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John Shook on transformations and lean in a crisis
November 4, 2022
John Shook on transformations and lean in a crisis

VIDEO INTERVIEW – We recently caught up with John Shook at the Lean Healthcare Academic Conference in Stanford and asked him to share his thought on the questions we need to ask ourselves in a lean journey and on lean in turbulent times.

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How cultural change has fueled our transformation
November 2, 2022
How cultural change has fueled our transformation

INTERVIEW – This metalworking company based in Poland has leveraged the cultural change brought by Lean Thinking to significantly improve its processes. Ahead of his presentation at the LGC, their lean manager tells us how they did it.

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Why few people truly take the lean leap
October 28, 2022
Why few people truly take the lean leap

FEATURE – To wholeheartedly embrace lean means to accept changes in our hearts and minds. Understanding this means to finally grasp the reason why lean is only truly taken up by few.

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Making lean relatable and meaningful
October 25, 2022
Making lean relatable and meaningful

INTERVIEW – General Electric’s Angie Norman talks to our editor about the lean journey of the company’s Finance department and how the area became a driver of GE’s overall transformation.

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Leaning out transitional care
October 21, 2022
Leaning out transitional care

CASE STUDY – The transfer of a patient from one care setting to another is a delicate time. Insurance company SulAmérica has used its extensive lean experience to improve transitional care, and here’s how they did it.

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How E.ON is dealing with a volatile energy market
October 18, 2022
How E.ON is dealing with a volatile energy market

INTERVIEW –  A VP at energy company E.ON shares his thoughts on the current energy crisis and discusses how lean is helping them to navigate it.

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Truth conquers all
October 14, 2022
Truth conquers all

FEATURE – Can lean relieve some of the pain and fear people experience in this crazy world? It can, says the author, because amid so much noise lean carries one truth.

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Advancing learning in a lean organization
October 11, 2022
Advancing learning in a lean organization

FEATURE – Our disposition towards learning changes depending on the amount of things we don’t know. The author explores this topic and the role of the sensei in enabling learning.

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Using lean to make our DNA “stable and flexible”
October 7, 2022
Using lean to make our DNA “stable and flexible”

CASE STUDY – This transport and logistics company in Colombia has turned to Lean Thinking to become more adaptive and ensure an easier post-acquisition integration of new cultures.

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Emotions on the gemba
October 4, 2022
Emotions on the gemba

FEATURE – They say lean is all about people, and yet emotions – something we all feel and express daily – are largely absent from the lean discourse. The authors discuss the role they play in a lean transformation.

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What is standardized work?
September 30, 2022
What is standardized work?

ROUND-UP – Standardized work, which lies at the foundation of the TPS house, is a necessary component of a lean transformation. This article looks at the best content on this topic from our archives.

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With Kata, simple is the key
September 27, 2022
With Kata, simple is the key

FEATURE – A former plant manager reflects on his experience supporting a team with the implementation of Kata in the daily management system and explains why, when it comes to Kata questions, simple is best.

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The lean answer to uncertainty
September 23, 2022
The lean answer to uncertainty

FEATURE – In the face of uncertainty, when it’s hard to see the road ahead, we can still make things better day after day by embracing kaizen – until we are out of the woods.

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Lean in hospitality: challenges and opportunities
September 20, 2022
Lean in hospitality: challenges and opportunities

INTERVIEW – Juan Pedro Gonzalez is a pioneer of lean in hospitality, having spearheaded the transformation of Spain’s Dreamplace hotels since the beginning. Here, he discusses what role lean can play in advancing the industry.

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Getting started with lean process development
September 16, 2022
Getting started with lean process development

SERIES – In the final article in their series on lean process development, the authors discuss what it takes to get started with their 6CON process development model.

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A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
September 13, 2022
A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor

CALL TO ARMS – The current economic situation is presenting great challenges to organizations around the world, but in difficult times lean gives its best. Provided we all do our part, with conviction and determination.

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Building a lean platform for Industry 4.0 operating systems
September 9, 2022
Building a lean platform for Industry 4.0 operating systems

FEATURE – As organizations strive to modernize and ride the wave of new technologies, what should their operating systems look like? How can they adapt to Industry 4.0?

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Transforming quickly, but mindfully
September 6, 2022
Transforming quickly, but mindfully

CASE STUDY – Starting in January this year, the Mexican plant of this manufacturer of lighting and electrical solutions has initiated a lean transformation that has already led to impressive results in terms of productivity.

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What is Yokoten?
August 30, 2022
What is Yokoten?

ROUNDUP – Knowledge sharing is a powerful enabler of lean change. In this roundup, our editor discusses the benefits of yokoten and shares a few examples.

