GA 051 | The Lean Transition with Ashley Bailey

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Today’s guest is Ashley Bailey, Managing Director of Klime-Ezee, a warehouse step manufacturer in Derbyshire, England. Ashley and I have been friends for a while now and I really enjoyed hearing him describe how he transformed his traditionally-minded organization into a lean-thinking one.

An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Ashley’s background and how he got into continuous improvement (2:22)
  • The quotation that inspires Ashley (5:40)
  • When Ashley first discovered lean (6:32)
  • The beginnings of Ashley’s lean journey (10:13)
  • The aspect of lean Klime-Ezee has found most difficult to adopt (13:07)
  • The aspect of lean that Ashley himself has found most difficult to adopt (15:50)
  • What today’s Ashley Bailey would tell his past self (17:13)
  • What “Respect for People” means to Ashley (19:33)
  • The best advice Ashley has ever received (20:07)
  • Ashley’s personal productivity habit (20:59)
  • What has surprised Ashley in his last year of practicing lean (22:22)
  • What Ashley does to recharge and refocus (25:21)
  • The skill Ashley feels he needs to improve (26:45)
  • Ashley’s final words of wisdom (27:46)

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What Do You Think?

Can you relate to Ashley’s challenges? How so?

GA 050 | Six Years Later: Our Journey

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During a recent meeting in Palm Springs, we sat down with each member of the team (except new Website Manager Luis Frigo) to discuss what it’s like to work for Gemba Academy. This unique episode is a great way to learn more about the early days of our company, the people behind the brand, and how we got to where we are today.

An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Ron’s pivotal moment that contributed to the creation of Gemba Academy (0:35)
  • Co-Founder Kevin Meyer’s reflection on the past six years (2:05)
  • How Customer Care Manager Elaine Cressionnie is able to better serve our customers nowadays (6:44)
  • How Videographer Greg Nickell felt about creating our studio (11:50)
  • What Sales Manager Leslie Moles enjoys most about working with customers (12:45)
  • Why Director of Sales and Marketing Steven Kane is so passionate about GA (13:42)
  • What Business Manager Holley Seifert likes most about working for GA (15:53)
  • How Marketing Specialist Jessica Bush adds value to our marketing strategy (17:08)
  • How working for GA has empowered Executive Assistant Brita Quella (18:40)
  • What Business Manager Jennifer Scott finds exciting about joining the GA team (19:28)
  • What GA will be doing in five years, according to Kevin (20:50)
  • Greg’s take on the culture at GA (22:40)
  • Why Elaine loves working for GA (23:55)

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If you enjoyed this podcast please be sure to subscribe on iTunes. Once you’re a subscriber all new episodes will be downloaded to your iTunes account and smartphone.

The easiest way for iPhone users to listen to the show is via the free, and incredible, Podcast app.

You can download it here. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the Gemba Academy podcast on iTunes.

You can also subscribe via Stitcher which is definitely Android friendly.

What Do You Think?

Can you relate to what our team has to say? How has your employer empowered or inspired you?

GA 049 | The Green Beret Way to Lead with Sam MacPherson

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Today’s guest is Sam MacPherson, former Chief of Training for the U.S. Army Special Forces, specifically the Green Berets. Sam currently serves as the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Lean Leadership Academy, based in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Sam and I discussed the similarities between the Green Beret training process and the process of developing a lean skill set. From Toyota to the U.S. Army, Sam’s diverse background creates a fresh approach to the lean principles we all know and love.

An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Sam’s background and what he’s up to these days (2:25)
  • What it was like to work with the legendary Dr. Shigeo Shingo (4:57)
  • The quote that inspires Sam (6:44)
  • Sam’s relationship with the U.S. Army and the Green Berets (8:23)
  • How Sam connected the U.S. Army, the Green Berets, and Toyota (12:28)
  • What the Green Berets look for in a leader (18:38)
  • How Green Beret training compares to training lean leaders (23:12)
  • How the Green Berets continually cultivate leadership skills (26:52)
  • What employers can expect from Special Forces members(31:06)
  • What “Respect for People” means to Sam (34:29)
  • The best advice Sam has ever received (35:51)
  • Sam’s personal productivity habit (36:56)
  • The one thing that always surprises Sam (38:22)
  • What Sam does to recharge and refocus (39:38)
  • The lean-related skill Sam feels he needs to improve (41:07)
  • Sam’s final words of wisdom (44:47)

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If you enjoyed this podcast please be sure to subscribe on iTunes. Once you’re a subscriber all new episodes will be downloaded to your iTunes account and smartphone.

