The Lean NationCongratulations to Karl Wadensten and Linda Kleineberg on the one-year anniversary of The Lean Nation on radio 790 AM in Providence RI. Every day Karl interviews lean leaders from his informal and hands-on perspective. Karl has not only led an impressive lean journey at his own company, VIBCO, but has brought company presidents, politicians, and all types of folks into VIBCO events to see lean in action. Karl will be broadcasting the show from the AME Conference in Baltimore November 16,17, and 18th, plus telling his story on Wednesday, Nov 17, at 10:30.
On their anniversary show, Karl and Linda said that what surprised them both about taking a chunk of their time every day to do the broadcast is how much they learned by engaging with their guests and their call-in listeners. If you can't listen in, there are a number of podcasts on the Lean Nation website. Also check out K-Dubs Lean Nation Radio Show on Facebook.
Mike is conducting courses and workshops on Toyota Kata. He and Bill Constantino will do a workshop at the AME Conference Nov 15.
The book covers a broad scope thinly, where it would take 10 - 15 excellent books to explain properly. That's its value and drawback. Overall, it's a good introduction to beginning to spread lean thinking in the extended enterprise. It's not enough, but I think Pascal knows that it's just starting lines of thinking that can be continued through reading his carefully chosen references at the end.
It resonates with Toyota Kata in many ways, particularly in the principles of solving small problems continuously by building capability into the people in the organization, articulated well by Steven Spear in The High Velocity Edge (a better title than the earlier one - Chasing the Rabbit - read my review.) The three books read together would be an education right there.
Escape the Improvement Trap
This new book by Michael Bremer and Brian McKibben is a fresh look at what happens in the real world, where most organizations that try to implement some "transformational" method eventually get stuck and call it a failure. The missing "ingredients," described in Escape the Improvement Trap are customer focus, engaged people, key metrics, process thinking, and executive mindset. "I know THAT," you say. And you do. Except that you probably can't explain how to supply those ingredients in as clear and useful a way as the authors do. The book uses a combination of the fictional company and case examples of real companies to illustrate what they see as the way to avoid getting stuck in an improvement process that doesn't go anywhere.
Michael will also be conducting a workshop on the five ingredients at the AME conference on Nov 15.
I apologize to everyone for giving short shrift to their work. Maybe readers can round out my comments with their own.