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Why is it essential to plan in logistics?
July 18, 2024
Why is it essential to plan in logistics?

FEATURE – There is more to logistics than an ancillary process that supports the rest of the company. But then, why do we never have a plan for it, like we do for manufacturing?

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The Lean Tech Manifesto
July 11, 2024
The Lean Tech Manifesto

INTERVIEW – A recently-published book discusses how Lean is the only way for a company to scale while retaining an Agile culture. We talk to one of the authors.

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Pursuing Perfection: Craftsmanship in Product Development
July 5, 2024
Pursuing Perfection: Craftsmanship in Product Development

FEATURE - This month’s Design Brief explores the concept of craftsmanship in design and engineering, how to cultivate it in individuals and organizations, and the benefits of pursuing excellence.

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LPPD: Machan’s path to sustainable success
June 27, 2024
LPPD: Machan’s path to sustainable success

FEATURE – Taiwan-based Machan International Co. manufactures sheet metal products, tool storage and medical trolleys, and smart energy storage cabinets. Last year, they turned to lean to improve their product development process.

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Enabling lean turnarounds
June 20, 2024
Enabling lean turnarounds

BOOK EXCERPT – In the introduction to his new book, Art Byrne reflects on his lean journey and explains why to understand lean one must change their mindset.

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Think like a child and let creativity flow
June 13, 2024
Think like a child and let creativity flow

FEATURE - Looking back to her experience coaching teams in Africa, the author encourages us to introduce play in our work, as a way of teaching people and of unlocking creativity.

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What is your theory of success?
June 6, 2024
What is your theory of success?

FEATURE – To successfully transform, we need to change our “theory of success”. The authors discuss the obstacles managers face along the way.

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Models for thinking about Lean Thinking
May 30, 2024
Models for thinking about Lean Thinking

FEATURE - The Basic Thinking dimension of the Lean Transformation Framework is often the most neglected and the least understood. The author tries to shed a light on the subject.

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How Tuinderij Vers is learning to see
May 23, 2024
How Tuinderij Vers is learning to see

FEATURE – Faced with increased production volumes, this Dutch company realized the need to improve its processes by developing people skills.

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F1 cars... in the factory!
May 16, 2024
F1 cars... in the factory!

FEATURE – A situation that would be unthinkable in a sports context is an every-day occurrence in many of our organizations. Should we change our way of thinking about our machinery?

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What is a management system?
May 9, 2024
What is a management system?

FEATURE – A bad management system generates distortions that represent the root cause of many of the problems experienced by organizations.

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The five modes of a sensei
May 2, 2024
The five modes of a sensei

FEATURE – Variety in sensei approaches can cause a lot of confusion. The author sheds light on the subject by describing a sensei’s five modes of interacting with individuals and teams.

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Dojos change minds
April 25, 2024
Dojos change minds

CASE STUDY – Faced with safety and quality issues, this Brazilian manufacturing plant installed a dojo, and the results are very promising.

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Challenging standards
April 18, 2024
Challenging standards

CASE STUDY – Manuelita Sugar Mill in Colombia adopted Daily Management to bolster leadership effectiveness and operational outcomes, addressing siloed thinking and communication challenges.

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Whatever happened to quality first
April 11, 2024
Whatever happened to quality first

FEATURE - In this article, taken from LEI's Design Brief, Jim Morgan talks about the often-overlooked topic of building quality into new products. Learn how a customer-centric approach in development can prevent costly rework and build lasting trust.

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Unlocking the potential of Lean in NGOs
April 4, 2024
Unlocking the potential of Lean in NGOs

INTERVIEW - In this interview, Lynne Smith discusses the potential and difficulties of applying Lean Thinking to NGOs and looks back at the lean transformation at the Gates Foundation.

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20 years of Lean in the Netherlands
March 26, 2024
20 years of Lean in the Netherlands

FEATURE – In February, our affiliate in the Netherlands turned 20. The President of Lean Management Instituut reflects on this achievement and looks back at these two decades.

