McRaven’s Mastery – Lesson 1 – Start by Making Your Bed

The culture of continuous improvement, and the long road to develop it, are what sets apart world class organizations from those who are only willing to “try”.  It is a difficult journey, one that requires a staunch resolve and unwavering focus, but its rewards are amazing.  It must also be understood that Lean and CI are socio-technical […]

Why True Lean Implementation Is So Elusive

LEAN. Every business wants this word to be the descriptor of their operations. It means that you have successfully implemented a program that has made your organization efficient, effective, and world class. Myriad companies fervently pursue the application of Lean: drafting Value Stream Maps, designing Cells, and using Kanban systems. Most of these comapnies see […]

Extreme Lean Transformation!

What if your company was a person, and that person dropped over 100 pounds in 90 days? Recently, my wife and I watched a show called Extreme Weight Loss and this very scenario took place, albeit with people and not businesses. The show was led by an amazingly charismatic and genuine host named Chris Powell. […]

Supercharge Your Lean Efforts

“The gears turn slower at the top.” We’ve all heard this phrase, and it’s true. The higher in an organization you go, the longer the turnaround for almost everything. Operators have shift reports, Managers have “Monthlies”, and Directors have Divisional Quarterlies. Every step up the ladder requires a wider gait time wise, and herein lays […]


What Are Your Organization’s Microexpressions?

As is clear by now, I put a premium on culture in a Lean initiative.  I do so for one simple reason:  nothing will undermine an initiative faster than an environment that doesn’t truly support the Lean journey the organization is taking.  Most of us have seen these familiar scenarios: When people are implementing Lean […]

50 Shades of Hansei: The Lost Art of Reflection

Reflection is a requirement for Continuous Improvement success. In today’s hurried world, often reflection gets shelved as some new dilemma commands our attention. Improvements are made, gains are realized, but how often do we stop to really think about what happened, how we achieved it, and what could be done better. This is particularly true […]


Does That Help Them Do Their Job?: The Importance of Dynamic Auditing

Even before there was Lean, there was auditing. Auditing serves an important function, and is a necessary component of any problem solving methodology, be that Lean, A3, Six Sigma, or otherwise. It is present whether you prefer to check (PDCA) or study (PDSA) the results of your implementation, and the data it provides is useful […]