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Gemba Academy Live!

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  • New content added monthly.
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Comprehensive Body of Knowledge.

  • 412 videos
  • Interviews with lean leaders
  • Interviews with lean thinkers
  • Archived Gemba Academy webinars
Gemba Academy Live! is included with subscriptions to the School of Lean, School of Six Sigma, and the Certification programs.



Gemba Academy Live! Contents

The first video of each course can be watched without a subscription.

FastCap 2012

In this video series we visit FastCap in Bellingham, Washington. FastCap provides products and tools to accommodate the professional cabinet maker and woodworker. Throughout this "Gemba Live" series of videos you'll see how lean thinking has transformed ALL aspects of FastCap's business including operations, shipping, engineering, sales & marketing, customer service, accounting, and even the bathrooms! And last, but certainly not least, we even pay a visit to FastCap's airplane hangar to witness how lean thinking has made an impact there!

  1. Welcome to FastCap! (6:19)

    In this video we meet Paul Akers, President of FastCap. We also review the correct process for cleaning the lunch table at FastCap!
  2. The Lean Kitchen (5:36)

    FastCap's great processes keep the kitchen from being a cluttered mess while being used by over 50 people all day long.
  3. The Lean Bathroom (7:39)

    Believe it or not, FastCap believes Lean Thinking starts in the bathroom... and as odd as this may sound you'll likely gain an appreciation for why this is after watching this video.
  4. Morning Meeting Part 1 (14:19)

    Fastcap's morning meetings are at the heart of their lean journey. In this first part we see how they go about discussing opportunities for improvement as well as what their customers are saying about them.
  5. Morning Meeting Part 2 (6:23)

    Fastcap reviews a product of the day during every meeting. In this video we learn about their kaizen foam product.
  6. Morning Meeting Part 3 (9:49)

    Hear a Fastcap team member discuss one of their 21 Principles while another team member offers one of the most unique explanations of the 8 wastes you'll ever see. Finally, Fastcap studies history each and every day. In this video they discuss the 25th Amendment.
  7. Visual Controls & Lean Shipping (3:30)

    Paul Akers provides an overview of how FastCap utilizes visual controls throughout their company. We also visit the shipping department and witness a simple, yet profound, improvement that yields tremendous impact.
  8. The Lean Workshop (2:26)

    We now visit the workshop where you just may witness the nicest, most organized, workbench you've ever seen!
  9. U-Shaped Cells & Kanban System (3:28)

    In this video we see some of FastCap's U-Shaped assembly cells while also seeing how their kanban system works.
  10. Kanban & Lean Culture (7:01)

    Alexei Vetkov, a Process Engineer & Lean Leader, continues to explore how FastCap's kanban system works. He also provides an overview of FastCap's lean journey.
  11. The Lean Printing Room (10:00)

    With more than 600 products, printing labels used to be a major challenge for FastCap. In this video Graham Johnson, a Graphic Designer & Lean Lead, explains the amazing lean improvements FastCap has made to their printing room making this job easy for anyone to perform.
  12. Pad Printing (6:29)

    In this video Marina Vetkok explains how lean has transformed the pad printing area. Additionally, Marina explains how lean thinking has transformed her life, personally and professionally.
  13. New Associates & Lean (3:20)

    In this video we hear from two relatively new FastCap employees. They both share their thoughts on how different working at FastCap is versus other jobs they've had.
  14. Monique (5:55)

    Making substantial improvements to your work area doesn't have to be hard - in this video you'll see exactly what we mean as Marina explains a simple, yet substantial, improvement she made to "Monique."
  15. Order Processing (5:05)

    We now move into the office area and listen to Brady Cook explain how lean impacts his daily work and how FastCap strives for some extremely bold goals - namely producing & shipping product within 2 hours after order receipt!
  16. Accounts Receivable (3:52)

    Cory Klos and Paul Akers talk about FastCap's approach to Accounts Receivables.
  17. Customer Service (5:49)

    We now hear from the Customer Service team who explain how things such as stand up desks have radically improved their productivity and how lean is not just for the shop floor.
  18. International Sales (4:28)

    Michelle Burris talks about how lean has impacted her work and personal life including how her significant other even jokingly refers to her as "Ms. Kaizen" from time to time.
  19. Marketing & Graphic Design (12:40)

    Graham Johnson shares how lean has totally transformed the way FastCap markets and advertises their products.
  20. The Lean Airplane Hangar (14:28)

    The next time you hear "lean won't work here" you can have them watch this video. Clint Marley, an experienced airplane mechanic, struggled with the concept of lean thinking for many years. But, as you will see in this video he is now totally on board, no pun intended, with lean thinking! Paul Akers also shares how he even implements lean thinking to improving the cockpit of the airplane!
  21. Paul Singh Interview (4:47)

    Ron asks Paul Singh, a Process Engineer and Lean Leader, questions about FastCap's lean journey including what struggles they've had to overcome.
  22. Alexei Vetkov Interview (6:25)

    Ron asks Alexei Vetkov, a Process Engineer and Lean Leader, questions about FastCap's lean journey. Alexei shares how lean has dramatically improved his primary department, injection molding.
  23. Doug VanderWel Interview (6:13)

    Ron asks Doug VanderWel, a Design Engineer and Lean Leader, questions about how lean impacts his work as a Design Engineer.
  24. Jon Lussier Interview (9:59)

    Ron asks Jon Lussier, FastCap's General Manager, questions about their lean journey. Jon also tells us what his favorite job at FastCap is - and it's probably not what you'd expect!
  25. The FastCap Story (3:20)

    Paul Akers, the President of FastCap, tells the story of how FastCap started in his workshop and now provides more than 600 products to customers in over 40 countries!
  26. Lean Leadership Advice (4:09)

    Paul Akers offers some final words of advice to the lean manager or executive who is just starting their lean journey.
  27. FasCap 2014 - Preview (2:15)

    A sneak peak at our return to FastCap to visit their new facility!

FastCap 2014

Returning to Bellingham, Washington, Ron travels to the beautiful Northwest to see a Gemba Academy friend and total lean thinker, Paul Akers, President and Founder of FastCap, LLC. From the morning meeting to the shipping of product at the end of the day, Paul gives Ron a free pass to look anywhere around the new facility and talk to anyone and everyone. Ron gets the full tour and meets new FastCap associates as well as catching up with familiar faces from his past visit.

  1. Welcome Back (6:52)

    Ron drives us up to the new FastCap facility but then goes airborne. After a quick aerial view, Ron meets up with Paul Akers. Paul gives us an update on the new facility and how it was designed for flow, but watch out for the dogs. Also, did Ron find an opportunity for a 2 second improvement?
  2. Lights, Fans, Action (4:52)

    As Paul gives a quick look around the facility, he explains that their flow is because of their flexibility; wheels on cabinets, wheels on carts, standard workstations, no walls, keeping it simple. “When you make work easy, you have energy.”
  3. Morning Meeting - Part 1 (10:23)

    Ron is invited into the morning meeting where he joins the circle of associates. A different associate leads the meeting each day as they discuss where the business is, learn wood types and listen to customer feedback. They also learn about a new topic each day to help them with their daily duties.
  4. Morning Meeting - Part 2 (12:41)

    As the meeting continues, the team discusses process improvements. Can hockey help drive home continuous improvement? Watch and see.
  5. Morning Meeting - Part 3 (14:26)

    Being a good customer of Gemba Academy, the meeting leader queues up and plays a GA video where Ron compares mass production to one-piece flow.
  6. Morning Meeting - Part 4 (9:13)

    The team gets into a discussion about their real-life experiences on one-piece flow. The meeting continues as the team discuss not only “what” and “how” of FastCap, but most importantly the “why”.
  7. Morning Meeting - Part 5 (6:46)

    As the meeting finishes up, Ron listens in as the team talks about the U.S. constitution. After stretching their minds, now they do some physical stretching right before they rate the meeting leader which provides feedback in being better leaders.
  8. The 'Not So Common' Common Area (4:06)

    Paul goes over the design of the common areas just outside the bathroom. Over-processing or long-term thinkers? You be the judge.
  9. The 'Infamous' Bathroom (11:18)

    This is a must see as Paul takes Ron on a tour of the bathroom area. Paul goes over the simple, but thoughtful design and care of this area. Paul shows us first hand how FastCap respects its associates with the process of maintaining the bathrooms to such a high standard.
  10. A Break Room Where You Can Eat Off the Floor (6:52)

    Maybe the dogs are the only ones using the floor to eat from, but the FastCap break area is a clean, lean eating canteen. Ron follows Paul around the break area to see all of the clever ways they have made life easier as well as efficient.
  11. Standard Cleaning Tools and Carts (3:17)

    No matter where you turn, Ron found that each department has a standard set of tools to clean with. Paul also shows off the mobile carts that are used for many processes throughout the facility.
  12. Detailed Assembly With Detailed Precision (4:26)

    With the help of Thomas Watson, Ron and Paul watch him assemble a FastCap product using a simple, but extremely well thought out assembly area of which any associate can use.
  13. 'Build Cells' Within the Racking Areas (10:31)

    Ron and Paul continue through the assembly area, which is located within the inventory racks. Calllie Kendon and Zach Scholten show off their assembly areas and how fast and clean their processes are. Ron finds out how improvements are actually implemented and how Winston Churchill is involved.
  14. Interviews and Training (5:39)

    Ron finds a 3-week-old associate, Michelle Radzimowski to help him understand the FastCap interview process and on-the-job-training. Find out the real meaning of Lean in this segment.
  15. Laserjamb - Just Sounds Cool (7:29)

    Austin Miles shows Ron how he assembles the Laserjamb in a one-piece flow cell, the second product that FastCap ever produced. Ron gives some background to the counter-clockwise direction of motion in an assembly cell.
  16. Injection Molding Kanban (5:23)

    Ron talks with Nic Lussier about the injection molding area and the importance of kanban. Nic shares a personal story of his life and where lean and FastCap have helped him.
  17. Engineered to Perfection (12:27)

    Engineer, Dennis Chao shows Ron what happens in the engineering department. From 3D computer modeling to actually printing out a 3D model, Dennis and his department assist FastCap customers bring their products to life. With just a few months on the job, Dennis is focused on reducing waste in the facility and in his personal life.
  18. Visual Queues and Color Codes (9:04)

    After Paul introduces Bentley, the shipping department mascot, Cathy Nicholl shows Ron the improvements added since his last visit. Between low-tech visual queues such as clipboards to the high-tech bar code scanning and labeling of outbound products, the shipping department is designed for quick and accurate flow.
  19. Let Me Speak to the General Manager (4:47)

    Ron reconnects with General Manager, Jon Lussier who reflects over the changes of FastCap through the years. Jon also explains how the team feels like family.
  20. Can I Try? (11:49)

    Jon takes Ron to the new ‘Print Area’ and takes him through the replenishment process. See how Ron takes on the process and follow him along, step by step. Does he get it right?
  21. Morning Meeting - The Whole Thing (53:04)

    All five parts of the morning meeting.
  22. Morning Meeting - Condensed Version (27:36)

    A condensed version of the entire morning meeting.
  23. Fastcap 2014 - Full Video (2:42:59)

    All FastCap 2014 video modules combined.
  24. FastCap 2014 - A 2 Minute Teaser (2:19)

    The promotional teaser for this Gemba Live! series.

Specialty Silicone Fabricators

In this video series we visit Specialty Silicone Fabricators in Paso Robles, California. SSF is a manufacturer of precision silicone components for the medical device industry, providing a full range of processing: molding, extrusion, sheeting, and dipping. SSF's lean efforts over the past decade have transformed the company and enable it to compete globally from facilities in California and Michigan.

