May 18, 2022
Organizing a restaurant kitchen is a daunting task to think about. Find and establish the problems at hand, implement an improved process to adhere to those problems. It all lends itself towards increased profitability, more respect for the workers with emphasis on value-creating work, increased tact-time; but its also much easier said than done.
A flagship restaurant worked with LEI coaches and learned to increase their profitability through the lens of storytelling, where each piece is an innate - and respected - part of the whole.
Listen in to hear how this all came together, and also check out the case study complementing this podcast.
April 27, 2022
Regret, the pervasive and often toxic emotional mess most of us invariably experience, need not be so painful, says best-selling author Dan Pink. In fact, his new book The Power of Regret counsels readers to deliberately view regret as a process that can be examined in a way to help us all lead better lives. This WLEI podcast with host Tom Ehrenfeld explores how Pink came to this conclusion and explores parallels between his approach to processing regret and Lean’s mindful approach to framing problems for continuous improvement.
January 27, 2022
In 2021 Toyota Motor became the first manufacturer from outside the United States to sell the most cars in the USA. While this news hook may very well prove to be transient, it raises key issues about what has accounted for the company’s success. What aspects of Toyota’s vaunted production system, which is foundational for lean, have supported its success? How does Toyota’s approach contrast with a company such as Tesla? How can companies productively balance the need to develop products that dazzle consumers with the need to simultaneously develop the brilliant processes that produce these coveted items?
Join LEI founder Jim Womack and LEI President Josh Howell in a conversation hosted by Tom Ehrenfeld about lean’s enduring value in today’s time of discontinuity.
November 29, 2021
In this episode of the WLEI Podcast, Matt Savas sits down with LEI President Josh Howell and Richard Vellante, Executive Director of Community and Training Events at LEI. They discuss the labor shortage and recent supply chain issues with the perspectives and intuition, as well as addressing recent blames towards lean within the supply chain industry.
Leadership is at the center of these topics, with Rich's experience as an Executive Chef lending some hands on nuance to the conversation. Leaders should be hard on the process, not the people getting accustomed to that process.
NFT's are also discussed, as their ever developing trajectory in the media landscape surely can borrow a thing or two from the way that lean thinkers lead and act.
July 26, 2021
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.
June 28, 2021
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.
May 24, 2021
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.
April 26, 2021
Lean done right can dramatically boost the value of any enterprise over the long term, argues Cliff Ransom. For decades Cliff has been analyzing the value of companies by researching and above all visiting them to suss out the integrity of their lean practice. His detailed reports (by his firm Ransom Research) on the performance of companies such as Danaher, GE, Fortive, and many others are closely followed by a passionate slice of the investment world. The following conversation drills down into the lessons learned from looking at public companies through lean-colored glasses.
to download a transcript of the conversation.
March 22, 2021
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.
February 22, 2021
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.