Jon Miller

Jon has dedicated his 25+ year career to the field of kaizen, continuous improvement, and lean management. Jon spent the first eighteen years of his life in Japan, then graduated from McGill University with a bachelor’s in linguistics.

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1491 Articles

Why Lean Programs Don’t Work

By Jon Miller - March 22nd, 2022

While reading a [email protected] article on the subject of why employee wellness programs don’t work, I found myself thinking about why lean programs don’t always seem to work. Management professor Iwan Barnakay found, “Well

Top 8 Reasons Teams Abandon Their Visuals

By Jon Miller - March 7th, 2022

Reader Dan made a great suggestion in a comment to a recent article on using artifacts to make thinking visible, “Next you might delve into why visuals are sometimes abandoned by teams.” Abandoned visual controls, outd

Using Artifacts to Make Our Thinking Visible

By Jon Miller - February 28th, 2022

In sports, statecraft, gambling, and other competitive endeavors, it often pays to hide one’s thoughts and true intentions. What we indicate and what we actually intend are often different. We hold our cards close to the chest an

How to Let Small Things Bother You

By Jon Miller - February 21st, 2022

An interesting New York Times article points out how many of us have become desensitized to the dangers of this pandemic over the past couple of years. This is due to the constant alarm bells that ring, without always seeing real dange

Formalism for Forms

By Jon Miller - February 14th, 2022

One thing I’ve been doing a lot lately in my job at Gemba Academy is preparation. Specifically, I’m making sure that we have the graphics, figures, and forms our video editors need to do their job smoothly. The audio portio

Towards A Practice Pattern for Gratitude

By Jon Miller - February 7th, 2022

Between food, family, and the feeling of gratitude, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s easy to be thankful when our blessings cover and surround the dining room table. Even when we have little, or when we face stru

Leader Standard Work for Time and Contingency Planning

By Jon Miller - January 31st, 2022

Many of us make plans or set intentions to improve some aspect of our lives early in the year, or after a break or period of reflection. We may want to prepare healthier meals, exercise more, increase our earnings, get better at guitar

From Lean Workplaces to Empowered Work Spaces

By Jon Miller - January 24th, 2022

We could describe what lean management does as an exercise in threefold rearrangement. First, we rearrange what’s in our minds. This often begins with our attitude about what is our isn’t “my job”. It includes h

Lean Thinking and Extending the Mind

By Jon Miller - January 10th, 2022

It’s well-known that the the particular method for combining manpower, materials, and machinery known as lean manufacturing matured at Toyota in the latter half of the 20th century. Many organizations, both industrial and not, ha

How Lean Practices Adjust the Difficulty Level of Work

By Jon Miller - January 5th, 2022

One sentence caught my attention around the midpoint of the episode of Hidden Brain, titled Work 2.0: Game On! This was after setting the context of how people often view work as pointless or tedious, while enjoying playing games, even

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