  1. SSF Morning Meeting (4:26)

    In this video Steve Kane, VP of Operations at Specialty Silicone Fabricators, walks us through their morning stand-up meeting including how SSF sites from across the country video conference in.
  2. SSF's Lean Journey (4:23)

    Ron Pereira and Steve Kane explore Specialty Silicone Fabricators lean journey, including how they leverage Gemba Academy.
  3. Customer-Focused Culture (0:54)

    Steve Kane explains the 3 fundamentals that all SSF associates strive to perfect - mastery, autonomy, and purpose.
  4. Cross-Training Board (1:51)

    In this video we learn how SSF leverages cross training boards throughout their facility.
  5. Point-of-Use Shadow Boards (1:01)

    Learn how SSF uses colored shadow boards, making it easy for operators to have the tools they need, when they need them.
  6. Point-of-Use Tooling (1:20)

    Chuck Desonia, a SSF Process Development Technician, explains how Lean Thinking has positively impacted his work, especially as it relates to Quick Changeover.
  7. Molding Chart Verification (0:48)

    Daniel Morales, a Process Development Technician, explains how they use a form of Kamishibai cards to ensure the molding operation is setup correctly each day.
  8. Rolling Tool Cart (1:33)

    In this video we see a different style of tool cart and hear why management didn't force the operators to add "shadows" to the board.
  9. Flexible Cells (2:26)

    In this video we learn how SSF reconfigures cells in order to meet their customers needs.
  10. Lean Leadership (6:12)

    In this video Steve Kane, VP of Operations at Specialty Silicone Fabricators, shares his thoughts on how a Lean Leader should operate.
  11. Visual Factory - Production (1:52)

    Michelle Trejo, a Production Supervisor at SSF, explains how they leverage visual white boards to manage their daily work including how they track continuous improvement ideas.
  12. Visual Factory - Process Development (1:42)

    Rob Connelly, Manufacturing Engineering Manager at SSF, explains how the Process Review Team for SSF's molding department operates on a daily basis.


In this video series we visit Pro CNC in Bellingham, Washington. Pro CNC is an ISO 9001, AS9100 certified, and ITAR registered full service provider of engineering services, contract assembly, rapid prototype 3D printing and vertically integrated CNC machine shop. Throughout this "Gemba Live" series of videos you'll see how Pro CNC places a high level of importance on building and maintaining a lean culture throughout the organization.

  1. Kelsey Heikoop Interview (12:49)

    Ron asks Kelsey Heikoop, Lean Champion, about their organization's lean journey.
  2. Caleb Barber Interview (6:51)

    Ron talks to Caleb Barber, Project Manager, about lean in the office and the importance of kaizen team participation.
  3. Matt Ambrose (11:10)

    In this interview, Ron talks to Matt Ambrose, Process Engineer and Design, about standard work in the machine shop and the advantages of striving for one-piece flow.
  4. Mobile Work Stations (4:06)

    Ron talks with Matt Ambrose, Process Engineering and Design, about how his mobile work station helps him deliver higher quality and reduce waste in the machine shop.
  5. Inventory Control (3:07)

    Ron is back with Matt Ambrose, Process Engineering and Design, talking about a two bin mobile cart used for inventory control.
  6. Standard Work Combination Sheets (7:17)

    Kelsey Heikoop, Lean Champion, explains to Ron how Pro CNC uses standard work combination sheets.
  7. Kaizen Event (5:23)

    Ron talks to Kelsey Heikoop, Lean Champion, about a current kaizen event as well as the overall approach to kaizen events at Pro CNC.


A visit to Lear's Automotive Seating Systems factory in Duncan, South Carolina.

  1. Elie Ghazal Interview (7:26)

    Elie Ghazal provides an overview of Lear Corporation's Continuous Improvement initiative including some of the successes and challenges they've faced.
  2. Nicole Davies Interview (4:58)

    Nicole Davies provides additional insight into how Lear has benefited from Lean & Six Sigma.
  3. Glenn Pennington Interview (5:40)

    Glenn Pennington shares how his North & South American teams leverage continuous improvement on a daily basis. Glenn also shares how they're benefiting from Gemba Academy videos for 30 minutes each and every day!
  4. Juan Gomez Interview (5:09)

    Juan Gomez, a Master Black Belt, explains how he leverages Six Sigma tools and techniques to improve processes on a continuous basis.
  5. Lear Factory 1 (4:20)

    Dave Brown, Plant Manager at Lear's Duncan, South Carolina plant introduces us to the products they produce. Dave also begins our "virtual tour" of the plant as we see how automotive seats evolve throughout the assembly process.
  6. Lear Factory 2 (4:15)

    We continue our virtual tour with Dave Brown and witness some incredible automation. We also see examples Poka Yoke as well as how their automated guided carts operate.

NFI Industries

In this video series we visit NFI Industries in Chino Hills, California. NFI is a 3PL that got started with lean a year before this episode was filmed. As you’ll see, NFI has made huge strides in a short time and, while they admittedly have much more to accomplish, you’ll see how passionate the NFI managers and associates are to improve every aspect of their business.

  1. On Our Way to NFI (1:02)

    While driving the highways of Chino Hills, CA Ron Pereira tells us how this NFI Gemba Live! Episode came to be.
  2. NFI Introduction (6:45)

    Ron Pereira and Ted Makros, NFI’s Director of Operations, discuss what NFI does as well as how they got started on their lean journey.
  3. Kaizen Wall of Fame (9:10)

    As Ted and Ron stand in front of NFI’s Kaizen Wall of Fame, Ted explains how their team got started documenting & sharing “the simple things” on their kaizen wall of fame after watching and getting inspired by Gemba Academy videos.
  4. Safety Bowling (3:00)

    Just like NFI’s Kaizen Wall of Fame, Ted Makros explains how their team gets more involved with safety awareness through a game called “safety bowling.”
  5. NFI Story Board (14:05)

    Ted Makros shares the Story Board that the team can view for quick updates as to their daily performance in safety, quality and production.
  6. Facility Audits (3:00)

    Ted describes how difficult Facility Audits have been in the past but now the team is fully prepared and excited as they just scored one of the highest audit scores in NFI history.
  7. A3 Display Board (5:14)

    Ron meets up with Juan Hernandez, one of NFI’s Operation Managers, who describes their commitment to easier and better procedures through one of NFI’s A3 display boards.
  8. Kamishibai Board (6:25)

    After learning how a Kamishbai Board was used in a manufacturing facility on a Gemba Academy video, Operations Manager Annette Martinez brought that same concept into NFI to help audit several departments.
  9. NFI's First 5S Event (5:38)

    Ted shows off NFI’s first 5S event that focused on improving equipment efficiency. Ron gets a first-hand look at how the equipment operators work with each other.
  10. Mobile Productivity Board (7:24)

    Ron finds, Operations Supervisor, Jose Guizar as he discusses his mobile productivity board and how his team gets a quick, visual update. Juan also introduces us to his newly created mobile packing “toolbox.”
  11. The Lean Office (5:28)

    Ron takes us out of the warehouse and into the office area to meet Liz Mendoza, Office Manager. Liz describes how LEAN has help them improve the office procedures.
  12. Kaizen Report Out (12:46)

    Office Manager, Liz Mendoza, and her team present the improvements made during a recent office kaizen event.
  13. The Visual Office (5:00)

    Ron finds another area in the office where NFI’s journey has helped them improve their work standards.
  14. The Lean Impact (3:00)

    Customer Service Representative, Zulema Olvera, finds herself ‘volunteered’ to go on camera as she gives a candid account of how LEAN has affected her and NFI.
  15. Lean Skeptic Turned Believer (2:56)

    Back in the warehouse, Ron meets with Brenda Oropeza, Processor, who admits in the beginning wasn’t sure about lean, but now “loves it.” She goes on to show Ron why.
  16. NFI Wrap-Up (3:11)

    As he summarizes what NFI has accomplished, Ted Makros offers some advice to other companies as they begin their lean journey.

Platt Technical High School

A visit to a new and very different Gemba Live! location: Platt Technical High School in Milford, Connecticut.

  1. Introducing Platt Tech (1:18)

    Driving in Milford, Connecticut, Ron goes to “a very cool and very different” Gemba Live location; Platt Technical High School.
  2. David Tuttle (6:38)

    Ron meets up with David Tuttle, Manufacturing Department Head and Instructor, who shares his background and why he went from industry to teaching as well as an overview of the school program.
  3. In the Principal's Office (7:04)

    Is doesn’t take long for Ron to get called into Principal Sheila Williams’ office. While he’s there, they discuss her first views of the program. She goes on to talk about the student’s leadership and differences between a comprehensive and technical program in high schools.
  4. Student Problem Solving (6:23)

    As Ron and Principal Williams continue their discussions on student problem solving and growing lean principles throughout all departments, she focuses on what lies ahead for her school.
  5. John Murphy (3:45)

    Ron talks with Manufacturing Consultant, John Murphy, about the needs of industry and how that message drives technical education.
  6. Raul Robles (7:03)

    Student, Raul Robles, tells how he “connected” with the HS manufacturing program as Ron digs into his skills at school and on the job.
  7. Rmani Griffin (3:25)

    Ron finds another senior, Rmani Griffin, and quizzes him on what the program has taught him and how he has been able to use that knowledge at home on his closet.
  8. Crystin Engram (2:49)

    Ron sits down with student, Crystin Engram, about her choice of trades and what lean means to her.
  9. Jose Dominguez (3:54)

    Transfer student, Jose Dominguez, shows Ron his NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) project and the math it takes to produce it.
  10. Touring the Shop (2:07)

    Dave Tuttle takes Ron on a tour of the shop. Their first stop is at the 9th and 10th grade area – manual machines, tools and toolboxes.
  11. Organizational Skills (2:13)

    Dave Tuttle shows off his student’s organizational skills.
  12. CNC Room (3:34)

    Ron continues his tour as Dave takes him to the CNC (Computer Numerical Control) area where the upper classman work. They discuss more of what the students learn as they gain technology experience.
  13. From Blueprint to Reality (3:40)

    Now in the CNC milling area, David Tuttle explains how the students must have a spatial understanding or 3D knowledge to go from blueprint to reality.
  14. Paul Hoffman, Orange Research (4:13)

    Ron stays after class to find Paul Hoffmann, President, Orange Research, Inc. They discuss how industry helps guide education.

Aluminum Trailer Company

Ron visits Aluminum Trailer Company (ATC) - in Nappanee, Indiana. A major focus of this visit is to look at ATC's use of Training Within Industry (TWI).

