Lean Leadership Podcast

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Jun 23, 2021

Today’s guest is Elisabeth Swan. Elisabeth is a co-founder of the Just-in-Time Cafe, with a mission to cultivate a hub where problem solvers connect, share, and grow. She’s the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit: A Surprisingly Simple Guide to Your Lean Six Sigma Journey and Co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe Podcast. She's a 30+-year veteran of the Continuous Improvement world who performed for ImprovBoston back in the day. As a Lean Six Sigma consultant, she uses improv every day.



Connect with Elisabeth on Twitter

Connect with Elisabeth on LinkedIn

E-Mail Elisabeth  

Elisabeth’s Website

Karen Martin Clarity First

The Problem Solver’s Toolkit by Elisabeth Swan & Tracy O’Rourke

Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn by Katie Anderson

Improv Workshop

Jun 16, 2021

Today’s guest is Katie Anderson is an internationally recognized leadership coach, consultant, speaker, and author of the bestselling book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn.


Best known for her focus on helping individuals and organizations lead with intention, Katie has supported thousands of leaders across a range of industries, including organizations such as Roche, Facebook, Toyota, to connect and align their purpose, process, and practice to achieve higher levels of performance.


Katie has lived in seven countries and leads study trips to Japan for leaders looking to deepen their knowledge of lean leadership, the Toyota Way, and Japanese culture.


Katie holds a BA with honors from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Australia, where she received her Master's degree in public health from Sydney University. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two sons, nearly a dozen chickens, and hundreds of daruma dolls.


Connect with Katie on LinkedIn

Connect with Katie on Twitter

Katie’s Book

Katie’s Website

Upcoming Japan Study Trip 

Karen Martin - Clarity First

Karen’s Episode on the Lean Leadership Podcast

Patrick Adams - Avoiding The Continuous Appearance Trap

Karyn Ross 

Jun 9, 2021

Today’s guest is Jamie V. Parker. Jamie is the founder of Process + Results, which provides people leadership development for Lean-practicing organizations. With 17 years of multi-unit operations management experience, Jamie specializes in helping operations managers build engaged & adaptable teams, integrate improvement into their culture and overcome their most pressing challenges.


The Gold Mine by Michael Balle

Creating a Lean Culture by David Mann

Simon Sinek: Why Leaders Eat Last

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Connect with Jamie on LinkedIn

Jamie’s Website Process + Results


Get on-demand access to some of Jamie’s most-requested mini-trainings and talks covering things like:

  • The transition from DOING Problem Solving to COACHING Problem Solving
  • Spark Improvement Behavior through Effective Recognition Feedback
  • The Role of Ops Leaders in Integrating Lean


To get access to those free resources, head over to:

Jun 2, 2021

Today’s guest is Billy Taylor.  Billy is a retired executive from Goodyear and is now the CEO of his own firm LinkedXL. Since joining Goodyear in 1989, Billy has progressed through a series of leadership positions. He has served as a plant director for both union and non-union facilities, leading lean transformations in Goodyear’s largest and most complex tire-producing sites.

Today Billy and I will talk about a wide range of topics including how leaders set the standard by what they accept,  How to build a culture of engagement, and how to develop the technical and personal competencies to challenge the process.



The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Connect with Billy on LinkedIn

Billy’s Company LinkedXL

May 26, 2021

Today’s guest is Steve Spear.  Steve is the author of the award-winning and critically acclaimed book, The High-Velocity Edge. He is a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management and is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. He is also a founder of a consulting firm built on the tenets of his book, and of See to Solve Corp., a business process software company.

Expert on the ways that “high-velocity organizations” generate and sustain advantage, even in the most hyper-competitive markets, Spear has worked with clients spanning technology and heavy industry, software and healthcare, and new production design and manufacturing.

Spear’s 1999 Harvard Business Review article, “Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System,” is part of today’s lean manufacturing canon. “Fixing Healthcare from the Inside, Today” was an HBR McKinsey Award winner in 2005 and one of his four articles to win a Shingo Research Prize.