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Raise the bar on yourself
August 26, 2022
Raise the bar on yourself

FEATURE – Based on their experience supporting the stellar growth of Aramis Group, the authors discuss the role of leaders in shaping minds and behaviors and constantly challenging themselves to be the best example they can.

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Boosting the lean-agile maturity of our teams
August 23, 2022
Boosting the lean-agile maturity of our teams

FEATURE – BRQ Digital Solutions shows that effective customer-focused improvement must happen from the inside out, with team development aligned with the pillars of lean digital transformation.

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4 leadership considerations for better process development
August 19, 2022
4 leadership considerations for better process development

SERIES – The authors discuss the final elements in their 6CON process development model – CONtinuously Improve – making and sustaining consistent improvements over time that will produce even higher levels of performance.

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Lean maintenance in agriculture
August 16, 2022
Lean maintenance in agriculture

FEATURE – The problems agricultural businesses encounter every day can be solved using simple concepts of lean maintenance, resulting in considerable gains.

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Lean through four generations
August 12, 2022
Lean through four generations

FEATURE – Every lean generation has faced challenges, and it’s critical we understand the context around us if we are to continue to grow our Community, says Jim Womack.

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What's in a word?
August 9, 2022
What's in a word?

FEATURE – In the lean world, we are used to acronyms and abbreviations. But what’s the value of words if their meaning is lost and fails to reach those we are communicating with?

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Tell me about your metrics and I’ll tell you who you are
August 5, 2022
Tell me about your metrics and I’ll tell you who you are

FEATURE – Pure and simple management by indicators can be a trap leading us to make decisions that are inconsistent with the real needs of a company. The balance between facts and data is key.

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Recreating that “coffee break magic”
August 2, 2022
Recreating that “coffee break magic”

CASE STUDY – This digital organization has embarked on a cultural transformation that is allowing them to become more agile while keeping people and stimulating interactions at the heart of their work.

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Enabling improvement across our healthcare system
July 29, 2022
Enabling improvement across our healthcare system

CASE STUDY – How do you give hundreds of primary care units the tools and knowledge they need to make improvements? The Catalan Health Service found the solution in hoshin kanri.

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A leaner housekeeping
July 26, 2022
A leaner housekeeping

CASE STUDY – Hotels of the Palladium Group are implementing Lean Thinking in their housekeeping departments to improve efficiency and service quality.

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Process development – Putting the C in PDCA
July 22, 2022
Process development – Putting the C in PDCA

SERIES – The authors discuss the fifth of six elements in their 6CON process development model – CONfirm – leveraging a robust launch readiness approach to finalize the process while ensuring it meets the targets set in the business plan.

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Our friend “Ayethree”
July 19, 2022
Our friend “Ayethree”

FEATURE – Using her distinctive narrative style, the author breaks down the A3 process to help you understand how it works and how you can tap into its potential.

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An enterprise-wide cultural transformation
July 15, 2022
An enterprise-wide cultural transformation

CASE STUDY – A Chilean company selling and servicing vehicles and equipment for a variety of industries has made of humility the leading trait of its cultural transformation, with great results.

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TWI and the reorganization of our work
July 12, 2022
TWI and the reorganization of our work

FEATURE – To facilitate the transition to a new organization of the work in their department, a group of nurses at Erasmus Medical Center have been using Training Within Industry.

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What is the lean in lean?
July 8, 2022
What is the lean in lean?

FEATURE – The only way for lean to succeed is to change a leader’s behavior so the rest of the organization will change too and people get the support they need to become problem solvers.

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Building our lean legacy
July 5, 2022
Building our lean legacy

CASE STUDY – We hear from a construction company in Chile that embarked on a lean journey in 2018 to transform its culture and improve the work on its many sites.

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10 lean leadership lessons from our authors
July 1, 2022
10 lean leadership lessons from our authors

FEATURE – What does it mean to be a lean leader? Our editor tries to answer this question by searching the Planet Lean archives for the best nuggets of wisdom from our authors.

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Local experience for a global endeavor
June 28, 2022
Local experience for a global endeavor

FEATURE – A former ops manager now tasked for improvement across IKEA looks back at what she learned in one of the company’s stores and explains how she hopes to take lean to the whole group.

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Leading the change
June 24, 2022
Leading the change

FEATURE – Our editor recently caught up with the director of the largest hospital in the Netherlands and asked him about the lean transformation he’s leading there.

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An eye for improvement
June 21, 2022
An eye for improvement

INTERVIEW – At last month’s International Lean Summit in Hungary, our editor sat down with the manager of a CooperVision site that is gradually converting its operations to make them leaner.

