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GA 095 | How to Practice Lean from the Heart with Karl Wadensten

By Jessica Bush Updated on July 31st, 2021

Today’s episode features a keynote from VIBCO Vibrators President Karl Wadensten at the 2015 Iowa Lean Consortium conference. Titled “Lean from the Heart,” Karl explores the emotions and thought processes behind lean and the role they play in running an efficient organization. An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • About company culture and why it matters (1:40)
  • Why you should tell your leaders to go for a Gemba walk (3:00)
  • An exercise about TPS (3:27)
  • About VIBCO Vibrators (4:45)
  • An overview of Karl’s presentation (6:15)
  • What keeps VIBCO running (11:23)
  • What every department and team had in common (15:35)
  • About the “I Just Want My Pants” article Karl read (18:14)
  • Karl’s strengths (23:51)
  • One of Karl’s favorites thoughts (26:44)
  • The contrast in values that organizations embody (35:56)
  • Why everyone needs a support system (37:41)
  • What Karl’s personal challenges are (40:37)
  • The heart’s role in human performance (41:48)
  • A story about one of Karl’s young employees (44:32)
  • What Ivy League school came to learn from VIBCO (48:19)
  • About VIBCO’s visual boards (57:30)

Podcast Resources

What Do You Think?

What emotions have you encountered along your lean journey?


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