Mark Graban and Jamie Flinchbaugh are two guys with a lot in common: Lean, writing books, speaking, consulting... and a love of good whiskey. Like the Car Talk guys, they both went to MIT... but Lean isn't rocket science. Let's hope they can hold their liquor, because they're not holding back on sharing their opinions... it's time for Lean Whiskey... Lean talk with a fun spirit!
The Accidental St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, and Discussing New CEOs Carol Tomé, Rosalind Brewer, and Jane Fraser
Show notes and links: https://www.leanblog.org/whiskey26
In Episode 26, we accidentally celebrate St. Patrick's Day with some Irish whiskey, lightly mourn some NCAA March Madness losses (or absences, and Jamie Flinchbaugh and Mark Graban welcome guest co-host Adam Zak. We selected Irish whiskey as a category because we hadn't used it yet, but after changing the date of the scheduled recording, we ended up quite close to St. Patrick's Day (which was officially a dry holiday until 1970, but that pendulum certainly swung the other way).
In the spirit of Adam Zak's career as an executive recruiter with a Lean lens, we discuss many of the new CEO appointments, in particular, Carol Tomé at UPS, Rosalind Brewer at Walgreens, and Jane Fraser at Citigroup. These appointments are historic in one sense, but also highlight the fact that only 41 of the Fortune 500 are run by women (and Brewer is the only Black woman of the group). We explore what matters when selecting a new CEO, how that fits the strategic needs of the company, and how Lean thinking might influence or be leveraged by some of these leaders.
We explore a common listener question: Do you think it's possible for a Lean organization to do well with quality and safety? As we certainly don't feel this question takes much nuance to answer, we make our way through this fairly quickly and on to our closing question about what books we are reading these days, with a slight detour into our reading habits.
Adam Zak's website, his book Simple Excellence with Bill Waddell, and 2008 guest appearance on Mark's Lean Blog podcast #105
Adam's whiskey selection, 18 YO Tullamore D.E.W.
Jamie's selection, Green Spot aged in zinfandel barrels from Chateau Montelena
Mark's selection, a special bottle of Teeling that he filled at the Dublin distillery, along with an honorable mention of Writers' Tears (since we're all published authors)
A little about new UPS CEO Carol Tomé on Wikipedia and an interview
A little something about new Walgreens CEO Rosalind Brewer on Wikipedia and Financial Times
Stuff about new Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser on Wikipedia and NYT
Our collective reading list, Believe in People, The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes, Constant Comedy, and Team of Rivals
Podcast feed at LeanWhiskey.com or at leanblog.org/leanwhiskey or at jflinch.com/leanwhiskey
Peaty Scotch, Working from Home, and Misunderstood Lean Phrases with Jim Benson
In Episode 25, Jamie Flinchbaugh and Mark Graban welcome a guest to our show, with Jim Benson joining us. Jim has been a long-time collaborator of Mark's, and certainly enjoys a dram or two of whiskey. We begin by getting the backstory on Jim's Twitter handle @OurFounder, complete with artwork.
Show notes: https://www.leanwhiskey.com/whiskey25
Since it's still winter, and Jamie continues to spend more time driving his snowblower than his car, we thought “something peaty” felt fitting. We all selected something peaty from our scotch collection, from Highland Park to Samaroli to Lagavulin, and we learned about Jim's favorite whisky shop in the UK. We discuss the continued extension of work-from-home practices, and both the need and opportunity to make it effective for each individual. This includes everything from ergonomics to managing your attention span, with a little detour into the Pomodoro technique.
We explored lean phrases that are commonly used but often misunderstood, including “lean project”, “kaizen”, and “respect for people.” The three of us fall dangerously close to “cranky old lean guy” territory, but pull ourselves out just in time for our fun closing question of something we watched recently that was disappointing, ranging from Wonder Woman 1984 to The Muppet Show to baking shows.
May you enjoy your whiskey, and your work, in peace and health. Cheers!
Show Notes and Links
Jim's Twitter handle OurFounder, along with Mark and Jamie on Twitter
Mark and Jim's upcoming webinar on 3/2 on humane management and their previous podcast episode on the topic
We selected “something peaty” so here's a bit about the peat scale
Jamie's go-to selection, Lagavulin 16 year old
Mark's Samaroli Islay Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Jim's 21 year old from Highland Park
Jim's favorite UK-based whisky shop Milroy's
FastCompany on finding the best place to work at home
Jamie's video on making his home office more productive, and a waste walk on his morning routine
The Pomodoro technique
Mark's blog post on not using the Deming quote to threaten people
Jamie's blog post on the myths of the lean principle respect for people
Mark's “Choose Lean” LeanBlog mug
Homemade Whiskey Cream and Vaccination (Not to be Mixed Up)
Mark Graban & Jamie Flinchbaugh
In Episode 24, Mark and Jamie return to a familiar format, just the two of them chatting over some whiskey. In this episode, they decide to make homemade whiskey cream (more popularly known as Irish cream or just Bailey's). Mark's recipe is keto-friendly and Jamie's utilizes rye whiskey. Check out the links below for their recipes and a history of the creation of Bailey's Irish Cream.
After celebrating Jamie's completion of his next book's manuscript and Mark's immersion into the world of spirits with WSET Level 2 Spirits certification, they dive into their topic: lean thinking applied to the rollout of the covid vaccine.
We begin with framing the topic with Dwight Eisenhower's quote: “Farming looks mighty easy if your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field.”
We acknowledge the difficulty of the challenge and try to avoid blame, but still focus on how continuous improvement thinking can and should be applied at all levels of the challenge, from national distribution to localized application. We remain hopeful that learning and best practice sharing (and adoption) will win the day, even if we're off to a slow start.
