446 episodes

Mark Graban interviews leaders, innovators, and practitioners in the Lean methodology and management system. Topics include Lean manufacturing, Lean healthcare, Lean startups, and Lean enterprises. Visit the blog at www.leanblog.org. For feedback, email mark@leanblog.org

Lean Blog Interviews - Healthcare, Manufacturing, Business, and Leadership Mark Graban

    • Business
    • 4.7 • 40 Ratings

Mark Graban interviews leaders, innovators, and practitioners in the Lean methodology and management system. Topics include Lean manufacturing, Lean healthcare, Lean startups, and Lean enterprises. Visit the blog at www.leanblog.org. For feedback, email mark@leanblog.org

    Jamie Flinchbaugh on ”People Solve Problems” - His New Book

    Jamie Flinchbaugh on ”People Solve Problems” - His New Book

    Show page: https://www.leanblog.org/432 


    My guest for Episode #432 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Jamie Flinchbaugh, an old friend of mine and a frequent guest (Episodes 5, 6, 10, 64, and 261, plus the two times he's interviewed me, Episodes 50 and 316).


    He's also the co-creator and frequent co-host with me on the Lean Whiskey podcast series.


    Today, the talk is all Lean, no whiskey. We talk about leadership, problem solving, more today — talking about his new book, People Solve Problems: The Power of Every Person, Every Day, Every Problem. I put Jamie on the spot to coach me through some problem solving I'm doing related to podcast growth, and he makes a lot of great points.


    Today, we discuss topics and questions including:


    So, we don't need to worry about AI problem solving?

    The role of software, like KaiNexus

    The story behind the book – after The Hitchhiker's Guide to Lean in '06

    Why this book? Why now?

    Behaviors drive action — what are some of the key behaviors that drive problem solving?

    Testing to learn… testing throughout?

    Open to the idea you might be WRONG – humility

    Entrepreneur — book is a product that scales – thinking about it like a startup?

    Book isn't A3 or PDSA or Kata centered… agnostic about the specific method??

    A3 — The importance of a good problem statement?

    How do we better understand cause and effect in problem solving?

    You can coach without being an expert

    The role of intuition vs data?


    The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more.


    This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network. 

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Sonia Singh: From Lean Coach to Leadership Coach, From Consultant to Coach

    Sonia Singh: From Lean Coach to Leadership Coach, From Consultant to Coach

    Show notes and links: https://leanblog.org/431


    My guests for Episode #431 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Sonia Singh, a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, executive coach, and professor with 19 years of experience in healthcare operations, management consulting, leadership development, and culture transformation.


    She's worked with dozens of companies in improving their performance, resulting in a collective financial impact of $30M. She's trained and coached over 2000 emerging and experienced leaders. 


    Sonia is the founder of Sonia Singh International, and one of her offerings is the Influential Leadership Academy, where she helps leaders build emotional intelligence and master their influence. 


    She was previously an employee at some healthcare systems and Cardinal Health.


    Sonia holds a degree in Psychology from Northern Illinois University, a Master's degree in Health Administration from Tulane University, and completed her professional coaching training at the University of California, Davis.


    Today, we discuss topics and questions including:


    How did you first get introduced to Lean or continuous improvement concepts?

    What were some of your best experiences working in healthcare improvement?

    What was a “school of hard knocks” lesson you gained working in healthcare?

    How did you decide to start working independently?

    Why go through professional coaching school and how did that change how you coach?

    It's hard to just ask questions

    To you, what are the differences between the words “coach” vs “consultant?”

    What has it been like shifting from lean coach to leadership coach?

    Getting to root causes of behaviors or reactions?

    How to help people shift from telling to asking questions?

    Influential Leadership Academy – who is this targeted to?



    “It's a strength when you can share your power.”



    The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more.


    This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network. 

    • 49 min
    The Power of Process: Interview With Matt Zayko and Eric Ethington

    The Power of Process: Interview With Matt Zayko and Eric Ethington

    Show notes and links: https://www.leanblog.org/430


    My guests for Episode #430 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast are Eric Ethington and Matt Zayko, the authors of the new book The Power of Process: The Story of of Innovative Lean Process Development. They are both faculty for the Lean Enterprise Institute, among other roles. Eric has a firm called Lean Shift Consulting and Matt has a new role as Lean Leader at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy.


    The book is available now through the publisher, or from Amazon in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats.


    Today, we discuss their book, with topics and questions including:


    I like to ask guests about their “Lean origin stories” — When did you first learn about Lean and what was the context?
    Deming's book Out of the Crisis




    The way it's always been? – how to get past this?

    LEAN PROCESS DESIGN –> There's a lot emphasis on “process improvement” in organizations, often in the context of Lean. How do you define “process development” and why is this so important?

    How do we avoid disconnects between process design intent and those running the process?

    GO SLOW TO GO FAST? Iterative design and being more ready to launch and go fast in ramp?

    Doing something new — A new mass vaccination clinic?

    How do you strike the balance between “we've got to design it well” vs. “it's never perfect, but we can improve it”? 
    If you have flexibility, you don't have to be as perfect




    BACK TO SLOGANS — In your book, you talk about process design with “no slogans, no absolutes” — what do you mean by that? What are some slogans or absolutes that have gotten people in trouble?

    “Small lot flow” vs. single piece flow (Yamada), as small as possible is what he taught

    Who do you expect to be the typical readers of this book? What roles, levels, or industries?


    The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more.


    This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network. 