  1. Arriving at ATC (4:13)

    After flying into Chicago O’Hare airport, Ron drives another 125 miles to visit ATC Trailers in Nappanee, Indiana. ATC’s Tom Albrecht has assembled a rather large, but organized agenda for Ron so that he can view their progress utilizing TWI.
  2. Demonstrating TWI JI (2:28)

    Ron is introduced to two ATC employees; Chad and Glenn. Playing the parts of a new employee and trainer, Steve will use TWI (JI) Job Instruction to train Chad on a process.
  3. Demonstrating Job Breakdown (7:36)

    Ron meets Ray and Larry on the ATC assembly line. They demonstrate how to so a job breakdown on a process.
  4. Reviewing a Job Breakdown (4:40)

    Once the job breakdown is complete, Ray and Larry go over the information and find that changes can be made. Ron follows-up with them to better understand how it fits into training.
  5. ATC Culture (4:00)

    Ron gets a quick lesson from Tom about their culture and how it both benefits and challenges ATC.
  6. Training with TWI (7:43)

    Ron meets Josh, one of ATC’s productions supervisors. They discuss ATC training before and after the practice of TWI as well as the proper introduction.
  7. Scheduling Training (2:27)

    Ron and Tom travel down the road, about 3 miles, to visit ATC plant # 2. Tom shows Ron how training is scheduled.
  8. Demonstrating Training (9:07)

    Still inside plant # 2, Tom introduces Ron to John and Steve. While John explains how training is now done, Steve demonstrates how he was trained to ‘run screws’ in a consistent pattern.
  9. Steve's Training Experience (1:59)

    After his screw demonstration, Ron talks more with Steve about his long time job experience versus his new employee status training at ATC.
  10. Training Dealers (6:45)

    After getting back to plant #1, Ron finds himself in the office area talking with Dave and Trent. They show Ron how they are using TWI to help train their dealers.
  11. Cross Training (10:52)

    Still in the office area, Ron meets up with Lori as she prepares to cross-train Lyndon on a process.
  12. TWI Planning (5:23)

    Ron and Tom go more in-depth with Lori on their specific TWI planning and what each team member’s responsibilities are.
  13. The Lean Desk (2:52)

    Lori shows off her ‘lean desk’ that was engineered by ATC to help combat office fatigue in the afternoon.
  14. Job Breakdowns and Dealer Training (2:32)

    Ron meets back up with David as they discuss the use of job breakdowns and video to help with dealer training.
  15. TWI Lessons Learned (4:53)

    Ron and Tom meet up in the assembly area to wrap-up the day. Ron asks Tom candidly about the lessons he has learned so far and what advice he would give to others interested in implementing TWI.
  16. CEO Perspective - Part 1 (7:16)

    Ron finds CEO and Founder, Steve Brenneman in a custom trailer on the line. In this Part 1 of 2 parts, Ron finds out why Steve decided to use lean and TWI at ATC Trailers.
  17. CEO Perspective - Part 2 (6:32)

    In part 2 of Ron’s interview with Steve Brenneman as they talk about ATC’s second initiative of a custom sales Configurator. Ron also asks Steve advice to others who might want to start their own lean journey with TWI.
  18. ATC - Full Video (1:30:30)

    The entire 17 piece Gemba Live at ATC Trailers.

Menlo Innovations

Ron visits one of the most innovative software development firms in the world, Menlo Innovations. After reading Richard Sheridan’s book, Joy, Inc., we wanted to find out how they changed the culture of Menlo Innovations by adding what they call “the business value of joy“ in their workplace.

  1. Welcome to Menlo Innovations (2:33)

    Welcome to Ann Arbor, Michigan and Menlo Innovations.
  2. Meet Richard Sheridan (2:32)

    Richard Sheridan meets Ron for his tour of Menlo. Rich gives us a brief description of what we will see along the way as well as what we won’t see.
  3. The History Of Menlo (9:34)

    Rich takes Ron through a whiteboard mini-lesson of how it all got started. Rich illustrates their path from chaos to structure.
  4. Software Project Planning (17:38)

    Ron finds out how tactile Menlo is as they discuss the planning stage of every software project.
  5. Work Authorization Board (9:04)

    Rich takes Ron over to the next visual encounter that they call the “work authorization board” displaying the work that needs to be done.
  6. The Kick Off (8:42)

    Ron and Rich look on as the team meets to ‘kick off’ a new project.
  7. Measuring Work (10:24)

    Back at the “work authorization board”, Rich shows Ron how they measure what’s been done just like their customers do.
  8. Morning Stand Up Meeting (4:10)

    The Menlo morning meeting called “stand up” begins as the team circles and announces what each team is doing.
  9. More on Rich (9:48)

    Ron gets a chance to sit down with Rich who gives us more insights into his background.
  10. 2-Person Teams (9:56)

    Ron asks, “what’s this concept called pairing”? Rich explains how 2-person teams work better - more efficiently, more effectively, with better quality.
  11. Culture (11:54)

    Ron meets up with programmer, Ian Feldt, to find out what he thinks of the company’s culture.
  12. Open Book Finance Board (6:08)

    Rich shows Ron the “open book finance board” which employees, customers and any one can see where the company is financially from quarter to quarter.
  13. The Interview Process (3:52)

    Ron finds David, a 5-day old employee who explains a little about the interview process.
  14. Babies and Dogs (6:10)

    Caution, baby and dog crossing! Ron finds out why this sign is hanging up in the factory floor.
  15. High Tech Anthropology (3:29)

    High Tech Anthropology explained: the study of people in the place where they work and how that helps them build the best software.
  16. High Tech Anthropology Examples (10:10)

    Rich shows Ron some of the examples the High Tech Anthropologists put together to convey what they have learned back to their customer.
  17. Thomas and Whitney (6:37)

    Ron tracks down two High Tech Anthropologists, Thomas and Whitney, as they explain what they do and how it improves the process.
  18. Share the Joy (4:25)

    Ron gets back with Rich for some final thoughts before saying good-bye.
  19. Menlo Innovations - Full Video (2:32:45)

    Single video with all segments.

CCBRT Tanzania

Kevin Meyer visits CCBRT in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. CCBRT (Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania) is a large NGO that provides health services in the country. Mike Grogan has been working with them to leverage lean and continuous improvement methods to increase efficiency, efficacy, and capacity.

  1. Welcome to CCBRT and Mike Grogan (6:62)

    We arrive at CCBRT and Mike Grogan tells us about his background and passion for helping the organization.
  2. The How We Make It Better Board (4:06)

    Mike describes the board near the main patient reception area that tells the story of CCBRT's continuous improvement efforts.
  3. CCBRT's Continuous Improvement Culture (3:02)

    Mike describes how the culture of CCBRT has changed to focus on continuous improvement.
  4. CCBRT Belt Program (4:17)

    Mike describes the CCBRT continuous improvement belt program.
  5. Executive Committee & CEO Action Boards (5:33)

    Mike describes the visual management boards used by the CCBRT executive committee and the CCBRT CEO.
  6. Maternal Division Management Room (4:40)

    Mike takes us on a tour of the Maternal Division Management Room, an obeya room with several visual boards.
  7. Haika Mawalla, Deputy CEO (5:23)

    Haika Mawalla, Deputy CEO of CCBRT, gives us her perspective on the continuous improvement and lean journey of CCBRT.
  8. Dr. Brenda D'Mellow (5:01)

    Dr. Brenda D'Mellow tells us how lean methods and visual management have reduced the time it takes to create and distribute key reports. NOTE: due to audio quality issues, English captions have been created for this video. Click on the CC icon to enable the captions.

Techno Aerospace

Ron Pereira travels to Miami, Florida to visit the team of Techno Coatings, a division of Techno Aerospace, which offers a wide range of services from plating to finishing to restoration. Started some 30 years ago from a true “Mom and Pop” shop, this company now serves a global market with the help of its combined manufacturing and finishing experience, highly skilled workforce and professional management team. Come along with Ron as he learns how Techno Aerospace’s founder and team went from resisting Lean to fully embracing it.

  1. Arriving at Techno Aerospace (2:12)

    As Ron drives in to Techno Aerospace, he gives us a hint of the jam-packed agenda from this ‘high mix, high volume’ company.
  2. Juan Pablo, CEO (21:02)

    CEO, tour guide and Spanish translator, Juan Pablo, son of the founder, takes Ron on a virtual tour from their humble beginning in 1981, where and how their lean journey began, and their growth, both the company and the team, using the tools and knowledge they acquired.
  3. Hoshin Kanri (Policy Deployment) Brought to Life (13:52)

    Ron has the opportunity to talk with Andres Vargas, VP of Strategic Management, about how Techno Aerospace brings their Hoshin Planning to life.
  4. Gain Sharing (11:54)

    Ron explores how the whole team works together to meet customer needs while also potentially earning a cash reward each and every pay cycle.
  5. Saul Camargo, Founder & Chairman (16:22)

    Ron gets the opportunity to sit down and talk with the founder and Chairman, Saul Camargo. Ron finds out that you are never too old to be innovative and embrace change.
  6. Mini Companies & Value Streams (10:03)

    Juan Pablo introduces Ron to Account Manager, Elisa Lawrence, who explains how their team operated before and after Lean.
  7. "Not Angry, Motivated" (4:38)

    Production Manager, Leo Mendoza, explains to Ron how his team thinks and works – even under pressure.
  8. Creating a New Way of Doing Business (8:47)

    Ron finds the Performance Improvement Manager, Andres Filipe Ramirez, in the Plastics Cell. Filipe shows Ron how the employees created this work area from the ground up.
  9. Auditing Using the T-Board (5:26)

    Filipe and Ron look over Techno’s take on the kamishibai audit system.
  10. 5S Auditing (3:29)

    While still at the T-Board, Ron takes a closer look at the 5S auditing process.
  11. Additional 5S Information (8:18)

    Ron visits with Yunel Rodriguez who shares some additional 5S information including how their “company meeting area” is quickly set up and torn back down two times every month.
  12. The Art of Polishing (in English) (13:06)

    As they walk through the shop, Ron and Juan Pablo meet up with Wilson Sanchez and get a first-class presentation on how the polishing process works. This version is in English.
  13. The Art of Polishing (in Spanish) (13:32)

    As they walk through the shop, Ron and Juan Pablo meet up with Wilson Sanchez and get a first-class presentation on how the polishing process works. This version is in Spanish.
  14. Cells & Cross Training (8:01)

    Ron visits with Jeanne Guzman, a production operator, speaks about her U-shaped work cell operates. She also shares how cross training makes it all work!
  15. Techno's Kanban System (5:17)

    Ron and Felipe explore the Kanban system used throughout Techno Aerospace.
  16. Setup Reduction in Action (3:50)

    Felipe explains how the clear coat department has implemented Quick Changeover to make a radical improvement!
  17. Takt Capability (4:10)

    We learn how Techno Aerospace leverages the takt time concept in their high volume high mix work environment.
  18. 5S Auditing in the Office (2:43)

    Ron chats with Monica Munoz, a Performance Improvement Intern, about her duties which include 5S auditing.
  19. All Employees Meeting (7:37)

    In this condensed video, we see a glimpse of what a Techno Aerospace meeting is like. As you’ll see, they like to have fun while also focusing on core aspects of their business.
  20. Practicing 3P (4:48)

    Felipe tells us about their facility including how they leveraged the lean concept of 3P.
  21. Jewel Box or BHAG? (14:40)

    Juan Pablo takes Ron through the journey of becoming Techno Aerospace.
  22. Final Words from the CEO (7:42)

    Ron and Juan Pablo wrap up the day with some final words including what Juan Pablo would do differently if he could do it all over again.

West Texas A&M University

Ron travels to Canyon, Texas - home of the “Thundering Herd” at West Texas A&M University to see how they have taken Lean Six Sigma into the classroom and all over the campus.

  1. Ron Gets a "Walk On" (1:29)

    Before he discusses Lean Six Sigma with the Professors and Staff of WTAMU, Ron channels his inner quarterback as he introduces this Gemba Live! series.
  2. Bryan Glenn - Director of Purchasing & Inventory Services (9:51)

    As Ron starts his tour, he sits down with Bryan Glenn, Director of Purchasing and Inventory Services, WTAMU, in the middle of campus to get an overview of the day, a little history of the school and their lean journey.
  3. J. Patrick O'Brien - President (17:11)

    The next stop brings Ron into the conference room of President, J. Patrick O’brien, Ph.D. Ron confirms the driving force behind the lean culture is driven from the top, down. Dr. O’brien shares his past quality history with Ron as well as the future of the University.
  4. Getting Donor Money Faster (14:29)

    One of WTAMU’s LSS graduates and Senior Health Careers Promotion Coordinator, WTAMU, Tammy Stamps talks to Ron about her class project and other projects she has been part of since learning about Lean such as her involvement with getting the process of donor money to flow faster.
  5. Keeping Your Place in Line (9:14)

    Ron has a discussion with Associate Professor, English, Philosophy and Modern Languages Department Head, Stephen E. Severn, Ph.D., WTAMU about his LSS leadership role as he champion’s projects such as student transfers. Dr. Severn explains that before they took on this project, transfer students would continually get kicked to the back of the line in the computer system as they processed their applications.
  6. Making Money Faster (13:01)

    Ron visits the Student Success Center in the heart of the University as he talks with Denese Skinner, Director of Career Services, WTAMU and also the Staff Champion for Continuous Improvement. Ron finds that she and her team worked on understanding and improving the time it takes students to go from filling out paperwork to being on the job, making money.
  7. Meet Me at "The Club" (8:11)

    Ron’s final stop takes him to the “Legends Club” which is a great place to study, meet, or simply hang out. While hanging out, Ron finds Patrick Bolwahnn, Campus Wide ID Card Administrator, WTAMU and another of Bryan Glenn’s LSS graduates. Ron learns of another process improvement involving their payment system that ended up saving material and time, which in turn makes for better student life.

