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Well, one of several really cool things I’ve been doing in 2018 is writing my new ebook, Mindful Habits for 7 Lean Practices (another thing I’ve been up to is applying Lean to EH&S and research laboratories, but more on that in future posts).
This book had its beginnings in 2017 in Seattle where I was facilitating a Lean Knowledge Transfer session at ATD Puget Sound’s fall learning event. I split the attendees into teams and taught them how to use three Lean principles to analyze and improve training workflows to achieve faster, more effective training. It was a great session and I was asked to run it again in early 2018. You can to listen an interview with me about it here.
One of the session participants, Joseph Anderson, is a mindfulness and team effectiveness consultant, and, over coffee, we were excited to discover the many ways Lean and mindfulness overlap. For example:
- Lean eliminates waste and clutter, which creates an environment where people can more easily be mindful. (See my blog post 5S This Mess! about a great technique to do this.)
- Mindfulness helps people bring attention and thoughtfulness to activities, which Lean requires to be effective. (See my blog post To Continuously Improve, Study Your Results about how mindfulness fits in here.)
- Lean focuses organizations on delivering customer value and satisfying real demand, which removes incompatible goals and objectives that pull people’s attention in competing directions. (See my blog post Funnel Lean Savings into More Customer Value to learn how Lean does this.)
As we drank the last of our coffee, I asked Joe “Hey, wanna write a book about this?” His answer was an enthusiastic “YES!” And our journey began.
The 7 Lean Practices
In this book, we’ve identified mindful habits for seven of Lean’s most frequently used tools. They are:
- Gemba Walk
- Value Stream Mapping
- Five Whys
- Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycle
- Standup Meetings
Our goal was to give you simple methods you can use to embrace these Lean practices with fresh eyes and ears every day. Whether you’re a long-time Lean expert or just starting your Lean journey, we wanted to give you a fresh take on Lean that many books and consultants overlook.
Too often improvement efforts like Lean become a mindless exercise in applying tools or techniques. While this gives the appearance of improvement and may even result in some measurable gains, I guarantee you won’t see the changes that could move you from being an ordinary organization to being an extraordinary, high performing one.
Real improvement requires reflection. And mindfulness is a long established, proven practice to focus attention and awareness.
I hope you’ll tell your colleagues about Mindful Habits for 7 Lean Practices and post about it on LinkedIn or any other favorite social media sites. Anyone can download the book for free by signing up for my newsletter in the red box below.
Todd Hudson, Head Maverick
p.s. I’d love to hear your feedback on the book and any stories you have about applying mindful habits to your continuous improvement efforts. Keep in touch!