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The Lean Solutions Podcast

The Lean Solutions Podcast

By Patrick Adams

This podcast offers business solutions to help listeners develop and implement action plans for lean process improvement and implement continuous improvement projects, cost reductions, product quality enhancements, and process effectiveness improvement. Listeners come from many industries in both manufacturing and office applications.
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Currently playing episode

Japan Trip Reflections with Katie Anderson

The Lean Solutions PodcastSep 19, 2023

Japan Trip Reflections with Katie Anderson
Sep 19, 202349:53
Stay Flowcused With Stéfany Oliver
Sep 12, 202342:38
DevSecOps And Lean With Glenn Wilson
Sep 05, 202342:25
Lean and Agile With Tim Schipper

Lean and Agile With Tim Schipper

In this episode, Tim Schipper and I navigate the realms of Lean and Agile practices. Uncover the captivating aspects of Lean in action, explore the core intersections between Lean and Agile, and learn how these strategies can enhance development.

What You'll Learn:

1. What do you appreciate about Lean the more it is practiced?. 

2. What are the important similarities between Lean and Agile? 

3. What is the central common element between Lean and Agile? 

4. Can you apply Lean / Agile to development? 

5. What is an important metric when applying Lean/Agile to development?

About the Guest:  Timothy Schipper is a graduate of Calvin College and the University of Michigan (Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering and Masters of Science). His career has spanned 40 years and includes time as a tool designer, engineering educator, engineer, IT manager, Lean expert, author, and Agile Transformation leader. He has led Lean transformations since 2003 in the areas of manufacturing, office processes, IT development, global product development, new business initiatives, government agencies, and non-profits. He is currently works for Steelcase Inc. of Grand Rapids MI. Timothy has written two books on the topic of Lean: Innovative Lean Development: How to Create, Implement, and Maintain a Learning Culture, and The Highly Effective Office: Creating a Successful Lean Culture in any Workplace 


Click here to connect with Tim Schipper

Click here for more information on Tim's Books

⁠Click here for The Lean Solutions Summit 

Aug 29, 202330:34
Achieving Strategic Goals With Calvin Williams
Aug 22, 202343:06
The Red Bead Experiment with John Dyer

The Red Bead Experiment with John Dyer

In this episode, John Dyer and I explore the insights gleaned from Dr. W. Edwards Deming's "Red Bead Experiment," the efficacy of hands-on visual teaching, and insights from "The Leadership Experiment."

What You'll Learn:

  1. Dr. W. Edwards Deming performed the "Red Bead Experiment" in many of his classes. What were some of the lessons he was trying to share with his audience? 

  2. What is the power behind using a hands-on, visual teaching technique, such as the Red Beads, to teach a difficult lesson? 

  3. I understand that you have been developing an activity called "The Leadership Experiment." Can you describe what this activity is all about? 

  4. What are some of the lessons learned? 

  5. Can you share with our audience an idea you are working on regarding a Lean, team based process improvement competition that we may try and implement in 2024?

About the Guest:  John Dyer is an author, coach, and trainer with 39 years of experience in the field of improving processes. His recently published book “the Façade of Excellence; Defining a New Normal of Leadership” examines the four leadership styles required to move an organization’s culture to one of trust, collaboration, and teamwork. John started his career with General Electric and then worked his way up to a Corporate V.P. of Global Improvement at Ingersoll-Rand before starting his own consulting company. He has had the opportunity to study with several leaders in the continuous improvement field such as Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Brian Joiner, and Stephen Covey.


