Joining me today for Episode #374 of the podcast are two colleagues, Brittany Wilson and Mark Valenti.


The topic, as Mark and I discussed in Episode #306, is "Motivational Interviewing." We will all be exploring this topic in the context of talking to people about wearing masks during the pandemic. But, there are many applications to workplace situations, as well.


Mark and Brittany do a series of very engaging webinars, which you can find on their YouTube channel.


I hope you enjoy the conversation!

Joining me today for Episode #373 of the podcast is Professor Peter Hines, author of many books including Staying Lean: Thriving, Not Just Surviving.

Peter founded S A Partners in 1994 as a spin-out from his activities in running the Lean Enterprise Research Centre at Cardiff University. Before this, he worked in supply chain and distribution and manufacturing industries. Peter has a degree from Cambridge University and an MBA and PhD from Cardiff University. He is also an accredited Senior Shingo Facilitator and is a Visiting Professor at Waterford Institute of Technology. He is also founder of the Enterprise Excellence Network, which invited me to do a webinar recently.

In the episode, we talk about the challenges involved in creating and sustaining a culture of continuous improvement. Who should be the "Lean Champion" for an organization? Are there different success factors in the UK vs other countries? Is humility an innate trait or can it be developed? We talk about that and more.

I hope you enjoy the conversation!

My guest for Episode #372 is Karen Gaudet, author of the excellent book Steady Work, which was published by the Lean Enterprise Institute.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a former employee of LEI and they provided a review copy of the book.

In today's episode, we discuss her experience with Lean at Starbucks. It's a fascinating story that includes a transition from the old way (the Seattle HQ figuring out "best practices") to a new way (where store managers and baristas were taught how to design "playbooks" and to continuously improve the way the work is done in a particular store).

For Episode #371, we bring the discussion back to Lean Manufacturing applications, as our guest is Marc Lushington-Murray. He currently lives in the Fort Worth, Texas area but, as you'll discover from his accent, he was originally born and raised in England.

Marc is currently searching for a new opportunity, but he brings a great deal of experience from his time working for Nissan and then Parker Hannifan. He was originally self-taught but then had the opportunity to learn from the famed Shigijitsu consulting group and others.

He has worked in internal Lean roles, but has always been pulled into plant management or other direct line management roles. I hope you'll enjoy the conversation as Marc shares his reflections on his career to date and his hopes for what is still yet to come.


Joining me for Episode #370 is Edward Blackman, the founder and managing partner of Kelda Consulting. He has previously had Lean and process improvement-focused roles at organizations as varied as Whirlpool, Amway, and Spectrum Health.


Today, we are discussing behavioral science and the need to combine practices and lessons from that field with Lean and continuous improvement.


Edward earned a Masters degree in Behavioral Science, along with undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Mathematics. He is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt by the American Society for Quality; is certified in Labor Standards by HB Maynard; is a Lean (Toyota Production System) Instructor/Coach; a Kata Coach; a certified Scrum Master; and an Agile Coach. Read his full bio.


Joining me again for Episode #369 of the podcast is Dr. Rachel Mandel, a self-described "healthcare whisperer" and Washington D.C.-based consultant for healthcare organizations. She has her own practice and also works as a Senior Healthcare Advisor for Operational Performance Solutions, Inc.


She was a guest recently for Episode #367, but we had recorded that before the pandemic. So, we decided to do another episode, this time as a live YouTube stream, to talk about issues of the moment, and the future, related to Lean and Covid-19 -- leadership, respect, and safety among other themes.


Again, she is a physician (OB-GYN) and previously served as the Vice President of Medical Affairs for a health system in Maryland. Read her full bio here.


My guest for Episode #368 is somebody I've met fairly recently through his excellent posts on LinkedIn, Steve Feltovich.


He is the president of SJF Consulting, Inc. and he previously had a long career in the automotive industry, in particular collision and repair.