Daman Products

Gemba Academy hits the road again traveling to snowy Mishawaka, Indiana to visit the team at Daman Products. Daman Products has been committed to building both product and people excellence for over 3 decades. During this series you’ll meet some outstanding individuals as Ron explores the entire facility, including the factory floor and front offices, and discovers an incredibly powerful “culture of trust.”

  1. Daman Products Trailer (2:27)

    The trailer video for the Daman Products series.
  2. A Brief History of Daman Products (12:05)

    After working together on a Gemba Academy Podcast in 2014, Ron finally meets face to face with Larry Davis, President, Daman Products. Larry takes us through the history of Daman Products and overview of their Lean journey to-date.
  3. How Lean Made It Worse (11:01)

    Larry continues sharing how they first learned about Lean and their attempt to implement it.
  4. Be Careful What You Call It (8:21)

    Executive Vice President, Dave Mischler, gives his perspective of Daman Products’ “bloody” implementation to Lean. He also introduces Ron to their 5 autonomous manufacturing cells that each have a unique name.
  5. It's a Great Team, They Help You Out (7:28)

    Ron finds Production Team Member, Garland Doxie, a 6 month veteran at Daman Products. What he has had found is that his team mates, with 20 and 30 years of experience, are always willing to answer any question and help lead him to the right solution.
  6. Management Style - Command and Control vs. Team Leaders (4:30)

    Dave talks more with Ron about how their management style has evolved over time to what it is today.
  7. Selling Daman Products (8:39)

    Ron connects with Vice President of Sales, Gordon Weiler, to discuss how they take their products and their culture to the customer.
  8. The Sense of Ownership (5:33)

    Dave Jaeckel, IT Manager, was “almost shocked” when he came onboard with the amount of trust and responsibility he was given to run his department.
  9. I've Never Been Treated So Nice (3:41)

    After finding his way into the Continuous Improvement lab, Ron talks Daisha Davis, a member of the CI Team. She now assists in the training of new team members making sure they feel the same thing she did, there are no dumb questions.
  10. Things Got a Lot Worse Before Getting Better (7:45)

    Still in the Continuous Improvement lab, Neil Henderson, Continuous Improvement Manager, recalls where he was and what he was doing when the Lean transition began.
  11. Award-Winning Improvement (3:05)

    Neil takes Ron out to the manufacturing floor to show off one of the many improvements made for the operators, the torque multiplier.
  12. Basically, We Help People (9:04)

    Ron finds the place where every employee starts their individual journey with Daman Products, Human Resources.
  13. Offering Financial Wellness (10:39)

    Continuing on their discussion, Ron and Krysten Shoulders, Human Resources Director, talk about personal benefits well beyond the standard vacation and sick days.
  14. A Place for Everything (12:02)

    Back on the shop floor, Ron stops and talks with Thom Sibley, Cell C Team Leader, about what he has seen while at Daman Products. They also discuss their many 5S projects.
  15. I Have a Lot of Trust in the Operator (5:15)

    23 year veteran and Machine Maintenance Manager, Steve Ward, gives Ron the run down on how they work with the operators to keep their systems up and running.
  16. Apparently, It's a Good Place to Work (4:47)

    Ron checks in with Cell A Team Leader, Mike Boots, to discuss the extraordinary amount of team members with long service records.
  17. Driven From the Top (8:08)

    Tim McIntyre, Cell B Team Leader, shares his viewpoint of how Lean has changed the way they do business and the driving force behind it.
  18. We Are People-Driven (7:27)

    1st Shift – Shift Leader, Laura Thomas shows Ron how the Kanban system works as well as how the team drives day-to-day operations.
  19. Trust the Employees (7:51)

    After meeting another member of the CI Team, Jim Tobolski, he takes Ron around the shop floor to view some of the improvements that have been implemented.
  20. Excited About Coming to Work (5:31)

    Ron finds another CI Team Member and Trainer, Ray Roberts, and gets to see an improvement in the making as well as an impromptu training class.
  21. I Feel Needed (2:35)

    Just by chance, Ron met Colin Gibson, Cell B Team Member, in the training room and decided to talk to this new recruit about his first few months on the job. You don’t want to miss this.
  22. What Happens When I Pull the Last Piece Off the Shelf? (5:10)

    Ron gets a detailed walk through Daman Products’ Kanban system with Jim Britton, 1st Shift Cell A Shift Leader.
  23. My Favorite Part is the People (3:05)

    Michael Tribbey, Production Team Leader, shows Ron his part of assembly on one of the most complex manifolds in his cell.
  24. Yeah, I've Heard That Before (4:40)

    Ron finds his way in the shipping area where he meets Dave Reed, Shipping Shift Leader. Besides showing Ron how they get product packed and shipped, Dave explains that Daman Products doesn’t just say the right thing, they actually do it.
  25. Everybody Helps Each Other Out (1:59)

    3 month, Production Team Member, Jordan Verhaeghe, gives Ron his impression of Daman Products through a newcomers eyes.
  26. One Silo for the Customer (8:01)

    Back in the office area, Ron sits down with President, Larry Davis and Distributor Services Manager, Matt Giloth, and hears how the customer has benefited on Daman Products’ continuous improvement path.
  27. What Happens When We Get Bigger (8:13)

    The discussion continues with Ron, Matt and Larry about keeping their Lean culture as they grow.
  28. This is Your Part of the Business. Run it. (8:19)

    Adding Mike McIntyre, Distribution Services – Custom Products, to the conversation, he shares his history as a overnight Foreman when Daman Products first moved to their new facility.
  29. I Remember My Very First Mistake (6:05)

    Julie Alexander, Distributor Services – Project Development, joins the roundtable to discuss how she joined Daman Products and how she has integrated into the team.
  30. Wrap Up with Larry Davis (9:26)

    Larry meets Ron on the shop floor for the final meeting of the day. Larry expresses his personal insight at his company’s changes through the years and how it has affected him.
  31. Wrap Up - Part 2 (12:12)

    Larry uses laminar flow as an example of how Daman Products has designed their work cells.


Ron and the Gemba Academy team visit Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, Michigan to learn how they leverage lean to create a world class mail order food service business.

  1. Welcome to Zingerman's Mail Order (4:41)

    Ron and Tom Root, Managing Partner of Zingerman's Mail Order, meet outside to the "Big House" in Ann Arbor, MI and discuss how Zingerman's Mail Order started their lean journey.
  2. Catch the ZingTrain (7:17)

    Tom walks Ron through Zingerman's training center and introduces the Zingerman's Mission Statement, Business Perspective and their Training Compact.
  3. Hello. How Can We Help You? (10:59)

    Ron starts his tour of Mail Order in the Service Center, where customers call in and start the order process.
  4. Professional Presents (1:10)

    Tom explains why this special group is needed for large quantity gift giving without disrupting the flow.
  5. Introduction to the Sequencer (4:45)

    Tom introduces us to their "Sequencer" which is what their team uses to level and smooth production.
  6. Heijunka at Zingerman's (16:59)

    Tom works through an example of how orders are leveled, or smoothed, before they're released to the shop floor. If you're looking for a real life case of study of heijunka in action this is the video for you!
  7. The Critical Role of IT and Programming (6:19)

    Ron and Tom Bauer explore the world of IT and programming at Zingerman's. Specifically, they talk about how the sequencer was developed and how it's maintained.
  8. Zingerman's IT Philosophy (8:16)

    Tom and Tom share some fun IT horror stories (think orders stacked in milk crates) before getting into a discussion on how IT and software development plays a critical role in the success of the mail order business.
  9. Line Side Kanban System (3:05)

    Tom explains how line side kanban cards are used for popular products.
  10. Prepping the Bread (4:18)

    Bread is an important product for Zingerman's. In this video Tom explains how the bread marketplace is prepared using a combination of kanban cards and their order scheduling system, Eve.
  11. The Hot Station (3:03)

    The hot station deals with high volume items so in this video Tom explains how their dedicated work cells have been developed.
  12. A Very Special Lunch (2:02)

    Tom and Ron meet over lunch, literally, in order to learn why Zingerman's provides a free meal to all employees each and every day.
  13. Setting the Pace at Picking (9:00)

    Once production has been leveled and the materials have been prepped it's time to pick the orders!
  14. "Check," Please! (6:49)

    Ron tries his luck at the quality control "check" station.
  15. Making It Look Good in Assembly (2:58)

    Belinda shows us how the packaging process works... with a little help from Eve!
  16. Getting It All Together at Recombination (4:36)

    When orders are split up, due to leveling, they need to be recombined at the end of the line. We see this happen in this video.
  17. Supercomputing in Packing (7:21)

    Tom recalls a great story of "wits over wallet" as he shows Ron the packing area.
  18. Shipping Made Easy and a Process Recap (6:32)

    With a couple of scans, the customer's package is ready to go.
  19. Now Hiring, the Zingerman's Way (6:45)

    Ron learns how Zingerman's Mail Order has gained a whole new 'respect' on the hiring of new employees.
  20. Zingerman's Wrap Up (8:06)

    At the end of the day, Ron and Tom stop off at 'The Deli' and talk over Zingerman's Community of Businesses.
  21. Zingerman's Trailer (1:34)

    A quick walk through the entire Zingerman's series.

Iowa Lean Conference 2015

The two keynote presentations from the Iowa Lean Consortium conference in 2015.

  1. Paul Akers: Two Second Lean (1:24:05)

    Paul Akers of Fastcap presents Two Second Lean, with examples from his own company and organizations he has visited.
  2. Karl Wadensten: Lean from the Heart (1:01:59)

    Karl Wadensten of VIBCO Vibrators presents Lean from the Heart.

Lean Leadership Week 2015

Lean Leadership Week, orchestrated by Lean Frontiers, was three conferences in one: the Summit on Lean Leadership, Lean Management Summit, and Lean Accounting Summit. In collaboration with Lean Frontiers, Gemba Academy brings you the presentations. More presentations are currently being edited and will be added as they become available. Check back!