Click here for more information on "The Façade of Excellence"

⁠Click here for The Lean Solutions Summit 

Click here for registration and ticket information

Aug 15, 202335:44
Coaching Kata With Dr. Jeff Liker
Aug 08, 202343:17
Dr. Deming and Japan with John Willis
Aug 01, 202348:44
The Mistakes That Make Us With Mark Graban

The Mistakes That Make Us With Mark Graban

Jul 25, 202339:42
Expanding CI Horizons With David Larsen
Jul 18, 202340:51
Tangled Environments
Jul 11, 202343:01
The Magic Of SQCD With Paul Dunlop
Jul 03, 202342:04
Avoiding the Continuous Appearance Trap
Jun 27, 202327:03
CI Mindset With Chad Bareither
Jun 13, 202335:08
Early On The Journey With Tom Passaro
Jun 06, 202334:53
PI at The State of Nebraska with Matthew Singh
May 30, 202329:46
Patient Care With Ken Segel

Patient Care With Ken Segel

In this episode, Ken Segel and I discuss the importance of continuous improvement principles as they apply to patient care.

What You'll Learn:

1. Can you tell me a little bit about Value Capture’s mission and history so our listeners can get a sense for your work in healthcare, and how your firm combines leading with safety and Toyota Production System principles or lean?  

2. How about your personal story?  How did you get connected to this mission?

3. Can you say a little bit more about the state of lean in healthcare?  What challenges are you seeing?  What are your health system clients doing to try to break through?  How are you advising them?

4. How about the current state of safety in healthcare?  There have been some scary headlines recently about patient safety not having progressed much in 20 years …

5. Last summer we both spoke at a conference where in a keynote you and Mark Graban announced that this is an ideal time for folks in any industry to grab WORKFORCE SAFETY as an imperative to revive or strengthen lean journeys.  Can you say why?

6. Where do you think the Operational Excellence movement should go next, to move deeper into the work and not risk being a series of the latest flavors of the month?

About the Guest: Ken is the Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of Value Capture. In this role as CEO, Ken provides support to CEOs of healthcare organizations dedicated to eliminating injuries and improving quality as a means to dramatically raise the clinical and financial performance of the entire institution. Prior to forming Value Capture, Ken served as the founding director of the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative (PRHI). PRHI achieved best-in-nation regional results in the elimination of several classes of risk for patients. Before helping to create PRHI, Ken served for five years as Senior Program Officer at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation of Pittsburgh, where he guided many community health improvement initiatives and initiated the Foundation's formal public policy program. Earlier in his career, he served as an aide to the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives, directed the overnight operations in the 1992 Clinton-Gore presidential campaign “War Room,” and served as Policy Director and speechwriter for the Democratic Party. He also taught political organizing and election monitoring in Ukraine and Russia. He is also a Certified Facilitator of the Shingo Institute.


Click here to connect with Ken Segel

Ken Segel's email:

Click here for more information on the "Leading With Safety" Seminar

Click here for The Lean Solutions Summit 

May 23, 202344:14
Sustainability: Clear Benefits With Adam Lawrence
May 16, 202336:12
Lean Mindset With Mike Leigh
May 09, 202344:15
Build A Storytelling Culture With Rich Sheridan
May 02, 202340:42
Cultures Of Continuous Improvement With Katie Anderson
Apr 25, 202349:06
Wins And Challenges In Lean MFG With Toby Curry

Wins And Challenges In Lean MFG With Toby Curry

In this episode, Toby Curry and I discuss lean process implementation in an organization as well as factors that can contribute to failure in a lean practice system.

What You'll Learn:

1. Can you give us some background on who you are and some of your work experience?

2. Lean manufacturing practices have been around for decades. Throughout the life of Lean Practices, the demand for these skills and practices has been cyclical. Why do you feel there is or should be a heightened awareness or attraction to Lean practices in today's climate?

3. Can you give us an example of a lean process implementation that your organization has benefited from?

4. What do you feel is the largest factor that contributes to failed lean initiatives in manufacturing facility?

5. If you could go back now and impart some wisdom to yourself before you started practicing lean initiatives, what would it be?