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Teaching/learning systems
March 22, 2024
Teaching/learning systems

FEATURE – To get the results we want from a system, or prevent it from generating undesirable events, we need to understand how it works and behaves in the real world. That’s exactly what Jidoka does.

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Small businesses, big impact
March 14, 2024
Small businesses, big impact

FEATURE – The successful project discussed in this article shows how Lean Thinking can bring huge benefits to small and medium enterprises and paves the way to a new way of looking at lean coaching.

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Women making a difference in lean and sustainability
March 8, 2024
Women making a difference in lean and sustainability

FEATURE – This article applauds the tenacity of women leaders and seeks to illustrate how they motivate others to take on the sustainability challenge through lean practices.

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Lean thinking, green thinking
February 29, 2024
Lean thinking, green thinking

FEATURE – When it comes to the fight against climate change, we can’t expect to achieve much until we fundamentally challenge the way we think about resource consumption. Lean is our tool to do that.

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For profound lean change, develop new power skills in leaders
February 23, 2024
For profound lean change, develop new power skills in leaders

FEATURE – The author highlights the critical “power skills” leaders need to provide the right support to the transformations they lead.

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The founders reflect on 10 years of Planet Lean
February 20, 2024
The founders reflect on 10 years of Planet Lean

FEATURE - The editorial board members of Planet Lean reflect on the magazine's origin story and its role within and contribution to the Lean Community.

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Planet Lean turns 10!
February 16, 2024
Planet Lean turns 10!

FEATURE – Ten years ago, Planet Lean was launched as a new platform for the Lean Community to share its experiences and knowledge. Our editor reflects on the magazine's mission, history and contribution of the spread of Lean Thinking.

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The UK Lean Summit is coming up!
February 13, 2024
The UK Lean Summit is coming up!

INTERVIEW – The UK Lean Summit 2024 is coming up in April. We speak to Dave Brunt to hear about the event and what we can expect from the presentations.

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The power of jeans - Part 2
February 8, 2024
The power of jeans - Part 2

FICTION – In the second and final part of this story, the main characters discuss in front of a board. If you regularly use visual management, their conversation will resonate with you.

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Flying high: Lean Thinking at avianca
February 1, 2024
Flying high: Lean Thinking at avianca

INTERVIEW – We speak with avianca’s VP of Maintenance and Engineering to learn about the efforts the airline is making to fulfil its promise to passengers.

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The deep secret of lean transformation: the People Review
January 26, 2024
The deep secret of lean transformation: the People Review

FEATURE – To develop a lean culture means to develop each lean thinker and help them reach their full potential. Here’s how Aramis Group does it.

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Aligning business areas to improve Time-to-Market
January 19, 2024
Aligning business areas to improve Time-to-Market
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CASE STUDY – Following a positive experience in manufacturing, this Colombian company brought lean to the rest of the organization. Its goal? To become a reliable partner for its clients in the national and international markets.

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The power of jeans
January 12, 2024
The power of jeans

FICTION - Part 1 of this story reminds us that the role of leaders in an organization is to set the example for others, behaving the way they want the rest of the company to behave.

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Lean without Jidoka is just Fordism
January 9, 2024
Lean without Jidoka is just Fordism

FEATURE – Nobody understands humans as well as humans do, and Jidoka is the key to learning about your customers and create ever-better products and services.

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If you learn, there is no failure
December 22, 2023
If you learn, there is no failure

FEATURE – In this article, you’ll understand how potential errors can become an endless source of personal and managerial growth.

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Start with product takt-time
December 19, 2023
Start with product takt-time

FEATURE – By adopting a product takt time perspective, we can better align engineering decisions with market demands, leading to better design, manufacturing, and material choices.

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When the lean team is the problem
December 15, 2023
When the lean team is the problem

FEATURE – How does the improvement department of a company become a hindrance to the transformation? The author answers this question and discusses how this can be avoided.

