GA 037 | The Evolution of Lean with Chet Marchwinski

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Today’s guest is Chet Marchwinski, the Communications Director of the Lean Enterprise Institute. We sat down at the International AME Conference in Jacksonville, Florida and talked about all things continuous improvement. This includes how lean has evolved over the years, where it’s going next, and some of Chet’s personal anecdotes of LEI leaders James Womack and John Shook.

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

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Chet’s role at LEI (2:45)
  • Firsthand stories about LEI Founder James Womack (4:18)
  • Things you might not know about current LEI CEO Jim Shook (7:30)
  • Chet’s take on the evolution of lean over the years (10:59)
  • What Chet thinks will be the hot topic of continuous improvement in five years (16:10)
  • What “Respect for People” means to Chet (21:10)
  • The best advice Chet has ever received (22:07)
  • Chet’s favorite personal productivity habit (24:17)
  • The two procedures Chet always sees in the best manufacturing plants (29:32)
  • About LEI’s Lean Lexicon: A Graphical Glossary for Lean Thinkers (32:09)
  • Chet’s final words of wisdom (33:57)

Podcast Resources

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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?

Where will lean be in five years? What will we be talking about?

GA 036 | The Lean Startup with Eric Ries

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Today’s guest is Eric Ries, an entrepreneur and author famous for being at the forefront of the lean startup movement. This episode has plenty of great insight for those both in and outside of the lean startup realm, covering topics like consumer value, waste, and minimal viable products.

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

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • The quote that inspires Eric (2:12)
  • Eric’s background, and why it’s unusual (3:06)
  • All about Eric’s book, The Lean Startup (14:20)
  • How the content of the book applies to those outside the startup realm (19:46)
  • Eric’s role in introducing lean to those who don’t understand its manufacturing roots (29:58)
  • The most common mistake made in the lean startup world (32:12)
  • Eric’s opinion on bootstrapping (35:47)
  • What’s next for Eric (37:59)
  • What “Respect for People” means to Eric (39:50)
  • The best advice Eric has ever received (40:27)
  • Why Eric doesn’t have a productivity habit (42:12)
  • Eric’s final words of wisdom (50:10)

Podcast Resources

Subscribe & Never Miss New Episodes!

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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?

Are you familiar with lean startup methodology? How does it differ from traditional lean? How is it similar?

3 Things I’ve Learned in 2014

iStock_000025247066LargeThis article was written by Ron Pereira

I’m not sure about you… but 2014 has come and gone faster than any year I can remember!

My wife and I welcomed another child to our family towards the end of 2013 which has definitely kept us on our toes!

Gemba Academy has also had an extremely busy year! We’ve added 5 amazing people to our team and continued to crank out new content.

In fact, over the last 12 months, we’ve added 204 new videos to our Gemba Live! and School of Lean. That’s a bunch of content!

We also launched a new podcast that has continued to grow month over month. I’ve really enjoyed connecting and talking to so many incredibly talented lean thinkers.

But, most importantly, 2014 has really helped me to grow as a husband, father, lean thinker, and business owner.

What Problem Are You Trying to Solve?

Without a doubt, the most popular question we get at Gemba Academy centers around where to start. With more than 650 videos available it can be a bit intimidating for our new customers.

So, in most cases, we simply ask the customer the following question: What problem are you trying to solve?

This is normally met with silence since of most of us don’t think to ask this question often enough.

After some thought and discussion our customer is normally able to identify several problems they’re battling which then allows us to help them get started with the appropriate course or topic.

But, here’s the craziest thing. While we’re constantly challenging our customers to answer this question we’ve been forced to ask/answer this question ourselves!

Anytime we look to make an improvement or focus our attention to something new and exciting… we do our very best to ask, “What problem are we trying to solve?”

Heck, just yesterday, I was talking with Steve Kane, our Director of Sales & Marketing, about one aspect of the new Learning Management System we’re rolling out in 2015… and as we were attempting to bring clarity to one aspect of the project Steve refocused the conversation by asking a question… you guessed it… what problem are we trying to solve?

So, I’d strongly encourage you to keep this simple, yet extremely powerful, question at the tip of your tongue as you prepare to launch into 2015.

Respect for Humanity

Next, I’m almost ashamed to say this, but it’s taken me a LONG time to come to the realization that while the tools of continuous improvement (e.g. 5S, Value Stream Mapping, etc.) are most definitely important… they pale in comparison to the importance of respecting humanity.

You see, most of us (especially us men) fail to realize how powerful our words and actions can be.

We also fail to realize how terrible leaders of people – who manage by fear and intimidation – are literally killing their employees since their bad management actions create an almost non stop release of the deadly brain chemical cortisol.

