New Ideas for Operations Excellence

Todd Hudson's Maverick Thinking on Improving Speed, Quality, Safety and Costs
Funnel Lean Savings in More Customer Value (NOT Lower Prices)

Funnel Lean Savings in More Customer Value (NOT Lower Prices)

People focus too much on Lean as a way to reduce costs. Yes, that’s frequently one result, but Lean, at its core, is about creating more customer/patient value. Show ‘Em the LUV The perfect example is Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV). You’ll never see the word ‘Lean’ on...

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Lean is Hope (But Not Like This)

Lean is Hope (But Not Like This)

Lean is hope, but not in the sense of ‘I hope things get better.’ That’s hope as powerlessness. Lean is powerful. I got thinking about this after writing my post The Road to Lean, Part 2: Improvement Cultures. Different improvement approaches create different business...

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Cutting Out Waste (or Cutting Your Own Throat)?

Cutting Out Waste (or Cutting Your Own Throat)?

In an earlier post, Small Wastes Get Big Quickly, my Lean Waste Calculator showed you how the minutes that employees are forced to waste to accomplish work quickly turn into thousands of hours for the organization as a whole. These equate to full-time employees NOT...

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Focus on Value (Sales), Not Bureaucracy (Returns)

Focus on Value (Sales), Not Bureaucracy (Returns)

My recent experience returning a pair of shoes to Nordstrom was a perfect example of a company understanding my blog post, Small Wastes Get BIG Quickly. Nordstrom doesn’t actually have a formal return policy. Here’s what they say on their website about returns and...

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The Great Training Robbery

The Great Training Robbery

I’d love to take credit for this provocative title, but, sadly, I can’t. This phrase was first used 45 years ago when a study showing little or no relationship between training and work performance was published. Most recently, it was used this past August for the...

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The Road to Lean, Part 2: Improvement Culture

The Road to Lean, Part 2: Improvement Culture

In my post The Road to Lean, Part 1, I wrote about improving improvement and what it means to ‘do Lean.’ Specifically, we looked at improvement processes along three key dimensions, i.e., velocity, engagement and magnitude, and how the first two interacted. This time,...

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Small Wastes Get BIG Quickly

Small Wastes Get BIG Quickly

I’m going to show you some numbers. And you’re going to want to see them sitting down. No, really. They’re going to be hard to believe. You’re going to see how small wastes get BIG very quickly. Specifically, I’m going to show you how minutes of wasted time turns into...

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Are You a ‘Frog in a Well’?

Are You a ‘Frog in a Well’?

I spend a lot of time talking with people unfamiliar with Lean and, while I’m absolutely mad about the topic, these sessions can sometimes be very frustrating. Despite my best efforts, some people look just plain confused and others react with strong denial when I...

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The Road to Lean, Part 1: Velocity vs Engagement

The Road to Lean, Part 1: Velocity vs Engagement

Every organization is improving; they have to. Consumers and patients want higher quality and better outcomes. Shareholders demand lower costs and higher profits. New laws and regulations require better compliance and performance. And every organization has a current...

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Lean Isn’t ‘Nice’, But It’s NOT ‘Front-stabbing’!

Lean Isn’t ‘Nice’, But It’s NOT ‘Front-stabbing’!

The Wall Street Journal recently published a cringe-worthy article titled ‘Nice’ Is a Four-Letter Word at Companies Practicing Radical Candor. Here’s a paragraph from the article that captures the spirit of it. “Some companies are pushing workers to drop the polite...

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