About the Guest: 

Toby Curry serves as the director of operations for Coastal Automotive, a Tier-1 global automotive safety component manufacturer, where he is responsible for operational P&L, continuous improvement, production, logistics and quality. Toby has spent over 20 years in the automotive manufacturing industry, with 10 of those years in executive leadership. He’s passionate about making a positive difference for customers, community, and employees through building a great workplace culture. A US Navy Submarine Veteran, prior to joining Coastal, Toby served in various roles including process engineering, continuous improvement, and production supervision. He earned his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Grand Valley State University and a certificate in executive management from the University of Notre Dame. 


Click here for Toby Curry's LinkedIn

To Contact Toby Curry Directly:

Click here for The Lean Solutions Summit 

Apr 18, 202340:40
Improve Everything With Katie Labedz
Apr 11, 202338:59
Lean Learning Culture With Tony Hayes

Lean Learning Culture With Tony Hayes

In this episode, Tony Hayes and I discuss ways to create a lean learning culture through an organizations atmosphere and leadership platforms.

What You'll Learn:

1. What is the definition of a good Lean “Learning Culture?

2. What are the challenges to creating this type of atmosphere within an organization?

3. What role does Leadership play in facilitating or creating the platform for learning?

4. Can you share some examples of how you have done this at your current company or others from your past experiences?

5. What advice would you give our listeners as the consider creating their own Learning Culture within their organizations?

About the Guest:  Tony is an Executive Lean Leader, responsible for the Wabash Management System, Continuous Improvement and Quality at Wabash, supporting the CEO and the Executive Leadership Team, driving customer value creation. He has extensive experience in delivering profitable growth, improving risk profile, and increasing return on invested capital in the automotive, transportation, aerospace and defense industries. Tony is a seasoned operations and lean expert with extensive experience in strategy and organizational governance. Tony has utilized his lean expertise to assist organizations with their most complex problems in manufacturing, engineering, material planning and logistics, value chain management, and quality.


Click here for Tony Hayes' LinkedIn

To Contact Tony Hayes Directly:

Click here for The Lean Solutions Summit 

Apr 04, 202349:27
Robust Training Programs With Steve Johnson

Robust Training Programs With Steve Johnson

Mar 28, 202338:19
Improving Healthcare With Tanya Stinson

Improving Healthcare With Tanya Stinson

In this episode, Tanya Stinson and I discuss the impacts of costly wastes and modern technology as well as one of healthcare's number one problems: communication.
What You'll Learn:

What are a few of the most costly wastes in healthcare currently?
If there was one thing that you could change in healthcare right away, what would it be?
Do you feel like healthcare organizations are siloed?
Do you think technology can help with the issues we have impacting patients in healthcare today?
What is an improvement in healthcare that costs nothing to implement?

About the Guest:
Tanya is the Founder of Leaning Towards Change, LLC. Tanya is an Experienced Leader in the Healthcare industry where she is responsible for Performance Improvement, Quality, Risk, Patient Safety, and Compliance. She serves as a Mentor and Coach to Physicians, Nurses, and other clinical and non-clinical staff in utilizing the Lean and Six Sigma Methodology.

Click here for Tanya Stinson's Linkedin
Click here to learn more about Leaning Towards Change
Click here for The Lean Solutions Summit

Mar 21, 202341:45
The Importance Of Standard Work In The Digital Age With Tom Hughes
Mar 14, 202342:02
The Danaher Business System With Mark Deluzio

The Danaher Business System With Mark Deluzio

In this episode, Mark Deluzio and I discuss the Danaher business system, as well as the art of Lean Transformation.

What You'll Learn:

  1. Why do Lean Transformations fail?
  2. Could you explain the importance of having a business strategy and the ability to deploy/execute the strategy.
  3. What made the Danaher Business System so successful?
  4. As the "Father of Lean Accounting," how important is it to change the accounting systems when embarking on a Lean Transformation?
  5. What role does Respect for People play in the success of a Lean Transformation

About the Guest:

Mark DeLuzio is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lean Horizons Consulting. He is also a former Corporate Officer and Vice President of Danaher Business System (DBS) for Danaher Corporation.