  1. Jamie Flinchbaugh - Leading Lean as an Operating System (55:41)

    Jamie Flinchbaugh's keynote address describes how executive leadership can create and lead a lean transformation.
  2. Michael Ballé - Lead with Respect (1:04:57)

    Lean is a method to achieve your objectives by developing people – but what, exactly, does developing people mean in practice? Such development will not occur on its own, without the requisite form of leadership to sustain it. In this presentation, Michael Ballé details the 7-step model of lean leadership to learn hands-on how to become a successful lean leader.
  3. Mike Wroblewski - Leadership in Sustaining a Kaizen Culture (31:04)

    Mike Wroblewski highlights the meaning, mindset and leadership necessary to create and sustain a kaizen culture. Having a strong culture is not the same as having a kaizen culture. The act of creating a kaizen culture cannot be separated from sustaining it.
  4. Brian Maskell - 15 Behaviors of Lean Executives (1:02:09)

    In most companies the people look to their senior managers to set the tone and ethos of the business. Making cultural change is demanding, difficult and risky. The people in the company need a great deal of leading if these changes are to really occur and then be sustained. In this presentation we will discuss 14 behaviors executives must exemplify if they want to be all-day, every-day leaders of lean change.
  5. Mike Wroblewski - Creating a Kaizen Culture (52:18)

    Transforming a culture is far more about emotional growth than technical maturity. This presentation explains how to enable an adaptive, excellent, and sustainable organization by leveraging core kaizen values and the behaviors they generate.
  6. Lori Siwik - Lean Risk Management (59:45)

    This presentation discusses how lean principles can be applied to the risk management function in an organization. Lean Risk Management will be defined, the goals of an organization implementing Lean Risk Management will be identified, and specific applications of Lean principles to the Risk Management function will be discussed.
  7. Kim Barnas - Moving Beyond Heroics Using Lean Thinking (1:00:35)

    Kim Barnas has a story to tell about how her team created a management system; one that is stable and lean, from frontline supervisors to the president that creates a new culture of continuous improvement. Through this journey, Barnas now has a necessary road map for a better healthcare system that can be customized for other organizations willing to face the rocky terrain ahead.
  8. Cheryl Jekiel - How I Develop Leaders (20:48)

    Much of what is missing in today’s leadership development programs is sufficient long term skill building that’s required in order to make a significant difference in demonstrated abilities. This presentation reviews what is needed in long term solutions to train leaders needed for a lean enterprise and the four critical elements of successful lean leadership development.
  9. Bill Waddell - People, Process, Prosperity (18:13)

    Bill discusses the fuzziness of numbers, importance of people, and moral leadership.
  10. Brian Maskell - Solving the Standard Cost Problem (1:00:55)

    Standard Costing and it’s related methods are actively harmful to lean organizations. Standard measurements, variance reports, and overhead absorption drive anti-lean behaviors.
  11. Sam MacPherson - The Obeya: The Secret to Achieving Lean Management System Excellence (1:04:48)

    For first-time visitors to Toyota Motor Corporation’s HQ in Japan and other Toyota locations throughout the world, many are surprised to discover an operating environment without traditional cubicles and offices – the Obeya. Obeya Management is the best way to manage Lean Operations and create highly engaged Lean Leaders through face-to-face communications, collaboration, organizational problem solving, and teamwork.
  12. Jacob Stoller - Core Beliefs: The Defining Element of Lean Leadership (55:48)

    When business analysts probe the question of leadership, the conversation often turns to personalities – essentially, what is the personal DNA that defines the ideal leader? Testimony from 28 leaders featured in The Lean CEO, however, reveals no such profile – instead, we see leaders with a wide range of personalities who share a set of core beliefs.
  13. Joe Murli - The Lean Management System (54:23)

    A fundamental attribute of a lean management system is an environment of continuous improvement. Most organizations attempting a lean transformation have struggled with creating such an environment. Too often we find that the gains of process improvement are not sustained and even if they are sustained, it is difficult to drive continuous improvement above and beyond what has already been put into place.
  14. Orry Fiume - Understanding the Role of Lean Leadership (59:23)

    After almost two decades of seeing so many companies try, and fail, to transform themselves into a Lean Company it has become obvious that something has been missing. And that something is The Lean Leader. Who is this person and how must their role, and therefore their behaviors, need to change?
  15. Bob Miller - Leader Lead Culture (40:42)

    The most important and difficult work a leader will ever do it to build a sustainable culture of excellence. This is not a work that can be delegated down to a mid-level appointee. Only senior leadership teams can create the conditions that lead to enterprise wide cultural transformation.

Steve Kane - Becoming a Lean Leader and Implementing a Customer-Focused Culture

Kenco provides integrated logistics solutions that include distribution and fulfillment, comprehensive transportation management, material handling services, real estate management, and information technology—all engineered for Operational Excellence. They asked Steve Kane, Gemba Academy’s Director of Sales and Marketing, to come to Chattanooga, Tennessee to give the keynote opening presentation to all of the managers of their 5 companies.

  1. Trailer (2:13)

    A brief two minute trailer on Steve's presentation.
  2. Discovering the Reality of Lean Leadership (13:33)

    Steve starts by giving his work background and the extensive training he has had in Lean. As he takes on a new leadership role, he knows his lean training will make everything go smoothly, but it doesn’t.
  3. Discovering a New Leadership Style (11:16)

    Reluctant to try new things, Steve is talked into visiting another company practicing lean. While there, the ‘light bulb’ finally goes off about how to utilize his lean training. He also learns that the management style needs to make a major change, which will affect everyone in the company.
  4. Changing from Managers to Leaders (13:19)

    Once back at his own facility, Steve explains how he and his staff, simply put, changed from managers to leaders and then goes on to detail how the team responded.
  5. Lean Tools vs. Lean Humanity (9:04)

    Steve shares what true leadership is and how its effectiveness drives the team vision. He also explains the difference between lean tools and lean’s treatment of humanity.
  6. Creating an Effective Culture (9:11)

    Steve finishes up his presentation of becoming an effective leader and how to create an effective company culture with several important key points that he has learned.
  7. Questions on the Real World (24:17)

    Steve opens the floor for questions. As you’ll see, the audience asks some important, ‘real world’ questions that Steve is able to give them ‘real word’ answers to.
  8. More Q&A (20:40)

    During the Q&A time, the meeting leader thought it would be a good idea to break the management staff into groups so that each group could work together to formulate two questions a piece for Steve.

Mike Wroblewski at Siouxland Lean

The Siouxland Lean Conference was held at Western Iowa Technical Community College on January 15, 2014. Keynote speaker Mike Wroblewski, Director of the Kaizen Institute, presents “Create a Kaizen Culture”.

  1. Mike Wroblewski (Part 1) (8:47)

    As Mike begins his presentation, he gives us his 30 year background in the industry.
  2. Mike Wroblewski (Part 2) (9:09)

    Mike explains how he was introduced to Lean and then he goes onto discussing some common strategies.
  3. Mike Wroblewski (Part 3) (9:45)

    Mike compares and contrasts the differences between tools and culture.
  4. Mike Wroblewski (Part 4) (12:18)

    Mike goes over the basic tools of Lean and the importance of leadership.
  5. Mike Wroblewski (Part 5) (8:20)

    Mike explains the role of a leader, the differences between results vs. process and standard work.
  6. Mike Wroblewski (Part 6) (5:49)

    Mike continues his discussion on standard work and standards.
  7. Mike Wroblewski (Part 7) (5:09)

    During the question and answer period, Mike goes into depth about employee engagement and company culture.
  8. Mike Wroblewski (Full Version) (58:42)

    The full version of the Mike Wroblewski keynote.

Denny Van Zanten at Siouxland Lean

The Siouxland Lean Conference was held at Western Iowa Technical Community College on January 15, 2014. Keynote speaker Denny Van Zanten, Senior Group Vice President of Pella, presents "Using Lean to Present a Better View."

  1. Denny Van Zanten (Part 1) (7:17)

    Denny describes the 4 things each Pella CEOs required from their CI program. He starts his presentation by challenging the group “how to leverage CI for more than just tactical cost savings”.
  2. Denny Van Zanten (Part 2) (9:28)

    Denny talks about Pella’s background - where they have come from; then and now.
  3. Denny Van Zanten (Part 3) (9:17)

    As Pella implements CI, Denny discusses how it satisfies CEO #1’s cost reduction requirement.
  4. Denny Van Zanten (Part 4) (10:04)

    Denny takes us through Pella’s 20 year ‘Lean Journey’ showcasing individual development while he discusses meeting CEO #2’s process management focus requirement.
  5. Denny Van Zanten (Part 5) (5:55)

    Denny presents how CI satisfies CEO # 3’s and #4’s requirements of growth and strategy.
  6. Denny Van Zanten (Part 6) (2:16)

    Denny outlines Pella’s keys to success as he reminds us that it is “all about people”.
  7. Denny Van Zanten (Part 7) (10:21)

    Denny answers questions from the audience including more in-depth about value stream mapping, how to convince the boss into using CI, and how participants stay with the program because it’s "fun as well as successful” .
  8. Denny Van Zanten (Full Version) (54:00)

    Denny Van Zanten, Senior Group Vice President of Pella, presents 20 years of Continuous Improvement. This is the full keynote.

Creating a Kaizen Culture with Jon Miller

Gemba Academy co-founder Jon Miller presents to a group of executives in Denton, Texas on Creating a Kaizen Culture.

  1. Jon Miller (Part 1) (9:46)

    Who is Jon Miller? Monsters and warning signs.
  2. Jon Miller (Part 2) (9:29)

    Monsters, continued. Culture, process, and results.
  3. Jon Miller (Part 3) (11:13)

    Organizational culture.
  4. Jon Miller (Part 4) (10:46)

    Culture, continued. How to practice.
  5. Jon Miller (Part 5) (11:19)

    How do you get people engaged?
  6. Jon Miller (Part 6) (9:59)

    Daily management projects.
  7. Jon Miller (Part 7) (8:17)

    Individually, what can I do? Summary.
  8. Jon Miller (Full Version) (1:10:27)

    Full version of Jon's presentation to a group of executives in Denton, Texas.

Siouxland Lean Conference - 2014

Presentations from the 2014 Siouxland Lean Conference.

  1. Daktronics - Rejoice the wins, Rebuild after the losses and Remember the scars (54:36)

    Daktronics shares their lean journey, seven years in the making, and their efforts to mentor people and improve processes to make a culture of lean thinkers.
  2. Burgess Health Center – Why Huddle (1:02:51)

    Rob Stowe shares the story of their huddle process rollout; from creating meaningful and easily understandable organizational goals to leader coaching on creation of daily metrics.
  3. Mercy Medical Center - Building Consensus before Walls (50:29)

    Mercy's standard practice that all capital level installations require a 2P Lean Event as a best practice. This presentation is the story of their Lean Event for a new 3T Siemens MRI.

Siouxland Lean Conference - 2015

Presentations from the 2015 Siouxland Lean Conference.

  1. Mary Vermeer Andringa - Making a Real Impact in a Progressing World (1:07:26)

    2015 Siouxland Lean Consortium Morning Keynote with Mary Vermeer Andringa, CEO and Chair of the Board, Vermeer Corporation, talks about the history of the company her father began in 1948 and their use of continuous improvement. Using examples of how Vermeer uses CI, Mary introduces the basics to the audience.
  2. Jim Fitzpatrick - Driving Improvement in Patient Care Outcomes (1:08:01)

    2015 Siouxland Lean Consortium Afternoon Keynote with Jim “Fitz” Fitzpatrick, President and CEO, Mercy Medical Center gives some background how patients are cared for, the continuous improvement learning curve and their results at the Mason City and Sioux City, Ia. facilities as well as CI leadership.
  3. Brad Van Berkel - Facilitator Tools for Kaizen Improvement Activities (1:07:48)

    2015 Siouxland Lean Consortium breakout session with Brad Van Berkel, CI Engineer, and Ed Katje, CI Coordinator, Pella Corporation outline commonly used tools and examples of how the Kaizen methodology can be used to keep teams engaged and focused on achieving team objectives to truly realize rapid change for the better.
  4. Dale Zevenbergen - Lean from Business to Academia or Non-Profit (49:46)

    2015 Siouxland Lean Consortium breakout session with Dale Zevenbergen, Professor, Dordt College, discusses how well Lean transfers from a company to an academic environment, sharing similarities and differences.

Lean Kanban NA - Lean Startup

Presentations from the Lean Startup track at the Lean Kanban North American conference. The unique value proposition of Lean Startup to the wider lean community is the laser focus on validating product market fit for new products, companies, or opportunities. Companies seeking to foster innovation culture on their product teams, both startups and large established businesses, are increasingly adopting lean startup approaches as a key component of their strategy for initiating that innovation culture, sustaining it over the long term, and scaling it as they grow their businesses.