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Moving from learning to executing
June 17, 2022
Moving from learning to executing

SERIES – The authors discuss the fourth of six elements in their 6CON process development model – CONfigure – refining the selected process concept to maximize value-added activities.

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Toyota: differentiation and vitality
June 14, 2022
Toyota: differentiation and vitality

FEATURE – Toyota recently achieved the #1 spot in sales in the United States after 90 years of leadership by GM, which shows how capable the lean management philosophy is to overcome difficult circumstances in the market.

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Post-pandemic hansei
June 10, 2022
Post-pandemic hansei

FEATURE – Back on the road after two years, the author reflects on how lean organizations have performed during the pandemic and addresses age-old misunderstandings about Just-in-Time.

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Seeing problems, four types of them
June 7, 2022
Seeing problems, four types of them

FEATURE – Using data from a recent piece of research on logistics, the author discusses how Lean Thinking contributes to a more efficient and effective way of dealing with problems.

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Whittle by whittle
June 3, 2022
Whittle by whittle

CASE STUDY – This Dutch SME is transforming its picking operation – partly with the introduction of a U-shaped design – to increase the number of orders it can fulfil every day.

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5 ways to improve your connection with the gemba
May 31, 2022
5 ways to improve your connection with the gemba

FEATURE – The author discusses the practices that can help us make the most of the traditional mantra “go see, ask why, and show respect”.

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Yokoten and a logistics improvement in healthcare
May 27, 2022
Yokoten and a logistics improvement in healthcare

FEATURE – In this article, we hear about how the lean successes of one hospital inspired an entire healthcare authority to introduce changes to their processes.

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Yes, you can teach lean in engineering schools
May 24, 2022
Yes, you can teach lean in engineering schools

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – The author visits a private engineering school to learn about their approach to teach Lean Thinking and apply it to their own work.

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Learning to say “No” on the way to “Yes”
May 19, 2022
Learning to say “No” on the way to “Yes”

SERIES – The authors discuss the third of six elements in their process development model – Converge – using experiments to test key aspects of different ideas, while objectively working towards a single design concept slated for refinement and implementation.

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Cost calculation vs cost awareness
May 16, 2022
Cost calculation vs cost awareness

FEATURE – As inflation bites, the author offers us an insightful take into what it really means to understand a company’s costs. Hint, it doesn’t involve passing them on to customers.

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Self-organization, the Cossacks way
May 13, 2022
Self-organization, the Cossacks way

FEATURE – Resilience and the ability to self-organize have been part of Ukrainian culture for centuries. Today, as the war continues, the country’s companies and resistance are tapping into those values.

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8 key lessons from Toyota
May 10, 2022
8 key lessons from Toyota

ROUND-UP – Our editor looks back at the most insightful articles Planet Lean has published on the most talked-about company in the lean world. Here are eight key lessons from Toyota, straight from our archives.

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Resilience: problems Ukrainian firms are experiencing today
May 6, 2022
Resilience: problems Ukrainian firms are experiencing today

FEATURE – Ahead of their exclusive webinar next week, the authors outline some of the problems Ukrainian companies are facing as the Russian invasion continues.

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Lean learning, reinvented
May 3, 2022
Lean learning, reinvented

INTERVIEW – From hospitals to start-ups, lean principles have been applied far beyond their origins at Toyota. This article discusses how lean can be applied to learning – specifically, how we can apply lean learning to learning lean.

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Lean transformations: failure and misconceptions
April 29, 2022
Lean transformations: failure and misconceptions

FEATURE – Drawing inspiration from his research into the causes of failure of transformations, the author discusses how these can directly be linked to the most common misconceptions on Lean Thinking.

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How hoshin is giving us a common purpose
April 26, 2022
How hoshin is giving us a common purpose

CASE STUDY – This 104-year-old Chilean provider of integral solutions for the mining industry has turned to hoshin kanri to effectively connect everyone’s work with the overall business strategy.

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The value of testing multiple concepts at once
April 21, 2022
The value of testing multiple concepts at once

SERIES—The authors discuss Concepts, the second of six elements in their process development model, discovering the key knowledge gaps and exploring multiple process design options to facilitate learning.

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Operation Honeybee
April 12, 2022
Operation Honeybee

FEATURE – To consistently identify new and better ways of doing things can breathe new life into a lean journey, but only if the knowledge developed can be effectively shared across the organization.

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Creating a model primary care unit
April 7, 2022
Creating a model primary care unit

CASE STUDY – This primary care unit in Brazil is hoping to become a model for other units in their system. Take note, this is how Lean Thinking can spread across healthcare systems.