Danaher has been recognized as the leading implementer of Lean globally and has been rated as the 3rd most profitable US stock over the last 30 years. Mark is also credited with developing the first Lean Accounting process in the United States for Danaher’s Jake Brake Division, where he served as their Chief Financial Officer. Mark is the author of “Turn Waste into Wealth,” which offers practical advice for those considering a Lean transformation and “Flatlined – Why Lean Transformations Fail and What to do About It”, which offers the lessons learned from Mark’s association with hundreds of Lean transformations on a global basis.


Click here for more information on Mark Deluzio

Click here to order one of Mark Deluzio's books

Click here for Mark Deluzio's Podcast

Click here for more information on B.R.A.V.E.

Click here for The Lean Solutions Summit 

Mar 07, 202350:26
The Problem of Classical Management with Bob Emiliani
Feb 28, 202345:09
Kata is for Everyone with Sam Morgan
Feb 21, 202337:42
Humanist Manufacturing with Dr. Joe Sprangel
Feb 14, 202337:03
A Look at 2022 and our 'WHY.' Season Two Kicks Off This Tuesday!

A Look at 2022 and our 'WHY.' Season Two Kicks Off This Tuesday!

The wait is over....Its finally time for Season Two!  Listen in for background on The Lean Solutions Podcast, as well as impact metrics from this past year.  Season Two kicks off this Tuesday with Dr. Joe Sprangel.  Season Two includes video and audio for every episode.  Tune in every Tuesday with some returning and some new guests.  Find all episodes on your favorite podcast platform or go to and click on 'podcast.'  

Feb 12, 202308:10
Lean Product and Process Development Events

Lean Product and Process Development Events

In this episode, I am presenting our teams approach to lean product and process development events.  This was a presentation I gave at the LPPDE virtual conference last month. 

You may be wondering why we haven't been posting regular episodes...we are preparing to launch season two this next year.  Stay tuned for more amazing podcasts as we kick off the new year. 

About the LPPDE:

The Lean Product and Process Development Exchange, Inc. is a nonprofit organization created to foster opportunities to grow and share the knowledge, expertise and experiences that help organizations use lean product development to dramatically improve product development performance.

The LPPDE conferences are organized roughly yearly in both Europe and North America. These conferences are the motor for the flow of knowledge about lean in the product development context. We explicitly call our conferences "Exchange" - because that is what we think is the best moderator for learning: listen, experts, see peers, discuss, learn from best practices from others and participate in workshops, that are offered at introductory as well as advanced level.

Many participants of LPPDE conferences return because they know: whenever I visit an LPPDE conference, I am sure I will return with a high number of great ideas, excellent examples, and practical tips to continue my journey on the lean path in product development.

Check them out at

Dec 20, 202234:05
How to Attract and Retain Employees

How to Attract and Retain Employees

In this episode of The Lean Solutions Podcast, I met with Craig Tedrow, Tina Pietrangelo, and Mark Schmidt to discuss the current workforce challenges in hiring and retaining employees. 

About the Guests:

Craig Tedrow is an experienced Continuous Improvement Professional with a demonstrated history of working in the automotive, aerospace, and defense industry. Skilled in Training Coordination, Continuous Improvement, Team Building, Presentation Skills, and Conflict Management. Strong professional with an Associate's degree focused in Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services from Grand Rapids Community College. Most recently managed the Continuous Improvement department at Plasan Carbon Composites. During exponential growth developed a week long training curriculum to provide a mix of lecture and lab instruction to on board new associates. Intensely involved in training and adherence to Standard Work Instructions using video technology, and Training Within Industry methods. Strong relationships with engineering, operations, maintenance, and facilities, helped to advance implementation of robotics and automation.

Tina Pietrangelo is the Plant Manager at Pliant Plastics overseeing Manufacturing Operations. Pilant is a Plastics Injection Molding company and employs 120 members. She has lived in the Holland area for over 30 years and is currently on the board of Escape Ministries and formerly has served on the boards of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holland and Ready for School. Prior to joining Pliant, Tina held positions as Plant Manager within the office furniture industry and has held Human Resources positions for a recycling company and automotive interior company. She is also an owner/investor of some restaurants in West Michigan.