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Leadership for everyone
December 12, 2023
Leadership for everyone

FEATURE – If you think one is born a leader, think again. Leadership can be learned and, in this article, the author provides a four-step guide to developing it.

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Growing sustainably with Lean Thinking
December 8, 2023
Growing sustainably with Lean Thinking

CASE STUDY – The story of Norwegian furniture manufacturer Haugstad Møbel that, thanks to Lean Thinking, was able to transform its culture and unlock the potential of sustainable growth.

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To the end of the world
November 17, 2023
To the end of the world
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WEB SERIES - In the last episode of our It's a Lean World series, we travel to the tip of South America to visit the southernmost Distribution Center in the world and learn about its lean work.

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Remembering Freddy Ballé
November 10, 2023
Remembering Freddy Ballé

FEATURE – On October 31st, the Lean Movement lost one of his pioneers. In this piece, Dan Jones reflects on Freddy Ballé’s legacy.

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Sustainable, lean construction
November 9, 2023
Sustainable, lean construction

CASE STUDY – Thanks to Lean Thinking, this Spanish construction company was able to deliver a challenging project in one year, well ahead of schedule. Here’s how they did it.

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Join us at the largest online lean event of the year
November 3, 2023
Join us at the largest online lean event of the year
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EVENT - The Lean Global Connection is around the corner! Our editor takes you through some of the key highlights you can expect and reminds us of the idea behind the largest online lean event in the world.

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Swimming against the tide
October 19, 2023
Swimming against the tide

WEB SERIES - In this episode, we head to Chilean Patagonia to visit a manufacturer of fish feed that turned to Lean Thinking to improve yield and eliminate inventory gaps and stock-outs.

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Expanding your flow sweet spots
October 13, 2023
Expanding your flow sweet spots

FEATURE – The author explores methods to expand your flow “sweet spots”, enhance focus, and achieve a state of effortless productivity.

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Don’t ask who. Be like Columbo and ask why!
October 6, 2023
Don’t ask who. Be like Columbo and ask why!

FEATURE – This insightful piece explores the true meaning of problem solving, looking at the common mistakes leaders make when they adopt some of its key practices.

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Serious about strategy
September 29, 2023
Serious about strategy

FEATURE – We are used to approaching strategic thinking as if our organization was in a position of stability and dominance. What if we started to look at it as creating better deals with all parties involved?

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Every square meter counts
September 11, 2023
Every square meter counts

CASE STUDY – When it had to develop a production process for a new product from scratch, this Dutch company leveraged lean tools and practices. And the results were impressive.

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A lean approach to agriculture
September 8, 2023
A lean approach to agriculture

FEATURE – Waste in the agricultural sector is a significant threat not only to the environment, the economy and farmers, but also to food security around the world.

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A3 Thinking for personal development
September 1, 2023
A3 Thinking for personal development

INTERVIEW – We are used to thinking of A3s mainly as a tool for problem solving. In this Q&A, you will learn about the experience of a San Francisco hospital using it for personal development.

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The power of the Arrow
August 24, 2023
The power of the Arrow

INTERVIEW - The Food&Beverage department of the Gran Tacande Hotel in Tenerife has been using a powerful visual management tool to effectively visualize and track the variables impacting the work flow.

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Lean helps us to fulfil our promise to customers
August 17, 2023
Lean helps us to fulfil our promise to customers

CASE STUDY – To bring consistency to the service provided to customers across their network of workshops, this Brazilian company has turned to Lean Thinking. Along the way, they found in it a different approach to leadership.

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The art and craft of kaizen
August 9, 2023
The art and craft of kaizen

FEATURE – Through kaizen, people can directly participate in the improvement work. But without a manager’s clear responsibility and follow-up, they will left alone with the consequences of the introduced changes.

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Don’t just watch my hands!
August 4, 2023
Don’t just watch my hands!

FEATURE – The author shares a story from a training session at the gemba, which contains a couple of important lessons on the Training Within Industry method.  