  1. Risk Modeling for Lean Startup Teams - Sam McAfee (38:54)

    Lean Startup is all about innovation. And innovation is risky by its nature. While Lean Startup methods are praised for supporting rapid feedback from customers through experiments, it is sometimes criticized for not being quantitative enough in its methods. Fortunately it is possible to quantitatively account for risk while executing the now famous "build measure learn" loop with teams.
  2. Growing an Innovative Culture - Joanne Molesky (39:12)

    The key to understanding lean thinking is that it is primarily a human system. It’s easy to focus on specific practices and techniques such as kanban, but unless all people in your organization cultivate the right mindset, you'll never be able to optimize the end-to-end processes to improve results at the organizational level.
  3. Imagining Lean Biotech - D.J. Kleinbaum (40:58)

    Many of the issues dogging the life science industry result from decades spent focusing on products instead of process. This talk will cover how this has caused many of the current obstacles the industry faces, particularly in the context of start-up pharma and biotech companies.
  4. Modern Analytics: How to Think About Event Data - Michelle Wetzler (40:35)

    New technologies enable us to capture more data than we ever dreamed possible. Now we can record any interaction that happens in a mobile app, website, billing system, bionic heart, or smart device. We call these interactions "event data".
  5. Creating a Sustainable Lean Startup - William Pietri (39:38)

    Lean startups are sustainable startups. To become sustainable, temporary code and sustainable code must be handled differently. Manual testing is unsustainable.
  6. Think Anew, Act Anew - Dave Snowden (1:35:06)

    The title comes from Lincoln, the content from intense frustration that many people are simply talking anew, but thinking and acting in entrained patterns of doing what others have done rather than what is needed in the present. In this presentation, which will be polemical at times, the case will be made for using complexity to rethink they way we act in organisations.

Lean Kanban NA - Lean Applied

Lessons learned from Lean in other domains. Lean and system thinking is transforming both construction and education. Construction projects range from simple, slow and certain to complex, uncertain and quick. Defining and delivering value begins inside the owner’s organization as they sort through the competing demands of customers and internal stakeholders. Likewise, applying system thinking in education beginning with projects – learner co-designed course work, competency based assessment, community integration, and art and design, transform the experience, the educational process and student outcomes.

  1. Choosing by Advantages - Hal Macomber (20:30)

    Choosing By Advantages has been called "standard work for decision-making on lean projects." Participants will learn the fundamental rule for making decisions along with the three supporting principles and the five step CBA process.
  2. Taking the Risk out of High-Risk Endeavors - Digby Christian (34:18)

    A very large proportion of complex capital projects fail. They either exceed the budget they were funded at, open after they were supposed to, were scaled back and compromised from what was promised at the outset, or some combination of all three.
  3. Using Systems Thinking to (re) Create Education - Trace Pickering (43:05)

    American education is not broken, it is obsolete. As such, reform is about fixing what is broken and transformation is about creating the future. This session explores how socio-cultural systems thinking can save communities from repeating the same non-solutions to the "education problem" all over again.
  4. Using Kata to Address Wicked Problems in Safety - Will Lichtig (37:04)

    Construction remains a deadly industry -- over 700 workers are injured on a jobsite everyday, and 3 are killed. Despite improved safety technology, outcomes have been stagnant. Now, companies are beginning to apply lean thinking to improve construction safety. Having seen dramatic improvements as a result of instituting a Continuous Safety improvement program, The Boldt Company has begun using the routine of a "Kata" to develop a new discipline to improving construction safety.
  5. Reinterpreting Lean to Reduce Conflicts - Gregory Howell (37:40)

    Task deconfliction has been the primary concern of management since the industrial age. Management practices and tools, including those applied to projects, focused on deconfliction with little concern for synergy. Work flowed through Ford’s production without interference. In projects, the Critical Path Method assures work was done in sequence without interference. In both cases, deconfliction was chosen over synergy.
  6. Decision Making Across Time and Space: Lessons from NASA - Kathleen Mosier (1:09:34)

    In space and aviation operations, effective and efficient communication between ground and space/air is essential for successful task performance and mission safety. The importance of team communication is heightened when unforeseen problems arise, such as system failures that are time-critical and require extensive coordination and collaboration between space and ground crews.

Lean Kanban NA - Evolving Product Management

What is the role of product management in the new world of product development? Is it primarily a technical function? Or is it more about business? Today’s methods favor light processes, face-to-face interaction, and brief artifacts. However, executive management seems to miss the rich detail from the “old school” documents: GANTT charts, market requirements documents, and business plans. The product management track will explore roles and responsibilities, the importance of systems thinking, project prioritization, and the business process of software delivery.

  1. From Fragile to Agile: The Four Roles of Product Management - Steve Johnson (39:40)

    Now that we’ve optimized development, it’s time to get the rest of the company on board. While agile methods have benefitted product development, few have managed their impact on product management. We’ll look beyond the product team to the entire process from idea to creation to delivery to customers.
  2. Product Management and Systems Thinking - Arne Roock (40:36)

    When working in a medium-sized or large organization, usually a lot of different teams/departments are involved in developing and especially maintaining a successful product. Often the challenge is not so much to make single teams/departments more efficient. Instead, it‘s mostly about how teams/departments interact with each other. Poor performance (long lead times, low quality, rework, customer dissatisfaction) resulting from a lack of efficient inter-team collaboration can be observed in many different organizations.
  3. Lean Application Lifecycle Management - Dave West (52:55)

    For many 21st century companies software provides competitive advantage. Delivering software faster and of a higher quality has a direct impact on the business bottom line. But according to the Standish Groups CHAOS report only a third of projects are successful with two thirds being late, cancelled or not delivering the functionality requested. The business process of software delivery is broken and it is time to fix it, it is time to apply Lean to the business process of software delivery.
  4. Black Swan Farming Using Cost of Delay - Joshua Arnold & Özlem Yüce (38:16)

    Improving prioritization has become a tired concept in most IT departments, and yet it has the potential to change the conversation from one of cutting cost, to delivering valuable solutions as quick as the business needs it. Most organizations don’t suffer from a lack of innovative ideas, they suffer from not being able to pick the best of what turns out to be a bad bunch. Thanks to the consumerization of IT and software eating the world this is getting worse.
  5. Demystifying Agile Product Management - Rich Mironov (37:40)

    There’s tremendous confusion about how product management works for Agile software development companies. Beyond the mechanics of Agile/Kanban and user stories, how do we define/build products that answer broad market needs that also resonate with large groups of customers and deliver revenue? There’s been a split between high-level product planning and detailed software implementation.
  6. Wiki Management: The Future of Management - Rod Collins (1:19:58)

    Conventional management thought assumes that command-and-control is the most effective way to organize the efforts of large numbers of people, but rapid change and increasing complexity have rendered that model obsolete. As a result, most managers today lack the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in world where new technologies have made collaborative networks smarter and faster than top-down hierarchies.

Lean Kanban NA - Kanban

The first principle of the Kanban Method is “Start with what you do now”. Take the current work and workers and the current process and apply kanban to improve visibility, collaboration, risk management, and predictability. What does the humane, start with what you do now Kanban Method have to say about change? A lot! We’ve organized the Kanban track in a progression inspired by Kanban’s three “agendas for change”. The sustainability agenda: balancing demand and capability at individual, team and department level, collaborative improvement. The service orientation agenda: anticipating customer needs, achieving end-to-end flow, process innovation. The survivability agenda: the pursuit of fitness for purpose, corporate adaptability, disciplined leadership.

  1. Values, Agendas, and Change: Kanban's Bigger Picture - Mike Burrows (38:31)

    From its early origins, the Kanban Method was applied to organizational problems of significant scale and impact, where much was at stake. Despite this, many Kanban adoptions seem by comparison rather limited in their ambition. Using a modern interpretation of the method based on the language of values and agendas, this talk will explain how "the humane, start with what you do now approach to change" seeks to tackle not just team-level concerns but bigger organizational challenges.
  2. Indefinite Unsustainable Pace - Eric Green (36:25)

    The concept of sustainability is something that human beings have considered for millennia. Yet we still commonly find environments operating under the stress and weight of unsustainable workloads, deadlines and expectations derived via deterministic methods, magic and hero culture. Despite being an Agile Manifesto principle, “sustainable pace” is something that eludes many organizations (self-proclaimed “Agile” or otherwise) today.
  3. The Inner Game of Kanban - Russell Healy (39:31)

    Timothy Gallwey's seminal work "The Inner Game of Tennis" published in 1974 tells us that there is a much better route to performance than sheer effort and willpower. Potential performance is limited by mental interference. When this interference is quieted, the innate capability of mind and body are released to perform at a much higher level. Interference in the workplace comes in many forms. This talk will discuss how Kanban can be used to quiet interference and unlock the potential performance of knowledge workers.
  4. Moving Thousands of People to Kanban in 16 Months - Koren, Yaholom, Yeret (40:16)

    The goals set before us a year and half ago were to stop saying “no” to customers for late or changed scope, while helping them achieve time to value. We have gone through a successful revolutionary change of the way we manage our projects a few years earlier (CCPM), and we felt that the organization cannot handle another revolution. Still, our customers’ business required better responsiveness and flexibility, reduce risks and a much faster time to market. In this session we will describe how we pulled it off again, in a completely different implementation approach – evolutionary, pull based.
  5. Leadership as a Design Problem - Frode Odegard (38:45)

    Leadership is the ongoing process of defining a shared goal or purpose and inducing others to pursue it. There are many approaches to achieving this, and in this short talk we will review and compare a number of leadership styles, including Lean Leadership. We will also discuss how leaders gain, keep and lose credibility with their followers – Leadership Capital.
  6. Improving Lean Kanban in Large Distributed Teams - Luke Hohmann (1:14:49)

    In David Anderson's though-provoking blog post "Scaling Agility - the easy way!", he outlines how Lean Kanban can be applied to large organizations. Mike Burrows also tackles scaling Lean Kanban through his work on the values that drive organizational change. These say a lot about approach but leave open some important questions on the detail of how to collaborate effectively at scale.

Lean Kanban NA - Managing Risk

The Risk track at LKNA 2014 will discuss how an analytical approach to risk identification and management is an important part of managing Agile modern processes such as Kanban and Lean. A focus of this year’s risk track is practical approaches to understanding how our process decisions increase the likelihood of on-time delivery of software, and how we would measure that impact. We go beyond impact versus likelihood matrix charts and discuss how to understand how leading companies are managing risk in concert with their Agile transformations and process.

  1. The Impact of Agile Quantified - Larry Maccherone (40:24)

    This session is a presentation of general findings in our research correlating agile practices to performance along the dimensions of Productivity, Predictability, Quality, and Time-to-market. We will also introduce you to the first-ever quantified decision framework for targeting improvement and making agile practice decisions. This fully-predictive model of performance that can be used to do “what-if” analyses to target improvement efforts, giving specific recommendations along with the likely results of the recommended changes.
  2. New Methods for Minimizing Risk During Product Development - Chris Shinkle (36:21)

    Product development challenges are not new. The level of uncertainty inherent in dealing with these challenges requires an approach that acknowledges and is optimized for that uncertainty. We’re seeing a shift in the way product development companies think about and manage risk associated with products development. Organizations solely focusing on improving efficiency will not overcome these obstacles. They must adopt new practices that allow them to successfully explore these highly uncertain environments and minimize risks.
  3. Risk Reduction Metrics for Agile Organizations - Dan Greening (45:44)

    Agile and lean processes make it easier for organizations to measure company and team performance, assess risk and opportunity, and adapt. My colleagues and I have used delivery rate, concept-to-cash lead-time, architectural foresight, specialist dependency, forecast horizon and experiment invalidation rate to identify risk, and focus risk-reduction and learning efforts. With greater knowledge, we can eliminate low-opportunity options early and more deeply explore higher-opportunity options to maximize value.
  4. 21st Century Risk Management - Dennis Stevens (38:56)

    Today’s complex projects need proactive risk management to stand any chance of executing successfully. Yet, all the steps of: identifying, classifying, analyzing and prioritizing in the world are for nothing if the risks cannot be effectively avoided, transferred, or reduced. Risk analysis, avoidance and reduction steps are largely human led activities with success criteria closely linked to social influence, communications and campaigning.
  5. Understanding Risk, Impediments and Dependency Impact - Troy Magennis (44:48)

    Many teams spend considerable time designing and estimating the effort involved in developing features but relatively little understanding what can delay or invalidate their plans. This session outlines a way to model and visualize the impact of delays and risks in a way that leads to good mitigation decisions.
  6. Decisions, Commitments and Real Options - Jabe Bloom (1:24:40)

    When we look at the relationship between decisions, options and information, the most obvious relationship is that good, relevant information helps us choose between options, producing good decisions. However, when we examine information and our processes it quickly becomes clear that we don’t always have immediate access to the information we need, it may not even exist yet, or we may not have access to experts that can decode and interpret the information, making it tractable to our decisions. Information, knowledge and expertise is created, arrives and becomes useful over time.