Mark Schmidt is the founder of BizStream, a custom software and web development company. With more than 20 years of experience in custom software, website development, and content management systems (CMS), Mark grew the business from one to 33 employees, plus contractors, in 17 years.  He has managed purchase of new building, renovations, and furnishings for growing team and is a global leader in chosen web technology, Kentico CMS; top 3 partners of 1,100 total Kentico partners; Kentico Gold Partner with competencies in intranet, integration, training, EMS, mobile, and ecommerce; Kentico certified developer. 

Nov 29, 202250:31
Trust-Based Leadership and Marine Corps Leadership with Mike Ettore

Trust-Based Leadership and Marine Corps Leadership with Mike Ettore

In this episode, Mike Ettore and I discuss leadership concepts from the military and how they can help in the corporate world.  

What You'll Learn:

  • Trust-Based Leadership
  • Marine Corps Core Value
  • Military Leadership concepts in the corporate world

About the Guest:

Mike has served in leadership roles for over 45 years. He’s earned a reputation for being an exceptionally effective leader and is known for achieving superior results in a wide range of challenging environments. In addition to having retired as a Marine Corps Infantry officer and decorated combat leader, he also served successfully as a C-level executive in Kforce, Inc. (NASDAQ: KFRC), a publicly traded professional services firm with annual revenue in excess of $1 Billion.

While serving as Chief Services Officer, Mike was responsible for the majority of Kforce’s corporate support departments and functions, including Human Resources, Information Technology, the Program Management Office, Marketing and Social Media, Procurement, Corporate Real Estate and the domestic and Manila-based Financial Shared Services teams. He also served as the executive sponsor for strategic planning and most of the logistical activities associated with the integration of acquired companies and the divestiture of organic business units.

Over the course of his Marine Corps and business careers, Mike was highly regarded for being an exceptionally effective mentor and developer of leaders. After retiring from Kforce in 2013, Mike founded Fidelis Leadership Group and has devoted himself to his greatest passion, helping others develop into World Class Leaders. He has successfully coached and mentored executives and senior leaders from a wide range of industries and is sought after for his expertise in all aspects of leadership development and the creation of leadership training programs.

In addition to being a lifelong student of leadership, Mike has earned Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Management. He is also the author of four books devoted to the topics of leadership and leadership development.

Important Links:



Linkedin Profile: 

Mike’s Books:


Nov 15, 202242:25
'The Toyota Engagement Equation' with Ernie and Tracey Richardson [Throwback]

'The Toyota Engagement Equation' with Ernie and Tracey Richardson [Throwback]

I am still travelling.  In this episode, I replay a webinar with Ernie and Tracey Richardson as we discuss their book, 'The Toyota Engagement Equation' and the many learnings from working with Toyota over 30 years.

Nov 08, 202258:17
The Fuel Needed to Spark and Maintain a Continuous Improvement Culture [ThrowBack]

The Fuel Needed to Spark and Maintain a Continuous Improvement Culture [ThrowBack]

I am currently travelling so I wanted to post this throwback episode where I discuss the fuel needed to spark and maintain a continuous improvement culture. 


Nov 01, 202210:36
Embrace Disruption at AME Dallas 2022

Embrace Disruption at AME Dallas 2022

This past week, Lean Solutions was a proud sponsor for the AME international Conference in Dallas. Craig Johnson and I were there to attend, exhibit, network, and record some great interviews for the podcast. During this episode, I was able to catch up with the Conference Chair, Dan McDonnell, as well as many other attendees and speakers of the conference.  We discussed learnings, takeaway's, and tour/workshop ahha moments.  