And, in case you don’t know, cortisol is an oxytocin inhibitor, meaning too much of it can make people physically sick and, in some tragic cases, can even lead to death.

So, with all this said, for the last few months we’ve been busy working on a new course we’re calling “Creating a Culture of Kaizen.”

Put simply, this course is like nothing we’ve ever covered.

While we don’t dismiss the tools and concepts of continuous improvement since, like I said, they are very important… we focus nearly all of our attention on topics related to respecting humanity.

We also talk about how 5 brain chemicals basically control every emotion – both good and bad – we humans experience.

Add in other topics such as how creating strong keystone habits, and the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and you have a course on how we believe authentic cultures of kaizen can be created.

The Power of Why

Lastly, early in the 2014 I came across Simon Sinek’s famous Ted Talk video where he talked about the importance of understanding your why… or your purpose… or your cause.

This video changed the way I looked at all aspects of my life.

It changed my personal life since I was able to really reflect on the eternal goals I have for my family and myself.

But it also changed how I approach my work at Gemba Academy.

Yes, Gemba Academy is what feeds my family. It’s my job. It also helps our other team members support their families.

So, obviously, we need to make money and turn a profit… but our “why” is so much more than making money.

I won’t get into the specifics of our exact “why” since that could be, and just may be, a topic for another article altogether.

But, what I can say is our purpose, our cause, our why goes far beyond making money.  I can also say discovering this “why” took a lot of time and reflection.  It wasn’t something we were able to whip up on a 20 minute Skype call.

What About You?

So, with this all said, I’d be interested to hear what you’ve learned in 2014. Have you gained new knowledge or insights others might benefit from?

And what about your personal and professional situation…. do you know “why” you do what you do? What’s your purpose? What’s your cause?

If you don’t, perhaps this is an excellent time to explore this on your own, with your family, and with your colleagues as you prepare to launch into 2015.

Finally, thank you so much for all your active support this past year.  Words cannot describe the deep appreciation I feel for each and every one of you.

So, thank you and Godspeed!

GA 035 | Daman Products’ Lean Journey with Larry Davis

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This episode’s guest is Larry Davis, President of Daman Products. Daman makes hydraulic manifolds for everything from farm equipment to roller coasters. Learn how Larry and his company embarked on their continuous improvement journey, and how they operate today.

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

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • The quote that most inspires Larry (2:24)
  • How Larry first came to learn about continuous improvement (3:01)
  • How Daman Products evolved before they incorporated lean (9:06)
  • How Larry and his coworkers started their lean journey (12:52)
  • The effect lean has had on Daman Products (16:01)
  • How the company handles training (19:10)
  • Larry’s take on the relationship between the work environment and natural law (20:59)
  • What “Respect for People” means to Larry (28:25)
  • The best advice Larry has ever received (31:37)
  • Larry’s three small productivity habits  (32:46)
  • Larry’s final words of wisdom (38:11)

Podcast Resources

Subscribe & Never Miss New Episodes!

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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?

Was/is your lean journey similar to Larry’s? Why or why not?

GA 034 | Becoming a Lean Leader with Steve Kane

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Note:  We’re releasing this episode one day earlier than normal… this way our American listeners will have something to listen to while on that road trip to Thanksgiving dinner!

Press the play button above to listen to the episode. If you’re reading this via email or RSS click the image below to listen to the episode.

steve-kane-kencoThis episode is a little different. Our Director of Sales and Marketing, Steve Kane, gave a presentation to the Kenco team in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Steve shares his fascinating lean journey and what he’s learned over the years, with an emphasis on his time at Specialty Silicone Fabricators.

Subscribers, this episode is available as a full Gemba Live! series here. Not a subscriber? check out the trailer. An MP3 version is also available for download here.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Steve’s background, including his education and discovery of lean (2:12)
  • How Steve used his newfound knowledge of lean at Specialty Silicone Fabricators, and what challenges he faced (5:15)
  • What Steve eventually learned was the basis for the problems at SSF (12:29)
  • Why it’s almost always the process, not the employee (18:06)
  • The three things every person deserves, and why (19:01)
  • Why Steve and his team decided to have a vision, not a plan (22:49)
  • What happened on the first day of SSF’s lean journey (26:55)
  • How the morning meeting changed (30:21)
  • How the SSF employees started asking for lean tools (35:00)
  • Examples of how lean drastically improved employee satisfaction and overall performance (37:09)
  • The more accurate translation of “Respect for People” (40:21)
  • Steve’s final key principles (48:00)
  • Steve’s call to action for the people of Kenco (55:56)

Podcast Resources

Free Lean Training DVDs Promotion

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 5.25.39 AMOur most popular promotion is back for the month of November. Purchase a School of Lean or School of Six Sigma subscription and receive our entire DVD collection for free, including worldwide shipping.