Lean Kanban NA - Beyond Budgeting

Becoming a lean enterprise requires the entire management system to be aligned with lean principles. Lean requires alignment with customers and takes direction from the customer pull concept. Yet many organizations continue old practices such as financial budgeting which are based on financial “push” concepts. Simply stated, these old management practices defeat the ability to become truly lean.

  1. Beyond Budgeting: An Agile Management Model and Case Study - Bjarte Bogsnes (1:25:20)

    A discussion of the problems with traditional management, including budgeting. Case study of Statoil's decision to redefine performance with dynamic and relative targets, holistic performance evaluation, dynamic forecasting, and no traditional budgets.
  2. Moving Beyond Budgets to Create More Agile, Adaptive Organizations - Steve Player (40:20)

    This session provides a quick case for change for organizations that seek to understand how to move beyond budgets. It shows how to create more effective controls by moving beyond budgeting.
  3. Why HOLT CAT Eliminated Budgets and How It Made Us Successful - Gretchen Stepke (39:12)

    Going into 2009, HOLT CAT faced a tremendous market downturn as the US plunged into a recession. The company made a key decision to alter its management process into one that immediately made them more agile and adaptive. Gretchen Stepke will share her first-hand experience of why they choose to eliminate budgets and how it changed the focus of management’s attention.
  4. Using Self-Directed Teams to Engage and Empower - Doug Kirkpatrick (43:11)

    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work at a company with no bosses? In this session, Doug Kirkpatrick will share that experience from his personal point of view. Learn how Morning Star, the largest tomato processing operation in the world, operates with no supervisors, managers or bosses. Even though the company utilizes a seasonal workforce it has extremely high employee retention--including seasonal workers who regularly return year after year.
  5. Eliminating Budgets to Enable Lean Management - Kevin Meyer (34:34)

    A medical device company was several years into a lean transformation when conventional accounting practices such as annual budgeting and standard costing began to create barriers and be recognized as wasteful processes in their own right. After learning about Beyond Budgeting, the President, Kevin Meyer, decided it was time to change. This session will discuss that change, including short-term and long-term issues that were resolved, and how it fit into a long term lean transformation effort.
  6. Beyond Cost Transparency: Developing and Applying IT Cost Knowledge - Steve Adams (38:08)

    The effort to deliver the business change and supporting technology capabilities required by the Affordable Care Act provided significant challenges for Kaiser Permanente to prioritize and apportion limited investment funds and drive efficiency into IT operations. Two of Kaiser Permanente’s IT finance leaders will discuss the progress made and barriers encountered on their journey from providing cost transparency to cost knowledge, and how cost knowledge will enable Kaiser Permanente to make informed decisions about the use of technology to drive innovation and improved financial results in the changing health care market place.

Printers & Imaging Association

Ron presents at the Printers and Imaging Association Mid-America meeting in Dallas. Ron drew on Gemba Academy's library and created a presentation on Practical Problem Solving and Quick Changeover with some fun, interactive simulations to bring real world problem-solving into the classroom.

  1. Introduction (5:59)

    Ron gives a quick introduction of himself and Gemba Academy before diving right into the 1st round of the problem solving simulation.
  2. A Culture of Lean (7:01)

    What is culture? Ron explains how to develop a culture of lean while prioritizing tools, people and problem solving.
  3. Practical Problem Solving - The First Steps (5:52)

    Ron describes step one and two of the 8 Steps to Practical Problem Solving; clarifying then breaking the problem down.
  4. Setting Targets (7:35)

    Continuing through the 8 Step process, Ron covers step 3, setting targets. He also illustrates the 7 Deadly Wastes.
  5. Root Cause and 5 Whys (5:40)

    We get to see how the group progressed in the 2nd round of the PPS simulation. Ron details out how to analyze root causes, step 4. He also discusses the 5 Whys with the team.
  6. Introducing Hansei (8:28)

    Ron presents the final 4 steps; developing and implementing countermeasures, monitoring results and process and finally standardize and share successes. He also introduces Hansei.
  7. Simulation Review (7:34)

    The team shares their experiences of how they have seen and used PPS. Ron then gets each team member to discuss their improvements on the simulation.
  8. Introducing Quick Changeover (6:14)

    The team comes together for their final round of the PPS simulation. Check out the improvement from their 1st round. Ron also begins his introduction of Quick Changeover.
  9. The 8 Steps of Quick Changeover (9:41)

    Ron finishes up the presentation by detailing the 8 Steps of Quick Changeover.

Reflections on 25 Years of Lean

In collaboration with the Lean Enterprise Institute, Gemba Academy brings you an extended 70 minutes of discussions with the three original thought leaders that coined the term "lean" twenty-five years ago. Jim Womack, Dan Jones, and John Shook discuss a range of topics from lean government to the term "lean" itself. Not a Gemba Academy subscriber? You can watch all of the videos here.

  1. Calling it Lean (4:56)

    If they had to do it over again, would they still call it "lean"?
  2. Learning to See (9:36)

    The group continues the discussion on their concerns with the word "lean" and especially their hesitation with introducing new tools such as value stream mapping.
  3. Lean Management Behaviors (8:00)

    The group discusses their early struggles with finding the correct balance between management systems and tools - the humanists and the technocrats - and realizing the fundamental importance of practice.
  4. Starting with Purpose (6:20)

    The importance of being able to state a purpose for an organization, and then creating alignment to support that purpose.
  5. Lean Healthcare (12:28)

    Why lean is resonating so well within the healthcare community, and how it has the potential to radically change the entire industry.
  6. Lean Government (9:06)

    Lean seems to develop and thrive within a crisis, and therefore government may be ripe for lean thinking.
  7. The Great Stagnation (10:00)

    The impact of the recession, and what Jim Womack calls "the great stagnation," on lean thinking. We need to shift out of left-right thinking into a process of running experiments to improve value and outcomes.
  8. Lean Startups (9:44)

    The group gives their thoughts on the lean startup movement - is it real or just a new flavor?
  9. Lean NGOs (2:37)

    The opportunity and rapid growth of lean in NGOs - non-government organizations - especially with operations providing aid to Africa. This directly demonstrates the potential of lean to change people's lives.
  10. Lean Shoring (4:41)

    How lean is impacting offshore outsourcing and creating the opportunity for reshoring - or "lean shoring."
  11. Final Thoughts (4:04)

    Where lean is headed over the next 25 years, and why it is important for organizations to look at an entire holistic approach instead of considering lean to be a basket of tools.

Masaaki Imai on Lean

Ron Pereira sits down for more than 40 minutes and talks with Mr. Masaaki Imai who is known the world over as the original “Lean Guru” and the father of Continuous Improvement. Mr. Imai has been a pioneer and leader in spreading the kaizen philosophy all over the world. His firsthand account of the history of lean based on his close associations and travels with such legendary giants as Shoichiro Toyoda and Taichi Ohno and reveals the secrets behind the success of such Japanese companies.

  1. Part 1 (8:40)

    Mr. Imai explains what he and Toyota founder Sakichi Toyoda have in common as well as how Sakichi Toyoda was an amazing inventor. Mr. Imai also explains his relationship with Sakichi’s son, Kiichiro Toyoda.
  2. Part 2 (8:12)

    Mr. Imai explains the importance of going to gemba, or the place the work is done, while also explaining the roots of the Just in Time production system.
  3. Part 3 (5:49)

    Mr. Imai explains what his relationship with Mr. Taiichi Ohno was like including how they played golf together on more than one occasion!
  4. Part 4 (13:52)

    Mr. Imai continues to discuss Mr. Ohno including a story of Mr. Ohno's giant cat that he used to carry around his home! Mr. Imai also explains how Toyota was forced to succeed with less resources after the war and how this may have been the true secret to their global success.
  5. Part 5 (4:43)

    Mr. Imai explains the mission of the Kaizen Institute while also explaining how Mr. Taiicho Ohno differentiated between knowledge and wisdom.

Masaaki Imai on Kaizen Leadership

In this series of videos the original Lean Guru, Mr. Masaaki Imai, discusses the topic of Kaizen Leadership.

  1. Part 1 (7:22)

    Mr. Imai explains what the 3 most important requirements for lean success are as well as introduces a new lean term called "FSL"
  2. Part 2 (8:45)

    Mr. Imai explains the difference between top management commitment and top management involvement. Mr. Imai also shares a new definition of kaizen that better encompasses the awesome potential the word carries with it.
  3. Part 3 (8:14)

    What is management and what should leaders be most focused on? Mr. Imai answers this question in this module. Mr. Imai also explains what Detective Columbo has in common with lean thinking managers!
  4. Part 4 (7:02)

    Mr. Imai explains how gemba, or the place the work is done, is like a mirror and why going to gemba is so important
  5. Part 5 (8:41)

    Mr. Imai explains why the gemba was so precious to Sakichi Toyoda and how Kiichiro Toyoda literally grew up at gemba as a child! Mr. Imai also explains the importance of Standard Work.
  6. Part 6 (8:08)

    Mr. Imai explains how lean is a long journey as well as what the Christopher Columbus style of management is all about! Finally, Mr. Imai contrasts traditional companies with lean thinking companies using an analogy you won't soon forget!

Jean Cunningham on Lean Accounting

Gemba Academy co-founder Kevin Meyer discusses lean accounting with Jean Cunningham. Jean is one of the original thought leaders on the subject.

  1. Introduction (7:30)

    Jean Cunningham describes how she was introduced to lean and lean accounting.
  2. Effect on Owners (7:52)

    Jean Cunningham discusses how lean and lean accounting affects an ownership group.
  3. The Lean Accounting Difference (5:20)

    Jean Cunningham discusses the differences between standard cost accounting and lean accounting.
  4. Implementing Lean Accounting (4:37)

    Jean Cunningham discusses when and how to implement lean accounting.
  5. Resistance to Lean Accounting (7:12)

    Jean Cunningham discusses how to deal with resistance to lean accounting.
  6. Current Projects (3:53)

    Jean Cunningham discusses her current projects with lean accounting and beyond.
  7. Lean Education Advancement Foundation (2:23)

    Jean Cunningham discusses the Lean Education Advancement Foundation, which provides scholarships to educators and students to learn more about lean and lean accounting.

Lean Leader Interviews

During the Lean Leader series of interviews you will hear from executives and managers explain how their companies took the leap, and succeeded, with lean thinking.

  1. Greg Wright (8:18)

    Listen to Greg Wright, president of Ram Technologies, explain how his company has progressed to a lean thinking organization.
  2. Amgad Shafik (14:53)

    Listen to Amgad Shafik, a production lead at Kaas Tailored, makers of quality furniture and sewn goods, explain how their company uses lean tools such as 5S and the Visual Workplace, to continuously improve their processes and way of working.
  3. Dan Fisher (8:35)

    Dan Fisher is the President & CEO of D.L. Martin Co. During this video you’ll hear why this organization believes lean is so important to any company’s long term success. You’ll also hear the biggest benefit D.L. martin Co. has received as a result of using lean.
  4. Brian Rotsaert (7:46)

    Brian explains how UGL Unicco is leveraging Gemba Academy each and every day.
  5. Jeff Miller on Gemba Academy (1:19)

    Jeff Miller, from the Toyota Financial Systems organization, offers some insight into how Toyota is leveraging Gemba Academy.
  6. Jeff Miller (14:52)

    Jeff Miller, from the Toyota Financial Systems organization, shares insight into how Toyota practices lean in the front office as well as other topics such as how he and his associates turned Toyota's recent challenges into learning opportunities.