Steve learned about Dr. Deming's approach and also learned the Toyota Production System from Toyota and Toyota University, so he has an interesting perspective that I really appreciate.


I hope you enjoy the discussion!


Joining me for Episode #367 of the podcast is Dr. Rachel Mandel, a self-described "healthcare whisperer" and Washington D.C.-based consultant for healthcare organizations. She has her own practice and also works as a Senior Healthcare Advisor for Operational Performance Solutions, Inc.


She is, of course, a physician (OB-GYN) and previously served as the Vice President of Medical Affairs for a health system in Maryland. Read her full bio here.


We recorded this podcast in late February 2020, so much has changed since then. We'll be doing a follow up podcast next week where we'll discuss some of the leadership (and organizational) challenges that health systems face now during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Today, we'll talk about her experiences with Lean and how she is an advocate for this methodology, especially around the important issues of safety and quality. 

My guest for Episode #366 is Harry Moser, founder of the Reshoring Initiative. We talk about “reshoring,” in general, and why that's such an important issue in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

Harry definitely falls into the category of guests where I wonder, “Why haven't I had this person on the show before?” Harry and his work have been on my radar for a long time. I appreciate the mission and I wish more companies would consider the “Total Cost” (and old Dr. Deming concept) when making manufacturing site location and sourcing decisions instead of focusing only on “unit cost” or “landed cost” (which includes freight and taxes).

“The mission of the Reshoring Initiative® is to bring good, well-paying manufacturing jobs back to the United States by assisting companies to more accurately assess their total cost of offshoring, and shift collective thinking from offshoring is cheaper to local reduces the total cost of ownership. “

Harry was inducted into the Industry Week Manufacturing Hall of Fame in 2010, based on his long career in manufacturing. He founded the Reshoring Initiative in 2010. Be sure to check out the TCO Estimator tool that he discusses in the episode.

“Most companies make sourcing decisions based solely on price, oftentimes resulting in a 20 to 30 percent miscalculation of actual offshoring costs.”

  • Listeners have probably heard of “offshoring” but what is “reshoring”?

    • Why “reshoring”?
    • What is “nearshoring” and is that nearly as good?
  • Tell us about the history of your organization, the Reshoring Initiative…
  • Why should our current Covid-19 crisis be a “wake up call” about where goods are manufactured?
  • Do you think it's fair when analysts or the media blame “just in time” for shortages of goods and equipment during this crisis (in healthcare or retail)? Why or why not?
  • Can Lean take out enough waste to make a high-labor manufacturing site competitive with U.S. wages?
  • Dan Markovitz question (paraphrasing): Is moving production back to the US easier said than done if we don't have the skills or the supply base here anymore?
  • How can we help companies (and investors) realize that “lowest total cost” is the goal, not “lowest labor cost” or “lowest piece price cost”?

    • Why have companies miscalculated when doing the math about moving production to China?
  • How can companies use TCO to increase sales?
  • Can you give some past examples of reshoring and the benefits?
  • What can/should the government do to accelerate the reshoring trend?

Mark Graban interviews Dan Markovitz about his new book.

Joining me again for Episode #365 is Dan Markovitz, now a five-time guest (but he doesn't get a special jacket like SNL).

The reason for getting together was to chat about his latest book, "The Conclusion Trap: Four Steps to Better Decisions," now available from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.

Why do people jump to conclusions (or solutions), often looking to “shiny new technology, reorganizations, or spending more money” as Dan asks? Why is it better to spend more time on a good problem statement? What's the difference between data and facts? When should we ask questions and when is it OK to make suggestions? When is it OK to “just do it” and when do we need to be more rigorous in setting up our experiments?

Dan and I are good friends, so the conversation veers into a breakdown of the show “Bar Rescue” and the problem-solving and leadership methods illustrated there. This is almost an episode of “Lean Whiskey” but there was no whiskey involved.

I hope you enjoy the conversation!

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