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A Surgery Department on a journey for over a decade
August 1, 2023
A Surgery Department on a journey for over a decade

FEATURE - This surgery department was among the first areas in this hospital (maybe in the whole of Spain) to adopt Lean Thinking. Here's what their lean journey is focusing on more than 10 years after they started.

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Lean gives us wings
July 26, 2023
Lean gives us wings

INTERVIEW – The lean journey of the Engineering and Maintenance Department of Colombian airline Avianca proves how important it is for leadership to spearhead change.

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The comfort of purpose
July 21, 2023
The comfort of purpose

FEATURE – Why is lean change so hard to achieve in times of plenty? And why does it seem to be more attainable when chaos reigns? The author tries to answer these questions.

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Lean parenting tips from children 0 to 5 years old
July 18, 2023
Lean parenting tips from children 0 to 5 years old

FEATURE - In the second article in his series, the author provides helpful tips for those interesting in bringing some Lean Thinking to their parenting, focusing on the first five years of a child's life.

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A new strategy for a new era
July 13, 2023
A new strategy for a new era

WEB SERIES – In the second episode of our docuseries on lean in Chile, we learn how, with a clear purpose and strong commitment from leadership, SKC is transforming its processes and mindset and building a competitive advantage.

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Breaking new ground in product development
July 6, 2023
Breaking new ground in product development

INTERVIEW – Drawing on 33 years of experience working in product development at Caterpillar, the interviewee reflects on lean in engineering.

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The 7-year LPPD journey of TechnipFMC
June 28, 2023
The 7-year LPPD journey of TechnipFMC

INTERVIEW – In this Q&A, the Chief of Transformation of oil and gas company TechnipFMC tells us about their experience implementing Lean Product and Process Development.

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Can we still learn from Toyota suppliers in Japan?
June 14, 2023
Can we still learn from Toyota suppliers in Japan?

FEATURE – Fresh of a study tour in Japan, the authors wonder if there is anything left to learn from Toyota’s network of suppliers in the age of AI and digital. Hint: it’s a rethorical question.

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Lean's on the menu
June 7, 2023
Lean's on the menu

VIDEO INTERVIEW – This hotel in the Canary Islands is bringing lean to its Kitchen Department, hoping to streamline the process and provide a better service to diners.

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New ways to address an old problem
June 2, 2023
New ways to address an old problem

FEATURE – Freeing up beds is an age-old problem for hospitals. The medical area of this Catalan hospital group has found in lean a creative way to solve it.

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Transforming our business with Daily Management
May 30, 2023
Transforming our business with Daily Management

CASE STUDY – By leveraging Daily Management (DM), Supergasbras was able to change its trajectory and add more value to the customer in a critical sector for society.

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How we gradually built our CI model
May 24, 2023
How we gradually built our CI model

INTERVIEW – Cleveland Clinic has been on a lean journey for a few years now. In this interview, their Chief Improvement Officer and Chief Nursing Officer talk continuous improvement, metrics, and sustaining results.

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You say garbage, I say opportunity
May 19, 2023
You say garbage, I say opportunity

WEB SERIES – Season 2 is here! In the first episode of this season, we visit a company in Chile that shows us how sustainability can be the cornerstone of an improvement project... and not just an afterthought.

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Changing our approach to emergency care
May 12, 2023
Changing our approach to emergency care

FEATURE – The ER of this Catalan hospital is finding great value in the application of Lean Thinking, which has already led to a dramatic change in its processes and to better care for patients.

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Toyota's real secret sauce
May 5, 2023
Toyota's real secret sauce

FEATURE – The hardest part of a learning journey is learning to learn and figuring out what we need to learn - as opposed to we want to. The author wonders whether we are drawing the right lessons from TPS and highlights a few things we are underemphasizing.

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Faster delivery, happier customer
April 28, 2023
Faster delivery, happier customer

WEB SERIES – In the fourth and final episode of Season 1 of our docuseries, we visit home improvement and gardening retailer Leroy Merlin and learn about their efforts to lean out their supply chain.

