 27, 2022

Video, transcript, and more: https://leanblog.org/461 
My guest for Episode #461 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Gauthier Duval, the Director of the Lean Center of Excellence at Veryable.
He's applied and taught Lean for over 18 years, including time with Freudenberg-NOK (an auto supplier featured in the book Lean Thinking), Simpler Consulting, and other manufacturing companies in the U.S. and Europe.
Today, we discuss topics and questions including:
Your Lean origin story?
The next steps in your career and learning??
Freudenberg-NOK — 2004 — Growtth Consulting spinoff
Working with Lean – Europe vs. US?
Simpler – worked with Chris Cooper – Episode #129
Your view on the role of what's often called “kaizens” (kaizen events) vs. ongoing daily kaizen improvement?
Multi-day events vs. small discontinuous improvements?
How should people be participating?
The role of the senior leader?
Kicking a company president out of a Kaizen Event??
Lessons you've learned on the psychology of change?
Organizational behavior and organizational development? — how do you define that? 
What makes an organization a “learning organization?”
Chris Argyris — why should more Lean people be reading his work?
Tell us about Veryable – the company, the problems you solve and how it works…
How to expand “JIT” beyond just materials?
Variable labor in a “lean mindset” way — including “respect for people”??
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 12, 2022

Episode page with video, transcript, and more
My guest for Episode #460 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Philip Holt.
He is currently Senior Vice President, Operational Excellence at GKN Aerospace, the world's leading multi-technology Tier 1 Aerospace supplier, and has over 30 years of business experience in leadership roles spanning the customer value chain, in industry-leading Companies also including Philips, Gillette, and Travelport.
He is the author of three Lean Leadership books: 
Leading with Lean: An Experience-based guide to Leading a Lean Transformation
The Simplicity of Lean: Defeating Complexity; Delivering Excellence
Leading Lean by Living Lean: Changing how you Lead, not who you are
You can learn more at Philip's website.
Today, we discuss topics and questions including:
Your “Lean origin story?”
“Thought I knew what Lean was”
How did visiting Japan help?
Kaikaku — breakthrough improvement vs. continuous improvement
Systemic view of Lean / TPS – can't grab just pieces
True North?? How to define that?
What are some of the ways in which people overcomplicate Lean?
Overcomplicating problem solving? Six Sigma… A3?
Start at the most simple form of problem solving 
How do you describe Lean simply?
How do you define “transformation”? When it's fully aligned with the strategy of the company…
What “transformational results” would you expect to see?
Zero Accidents goal – the Heinrich Triangle
Unlearning the old way so we can lead in a Lean way?
The personal benefits of Lean at work and life??
What is a “life in balance”?? What does that mean to you?
Using lean tools at home?
Push vs. pull for 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 Oct 04, 2022

VP of Advisory Services, Value Capture
Episode page with video, transcript, and more
My guest for Episode #459 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is my colleague, Gerald Harris, a Vice President of Advisory Services at the firm Value Capture.
Disclosure – I often work as a senior advisor with Value Capture clients and I have a marketing role with the firm.
Gerald has over 25 years of leadership experience in the delivery of successful large-scale lean transformations across a broad range of industries and companies. His industry experience includes various automotive manufacturing settings and products and, for the past 14 years, healthcare.
While at Tenneco Automotive, a $1.5 billion manufacturer of exhaust and ride control systems, Gerald implemented lean manufacturing and lean enterprise improvement principles throughout the organization.
For the 14 years before joining Value Capture, Gerald served as Executive Director for Simpler North America, where he was instrumental in client launches and Executive Coaching for most of Simpler's largest clients.
Today, we discuss topics and questions including:
How — when and where — did you first get introduced to Lean?
Motivations for Lean in those early settings?
Early activities — what went well? Lessons learned from challenges? 
PULL – “flow if you can, pull if you must, but never push”
Did people there even think that improvement was possible? Any improvement was possible?
Short-term vs. longer-term countermeasures, adding inventory to be able to improve — or adding labor?
“Step change” – response to medication errors? Adding inspection step?
Interesting that Toyota still has final inspection??
Systems vs. processes?
Work, management, improvement systems
From nursing tasks to the healthcare value stream
Seeing vs. purposeful observation?
Value Capture's “guided self-assessment”
Leaders being too far removed from the work in healthcare
How did you find the right balance as a plant manager?
You've gotten more than comfortable with both… Bigger adjustment — becoming a consultant or shifting into healthcare?
The pitch for Value Capture?
Envisioning the IDEAL – how do we get to zero?
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. 
 

Image

Title

This is the description area. You can write an introduction or add anything you want to tell your audience. This can help listeners better understand your podcast.

All content copyright Mark Graban & Constancy, Inc, 2006 - present

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Version: 20221013