The easiest way for iPhone users to listen to the show is via the free, and incredible, Podcast app.

You can download it here. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the Gemba Academy podcast on iTunes.

You can also subscribe via Stitcher which is definitely Android friendly.

What Do You Think?

What other industries or sectors can benefit from lean? How so?

Lean Thinker Challenge #8

startBy Ron Pereira

Welcome to another edition of the Lean Thinker Challenge!

The Situation

You’re an experienced lean thinker who recently joined a 75 person company that’s brand new to any sort of continuous improvement.

Your boss, the president, hired you to help them improve all aspects of their business including profitability and employee morale which, she hypothesizes, are highly correlated.

The Challenge

Upon walking into the facility you immediately notice how much basic 5S would help.  To call the place unorganized and chaotic is an understatement.

But, you also know the front office processes – specifically planning and scheduling – are in shambles so perhaps you should start there?

Then again, perhaps you should take a deep breath, do some basic lean awareness training, and then perform an extensive lean assessment before making a start.

All you do know, for sure, is you need to do something!

What should you do?

GA 048 | The Hidden Brain with Mark Jaben

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Today’s guest is Mark Jaben, a longtime Emergency Physician with a particular interest in brain chemistry and functionality. Mark and I explore the idea of the “hidden brain,” specifically how our prefrontal cortex dictates the decision-making process and how we can harness these principles to become better problem solvers.

An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Mark’s background and what he’s doing these days (4:38)
  • The two quotations that inspire Mark (7:56)
  • Why we should all care about brain science (8:43)
  • How our brains work when it comes to improvement (9:42)
  • Why and how our brains evolve as we get older (24:24)
  • What we can do to become better problem solvers (27:47)
  • The role diet and rest play in brain performance (35:40)
  • Ways you can learn more about how the brain works (37:40)
  • Mark’s unique take on “Respect for People” (39:35)
  • The best advice Mark has ever received (45:30)
  • Mark’s personal productivity habit (47:46)
  • What Mark does to recharge and refocus (53:18)
  • The skill Mark feels he needs to improve (55:29)

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If you enjoyed this podcast please be sure to subscribe on iTunes. Once you’re a subscriber all new episodes will be downloaded to your iTunes account and smartphone.

The easiest way for iPhone users to listen to the show is via the free, and incredible, Podcast app.

You can download it here. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the Gemba Academy podcast on iTunes.

You can also subscribe via Stitcher which is definitely Android friendly.

What Do You Think?

Do you believe brain performance affects continuous improvement practices? Why or why not?

GA 047 | Developing a Lean Ecosystem with David Mann

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Today’s guest is David Mann. David is the author of Creating a Lean Culture: Tools to Sustain Lean Conversions, one of my all-time favorite lean books. We discussed lean production versus management systems and the best ways to keep your senior leaders engaged throughout your organization’s  lean journey.

An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • David’s background and what he’s up to nowadays (2:38)
  • The quote that inspires David (4:12)
  • Something you might not know about David’s book (6:42)
  • Whether lean production or lean management come first, and how they’re related (8:28)
  • Where organization should be focused first (14:04)
  • How to hold the interest of senior executives along your lean journey (18:42)
  • What “Respect for People” means to David (30:42)
  • The best advice David has ever received (31:44)
  • David’s personal productivity habit (32:59)
  • Something that surprised David in the past year (34:23)
  • What David does to recharge and refocus (35:39)
  • The skill David needs to improve to become a better lean leader (37:11)
  • David’s final words of wisdom (38:46)

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If you enjoyed this podcast please be sure to subscribe on iTunes. Once you’re a subscriber all new episodes will be downloaded to your iTunes account and smartphone.

The easiest way for iPhone users to listen to the show is via the free, and incredible, Podcast app.

You can download it here. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the Gemba Academy podcast on iTunes.

You can also subscribe via Stitcher which is definitely Android friendly.

What Do You Think?

What comes first, lean production or lean management? Why?

GA 046 | Lean in Japan with Mark Graban

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This episode’s guest is Mark Graban, VP of Customer Success at KaiNexus and longtime friend of Gemba Academy. Mark recently went to Japan on a special Kaizen Institute trip that included tours of hospitals, Toyota, and other lean facilities. During our conversation he shared what he saw and learned during his time abroad.