These sets retail for $1,295 per school and include up to 54 DVDs,  so it’s definitely a good deal. Valid until November 30th or until we receive 500 orders, at which point the promo page will be removed.

Click here for more information.

Subscribe & Never Miss New Episodes!

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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?

How do you feel about the concept of a customer-focused culture?

Lean Thinker Challenge #6

AME Conference AttendeesWelcome to another edition of the Lean Thinker Challenge!

The Situation

Several members of your team just attended the AME Conference in Jacksonville, Florida.

Today is their first day back to work and they’re far more pumped up and enthused than you anticipated.

They attended some incredible workshops and keynotes and have lots of ideas they want to act on.

The Challenge

And, while you’re very excited to see, and feel, their energy you know there’s only so much you can realistically act on in the coming weeks so you want to ensure they don’t attempt to bite off more than they can chew.

What should you do?

GA 033 | The Lean CEO with Jacob Stoller

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The Lean CEO

This episode’s guest is Jacob Stoller, journalist and author who is about to release his newest book, The Lean CEO. To write this book, Jacob travelled around the world and interviewed CEOs from 28 different companies regarding their lean journeys.

An MP3 version is also available for download here.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How Jacob got started in the realm of lean (3:01)
  • Jacob’s favorite inspirational quote (5:35)
  • The process of writing “The Lean CEO” (6:45)
  • What Jacob learned in the process (9:44)
  • One company that stood out to Jacob (14:37)
  • Something that really surprised Jacob in the process (18:04)
  • Jacob’s take on “Respect for People” (19:33)
  • What “Kaizen Culture” means to Jacob (20:38)
  • The best advice Jacob has ever received (21:28)
  • Jacob’s personal productivity habit (22:45)
  • Jacob’s simple but powerful final words of wisdom (27:37)

Podcast Resources

Free Lean Training DVDs Promotion

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 5.25.39 AMOur most popular promotion is back for the month of November. Purchase a School of Lean or School of Six Sigma subscription and receive our entire DVD collection for free, including worldwide shipping.

These sets retail for $1,295 per school and include up to 54 DVDs,  so it’s definitely a good deal. Valid until November 30th or until we receive 500 orders, at which point the promo page will be removed.

Click here for more information.

Subscribe & Never Miss New Episodes!

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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?

What are you most looking forward to about The Lean CEO?

GA 032 | Exploring Western Toyota Culture with David Meier

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david meier podcastToday’s guest is David Meier. David has an impressive background as an author and former Toyota group leader. These days he runs his own consulting practice, helping other companies implement lean transformations.

An MP3 version is also available for download here.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • David’s background at Toyota (3:08)
  • What David’s consulting practice offers (4:06)
  • The quote that inspires David (5:22)
  • What David’s learning experience at Toyota was like (6:45)
  • The balance of philosophy and practical tools at Toyota (8:26)
  • David’s experience with the intensity of some Japanese Senseis (10:44)
  • What David noticed at other companies after leaving Toyota (13:13)
  • A common misconception people have about Toyota (15:09)
  • David’s take on Leader Standard Work (20:01)
  • How leaders can incorporate lean into the company’s strategic plan (23:27)
  • What “Respect for People” means to David (26:03)
  • The best advice David has ever heard (28:31)
  • David’s personal productivity habit (29:28)
  • David’s final words of wisdom (40:46)

Podcast Resources

Free Lean Training DVDs Promotion

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 5.25.39 AMOur most popular promotion is back for the month of November. Purchase a School of Lean or School of Six Sigma subscription and receive our entire DVD collection for free, including worldwide shipping.

These sets retail for $1,295 per school and include up to 54 DVDs,  so it’s definitely a good deal. Valid until November 30th or until we receive 500 orders, at which point the promo page will be removed.

Click here for more information.

Subscribe & Never Miss New Episodes!

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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?

What is the lean culture like at your organization? Is it more western or are the traditional Japanese values more apparent? How so?

GA 031 | Applying Lean Within the State of Washington with Hollie Jensen and Darrell Damron

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This week our guests are Hollie Jensen and Darrell Damron.

Both Hollie and Dan work in the Washington State Governor’s Office implementing lean practices and serving as overall continuous improvement advocates.

I think you’ll find it really interesting to hear some of the many ways lean can be used beyond the private sector.

