Mark Graban

This is the first of my three contributing installments to John Hunter’s fourth annual review roundup. In this installment, I am honored to review Mark Graban’s Lean Blog, a “blog about Lean in hospitals, business, and our world.”

Mark founded Lean Blog in January 2005, and is its lead blogger and podcaster. (By the way, back in 2005, I couldn’t even spell the word “blog.”  Of course, as I often prove, there are a lot of words that I can’t spell properly.)

When I think lean blogger, the first person that enters my mind is Mark Graban. Quite frankly, Mark is a prodigious blogger. He generates an amazing quantity of unique, entertaining, thought-leading and thought-provoking material.

Accordingly, my simple roundup entry cannot do this lean social media giant justice. Fortunately, if you desire a MUCH better and more comprehensive collection of the best of Lean Blog 2011, Mark Graban has an answer…

True to his pioneering nature, Mark is offering an eBook of 2011 Lean Blog posts. It is a compilation of many of his best posts…using a unique “Lean Publishing” technique.

In any event, here is my measly sample of excellent 2011 Lean Blog articles:

  • (Complaining About) Resistance is Futile. Mark’s post first hits the reader in the gut with Stephen Parry’s tweet, “The resistance to change is proportional to your lack of leadership.”  Mark challenges folks to reflect on why there is resistance…and then to appropriately address the root cause(s), NOT use the fog of resistance as an excuse for unsuccessful transformation.
  • Does Setting a Goal for Number of Kaizens Violate “Kaizen Spirit”? Here Graban reminds us why Deming cautioned against the use of quotas. Kaizen must be intrinsically motivated, but do targets around things like number of implemented suggestions per person per year or number of kaizen events make sense? Take a look at the “conversation” contained within the 25 comments that this post garnered.
  • Checklists Promoted and Debated on “Grey’s Anatomy” Mark routinely and effectively interjects popular culture (including a Grey’s Anatomy scene) within his work. Checklists can be a critical tool of standardized work, as Dr. Atul Gawande, reflected within his book, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. Mark forces the reader to think about the pragmatic use of the checklist.
  • Coaching, not Berating, when Mistakes are Made. Within this post, Mark shares an important lesson gleaned from college football coaching – both good and bad. His alma mater’s (Northwestern) coach, Pat Fitzgerald’s quote says a lot, “More than in the NFL, a college head coach’s reaction to adversity determines whether his team learns from mistakes or fears making them so much it makes more.” Lean shares a lot with college football.
  • What’s Changed in Lean Healthcare Since 2008? Mark is the author of the Shingo Award-winning book, Lean Hospitals and co-author of the forthcoming book, Healthcare Kaizen. So, his perspective on the evolution of lean healthcare is noteworthy to say the least. Some of his lean healthcare related observations:
    • Less tool-driven, greater attention to management systems,
    • More focus on quality, less on just cost, and
    • More focus on daily kaizen, not just events.

I hope that you visit Mark Graban’s blog, sample the lean social media smorgasbord, and participate in the amazing community that is the Lean Blog.

Also, please check out ALL of John Hunter’s 2011 Management Blog Carnival activity right here!

Related posts: Management Improvement Carnival #126, Blog Carnival Annual Roundup: 2010 – John Shook’s Lean Management Column, Blog Carnival Annual Roundup: 2010 – Lean Homebuilding, Blog Carnival Annual Roundup: 2010 – Evolving Excellence