Blog Library

Is Donald Trump a Lean Leader?

Is Donald Trump a Lean Leader?

Summary
The rise in the polls Donald Trump experienced this summer left many people wondering about this business leader. What kind of a leader is Donald Trump? Does his business success translate well to politics, and especially to holding a job like the President of the United States (POTUS)? If Trump is elected the POTUS he will be in charge of an executive branch with its 2.6 Million employees, and Commander-in-Chief of the US Military and its 1.5 Million uniformed personnel. As President of Lean East and a longtime expert in Lean thinking, I teach and coach executives on leadership practices that will bring out the best in their organization. This post will rate Donald Trump on some traits I look for in effective “Lean” leaders.   Trait 1: Focus first…
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Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive

Lesson
This is part of an ongoing series of organizational and personal improvement book reviews. If you have read the book already use this as a reminder of key lessons. If you have not read the book and are looking to learn and grow as a leader, this summary will share the basics. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business is a 2016 book (and already a bestseller) written by Charles Duhigg, author of the 2012 bestselling book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Duhigg is a storyteller with a style similar to Malcolm Gladwell and Atul Gawande. The book is broken into eight topics, each with their own chapter. Those looking for a quick synopsis can always read…
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Five Thoughts on Lean Transformation Models

Five Thoughts on Lean Transformation Models

Summary
Various models have been created to share key steps in a successful Lean transformation, whether in healthcare or other industries. In my career, and as President of Lean East, I have been a leader in multiple transformations but am always searching for ways to continually improve my coaching and teaching. In this post I will provide an overview of two transformation models I have researched and provide five thoughts based on the models and my personal experience.   The Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) has created a very nice framework or model describing the required steps for a Lean transformation within an organization. Their graphic is below and you can click this link to see further details about their model.   LEI’s model was developed for any Lean transformation, be it…
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The Achievement Habit

The Achievement Habit

Lesson
This is part of an ongoing series of organizational and personal improvement book reviews. If you have read the book already use this as a reminder of key lessons. If you have not read the book and are looking to learn and grow as a leader, this summary will share the basics. The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life is a 2015 book written by Bernie Roth, one of the founders of the Institute of Design at Stanford, AKA the “d.school.” Design thinking has many similarities to Lean thinking and the A3 improvement process coached by our team at Lean East. The Stanford d.school steps to design thinking are: Empathize: think about the user (customer) and their issues Define the problem: narrow down which user…
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Ready…Fire!…Aim

Ready…Fire!…Aim

Summary
In the 21st century it is necessary for continuous improvement to become a habit ingrained within organizations. Change today occurs so fast that you are either improving or you are quickly falling behind your peers. But how can organizations and teams establish continuous improvement practices and habits? A key step in continuous improvement is usually the first one – taking action. Begin by realizing that no change effort is ever going to achieve perfection. Over-planning a change loses momentum and interest from the team; another problem will soon develop that pushes the current issue aside. Perfection can be the enemy of “good enough.” "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great." ~ Zig Ziglar. In many organizations, people and teams are debilitated by a fear…
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How to Change Things When Change is Hard

How to Change Things When Change is Hard

Lesson
This is part of an ongoing series of organizational and personal improvement book reviews. If you have read the book already use this as a reminder of key lessons. If you have not read the book and are looking to learn and grow as a leader, this summary will share the basics. Read the entire book to dig deeper. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard is required reading for any leader of organizational change. Brothers Chip and Dan Heath use recent research on the mind to show how it is possible to unite the two different systems in our heads – the rational mind and the emotional mind – to achieve dramatic results. They share a process you can use to make successful change, whether for yourself…
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Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Lesson
This is part of an ongoing series of organizational and personal improvement book reviews. If you have read the book already use this as a reminder of key lessons. If you have not read the book and are looking to learn and grow as a leader, this summary will share the basics. Read the entire book to dig deeper. This month we review Robert Cialdini’s 1984 classic Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. The book is required reading for anybody in marketing and every business leader. Have you ever made a major purchase or important decision under pressure you regretted later? It is likely that your decision was influenced by one of the six principles Cialdini shares in the book. Learn about these six principles and how to avoid being manipulated by them.  …
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Problem Solving to Root Cause

Problem Solving to Root Cause

Summary
While facilitating an improvement project for a hospital's surgical department recently, our team was presented with a clear opportunity for improvement. Recent data logged during a long day of procedures included three separate surgical cases where the patient's discharge paperwork was incorrect. These three errors were all caught by the surgeon before the patient was discharged, but other patients had reported receiving and following the wrong post-op procedures. The team decided that this issue was a priority to address and the Nursing Director took a leadership role in bringing together the team involved in preparing the pre-op paperwork to review the problem and propose solutions. The team was able to work together to quickly make some significant improvements while learning some core concepts of problem solving. Some of the tools…
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