35 episodes

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!

Lean Whiskey Mark Graban Podcasts

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 9 Ratings

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!

    Crazy Ideas, From Shipping Flowers to Crab Whiskey

    Crazy Ideas, From Shipping Flowers to Crab Whiskey

    Episode page: https://leanblog.org/whiskey34

    In Episode 34, Mark Graban and Jamie Flinchbaugh begin by belatedly celebrating the 3rd birthday of Lean Whiskey. No, this wasn’t a pandemic-launched podcast, although if we hadn’t started it yet it probably would have become one. We also learn of Mark’s pending trip to Islay, where an awful lot of good whisky is produced. Apparently, Jamie wasn’t invited to record an “on location” episode. 

    Most of the episode we explore the challenges, benefits, and approaches to developing and seeing through the crazy ideas. This conversation builds from an episode of Mark’s My Favorite Mistake podcast in which he interviews 1-800-FLOWERS founder Jim McCann. FedEx founder Fred Smith told McCann that shipping flowers via FedEx wouldn’t work. Not only did Jim not fold in the face of Fred’s advice, he eventually partnered with FedEx to bring this program to life. But bringing big ideas to life is about more than just ignoring the doubters, but adjusting or trimming the idea, learning through rapid testing, and having the courage to move forward through adversity as our explanation of the Netflix story examines. 

    We wrap up exploring another crazy idea, whiskey made from crabs. Well, that’s not technically true, but it is distilled crab stock added to a bourbon base, and specifically to raise awareness about the invasive green crabs that destroy the mussel population. Tamworth Distilling from New Hampshire are the brains behind this particular project. Thanks to our friend Dan Markovitz introduced us to this idea. Maybe Mark will detour his trip to Scotland towards New Hampshire instead.  

    Happy 3rd birthday to Lean Whiskey, so here’s Episode 1
    Mark heading to the Isle of Islay with their classic distilleries 
    Jamie working with Lehigh University on building an accelerator (back of Jamie’s head in the photo while leading the design team)
    Mark and Jamie both engaged with KaiNexus
    Mark’s Moscatel Finished Straight Bourbon Whiskey from Woodinville near Seattle 
    Jamie’s Four Roses Private Selection Single Barrel, see their bourbons and recipes
    Our discussion builds on this episode of Mark’s My Favorite Mistake podcast with 1-800-FLOWERS founder Jim McCann, with this excerpt of the featured point
    What’s crab whiskey all about? Check out Crab Trapper
    Podcast feed at LeanWhiskey.com or leanblog.org/leanwhiskey or jflinch.com/leanwhiskey 

    Please review us and follow!

    • 58 min
    On the Road Again and In Person for the First Time

    On the Road Again and In Person for the First Time

    Episode page: https://leanblog.org/whiskey33

    In Episode 33, we recognize some of the back to normal which includes Mark heading out on the road to do consulting again. That brings Mark close enough to Jamie for a new first: an in-person recording of Lean Whiskey. Mark Graban and Jamie Flinchbaugh meet up in Philadelphia to drink some Garrison Brothers special barrel selection from Mark as well talk about Lean 101 training. 

    In many ways, this is an origin story for Lean Whiskey. Mark and Jamie would be opportunistic about their travels, end up in the same city, find a good whiskey bar, and talk shop. “We should record this” became almost a joke, until it became reality and Lean Whiskey was born. Now, 33 episodes in, we return to an in-person visit. 

    Philadelphia becomes our destination, and after recording Mark and Jamie get to go sample some of the great food the city has to offer. We also get to share a bottle (ok, not the whole bottle, but the same bottle), compare hotel glasses to tasting glasses, and set up a different recording approach which unfortunately resulted in there being no video. However, the discussion was as rich as ever, so give Episode 33 a listen.

    Links From the Show:
    Our whiskey of choice is Garrison Brothers, and Mark's “One Off” — Episode 29 is where we talked about the story of this barrel and Mark's blog post about Garrison Brothers
    Jamie's blog post “Skip the Intro to Lean Training“
    Any Toyota / lean geek who wants to understand the history should be reading Michael Cusumano's The Japanese Automobile Industry: Technology and Management at Nissan and Toyota
    How NOT to do Lean 101: Big Bang's Sheldon teaches physics to Penny (via YouTube)
    In Philly, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Franklin Institute 
    Double Knot and Morimoto restaurants, and Pat's and Geno's cheesesteaks

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Employee Engagement Beyond Buying Them Pizza (or Bourbon)

    Employee Engagement Beyond Buying Them Pizza (or Bourbon)

    Episode page: https://www.leanblog.org/whiskey32

    In Episode 32 of “Lean Whiskey,” Mark Graban and Jamie Flinchbaugh have a first… comparing two similar whiskeys from the same distiller. In this case, family-owned Willett and their Willett Pot Still Reserve bourbon and the Johnny Drum bourbon.