Lean Thinker Interviews

Listen to lean experts, including former Toyota Motor Corporation associates, explain what lean means to them. They will also offer advice and tips on how to make lean work for you, no matter what industry you work in. Several of these modules are recorded webinars.

  1. Chris Schrandt (26:46)

    Interview with a Toyota veteran.
  2. Kent Bradley (5:44)

    Interview with Managing Director, Gemba Consulting North America.
  3. Stephen Gorse (8:09)

    Interview with Managing Director, Gemba Consulting Europe.
  4. Brad Schmidt (11:19)

    Interview with Managing Director, Gemba Consulting Japan.
  5. Kent Bradley (13:34)

    Kent discusses leveraging lean beyond manufacturing.
  6. Stephen Gorse (13:46)

    Stephen Gorse, a former Manufacturing Group Leader at Toyota UK, explains what Leader Standard Work is and how he personally used it during his 15 years working at Toyota.
  7. Karen Martin (12:52)

    In this video, shot in Toronto at the 2013 AME Conference, Ron Pereira and Karen Martin discuss her book "The Outstanding Organization" which explores 4 essential behaviors that will create a solid foundation for any organization.
  8. Dan Markovitz (14:43)

    Ron sits down with Dan Markovitz at the 2013 AME Conference. They discuss Dan’s book, Factory of One, its application in real world situations, along with communication improvement.
  9. Michael Bremer (18:35)

    Ron Pereira sits down with Michael Bremer at the 2013 AME Conference. Michael is President of The Cumberland Group and the author of multiple books on lean, six sigma, and continuous improvement, including Escape the Improvement Trap: Five Ingredients Missing in Most Improvement Recipes.
  10. Jim Huntzinger (16:35)

    Jim Huntzinger, President, Lean Frontiers, sits down with Ron for a quick discussion on TWI. Jim talks about the origin of TWI and discusses resources for those interested in learning more.
  11. Cedric Brown on Lean Implementation (29:35)

    Ron sits down with Cedric Brown, President and Managing Partner of CMB Global Partners, at AME 2014. As they discuss how lean is implemented into different companies, Cedric weighs in with his 30 years of practicing six sigma and lean.
  12. Chet Marchwinski on Lean (33:00)

    Ron finds Lean Enterprise Institute's Communication Director, Chet Marchwinski, also editor of Lean Lexicon, a graphical glossary for lean thinkers. Ron finds out some not so well known and humorous stories of LEI’s leaders as well as Chet’s colorful background in the industry.
  13. Drew Locher on Lean Culture (25:13)

    Ron takes the opportunity at AME 2014 to talk with Drew Locher, author and President of Change Management Associates. Ron and Drew discuss the method, coaching and practice of a lean culture.
  14. Drew Locher on Value Stream Mapping (16:36)

    Ron gets another opportunity at AME 2014 to talk with author and President of Change Management Associates, Drew Locher. Ron and Drew examine the use and importance of value stream mapping in office and service environments as well as manufacturing.
  15. Jerry Solomon on Lean Accounting (8:34)

    Ron talks with Jerry Solomon, author and Vice President of Operations Hunt Valley for MarquipWardUnited, the largest division of the Barry-Wehmiller Companies Inc., the Western Hemisphere’s leading packaging automation and converting group. Jerry talks with Ron at AME 2014 about the practical side to accounting, the differences between "accounting for lean" and "lean accounting" and the implementation of lean accounting.
  16. Karen Martin on Transformation (10:24)

    Ron and Karen Martin, author and President of the Karen Martin Group, grab a chance at AME 2014 to sit and talk about ways to bring people together to transform business.
  17. Mike Osterling on A3 Thinking (15:41)

    Author, President and Principal Consultant of Osterling Consulting, Inc., Mike Osterling talks with Ron at AME 2014 about A3 thinking and problem solving with engineers.


Webinars presented by lean thinkers.

  1. Mike Wroblewski - Visual Management: What Good Looks Like (1:02:27)

    Mike Wroblewski of the Kaizen Institute provides an overview on how visual management can be used to consistently support and sustain high levels of operational excellence.
  2. Mark Graban - Putting the Continuous Back Into Continuous Improvement (1:04:55)

    Mark Graban of KaiNexis shows examples of kaizen improvements from numerous healthcare organizations, as well as the practical mechanics for facilitating and managing kaizen.
  3. Mark Graban - Using SPC to Make Better Management Decisions (59:06)

    Mark Graban shows how simple statistical process control (SPC) methods can be used by managers and leaders to make better decisions about their businesses.
  4. Mike Wroblewski - A Day in the Life of a Lean Supervisor (57:52)

    Mike Wroblewski defines standards of daily lean supervision and how to maintain these within your company's lean operating system.
  5. Dan Markovitz - A Factory of One (58:14)

    Dan Markovitz shares specific strategies from his new book, A Factory of One, that helps you use lean principles to make yourself and your teams more effective.
  6. Bob Emiliani - A Leader's Role in Lean Success (1:06:03)

    Bob Emiliani uses the example of two different companies to describe "A Leader's Role in Lean Success."
  7. Mark Hamel - Kaizen: From System to Principle Driven (1:57:24)

    Mark Hamel presents "Kaizen: From System to Principle-Driven."
  8. Bob Emiliani - Lean for Higher Education (1:11:14)

    Bob Emiliani describes the application of lean to higher education.
  9. Mike Micklewright - The Relationship Between Dr. Deming's and Toyota Way's Principles (1:01:00)

    Mike Micklewright describes the relationship between Dr. Deming's and the Toyota Way's principles.
  10. Mark Graban - Stories of the Eight Types of Waste in Healthcare (1:02:33)

    Mark Graban illustrates each of the eight types of waste with a story from his work with healthcare systems around the world.
  11. Mark Graban and Gregory Jacobson - Leadership Behaviors (1:03:26)

    Gregory Jacobson, MD and Mark Graban share practical actions and behaviors that help encourage the identification, testing, evaluation, and sharing of improvements.
  12. Steve Kane - Accountability Through Visual Management (65:17)

    The Action Board is the center of a daily stand-up meeting and is used to drive action and accountability. It is a calendar based system that includes a review of daily metrics, problem statements and tasks due. The board fosters collaboration, ownership and team work while helping reduce task completion times. It also illustrates the workload of each member of the team, which drives allocation of resources and assists with setting priorities. The system is simple and works with or without a specified leader.
  13. Michael Lombard - 10 Lessons from Practicing Toyota Kata (56:00)

    Michael Lombard, a seasoned leader in healthcare performance improvement, shares 10 lessons learned from his first six months of practicing the Toyota Kata approach. Over the course of 300+ "kata-style" coaching cycles with clinical leaders from across his hospital, he has made every mistake in the book... and learned from each and every one.
  14. Karen Martin - Value Stream Mapping: From Tool to Management Practice (1:03:48)

    Value Stream Mapping (VSM), popularized in Mike Rother and John Shook’s landmark book Learning to See, is a highly effective method for improving performance across an organization. However, VSM is commonly misunderstood, misapplied and under-utilized. Properly executed, value stream mapping is much more than an operations design tool. It also results in a more engaged and knowledgeable leadership team; surfaces hidden cultural and organizational issues; and aligns values, resources, goals and priorities.
  15. Matthew May - The Lean Learning Loop Canvas (1:03:43)

    Lean Learning Loops combine the scientific problem-solving methodology used by Toyota with the tactical cycles employed by military fighter pilots and the entrepreneurial focus of the "Lean Startup" movement. Exploiting the lean mindset of banishing waste and applied in efforts to develop and launch innovative new ideas, Lean Loops can wreak a devastating and disruptive effect on markets and competitors.
  16. Mark Graban and Gregory Jacobson - Congratulations! You Have Lots of Employee Ideas! Now What? (1:08:54)

    Many Lean or Kaizen initiatives are focused on getting front-line employees to identify problems or opportunities for improvement, along with a potential idea or countermeasure. Some managers, unfortunately, think their employees won't have many good ideas. This is hardly ever the case! Your employees have a lot of great ideas.
  17. Matthew May - The Play-To-Win Strategy Formulation Canvas (1:02:25)

    Strategy means different things to different people. Some define strategy as a vision, some as a plan. Others define it as optimizing the status quo, or perhaps following best practices. Still others deny that strategy is possible, especially in times of great and rapid change. Making and acting on choices produces winners. Why? Because clear, tough choices force your hand, confine you to a path, but free you to focus on what matters most: winning. The activity centers on completing a takeaway deliverable: the Play-to-Win Canvas, a large wall map that guides the team through the thinking required to produce two competing strategic choices.
  18. Steven Kane - Employee Engagement Through Autonomous Teams (58:29)

    Steve tells his story of transforming a difficult factory atmosphere into a rewarding and engaging customer focused culture built on mastery, autonomy and purpose. He discusses the impact of culture on morale, quality, productivity and customer satisfaction with actual metrics before and after the transformation. The Autonomous Teams approach to leadership is broken down into fundamental principles that can be applied anywhere and results in employees giving their very best.
  19. Robert Hafey - Lean Safety: The Safe Path to Lean (53:20)

    Lean Safety provides a proven path to culture change because it engages employees in an honest trust building approach to lean implementation. Lean Safety is a culture change enabler. This webinar provides an overview the strong connection between Lean and safety and gives examples of how common lean tools can be used to re-direct a stalled lean implementation.
  20. Richard Sheridan - Build a Workplace People Love by Adding Joy (56:44)

    Create an intentional team culture focused on the business value of joy and unleash the human energy and the results you always knew were possible. Richard Sheridan is CEO of Menlo Innovations and author of Joy, Inc.

Author Interviews

Interviews with authors of notable books on lean, six sigma, continuous improvement, and leadership.

  1. Karen Martin - The Outstanding Organization (14:37)

    In The Outstanding Organization, Karen offers a toolbox for combating chaos by creating the organizational conditions that will allow your improvement efforts to return greater gains. Proven, practical, and surprisingly simple, Karen's system focuses on four key behaviors for organizational excellence--Clarity, Focus, Discipline, Engagement--that, once instilled into a company's DNA, open the door to sustainable growth and profit.
  2. Karen Martin - Value Stream Mapping (17:55)

    Value stream mapping--an essential but underused methodology--is a proven approach to help you visualize and resolve disconnects, redundancies, and gaps in your value delivery system. More than merely a tool to eliminate operational waste, value stream mapping is a highly effective means to transform leadership thinking, define strategy and priorities, and create customer-centric work flow.
  3. Richard Sheridan - Joy, Inc. (12:30)

    Ron talks to Richard Sheridan of Menlo Innovations about his book Joy, Inc. From Amazon: Joy, Inc. offers an inside look at how Sheridan and Menlo created a joyful culture, and shows how any organization can follow their methods for a more passionate team and sustainable, profitable results. Sheridan also shows how to run smarter meetings and build cultural training into your hiring process.
  4. Mark Graban - Lean Hospitals (15:57)

    Mark Graban discusses his Shingo Prize winning book, Lean Hospitals. The new edition begins with an overview of Lean methods. It explains how Lean practices such as value stream mapping and process observation can help reduce wasted motion for caregivers, prevent delays for patients, and improve the long-term health of your organization.
  5. Mark Graban - Healthcare Kaizen (23:10)

    Mark Graban discusses his Shingo Prize winning book, Healthcare Kaizen. The book shares some of the methods used by numerous hospitals around the world, including Franciscan St. Francis Health, where co-author Joe Swartz has led these efforts. Most importantly, the book covers the management mindsets and philosophies required to make Kaizen work effectively in a hospital department or as an organization-wide program.

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