Spear helped develop and deploy the Alcoa Business System, which recorded hundreds of millions of dollars in annual operating savings, and he was integral in developing the “Perfecting Patient Care” system for the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative. He has published in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Annals of Internal Medicine, and Academic Medicine, and he has spoken to audiences ranging from the Association for Manufacturing Excellence to the Institute of Medicine.

Spear has a doctorate from Harvard Business School, a master’s in engineering and in management from MIT, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton.


Important Links:

The High Velocity Edge

See to Solve Andon Solution

Gene Kim’s IT Revolution


Interesting Excerpts from the High Velocity Edge

Lean Healthcare

Designing Systems to See Problems

High Yield Problem Solving

May 19, 2021

Today’s episode is with Steven J. Spear.  Steven is the author of the book The High Velocity Edge and is a multiple Shingo Research Prize winner.  He helped develop and deploy the Alcoa Business System. He is a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management and is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. He is also a founder of a consulting firm built on the tenets of his book.  Steve and I had a great conversation that actually turned into a two-part interview.  This week we will talk about Steve’s early experiences with Lean and Continuous Improvement.  

Next week, we will talk about two papers that Steven has recently released that talk about accelerating innovation and succeeding in periods of abrupt change.

Apr 19, 2016

Today’s guest is Tim Mclean. Tim is our first guest from Australia and is the Principal and Managing Director of TXM Lean Solutions. In his mid 20’s Tim was promoted in to a Plant Management role and this lead to senior operations and general management positions at Hoechst and in major Blue Chip companies including PPG Industries, Carter Holt Harvey and Amcor. In these roles, Tim continued to increase his knowledge of continuous improvement and lean methodologies and successfully apply these approaches to achieve breakthrough improvements in operations that he was managing.


Apr 5, 2016

Today's guest is Jim Huntzinger. Jim began his career as a manufacturing engineer with Aisin Seiki (a Toyota Group company and manufacturer of automotive components) when they transplanted to North America to support Toyota. Over his career he has also researched at length the evolution of manufacturing in the United States with an emphasis on lean’s influence and development. In addition to his research on TWI, he has extensively researched the history of Ford’s Highland Park plant and its direct tie to Toyota’s business model and method of operation. Huntzinger is the President and Founder of Lean Frontiers and a graduate from Purdue University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology and received a M.S. in Engineering Management from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He authored the book, Lean Cost Management: Accounting for Lean by Establishing Flow, and was a contributing author to Lean Accounting: Best Practices for Sustainable Integration.

Today Jim and I will talk about:

  • building communities within the lean community
  • The economic potential of Lean
  • The need to experience failure and setback to increase your rate of learning
  • The history of Training Within Industry and how it's benefits and success can be applied today.
  • Learning by doing
  • Jim's new book, The Roots of Lean
Mar 29, 2016

Audition Template: 1 Mono Host track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Mono Interview track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Stereo Sound FX with effects, 1 Stereo Music Bed track. 44.1k, 16 bit, Stereo Master.

Mar 22, 2016

Today's episode is a continuation of our conversation that we had with Mike Orzen in Episode 31. So if you haven't heard episode 31 yet, after you listen to this episode go back and check out the beginning or our conversation with Mike.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Mike, he is the founder and President of Mike Orzen and Associates. He has been consulting and coaching improvement efforts for over 20 years. Mike is an Adjunct Professor with The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence and is a faculty member of the Lean Enterprise Institute. He is also a Shingo Award winning Co-Author of Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Enterprise.

Mar 8, 2016

Rick Timlick, as an expert in performance management, brings to his clients a distinguished record of achievement having helped organizations all over the globe.

Rick specializes in comprehensive organizational transformation and complex operational issues, turnarounds and acquisitions, program/project management, change management, executive team advisement, major process redesigns, and strategic design that supports the corporate goals and objectives of CEO's and Board of Directors.

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