About AME:

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1985 dedicated to helping companies with continuous improvement and their pursuit of excellence. Whether looking to learn about lean manufacturing or one of the continuous improvement tools like value stream mapping, kaizen, lean supply chain, lean new product development, lean accounting, or leadership of lean transformation you've come to the right place.  AME is practitioner based which means our events and workshops are hands-on and taught by others who have “been there” and want to share their experiences. Visit our site to obtain more information on all of our educational opportunities or join AME and start receiving the many benefits of membership.

Make sure to mark your calendars for AME 2023!

🎸The Place: Cleveland, Ohio 

🎸Dates: October 30 – November 2, 2023

🎸Theme: ReImagining Excellence

🎼Theme Song: Don’t Stop Belevin’ by Journey

Important Links:

Oct 25, 202230:25
Intangible Character Traits with Elisabeth Swan

Intangible Character Traits with Elisabeth Swan

In this episode, Elisabeth Swan and I discuss the intangibles when it comes to leading others.  Elisabeth is the president of Swan Consulting & Associates, Inc., and co-founder of the Just-In-Time Café. She’s the co-author of the Problem-Solver’s Toolkit: A Surprisingly Simple Guide to Your Lean Six Sigma Journey, and has been helping clients drive change for decades. She’s a Master Black Belt, Speaker, Coach and Lean Six Sigma consultant with a focus on leveraging people to build vibrant problem-solving cultures.  Today, we discussed her new book titled, "Picture Yourself a Leader: Illustrated Micro-lessons in Navigating Change" which will be published in just a few months. 

What You'll Learn:

  1. What do you mean by "intangibles" in terms of process improvement?
  2. Why do people struggle with intangibles?
  3. Do you have an example(s)?
  4. What are some root causes?
  5. What are some actions people can take?

About the Guest:

Elisabeth has been working as a business process improvement consultant and change leader for over 30 years. She specializes in process-based organization design, problem solving, Lean Six Sigma and change management for blue chip clients.

Her client engagements focus on working with leadership and leveraging the talents of internal project managers and teams in achieving strategic goals. The track records of these engagements consistently showcase measurable improvement.

Elisabeth's industry experience includes healthcare, hospitality, financial services, insurance, telecommunications, energy and technology.

Specialties: - Process Improvement Program Design
- Lean Six Sigma
- Coaching
- Training Design and Implementation
- Leadership Coaching
- Improvement Team Training
- Large Group Facilitation
- Facilitation and Communication Skills

Important Links:

To get updates on when the book comes out:

To buy the Problem-Solver’s Toolkit (scroll to the bottom):

Oct 18, 202238:34
Problem Solving and Lean Training with Craig Johnson

Problem Solving and Lean Training with Craig Johnson

In this episode, Craig Johnson and I discuss the importance of structured problem solving and the power of a robust training program.  

What You'll Learn:

  • Why should organizations adopt a structured problem solving process? 
  • Some of Craig's favorite problem solving tools.
  • Why should people pursue lean training?
  • What does good lean training look like?
  • What does the future of lean training look like? 

About the Guest:

Craig Johnson is a leadership professional with a diverse background in engineering, manufacturing, and talent development. He is passionate about bringing attainable, available, applicable, and affordable Lean Six Sigma training and certification to the entire world.  He founded the Utah Lean Six Sigma Training Center and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Craig is now the Director of the Lean Solutions Academy and Community. 

Important Links:


Oct 11, 202254:16
Lean Construction with Kevin Gausch
Oct 04, 202246:05
Developing a Lean Culture - Lean Leadership Week

Developing a Lean Culture - Lean Leadership Week

In this episode, I am playing a recording of my speaking event last week at Lean Leadership Week for Lean Frontiers.  Lean Leadership Week is an annual gathering of those seeking to learn, implement, and sustain successful lean transformations in order to address some of the most common challenges in lean organizations. The Summit highlights companies who are addressing these challenges through Lean Accounting, Lean HR, Lean Management, and Lean People Development.