We wrap up talking about our favorite board games. Enjoy the episode!
Finishing 2020 with Kentucky Bourbon, Eggnog, and Kata Talk
Mark Graban, Jamie Flinchbaugh, and Deondra Wardelle
https://www.leanblog.org/whiskey23 for show notes and links
In Episode 23, Mark and Jamie return to finish out 2020, this time joined by Kentucky native Deondra Wardelle, so naturally Kentucky bourbon is our whiskey category of choice. Bourbons selected include Brough Brothers, Willett, and Barton 1792. After introducing Deondra to our listeners, we take a moment to toast the life of Norman Bodek, who passed away last week at the age of 88.
After briefly debating whether peppermint should ever be added to beer, even if it is the holidays, we get on with our bourbon selections. We return at the end of the episode to talk about other drinks such as Irish (or whiskey) cream, wine, cocktails, and eggnog. A tempting challenge was put forth for Mark and Jamie to make their own whiskey cream at home - perhaps a future episode event.
The bulk of the episode we get into Deondra's favorite topic, Toyota Kata, teed up by a Lean Enterprise Institute article. The article prompts us to talk about the underlying nature of learning in lean, problem solving, kata, and coaching. We aren't convinced that you need a new kata to add to the improvement and coaching kata, but instead propose coaching and behavior adjustments to make sure we don't lose sight of the purpose, which is to learn.
So, give us a listen, and let us know what you think, about learning, or about whiskey. We wish everyone a safe, healthy, and happy holidays to wrap up 2020, and we will see you again in 2021. Cheers!
Our guest Deondra Wardelle
Deondra's kata presentation for Lean Frontiers
Deondra's upcoming Lean Frontiers webinar: Strategic Planning Workshop 2021: Planning Through a Continuous Improvement Lens, Thursday, 1/21, 12 noon EST
#RootCauseRacism and www.rootcauseracism.com
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Webinar, "The Lean Journey to Equity for All" Thursday, 1/28 @ 1pm EST
Mark's tribute to Norm Bodek who recently passed away
Lexington Brewing's Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Peppermint Porter
Deondra's Brough Brothers bourbon from Louisville, KY
Jamie's Willett Pot Still Reserve bourbon
Mark's Barton 1792 Full Proof bourbon
Story about the warehouse / rickhouse collapse
The LEI article on kata ("Improve Continuously by Mastering the Lean Kata")
Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn book mentioned on Isao Yashino
Henri Poincare quote on intuition
Mark's 2011 April Fool's Joke (the A3 "app")
Five Farms Irish Cream
Cooper's Hawk Sweet Red wine
Catching Up with Honsha Friends Over Whisky, Sake, and an Old Fashioned
Mark Graban, Darril Wilburn, and Sammy Obara
For Episode 22, Mark Graban is joined by Darril Wilburn and Sammy Obara, two former Toyota employees who are colleagues at the firm Honsha.
They are two of the authors of the excellent book Toyota by Toyota. The three talk about how they met (via LEI and other Lean events) and how Mark was invited by Darril and Honsha to go to Japan with them two years ago (see posts about that trip).
They talk about the "conveyor belt sushi incident" that Mark blogged about. They also discuss many lessons from Toyota, including the idea that "it's the responsibility of leaders to create a system in which people can be successful." They also chat a bit about how work and life has changed during the pandemic.
Oh, and the whiskey theme was "drink what you like." Mark enjoyed a neat pour of Ichiro's Malt & Grain whisky from Japan. Darril made a very fancy Old Fashioned using a smoked glass and Woodford Reserve Double Oaked bourbon (since he's from Kentucky originally). Sammy enjoyed sake from Japan. We all enjoyed the chance to catch up and talk.
Highland Park Scotch, What is the Point of Lean During a Rare Pandemic?
Mark Graban, Jamie Flinchbaugh, and Tom Ehrenfeld
In Episode 21, Mark and Jamie return to our regular casual format of open discussion over a drink, this time joined by Tom Ehrenfeld, well known to the lean community for his writing and editorial work with the Lean Enterprise Institute. We all enjoyed tasting some Highland Park scotch, with Tom trying it for the first time, Mark opening a new bottle, and Jamie getting towards the end of a bottle.
We talk about what new things we’ve been up to, with Mark winning with some California-based parasailing. We finish the discussion by talking about our favorite things about fall, with pumpkin spice lattes (or pumpkin-flavored whiskey) being a disqualified answer.
We spent the bulk of the discussion exploring how companies can and should use lean during the pandemic, and even whether lean is valid under such conditions. We begin by talking about businesses such as United and Delta and how they can deal with such a black swan event in the COVID-19 pandemic. Delta had revenues last quarter of $3B, but lost $5.4B. But what are they going to do, sell their planes? To whom? Movie theaters can’t pay their rents, but what will landlords do, rent their space to another movie theater? There are major challenges that many industries face that will struggle with either long-lasting or even permanent shifts in their markets. Can lean help? Is lean enough? This is what we wrestle with on a Sunday night over a glass, or two, of scotch.
Our guest Tom Ehrenfeld
The discussed LEI podcast with Dan Heath
Jamie’s yoga app, Down Dog Yoga
Tom’s viewing of The Criterion Channel
Highland Park - Scotch whisky from the Orkney Islands (less known region -- remote islands)
Tom and Jamie drink the 12-year-old Viking Honour while Mark cracks open a bottle of Valknut
Article on how United Airlines is dealing with the pandemic
The Wall Street Journal article we discussed that misplaces blame on how hospitals struggled with the pandemic
Podcast feed at LeanWhiskey.com or at leanblog.org/leanwhiskey or at jflinch.com/leanwhiskey
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