     

    • 1 hr 1 min
    John Chacon on Continuous Improvement and the Dangers of Paying People to Think

    John Chacon on Continuous Improvement and the Dangers of Paying People to Think

    Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/429


    My guest for Episode #429 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is John Chacon, the Director of Construction Excellence at Black & Veatch. We've been connected on social media for a while and John's reply to a tweet led to this podcast conversation, where he said:



    “If you have read this blog post and are still thinking about incentivizing folks for ideas…stop…give me a call and I will tell you some stories about paying your folks to think.”



    Today, we discuss topics and questions including:


    John's Lean origin story? In the Marine Corps.

    Deployed to Japan – painted a different picture – in what way?

    Cultural differences? A different level of respect?

    Why didn't you like it at first?

    How do you define Kaizen?
    Not just the process, it's the people

    Continuously improving the people




    Later company — “The work was to improve the work”

    How do you foster that culture?

    Curiosity and genuine wonderment

    What does Kaizen (what does John) suggest about how to incentivize people to submit ideas?

    DO we need to incentivize?

    What happens when you run out of rewards funding? Improvement stops

    How do you tap into in intrinsic motivation?

    Kaizen and Kata?

    Putting things into plain English?

    Working in other countries – Thailand, India, China — how does the Lean/Kaizen message get delivered differently?

    Marine Corps like Kaizen — the way you are vs something you do


    The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more.


    This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network. 


     

    • 50 min
    Nick Katko and Mike De Luca Talk About Practicing Lean Accounting

    Nick Katko and Mike De Luca Talk About Practicing Lean Accounting

    Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/428


    My guests for Episode #428 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast are Nick Katko and Mike De Luca. Nick is president and owner of the firm BMA and Mike is a Lean coach, serving as principal and owner of Torre Consulting.


    Nick and Mike have a new book out called Practicing Lean Accounting. And I'm thrilled that the title is inspired by the book I edited called Practicing Lean. Their book is available now in paperback and Amazon Kindle formats.








    Nick has been practicing lean accounting for over 25 years, both as a CFO and as a lean accounting trainer and coach. Nick is also the author of the book The Lean CFO (2013) and is co-author of The Lean Business Management System (2007).


    Mike's lean journey began with implementing lean accounting as a finance leader in the early 2000's – evolving the finance department's role to meet the changing needs of a lean organization.


    Today, we talk about the book and more, with topics and questions including:


    Nick and then Mike, how did you first get introduced to Lean and what was the context?
    Manufacturing and healthcare




    How did you come to collaborate on this book?

    Budgets – from quarterly batches to daily practice

    The “tyranny of budgets” leads to blame?

    What is “Lean Accounting” in relation to the accounting function, payroll, paying suppliers, etc.

    “Becoming immune to waste”

    Why is it important for others to understand “how accounting thinks”??

    What does “respect for people” mean to you?
    “It's not about the numbers, it's about the people using the numbers”




    Lean accounting applications in healthcare? What's uniquely healthcare?

    Final tips — How to best engage CFOs?
    Is there a clear message about what Lean means to the org?





    The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more.


    This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network. 

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Karyn Ross, Lean and Kind Leadership

    Karyn Ross, Lean and Kind Leadership

    Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/427 


    My guest for Episode #427 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is a returning guest, Karyn Ross. She was previously a guest in Episodes 266 and 411. She was also my guest for Episode #3 of My Favorite Mistake.





    Karyn has a new book called The Kind Leader: A Practical Guide to Eliminating Fear, Creating Trust, and Leading with Kindness. Scroll down for a 20% coupon you can use if you buy through the publisher. You can also enter to win a copy.





    Today, we talk the book and more, with topics and questions including:





    How do you define kindness?

    NPR story on the kindest family

    How do we help people understand that kindness is not a sign of weakness? 

    My Favorite Mistake (out Thursday) Moses Harris interview Episode #110

    How much unkind behavior is driven by people being scared? "Vicious circle of fear"

    "Collaboration, cooperation and kindness" chapter heading -- reminds me of how Dr. Deming used to rail against competition -- and I think that's especially true when talking about internal competition

    Systemic root causes of fear and unkind behavior -- Kind leaders can affect the system...

    Kindness and respect? Connections to Lean in the book

    A time when someone was kind to you at work?

    Recent KaiNexus webinar on psychological safety... also proven to drive results
    Workshop with Jessica House on the topic




    Blaming instinct...What do you mean by "always assume positive intent"? - examples?

    Negativity bias

    "Prefectionism isn't Kind" online workshop with Amy Mervak
    Morning session

    Afternoon session




    Little Kind Words Talk Show -- lessons learned from that?

    Doing live streaming -- "practice accepting what is"

    We're always learning... what have you learned about kindness since the book was published?

    "Pop up kindness stand"? -- WSJ article





    The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more.





    This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network. 

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

TK21LL ,

Direct and Informative

This podcast is always professional and business like. Mark is an excellent host who guides his guests with a very realistic approach to their subject matter. Lean Blog Interviews is straightforward, informative, and definitely worth a listen.

JoshCrist ,

Empowering, insightful and actionable! 🙌

Whether you’re well established as someone who can translate Lean energy into the impact you want to have on the world, or just getting started as a catalyst for change - this is a must-listen podcast for you! Mark does an incredible job leading conversations that cover a huge breadth of topics related to the ins and outs of building a Lean enterprise and life you can be proud of - with leaders who’ve actually walked the path. Highly recommend listening and subscribing!

David Siegler ,

It will make you think differently about work

Mark’s interviews shares success stories and lessons learned with those who have studied and practiced Lean. I have not had formal Lean training, but Mark makes clear that you do not need certifications to apply the principles of Lean. Listening to episodes over the past two years has made me view my own work differently, and think about how to systematically improve.

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