To hear the podcast just press the “Play” button at the top of this post. An MP3 version is also available for download here.  

Visit Us at the AME Conference November 10-14 & Save 10% on Registration!

10-JacksonvilleMachinesToolsBannerAdSeries298x248NetworkingIf you plan to attend the upcoming AME conference November 10-14 be sure to stop by the Gemba Academy booth to say hello.

While I’m definitely biased I think you’ll find we give away some of the coolest “swag” at the conference!

We also plan to host an after hours “networking” event on Tuesday evening… free food and drinks!

You can RSVP to attend the party free of charge here.

Finally, if you haven’t registered for the conference and plan to be sure to use the coupon code GEMBA10 in order to save 10%. AME is definitely our favorite conference to attend so we hope to see you there!

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Darrell and Hollie’s backgrounds (1:40)
  • The quotes that inspire Hollie and Dan (7:26)
  • How Results Washington is helping the state government adopt lean methodologies (9:40)
  • How working in the private sector is and is not that different from government work, in Hollie’s experience (13:26)
  • Which lean strategies have been helpful in implementing lean in the government (15:47)
  • What the Lean Fellowship program is all about (18:34)
  • How other states are pursuing lean journeys (20:38)
  • Some concrete examples of how lean is revolutionizing the Washington government (22:58)
  • What “Respect for People” means to Hollie (28:05)
  • The best advice Darrell has ever received (28:46)
  • Hollie’s personal productivity habit (30:04)
  • Darrell’s final words of wisdom (34:34)

Podcast Resources

Download a Free Audio Book

If you enjoy listening to podcasts chances are you’ll also enjoy listening to audio books.

And if you’ve never listened to an audio book today is your lucky day since you’re able to download a free audio book over at our favorite audio book provider – Audible. Simply click this link to claim your free audio book.

Please note you will need to sign up, which includes providing your credit card, but if you’re not happy with the service you can easily cancel the subscription after downloading your free audio book before your free trial expires.

Subscribe & Never Miss New Episodes!

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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?

What other ways does lean apply to government? Have you seen evidence of lean in your city, state, or country?

GA 030 | Teaching Lean the Toyota Way with Tracey and Ernie Richardson

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Tracey

Today’s episode features our first husband and wife duo, Tracey and Ernie Richardson. This dynamic team are Toyota veterans and are now on the Lean Enterprise Institute faculty, and have their own consulting practice.

With their decades of experience, the three of us definitely did not have a shortage of things to talk about it. From working for Toyota, to Value Stream Mapping, to the overall challenges of pursuing lean, there’s something in this episode for everyone.

To hear the podcast just press the “Play” button at the top of this post. An MP3 version is also available for download here.  

Visit Us at the AME Conference November 10-14 & Save 10% on Registration!

10-JacksonvilleMachinesToolsBannerAdSeries298x248NetworkingIf you plan to attend the upcoming AME conference November 10-14 be sure to stop by the Gemba Academy booth to say hello.

While I’m definitely biased I think you’ll find we give away some of the coolest “swag” at the conference!

We also plan to host an after hours “networking” event on Tuesday evening… free food and drinks!  You can RSVP to attend the party free of charge here.

Finally, if you haven’t registered for the conference and plan to be sure to use the coupon code GEMBA10 in order to save 10%.

AME is definitely our favorite conference to attend so we hope to see you there!

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Tracey and Ernie’s backgrounds, including their years at Toyota (3:19)
  • Their favorite continuous improvement quotations (8:09)
  • Why the Toyota Production System is not a “quick fix” (14:35)
  • The biggest mistakes Tracey and Ernie see companies make at the beginning of their lean journeys (17:50)
  • How Tracey and Ernie used Value Stream Mapping or Material Information Flow at Toyota (21:40)
  • Practical advice for starting your lean journey (27:31)
  • What “Respect for People” means to Tracey (31:43)
  • The problem Ernie is currently trying to solve (34:45)
  • The best advice Tracey has ever received (36:01)
  • Ernie’s personal productivity habit (38:23)
  • Tracey and Ernie’s final words of wisdom (51:01)

Podcast Resources

Download a Free Audio Book

If you enjoy listening to podcasts chances are you’ll also enjoy listening to audio books.

And if you’ve never listened to an audio book today is your lucky day since you’re able to download a free audio book over at our favorite audio book provider – Audible.

Simply click this link to claim your free audio book.

Please note you will need to sign up, which includes providing your credit card, but if you’re not happy with the service you can easily cancel the subscription after downloading your free audio book before your free trial expires.

Subscribe & Never Miss New Episodes!

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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?

How do you feel about the Toyota methodologies?