How much of your work time do you spend doing actual work that leverages what you do best? And how much of your invaluable time and focus is chipped away by myriad distractions—of which the most pernicious might be email and its constant demand for your attention. I’m Tom Ehrenfeld, host of the Lean Enterprise Institute’s WLEI podcast. I spoke with author Cal Newport about his newest book, A World Without Email, where he challenges us to rethink why we need to be constantly plugged into communication that seldom helps us produce valuable work.
As we slowly emerge from the long pandemic, LEI and colleagues like the Good Jobs Institute are deeply committed to helping produce decent jobs. In this conversation, LEI President Josh Howell spoke with Executive Director Sarah Kalloch of the Good Jobs Institute about ways they are both working to help foster good work. WLEI Host Tom Ehrenfeld moderated this conversation.
Download a transcript of the conversation here.
Roger Martin’s terrific new book When More is Not Better proposes tangible suggestions for broadening the economic gains from democratic capitalism. He critiques the concentration of wealth and power that decades of what he calls America’s Obsession with Economic Efficiency have generated, proposing tangible measures for business leaders, politicians, educators and citizens to pursue. In this conversation with LEI Host Tom Ehrenfeld, Roger explores lean-adjacent measures that complement his message. What operational, approaches might be considered in concert with his policy-based and systematic suggestions?
Download a transcript of this talk here.
Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg makes a bold promise in his new book, What’s Your Problem? (Harvard Business Review Press, 2020). He seeks to upgrade people’s ability to solve problems by understanding how to solve the right problems. Learning to reframe problems can help people to stop chasing the wrong solutions, better understand what they are grappling with, and, in some cases find radically better solutions. Join us in listening to his insights on ways that everyone can boost their ability to solve the right problems.
Click here to download a full transcript of the conversation.
The global pandemic coupled with profound structural economic shifts are two daunting challenges reinforcing the need for a powerful method of framing and facing crucial problems today. Over the past year, our monthly podcast WLEI has aired conversations with Jim Womack, Dan Jones, Karen Gaudet, and other thought leaders exploring the power of lean—and adjacent schools of thought—as a source of promising countermeasures.
Lean can help people face problems both large (reviving healthy enterprise in this economy) and small (clarifying tangible ways to create workplaces that respect their workers). Thinkers such as Dan Heath discussed the power of solving problems completely--but more importantly, preventing them from happening in the first place. Author/coach Karen Gaudet explained how a disciplined system of standard work can create a workplace that is resilient enough to respond to unimaginable tragedy.
And while tackling external problems is vital, many individuals also noted the need for lean to squarely face its own challenges. Jim Womack addressed the perennial misunderstandings attributed to lean when things fall apart. Mark Deluzio led a conversation with Art Byrne and Jim Womack about the struggle to spark meaningful lean adoption. And Dan Jones proposed powerful ways of rethinking lean for the future.
These talks provide a wealth of insights for you to apply as practical tips—and ways to think deeper about your lean journey.
Professor Jeffrey Liker’s The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles From the World’s Greatest Manufacturer has proved to be one of the most influential books of the lean movement—and beyond. Last month he published a revised second edition of this classic resource, bringing new thinking and context to his explanation of what makes this system so dynamic and enduring.
Liker explains his emphasis on what scholar Takahiro Fujimoto calls its “superior evolutionary learning capability,” providing more grit and clarity on topics such as its organic (not mechanistic) nature. Listen to him discuss these topics with LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld in this new edition of the WLEI podcast.
You can download a PDF of the transcript at https://www.lean.org/Search/Documents/600.pdf
Making Lean Stick and Avoiding Flatlining: A Conversation with Mark Deluzio, Art Byrne, and Jim Womack
The long-term success of companies like Danaher, Fortive, Herman Miller, Parker Hannifin and many others, have all validated the power of lean thinking and practice. But if that’s the case, why aren’t there more exemplars? And why do so many companies either intentionally misconstrue Lean, or fail to realize its full promise over time?
Long-time Lean veteran Mark Deluzio has recently published Flatlined: Why Lean Transformations Fail and What to Do About It. Join him, Art Byrne, Jim Womack and host Tom Ehrenfeld in a wide-ranging conversation about the ongoing gap between operations at most companies—and an ideal Lean state.
“It’s only a failure if you don’t learn,” says Mr. Isao Yoshino, who shared many key lessons from his career at Toyota with Katie Anderson, who based her new book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn on his experience and insights. Join us for a podcast with host Tom Ehrenfeld that explores the lessons gleaned from his career at Toyota.
Download a complete transcript of the conversation here: https://www.lean.org/Search/Documents/597.pdf
Lean has always promised great improvements for health care providers, but has there been a personal element that has been lacking to date? In this episode of WLEI, two healthcare giants, Kim Barnas and John Toussaint, will share a key insight from their new book Becoming the Change: they argue that personal transformation on the part of healthcare leaders plays a vital role in broader organizational change. Listen in for insights and advice on how to help your lean effort.
You can download a transcript by copying the following URL into your browser: https://www.lean.org/Search/Documents/596.pdf