    We definitely both have our favorite of the two, but you'll have to listen to find out which. We also spend a little time exploring the history of this old brand, their departure, and their recent return to the spirits world. This all happens between NFL conference championship games where neither of our teams are playing. 

    We discuss The Great Resignation and all of the many facets… the underlying long-term trends, the short-term adjustments, the data, the causes, and the solutions. Breaking the problem down is important, as there is neither one cause nor one solution. We need to move beyond “jerk bosses” such as seen at Better.com, underappreciation as seemingly demonstrated at former-lean-role-model Thedacare, and bad cultures found in many places. 2022 may finally be the year to truly make employee engagement a real strategic imperative. 

    We finish talking about industrial-based movies and shows, such as the new NBC series “American Auto” or the movie “Gung Ho.” Please tell us your favorites… we'd love to hear from you! 

    Links From the Show
    Willett Pot Still Reserve 
    Johnny Drum Private Stock
    Insights by Jamie January 2022 newsletter 
    Thedacare's employee issues, how it started and how it finished
    Mark interviews the Lean dentist Dr. Sami Bahri in Lean Blog Podcast Episodes 29, 69, and 82
    Some articles may require signup or subscription…
    New York Times No More Working for Jerks
    The Economist How to Manage The Great Resignation

    “American Auto” TV Show
    Movie “Gung Ho“
    Movie “Mr. Mom“
    Movie “Tucker“

    • 1 hr 34 min
    End a Year, End a Bottle; Start a Year, Start a Bottle

    End a Year, End a Bottle; Start a Year, Start a Bottle

    Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/whiskey31

    In Episode 31 of “Lean Whiskey,” Mark Graban and Jamie Flinchbaugh discuss the routines and practices of wrapping up a year, and kicking off a new year.

    In that spirit, we either finish a bottle of whiskey, or start a new one. We also invite three guests to share their thoughts.

    Past Lean Whiskey guests Jim Benson, Deondra Wardelle, and Chris Burnham join and share their thoughts on finishing up a year and starting a new one.

    Routines, habits, practices that help you transition the year and set up for success in the new year. Lean thinkers know the fallacy of just having good intentions, such as New Year's Resolutions, and tend to focus more on purpose, reflection, structure, and systems. We put that hypothesis to the test by asking three lean thinkers how they approach this time period, and didn't know in advance what they would share. 

    Jim Benson talked about their discussions within his company, which take place during huddles which allow the conversation to emerge. This is much different than the once-and-done offsite approach. They are exploring how to increase collaboration, as that is certainly the central theme of their work with clients.

    Deondra Wardelle celebrates, which she often models for all of us. She also shared how she develops a theme for each year, which drives her plans and actions. The theme for 2022 is “laser focus” which was very intriguing.

    Chris Burnham, who is Senior Lean Strategy Director, KaiNexus, shared his evolution of daily practices which includes reflection, prioritization, and planning. His methods include journals and digital tools and of course, having important conversations about the right topics with the right people. 

    Mark and Jamie also share a bit of their perspective on the challenge, including the fact that the turning of a calendar is relatively arbitrary when it comes to performance management and continuous improvement, and Mark notes how often he sees people zero-out their measurements to start the new year (please don't do this).

    Jamie observes that the open space often (but not always) created between your last and first meeting gives you more room to mentally breathe (inbox = zero helps too) which allows deep work, whether that is reflection or planning. 

    Links From the Show
    We record this episode just after Repeal Day 
    Mark's whiskey selection: a new bottle of Yamazaki 12 – Thanks, Ralphs!!
    Jamie's whiskey selection: finishing bottles of Larceny and Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon
    Jim Benson's rum selection: Kohana Rum 
    Jim Benson's guest appearance on Lean Whiskey Episode 25, and his Personal Kanban site
    Deondra Wardelle's whiskey selection: starting a bottle of Old Pogue
    Deondra Wardelle's guest appearance on Lean Whiskey Episode 23, and her own company and #rootcauseracism 
    Chris Burnham's whiskey selection: finishing a bottle of Blanton's 
    Chris Burnham's guest appearance on Lean Whiskey Episode 3, and his own podcast Lean Leadership including guest appearances by Mark on Episode 1 and Jamie most recently on Episode 62
    Mark's post about starting the year with blank charts

    Since both books came up, we might as well mention Jamie's People Solve Problems and Mark's Measures of Success.

    • 1 hr 36 min
    Celebrating 30 Episodes, Writing Books, and Great Whiskey

    Celebrating 30 Episodes, Writing Books, and Great Whiskey

    Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/whiskey30

    In Episode 30 of “Lean Whiskey“, Mark Graban and Jamie Flinchbaugh find things to celebrate, starting with the fact that we have hit 30 episodes.