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Lean and the digitization of Benin's public administration
April 5, 2022
Lean and the digitization of Benin's public administration

INTERVIEW – In today’s Q&A, we learn how Lean Thinking is supporting the digital transformation of the public administration of the African country of Benin.

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The theory of lean transformation
March 31, 2022
The theory of lean transformation

FEATURE – In this compelling theoretical piece, the author reminds us how in a lean organization relations are structured around learning opportunities rather than execution. This is what ultimately enables a company to grow.

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Deploying strategic metrics in operations
March 28, 2022
Deploying strategic metrics in operations

FEATURE – Using the example of a chain of pizzerias, the author explains why “slicing the elephant” is the approach you want to follow when it comes to deploying strategic metrics in operations.

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All the world is a stage
March 24, 2022
All the world is a stage

FEATURE – The conflict unfolding in Ukraine acts as a tragic reminder of the threat posed by despotic, unapproachable, and paranoid leaders, says Sharon Visser.

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Lean ain't fishy
March 21, 2022
Lean ain't fishy

CASE STUDY – This Norwegian firm learned that allowing every person and area to move up their own lean learning curve can steer the business away from fire-fighting and towards more strategic thinking.

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Understanding the context of your process
March 17, 2022
Understanding the context of your process

SERIES – The authors discuss the first of six elements in their process development model – Context – highlighting the importance of gaining clarity on the objectives of the process being created.

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Where to look for hope in dark times
March 14, 2022
Where to look for hope in dark times

FEATURE – When the clouds gather, it’s tempting to throw in the towel and ask, “What is it all for?”. The author tells us why the kaizen spirit should be our beacon now more than ever.

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My gemba visits in Ukraine
March 11, 2022
My gemba visits in Ukraine

FEATURE – As the senseless war in Ukraine continues, the author looks back to his visit to the country in 2017, recalling and celebrating its vibrant lean community.

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Slashing waiting times for cancer care
March 7, 2022
Slashing waiting times for cancer care

CASE STUDY – This project in Brazil, part of a city-wide effort to improve patient flows, led to impressive results in the waiting time to access cancer care.

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Turning around our quality
March 3, 2022
Turning around our quality

CASE STUDY – For the past year, Elementia Materiales, a producer of materials for the construction industry, has begun a lean journey that’s already brought impressive quality results.

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A fork in the road for lean research?
February 28, 2022
A fork in the road for lean research?

RESEARCH – The author reflects on several highly-ranked academic publications to paint a picture of salient lean knowledge, both past and present, and suggests several avenues for future lean research.

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The value of software
February 24, 2022
The value of software

FEATURE – The authors explain why putting value at the heart of customer discussions is key to developing a successful, resilient tech firm.

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Our hoshin journey
February 21, 2022
Our hoshin journey

FEATURE – This Siemens Group-owned medium-sized manufacturer of electrical low-voltage devices has been experimenting with hoshin kanri. In this article, they share their experience and lessons learned.

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The competitive advantage of lean process creation
February 17, 2022
The competitive advantage of lean process creation

SERIES – The authors of The Power of Process open their new series by explaining why it’s critical to integrate product and process development.

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Back from the brink
February 14, 2022
Back from the brink

ROUNDUP – Our editor looks back at the best articles explaining how Lean Thinking can help in a crisis and bring an organization back from the brink of disaster.

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How to shorten product development lead-time
February 10, 2022
How to shorten product development lead-time

FEATURE – Reflecting on the transformations he has supported, the author provides a few recommendations on how to get products to market faster.

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Lean and the 5th industrial revolution
February 7, 2022
Lean and the 5th industrial revolution

FEATURE – The author shares a few lessons learned on his company’s journey to Industry/Quality 4.0, the foundation to 5.0 Artificial Intelligence.

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Becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable
February 3, 2022
Becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable

INTERVIEW – Our editor chats with Lean Houses for Dragons author Sharon Visser. They discuss her book, what fear can do to a transformation and the power of storytelling.

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'Fruitful' lean work
January 31, 2022
'Fruitful' lean work

CASE STUDY – This Chilean agrobusiness company achieved great results in a very short time by applying lean to standardize its processes and improve its productivity. They are now berry fond of the methodology.

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Control or cooperate?
January 27, 2022
Control or cooperate?

FEATURE – Lean Thinking is about voluntary participation, not audits that are meant to ensure compliance. The authors explore the advantages of pursuing cooperation rather than control.

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There are two Ps in LPPD
January 24, 2022
There are two Ps in LPPD

INTERVIEW – The authors of the new book The Power of Process debunk some of the most common myths about lean process development.