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The enablers of our lean transformation
April 25, 2023
The enablers of our lean transformation

CASE STUDY – The Hospital de Bellvitge in Barcelona is relying heavily on hoshin and Kata to create a working environment based on collaboration and joint problem solving.

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Banking on Lean
April 21, 2023
Banking on Lean

WEB SERIES – Episode 3 of our docuseries on lean in Brazil takes us to the second largest bank in the country. Learn how Bradesco is striving to improve its processes to provide more value to its customers using Lean Thinking.

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Leveraging lean to create a new product… and process
April 14, 2023
Leveraging lean to create a new product… and process

INTERVIEW – In 2020, GE Appliances had to stand up a brand-new assembly process for a new dishwasher. The leader responsible for the program explains how LPPD helped them to get it right.

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Empowering children to navigate life’s challenges
April 11, 2023
Empowering children to navigate life’s challenges

FEATURE – In this new series, the author will walk us through some uncommon ways to apply lean – with a particular focus on establishing productive and enjoyable relationships. In the first instalment, he introduces the concept of lean parenting.

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The gift of change
April 7, 2023
The gift of change

WEB SERIES – In Episode 2 of our docuseries on lean in Brazil, we learn how the pioneering efforts of a cancer clinic have inspired the city of São José dos Campos to transform into a lean healthcare cluster.

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Easing the pain
March 31, 2023
Easing the pain

WEB SERIES – Today, we launch a new documentary series on lean around the world, with the first season focusing on lean in Brazil. In the first episode, we visit the lean clinic on a mission to reduce the burden on cancer in our lives.

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What kind of bureaucrat are you?
March 28, 2023
What kind of bureaucrat are you?

FEATURE – In this in-depth, insightful analysis, the authors explore the essence of bureaucracy and explain why, with Lean Thinking, it can be leveraged as a force for good.

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How mental schemas have us jump to solutions
March 24, 2023
How mental schemas have us jump to solutions

FEATURE - Mental schemas help us to process information, but they often lead us to blindly jump to solutions without understanding the problem. Here, the author explains how Lean Thinking mitigates that risk.

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Five lean mistakes to avoid
March 21, 2023
Five lean mistakes to avoid

FEATURE – Based on her experience at Lean Institute Colombia, the author lists five common mistakes hindering a lean transformation. Take note!

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Reflecting on our 15-year journey
March 15, 2023
Reflecting on our 15-year journey

FEATURE – PL readers will likely be familiar with IOV, the cancer clinic in Brazil that’s become a reference for lean healthcare for countless organizations. Here, Dr Fred looks back at IOV’s 15-year journey.

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Lean Digital with generative AI
March 10, 2023
Lean Digital with generative AI

FEATURE – This year, PL will try to understand what the future of work looks like in a world with AI. To kick us off and make us think, we publish an article that is the result of a one-hour conversation between a human and a machine.

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Creativity unleashed
March 8, 2023
Creativity unleashed

FEATURE – A lean coach from Argentina reflects on the transformations he has supported across Latin America and on why lean can help unlock the potential of the continent.

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Double interview: 365 and Dreamplace
February 28, 2023
Double interview: 365 and Dreamplace

INTERVIEW – Earlier this month, we attended a Lean Day at Dreamplace Hotels and Resorts in the Canary Islands. We sat down with two lean leaders to discuss the transformations of their businesses.

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Arrows and loops - the evolution of our management system
February 17, 2023
Arrows and loops - the evolution of our management system

FEATURE – A senior executive of a Spanish hotel chain shares an example of how the organization’s management system and visual tools have changed over time.

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Lean in government, a comeback?
February 14, 2023
Lean in government, a comeback?

FEATURE – At a recent Lean Day, our editor was reminded of the immense potential of Lean Thinking applied to government. After a few sleepy years, is lean in the public administration having a comeback?

