Competing Podcast

Question of the week, 10/11/10

Respect for people is an important component of any continuous improvement program.  How does or doesn’t your company respect it’s people?  How can respect for all people within a company be created and sustained?

Posted October 11th, 2010 in Competing Podcast, Network News | 4 Comments »

Question of the week 9/27/10

Poor, costly space utilization is an issue in manufacturing, health-care, the office..administrative/service, and distribution.  What are the most effective counter-measures you have applied to this waste?

How do you actively measure space utilization?

Posted September 27th, 2010 in Competing Podcast, Network News | 4 Comments »

Question of the week 9/6/10

In your opinion, what was the major cause of Toyota’s quality problems over the past few years?

Posted September 6th, 2010 in Competing Podcast, Network News | 5 Comments »

Question of the week 8/27/10

In your experience, what is the major cause of a continuous improvement program’s failure?

Posted August 30th, 2010 in Competing Podcast, Network News | 9 Comments »


Continuous Improvement is about people and communication.  Many of us are effective speakers, but few are really good listeners.  If, as Dr. Shingo said, 95% of objection is cautionary (I believe this caution is due to lack of trust) then one of leaderships/managements primary objectives must be to create an environment of mutual respect and trust.  One key ingredient in the creation of a favorable environment is a constant practice of good listening.

Good listening does not come naturally to me. (more…)

Posted January 21st, 2009 in Competing Podcast | Leave A Comment »

2010 Northeast Shingo Prize Conference

click here to find out more 2010 Northeast Shingo Prize Conference

Posted December 27th, 2008 in Competing Podcast, Network News | Leave A Comment »

Competing – Art Smalley

Art Smalley was fortunate to have been one of the few Americans to work for Toyota in Japan for an extended period of time. From working on assembly lines to maintaining precision equipment to project management he experienced all facets of production life in Toyota. Combined with his proficiency in reading and writing the Japanese language he has keen insights on TPS that few in America possess. Subsequent to Toyota, Art was also director of lean for a large U.S. company that underwent a successful lean implementation program. Additionally he spent several years as a lean expert for the international management consulting firm of McKinsey & Company. “There is a decided over-emphasis in the west on simply using the tools of TPS. More attention needs to be applied on solving systemic manufacturing problems that will generate business results”.

Industry Week Webinar link

Creating Level Pull workbook link

Posted August 26th, 2008 in Competing Podcast | Leave A Comment »

Competing Mark Graban

Mark Graban is a Senior Consultant with ValuMetrix Services, a Johnson & Johnson organization. Mark earned a bachelors degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and was a fellow in the Leaders for Manufacturing program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning dual masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration. He has led process improvement efforts in various industries, having moved into healthcare in 2005. Mark is the author of a book entitled “Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Patient Satisfaction,” due out in late July. He is also founder of the Lean Blog website at

What two operational issues are the primary focus of your healthcare clients?


Posted July 7th, 2008 in Competing Podcast | 2 Comments »

Competing – John Shook – Toyota Culture Part 2

John Shook – Toyota Culture – Part 2

Toyota’s alternative to “Command and Control”

What is the most challenging aspect of implementing lean in North America?

“It’s easier to act your way to new thinking than to think your way to new action”

Culture is embedded in the work.

“Managing to Learn” published by LEI
Mentoring the Toyota Way
Due to be available this summer (2008)

Posted May 24th, 2008 in Competing Podcast | 1 Comment »

Competing – John Shook – Toyota Culture Part 1

Today Competing welcomes John Shook. John learned about lean while working for ten years with Toyota, helping the company transfer its production, engineering, and management systems from Japan to its overseas affiliates and suppliers. This real world experience in implementing lean principles throughout an organization gives him extraordinary insights into the challenges faced by those who are interested in lean. As co-author of Learning to See, John helped introduce Value Stream Mapping as the tool which allows lean practitioners to speak in a common language. (more…)

Posted May 18th, 2008 in Competing Podcast | 1 Comment »