Category Archives: Lean Consulting

How Lean Six Sigma Can Help Fight the Coronavirus Pandemic

At the time of this writing, COVID-19 is a global pandemic. This is an incredibly serious issue; hundreds of thousands of people have become ill, and many have died. Containment in the US and elsewhere is bringing businesses, governments, cities, and normal life to a halt....

How You Can Avoid Cut-&-Paste Solutions With Your Project Charter

Circa 2005, one of our employers, who had adopted Lean in the early 90s, decided to make Six Sigma mandatory for salaried employees. As a Lean zealot, I went kicking and screaming down the path of my Green Belt Certification. The only thing that made the experience fun was that a dear friend and colleague was on the project with me....

HR + Lean: A Powerful Pair for People Development

The Lean Coach Inc - HR + Lean + People Development

I recently spoke at Lean Frontier’s Lean Leadership Week Summit, which focused on lean people development and lean accounting. This summit traditionally attracts a lot of HR professionals working in organizations undergoing a lean journey. During a concurrent session, I shared some of the ways that I’ve exercised with clients to engage HR early in the lean people development strategy....

When the Lean Leader Desires to Become the Coach – Part II

my objective at the pacemaker was to lead him to solve a problem. As a coach, much of what we do to lead people through discovery is experimental. I had no idea if this would work, but to my surprise what followed was simply beautiful....

When the Lean Leader Desires to Becomes the Coach

I had been asking my client to stop calling their production reporting morning meetings a gemba walk. Well needless to say, they continued to call them gemba walks until last week. I decided that I would incorporate a team gemba walk during my visits to begin to coach them instead of just with the managers. My objective was for them to learn by doing. A long time ago, I decided that I was not going to be in the business of convincing by discussing theory, and opinions. I thank Mr. Yamada, my sensei for that lesson....

Seek First to Understand

Have you experienced push back as a Lean Six Sigma trainer? Seek first to understand and then to be understood. Implementing this principle is important!...

Internal vs. External Lean Consultants

Would you recommend an organization bring in external lean consultants or use internal people to drive the transformation? ...

Does 5S REALLY fail?

We can continue to blame leadership, culture, lack of desire or accountability for 5S failing. However, I would say that 5S does not fail. We fail to teach our students....

Lean Works – Your Approach May Not

I saw a blog post with the title, "Why doesn't Lean work?". The title infuriated me so much, I thought I'd share. (I can't explain why it touched me so. I am normally the one to initiate these controversial conversations.)...

The Lean Tool isn’t IMPORTANT

I'm certain for my fellow lean zealots, this title could be highly debated. However, as I assess facilities and spend time on the Gemba and in kaizen events, I am enamored by the amount of effort and energy spent on the format, design, and phonetics of implementing lean tools, versus the behaviors, principals and purpose for which the tools were designed....