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Lean on the agenda
January 20, 2022
Lean on the agenda

FEATURE – This Brazilian manufacturer was able to achieve significant improvements in its processes in just one week thanks to kaizen.

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Taking the next step
January 17, 2022
Taking the next step

FEATURE – How Lærdal Medical was able to enthusiastically restart its lean journey with help of a good old-fashioned Kaizen Week.

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The power of suggestions
January 13, 2022
The power of suggestions

FEATURE – At Toyota, led by senior executives, suggestion schemes have contributed to decades of improvement. This article explores why they are so effective and encourages you to try one out for yourself.

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What kind of executive are you?
January 10, 2022
What kind of executive are you?

FEATURE – Lean provides everyone with a framework to learn continuously and do an ever-better job. Without this understanding, an executive will not be able to steer the organization in the right direction.

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A lean Christmas tale
December 23, 2021
A lean Christmas tale

FICTION – The pandemic is throwing curveballs to us all, including a certain bearded gentleman who lives in the North Pole – until a magic “time-bending” solution is presented to him, that is.

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Lean lessons for the climate crisis
December 20, 2021
Lean lessons for the climate crisis

FEATURE – Tackling climate change forces us to rethink everything we do as a society. Here’s three lean lessons that can show us a way forward.

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Cultivating CI in a digital work environment
December 13, 2021
Cultivating CI in a digital work environment

FEATURE – This global designer and manufacturer has leveraged a remote kaizen initiative to keep the flame of continuous improvement burning during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Lean Houses for Dragons
December 9, 2021
Lean Houses for Dragons

FEATURE – As her new book comes out, the author discusses how it is people who breathe life into an organization and how much a leader’s behavior can influence them.

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Imprinting on lean
December 6, 2021
Imprinting on lean

CASE STUDY – Combining the lean and agile methodologies, HP’s site in Barcelona has streamlined and greatly improved its product development. Along the way, they transformed their culture, too.

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Embracing the kaizen spirit
December 2, 2021
Embracing the kaizen spirit

FEATURE – When we emphasize systems and roles but fail to encourage and support kaizen, we cannot expect to tap into the full potential of Lean Thinking as a cognitive revolution.

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A story of caring leadership and creativity
November 28, 2021
A story of caring leadership and creativity

FEATURE – A leader’s creativity and care for her people can lead to extraordinary results even in the most challenging of environments. As the latest LGN book comes out, the author reflects on one of the most impressive lean transformations you will come across.

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Lean around the clock
November 25, 2021
Lean around the clock

FEATURE – With one of the biggest lean events of the year just four days away, John Shook tells you why you should participate and what you can expect.

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It’s the pebble in our shoe that wears us down
November 22, 2021
It’s the pebble in our shoe that wears us down

FEATURE – We assume that what holds our transformations back is the lack of high-price resources, but more often than not it is the simplest of items.

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Lean healthcare around the globe
November 15, 2021
Lean healthcare around the globe

INTERVIEW – With the Lean Global Connection just two weeks away, we learn more about the lean healthcare content available to attendees.

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Pathways to reduce emissions
November 11, 2021
Pathways to reduce emissions

FEATURE - Imagine targeting a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions by setting our lean minds to it? The authors discuss building better, circular supply chains and designing sustainable products.

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Transforming our way of managing using lean
November 4, 2021
Transforming our way of managing using lean

CASE STUDY – The turning point in this Colombian construction company’s transformation came when they started to embrace lean as a culture rather than just a set of tools.

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The power of process
November 1, 2021
The power of process

FEATURE – The introduction of a new process can be disruptive to an organization’s improvement efforts. But what if the process were designed to be lean from the start?

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A chat with Furuta-san
October 27, 2021
A chat with Furuta-san

INTERVIEW – PL meets the author of the recently published book Welcome Problems, Find Success, who discusses bringing lean to different cultures and changing managerial behaviors.

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Introducing the Lean Global Connection
October 25, 2021
Introducing the Lean Global Connection

VIDEO INTERVIEW - In this conversation with our editor, John Shook discusses Lean Thinking post-pandemic and its role tackling large-scale problems, and introduces an upcoming free event you don't want to miss.

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Reflections from a Norwegian lean road trip
October 21, 2021
Reflections from a Norwegian lean road trip

FEATURE – Fresh from a number of visits to Norwegian gemba, the authors share their reflections and discuss the importance of making the information flow visible.

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Software vs visual management
October 18, 2021
Software vs visual management

FEATURE – We often spend a great deal of time and effort trying to fit our organizations into a box instead of building a box that fits our organization, says Sharon Visser.

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