My presentation was titled: Developing a Lean Culture.  During the presentation, I discuss the three simple areas that need attention in order to achieve a true culture of continuous improvement. I also present a model to adopt understanding in change management. Finally, I challenged the listeners with three questions:

1. Do you have a long-term vision?

2. Have you developed expectations for behaviors?

3. Is it safe for your employees to fail?


Sep 27, 202242:14
Fake Lean with Bob Emiliani
Sep 20, 202241:57
Core Pillars to an Op Ex Journey with Paul Deane
Sep 13, 202246:19
Throwback with Nigel Thurlow

Throwback with Nigel Thurlow

Today is a replay of a conversation I had with Nigel Thurlow,  a leading expert on Lean and Agile approaches. Nigel advises companies on successful transformation strategies and how to achieve effective and lasting change. As the chief agile at Toyota connected, he established the Toyota agile Academy and is also the co-author of The Flow System.

In this episode, Nigel and I talk about Agile, how it relates to Lean and the flow from scientific thinking to Agile into the flow system.

What You’ll Learn This Episode:

  • Nigel’s background in Lean and Agile
  • The challenges with bringing Agile into Toyota
  • The differences between Japan and the western world with executive leadership
  • The scientific method and why it’s so important
  • The challenges when only dealing with deductive reasoning
  • PDCA and Scrum
  • Agile, what it is and how it differs and relates to Lean
  • How Agile and Lean flow into the flow system

About the Guest:

Nigel Thurlow is the former Chief of Agile at Toyota, creator of the World Agility Forum award-winning ‘Scrum the Toyota Way’ approach, and the co-creator of The Flow System™. He is also a Forbes top 10 noted author for his work as co-author of the book on The Flow System and is a well-known Keynote Speaker. He also co-authors The Flow Guide.

Nigel is an internationally recognized expert in the Toyota Production System and The Toyota Way as well as Lean Thinking, Agile, Scrum, and Complexity concepts. In addition to his work at Toyota in recent years he has also taught and coached at Vodafone, Banco Popular, GE, Bose, 3M, Microsoft, University of North Texas, and to the faculty at MIT.

Nigel also presents regularly for The Lean Institute at their events and is considered a leading expert in bridging the Lean and Agile worlds following his pioneering work at Toyota.

As a Professional Scrum Trainer, the first one ever in Toyota, and the first to have been certified by both the creators of Scrum, he has trained over 8000 people worldwide as of 2021.

Nigel is extensively published online and has co-authored several peer reviewed white papers and journal publications on team science. He acts as an advisor on several boards at the University of North Texas as well as contributing to Chief Executive Magazine.

Nigel currently serves as the CEO of The Flow Consortium, and as an interim executive with several high-profile brands advising executive leadership teams on lean and agile strategies in complex business and organizational design environments.

Important Links:

The Flow System read online for free via UNT -

The Slack community -

Sep 06, 202252:39
The Digital Age of Lean with Paul Dunlop

The Digital Age of Lean with Paul Dunlop

In this episode, Paul Dunlop and I discuss the importance of daily management systems and structures as well as the digitalization in and of lean management systems.  This is Paul's third time on the show. 

What You'll Learn:

  • The importance of Daily management systems and structures
  • Digitization in / of Lean
  • The importance of leader standard work

About The Guest:

Paul brings with him over 20 years of management and manufacturing experience in a broad range of industries. In his operational management and consultancy roles Paul has led successful Lean implementation and transformations using the principles of the Toyota Production System. Paul’s passion for operational excellence using Lean tools and methodology has helped drive sustained continuous improvement and financial performance at many companies.

Paul’s “people centered” approach is to engage the ongoing support and commitment of both shop floor staff and senior management through effective Lean leadership and to facilitate inclusive problem solving cultures.

Paul is a team player with an understanding of business priorities and committed to managing high performing teams and delivering projects to meet targets. Demonstrated ability to influence and change workplace cultures and develop capability in employees to implement and sustain continuous improvement methodologies long term. Effective implementation of Lean cultures in both greenfield and established organizations, with a passion for engaging, coaching and developing people at all levels of the organization by utilizing Lean tools and Lean thinking.