An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Mark’s background (3:10)
  • Why Mark went to Japan (5:07)
  • Who Mark went with, and who led the trip (6:50)
  • Whether or not it’s easier to practice lean in Japan (8:47)
  • Mark’s experience at the Toyota plants (12:52)
  • The different hospitals Mark visited (17:44)
  • What Mark learned from Japanese Kaizen (22:50)
  • What Mark would change if he could go back in time to earlier in his lean journey (31:59)
  • The biggest obstacle to successful lean transformations, in Mark’s opinion (33:09)
  • What we can learn about decision-making from this year’s Super Bowl (37:02)

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If you enjoyed this podcast please be sure to subscribe on iTunes. Once you’re a subscriber all new episodes will be downloaded to your iTunes account and smartphone.

The easiest way for iPhone users to listen to the show is via the free, and incredible, Podcast app.

You can download it here. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the Gemba Academy podcast on iTunes.

You can also subscribe via Stitcher which is definitely Android friendly.

What Do You Think?

What is your impression of Japanese lean vs lean in other countries?

How to Build a Workplace People Love By Adding Joy

MenloBy Ron Pereira

I want to keep my message short, and to the point, since I want to help you carve out 56 minutes from your week in order to watch what I believe to be one of the most amazing business stories ever told.

Richard Sheridan, from Menlo Innovations, did a webinar with us last week on how to build a workplace everyone loves and we want all of the world to see it. So we’re making it free to view here on the blog.

Please share this article with anyone, and everyone, you know that works for a living.

I truly believe this message transcends “continuous improvement” so don’t worry if your Aunt Lucy, who works at the library, knows nothing of kanban systems or takt time.  She doesn’t need to in order to benefit from the Menlo message.

If you’re reading this via email, or RSS, you may need to click through to the actual article in order to see the video since it’s embedded in the post.

If, for some reason, you can’t see the video player please click here to watch it on our “new videos” page.

You can also request a full access 3 day trial in order to gain access to all 700+ videos we offer.  No credit card required.

GA 045 | Respect for People with Past Guests

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respect-for-peopleThis episode is a little different. Our good friend and past guest Jamie Parker suggested consolidating some of our most powerful “Respect for People” definitions for our listeners to enjoy, learn from, and reflect upon. Hearing both the central themes and varying perspectives is fascinating, and definitely inspiring.

An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Jamie’s own definition of “Respect for People” (1:59)
  • Eric Ries’s definition (4:28)
  • David Meier’s definition (5:19)
  • Ron Pereira’s definition (8:12)
  • Kevin Meyer’s definition (9:58)
  • Steve Kane’s definition (12:27)
  • Jamie Flinchbaugh’s definition (14:25)
  • Adam Zak’s definition (15:50)
  • Mike Grogan’s definition (16:58)

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If you enjoyed this podcast please be sure to subscribe on iTunes. Once you’re a subscriber all new episodes will be downloaded to your iTunes account and smartphone.

The easiest way for iPhone users to listen to the show is via the free, and incredible, Podcast app.

You can download it here. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the Gemba Academy podcast on iTunes.

You can also subscribe via Stitcher which is definitely Android friendly.

What Do You Think?

Whose definition resonates the most with you? Why?

GA 044 | Beyond Heroes with Kim Barnas

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kim-barnasToday’s guest is Kim Barnas, author and former Senior VP at healthcare network ThedaCare. We discussed the “hero approach” to problem-solving, the best ways to expose continuous improvement methodology to highly trained doctors, and overall how to manage the challenges of implementing lean in a medical setting.

An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Kim’s background and how she was first exposed to lean (3:33)
  • The quote that inspires Kim (5:11)
  • All about Kim’s book (5:56)
  • What the “Hero Approach” is (7:50)
  • How to implement Lean and Six Sigma tools in a medical setting (9:20)
  • Some examples of problems that Kim has solved (11:10)
  • How to balance experimentation with the primary goal of saving lives (13:10)
  • What True North metrics are and why they matter (14:20)
  • All about financial stewardship (15:32)
  • Advice for healthcare employees interested in implementing lean (16:58)
  • What “Respect for People” means to Kim (19:55)
  • The best two pieces of advice Kim has ever received (20:36)
  • Kim’s personal productivity habit (22:37)
  • Kim’s final words of wisdom (27:46)

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Click to Subscribe in iTunes

If you enjoyed this podcast please be sure to subscribe on iTunes. Once you’re a subscriber all new episodes will be downloaded to your iTunes account and smartphone.

The easiest way for iPhone users to listen to the show is via the free, and incredible, Podcast app.

You can download it here. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the Gemba Academy podcast on iTunes.

You can also subscribe via Stitcher which is definitely Android friendly.

What Do You Think?

Have you had experience applying lean to a healthcare setting? What challenges did you face?