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Lean, our “breda” and butter
February 7, 2023
Lean, our “breda” and butter

BOOK EXCERPT – The city of Breda in the Netherlands has been on a lean journey for the past six years. Today we share an excerpt from the book The Lean Government, which sets the scene for the transformation.

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The power of people: adapting to changing times
February 3, 2023
The power of people: adapting to changing times

CASE STUDY – A people-centric approach to work, improvement, and the adoption of automation is allowing this Norwegian company to thrive in a changing industry and environment.

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Why is TPS so smart?
January 27, 2023
Why is TPS so smart?

FEATURE – A real understanding of Lean Thinking can only stem from an exploration of its tacit aspects, not just its most explicit, easy-to-grasp elements.

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Breaking the silence
January 24, 2023
Breaking the silence

FEATURE – By changing its attitude towards problems and welcoming them as opportunities to learn, this Colombian construction company has turned around its culture.

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Leading by solving (the right) problems
January 20, 2023
Leading by solving (the right) problems

FEATURE – Leading by solving problems is a key trait of any lean leader, but it is important to understand that not all problems are their prerogative.

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Visuals all around us
January 17, 2023
Visuals all around us

FEATURE – Visuals are a natural way in which human beings learn and teach. The author discusses why visual thinking is part of our DNA and the implications this has on our lives at work.

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Solving problems by developing people
January 13, 2023
Solving problems by developing people

INTERVIEW – Top leaders at Chilean company Elecmetal talk to us about how lean has transformed their role in the organization and how capability development is fuelling change.

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One-time customer, lifelong customer
January 10, 2023
One-time customer, lifelong customer

FEATURE – We start the new year with a reminder to put customers first, always. It is they who make our business and keep our lean initiatives true, says the author.

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The year that was
December 21, 2022
The year that was

ROUND-UP – In his annual review of the best content we published, our editor looks back at 2022 and what this year was like for the Lean Community.

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Operation Sunflower: saving Christmas
December 16, 2022
Operation Sunflower: saving Christmas

FICTION – Santa is struggling to locate the many children who are hiding from war to deliver them gifts, until the lean Time Benders come to the rescue and help him understand the problem.

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Using lean to discharge patients before 12PM
December 13, 2022
Using lean to discharge patients before 12PM

FEATURE – This nurses-led experiment in Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic is proving successful in getting more patients discharged on time and avoiding surgery cancellations.

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Waste? It makes our blood boil!
December 9, 2022
Waste? It makes our blood boil!

FEATURE – Thanks to lean, a primary care unit in Catalonia has streamlined its blood sampling process, improving the patient experience and the life at work for its staff.

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Lean Thinking is personal development
December 6, 2022
Lean Thinking is personal development

FEATURE – In this interesting piece, the author explains how lean provided everyone, everywhere with a framework to work their intuition muscle and develop insights.

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The collaboration equation
November 29, 2022
The collaboration equation

FEATURE – In an excerpt from his new book, the author discusses the importance of building collaboration in your teams and explains why this is the only way to consistently deliver value.

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At the service of customer centricity
November 25, 2022
At the service of customer centricity

CASE STUDY – This Shared Service Center in Poland has leveraged lean, technology, and automation to completely transform itself and provide an ever-better customer experience.

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A successful experiment with virtual care
November 22, 2022
A successful experiment with virtual care

CASE STUDY – The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the application of Virtual Healthcare across the world. In South Australia, this has been implemented in urgent care.

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How we built a lean foundry from scratch
November 15, 2022
How we built a lean foundry from scratch

INTERVIEW – Ahead of this week’s Lean Global Connection, we talk to one of the speakers, who is trying to create a foundry that is lean from the start.

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Lean eyes don't lie
November 8, 2022
Lean eyes don't lie

FEATURE – Whether improvement efforts are paying off and people are internalizing a lean way of thinking is a constant worry for many leaders. Here’s a trick to gauge how well – or how poorly – things are going in your transformation.

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