Paul specializes in:

* Lean Enterprise and Strategic Planning

* Change management

* Grass roots "bottom up" engagement

* Coaching and mentoring leaders, enhancing fundamental management skills and lean leadership

* Implementation of lean tools and techniques

Important Links:

Empower & Align Your Teams | TeamAssurance

Aug 30, 202238:22
Military Transferable Skills with Dr. William Harvey

Military Transferable Skills with Dr. William Harvey

In this episode, Dr. William Harvey and I discuss the most important skills he was able to transfer from his time in the United States Marine Corps to his corporate career in lean management. We discussed everything from goal setting to leadership skills and kaizen.  

What You'll Learn:

  • As it relates to goal setting, what influenced Dr. Harvey at an early age to set challenging personal goals?
  • An important tactic in creating an environment for increased teamwork.
  • Key benefits recognized by observing gemba.
  • Defining Kaizen.
  • The leadership lessons that comes with practicing Kaizen.
  • How to help create an environment of collaboration and the benefits.

About the Guest:

Dr. William Harvey's leadership journey started in the U.S. Marine Corps. Following military service, William discovered a passion for manufacturing and continuous improvement over the last 14 years. William’s fascination with people development and a chance encounter with Toyota Kata prompted his doctoral dissertation on Toyota Kata’s best practices. William currently works in manufacturing as Plant Manager at Michelman and started his sixth year of teaching business, finance, and marketing at the University of Cincinnati in August 2022.

LinkedIn Profile:

Aug 23, 202241:41
Michigan Lean Consortium Annual Conference Highlights

Michigan Lean Consortium Annual Conference Highlights

In this episode, I was able to catch up with the attendees and speakers of the Michigan Lean Consortium Annual Conference that took place last week in Traverse City, Michigan.  This was an in–person event and the engagement was AMAZING.  Some of the highlights include discussions with keynote speakers Richard Sheridan and Mark Graban, among many other attendees.  

Michigan Lean Consortium:

Richard Sheridan Links:

Mark Graban Links:

Chad Bareither:

Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center:


Aug 16, 202238:22
The Harada Method with George Trachilis

The Harada Method with George Trachilis

In this episode, Patrick's guest is George Trachilis, P.Eng. Patrick and George discuss the Harada Method and how it can benefit individuals and organizations. 

About the Guest:

George Trachilis lives in Canada and consults remotely and throughout the world.

He started his career at Motor Coach Industries in 1994 where he received Lean coaching in Just-in-Time manufacturing, and Total Quality Management. Having lead change for over 10 years, he decided to start his own consulting firm in 2003. It grew to become one of Canada’s Fastest Growth Companies by 2006. The government of Canada asked George to create an online course to teach Lean. This course educated over 300 companies. It also became a book OEM Principles of Lean Thinking. By 2011, the course was offered globally and educated 100,000 students from 60 different countries.

In 2012, relationships were forged with some of the most recognized names in Lean including Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker, best-selling author of the Toyota Way, and Norman Bodek, known as the Godfather of Lean. He was encouraged by both Jeff and Norm to adopt a much deeper understanding of Lean which stretches back to Japan and the origins of Toyota. George decided to video document his many webinars, two (2) Japan Study Missions, live Harada Method workshops, and many other teachings on the topics. George is now one of the most knowledgeable people on the topic of Lean and more importantly, a practitioner.

George’s standard coaching is based on the key books and online courses which he has published. One book and online course, Developing Lean Leaders at All Levels, received the Shingo Research Award in 2016. The second is on self-reliance, Norman Bodek’s Harada Method. He has, as of this year, published as an online course and book, Lean Construction Leaders: A Trade Partner’s Guide to Lean.

What You'll Learn:

  • Harada Method background and how George discovered it.
  • How Shohei Ohtani, the best baseball player in the world, used the Harada Method.
  • George's lessons that will stay with him for the rest of his life.
  • How someone can learn the Harada Method for free.
  • What is next for the Harada Method?  What is the vision?

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