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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What Do You Think?

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


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