Jon Miller

Total 1286 Posts

Advanced Lean is Paying Due Respect to Basic Lean

I used to believe there was such a thing as advanced lean. Many people probably still believe this today. How about you? There are several ways “advanced lean” is used. In an educational context it means “not for beginners.” The content requires the lean learner be further ahead in development or progress. This

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Lean is a Floor

American football is in its preseason. Teams have been holding training events for veterans and new players. Sports media commentators often speak or write about a players “floor” or “ceiling.” A rookie with a “high ceiling” has not yet reached his peak, and it is hoped they will grow into a star players. On the

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Lean Thinking from Itchy Toes to NASA

About a month ago I consulted a physician about itchy toes, for the third time in about a year.  Through this process, I was able to reflect on Lean thinking, organizational culture, how we present problems, and what this means for the effectiveness of our problem solving. My toes began

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Purpose for Asking “Why?”

At its heart, Lean is about problem solving. Closing gaps. Overcoming obstacles. Making things better. The basic difference between organizations that succeed long-term with Lean and those who don’t can be gauged by how well they solve problems. Specifically, how early do they recognize and take on problems? How easily can the problem

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Brain Science on How Lean Works

How does Lean work? There are rational, that is to say scientific, explanations. It works because when outputs are increase and inputs decreased, profit follows. Lean works because flow, pull and visualization remove waste and expose problems. Solving these problems and maintaining flow reduces inputs. Lean works because humans working within flow production, solving problems

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Visual Management Mind Trick

Talk about thinking outside of the box. Each spring crows entered the abandoned lower floors of the research center. They stripped away pipe insulation for their nests. They left behind feathers and droppings. What did the researchers do to stop the crows? They put up signs reading, “No Entry to Crows”. The crows stayed

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Lean is Not About Principles

Lately I’ve been involved in several conversations of “Is lean about tools or is it about principles?” Hardly anybody argues for the tools. The popular consensus is that Lean is about principles, but it is a vague and loose consensus at best. What do we mean by principles? One definition of principle is

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The Lean Journey: It’s in the Name

While attending a recent event showcasing the ongoing lean transformation at a local hospital, I was reminded of the meaning of “journey”. Those of us practicing continuous improvement for our personal benefit or on behalf of an organization’s mission often speak in terms of a CI journey, a Lean journey, service

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To Lead with Respect, Stop Boring People

One of the greatest challenges for leaders of an organization is to keep people engaged in the work. Annual Gallup polls tell us that less than a third of U.S. workers are engaged. People who are engaged deliver better quality, productivity and service, whereas disengaged people perform worse and erode profit.

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