    In that time, we've had 14 guests or co-hosts, and tasted 56 different whiskeys (not counting the gin and coffee detours) covering 5 countries and 7 states. We've also had over 10,000 downloads which is a celebration of its own right, and while we do not record this show just to get lots of listeners, we are extremely grateful for all of you who have tuned in. 

    Having both just returned from our alma maters, Lehigh University (Jamie) and Northwestern (Mark), we share our whiskeys under the theme of the bottle you would pull off the shelf when you are in the mood to celebrate. Jamie had a 21 year old Glenfarclas and Mark finished off his bottle of the 6th release of the WhistlePig Boss Hog titled “The Samurai Scientist.” 

    We are also celebrating the pending (October 26th) release of Jamie's latest book, People Solve Problems: The Power of Every Person, Every Day, Every Problem. Instead of In the News, we cover On the Bookshelf, and talk about why we write a book, how to pick a title, how to publish, and more. Mark has written several books, including Lean Hospitals, Healthcare Kaizen, The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen, Practicing Lean (as editor and publisher — and Jamie was a contributor), and most recently Measures of Success. Jamie has published two books now, starting with The Hitchhiker's Guide to Lean and now People Solve Problems. 

    Links From the Show
    Jamie's whiskey, a 21 year old Glenfarclas
    Mark's whiskey, the WhistlePig Boss Hog Samurai Scientist
    Mark's various books
    Jamie's various books
    Book The Complete Whiskey Course
    Book resources such as editor and publisher Rob Worth, Bethany Brown of The Cadence Group, and coach Cathy Fyock  

    Impactful books included Out of the Crisis, Understanding Variation, and Man's Search for Meaning.

    • 1 hr 38 min
    Yellow Cards, Coffee Cocktails, and a Smashed Barrel

    Yellow Cards, Coffee Cocktails, and a Smashed Barrel

    Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/whiskey29

    In Episode 29, it's been a little while since Mark and Jamie got together for Lean Whiskey. We catch up on what's new, which includes Mark's new certification with distinction with the WSET Level 2 Spirits certification, and Jamie's new side-hustle as a soccer referee.

    We return to making cocktails, this time building on our coffee theme from the pour-over edition of Episode 27. We both make coffee cocktails. Jamie's is a whiskey espresso martini, equal parts bourbon, Kahlua, and freshly pulled espresso, shaken and served in a martini glass. Mark worked his way towards his own concoction, based on the Revolver cocktail, using bourbon and coffee liqueur, but he used a couple Texas-based brands and named it the Texas Revolver. We both follow our cocktails with some Glenn's Creek Cafe Ole and discuss Mark's lost barrel of bourbon. 

    We did "In the News" with a twist, building on our coffee theme we used something close to the Lean Coffee format and covered many news stories for 5 minutes each. These stories covered Starbucks as a talent pool, CEO pay and diversity, wage inflation, what work really needs to be in-person, people leaving the restaurant industry, and using lean to help get jabs in arms. There was no theme here, just two guys sitting around talking about the news from a lean thinker's perspective. Scroll down for links galore.

    After covering a lot of ground, Mark and Jamie look forward to the fall, including football. We hope you enjoy this episode. Please send Mark or Jamie questions, suggestions, or comments for our future discussions. Until next time, cheers! 

    Links From the Show
    Mark's WSET Level 2 Spirits certification 
    Jamie's retirement from coaching announcement and kickoff of a referee side-hustle 
    Lean Coffee episode of Lean Whiskey, Episode #27
    Jamie's new ECM Casa V espresso machine 
    Jamie's Town Branch bourbon used for the espresso martini
    Jamie's Buzzopolis espresso blend from Whole Latte Love
    The base Revolver recipe that Mark started with 
    Mark's "Texas Revolver" included 2 oz Garrison Brothers Hye Rye Bourbon, 0.5 oz Caffe del Fuego Reserve, 3 dashes orange bitters, 0.25 oz Dry Curacao, and 3 dashes coffee bitters
    We both finished with David Meier's Cafe Ole
    Mark's My Favorite Mistake episode with David Meier
    The Lean Coffee method we somewhat followed 

    In the News
    News item #1: More U.S. companies tie CEO pay to diversity metrics
    News item #2: Wage Growth Among U.S. Job Switchers Increased 5.8 Percent Since June 2020 as Businesses Struggle to Attract Workers
    News item #3: Starbucks Is the New Talent Factory Powering Corporate America
    News item #4: When Do We Actually Need to Meet in Person?
    News item #5: How Lean Thinking and Practice Helped Put Shots in Arms, Part 1: Building the Process and Part 2: Wind-down and Reflection
    News item #6: Restaurants Will Never Be the Same. They Shouldn't Be.
    Our college football schedules for tailgating at Lehigh and Northwestern


    • 1 hr 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings