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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A New Era of Sustainability

Here is the second post in our Lean is Green series.

A New Era of Sustainability

UN Global Impact-Accenture CEO Study 2010

The UN Global Impact-Accenture CEO study, was a survey involving 766 CEOs & top executives as well as face-to-face interviews with over 50 of the world’s foremost business executives. The study provides evidence that leading CEOs view sustainability issues as critical to future success.

This new research found that:
-93 percent of the CEOs polled believe that sustainability issues will be critical to the future success of their business
-86 percent want investors to better price sustainability issues into valuations

Top CEOs are addressing sustainability issues in new ways, for instance:
-58 percent of survey respondents cited the consumer among their most important stakeholders, even above employees (45 percent) and governments (39 percent)
-91 percent of those polled said that their company would be employing new technologies and innovation to help meet sustainability goals over the next five years
-Partnerships and collaboration are increasingly important
-78 percent of survey respondents feel that companies should engage in industry collaborations and multi-stakeholder partnerships to address sustainability goals

This leads us to consider forces outside of our own organizations. Stay tuned for the third part of the Lean is Green series on supply chain.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Imagination Leads to Innovation

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
As children we lived in a world with nothing but possibilities because of our free running imagination. Once grown into adults we have the ability to make something out of what may have started in our imagination. Without imagination, I doubt we would have laptop computers or smart phones. Or Google Glass for that matter.
Apparently, in the near future we may not even need to hold our smart phones to access the information on it. But rather have the information hover before your eyes like in a science fiction flick with Google Glass. See the video below for the new add-on to your glasses.

Though the Google Glass example is a fancy one, not all Lean innovations need to be fancy or high tech.

Are you utilizing imagination to be more innovative at your workplace?

Credit: Google Glass

Friday, July 19, 2013

Greenbelt Vancouver Summer Graduation Day!

Today marks the last day of our Greenbelt Summer program here in Vancouver! It has been a wonderful journey and we are so happy to have been a part of it.
Before: Beginning the Lean Journey in Module 1

After: Finishing the Greenbelt Program in Module 3

The journey never really ends, however. It is from here that the Greenbelts will return to their home organizations and continue implementing, facilitating and innovating change using the tools now present in their Lean Toolbelts.

In recognition of the top performers of the class, three medals were presented to the group. These awards are cumulative and look at the overall performance throughout all three modules. The criteria for the awards inlude:

-Teamwork and Leadership in Kaizens and group activities
-Project achievements and total cost savings
-Overall transformation over the three modules
-Final Presentation
-Final Exam score

From left: Bob (Silver), Rand (Gold) and Rick (Bronze)
Thank you to all our sponsors and attendees who came out to support the Greenbelts during their final presentations and graduation.
The Greenbelt Graduation video is named "Day of the Kaizen" and can be viewed on Vimeo here.
The next Greenbelt programs are filling up fast for this Fall in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary. You can see the schedules for these programs below:
As well, you can directly register for upcoming programs at

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Greenbelt Summer Module 3 - Value Innovation Kaizen

The participants of the Summer Vancouver Greenbelt are back for their final module this week, kicking off with a Kaizen that focuses on Value Innovation.

Value innovation is all about improving customer experience. Examples of Value Innovation Kaizen topics include:

      • Improving customer experience in an account opening process
      • Finding ways to delight customers with useful web portal features
      • How to obtain customer input on improvement ideas without using surveys
      • Improving service levels in a retail or branch operation
      • Setting up benchmarks and metrics for a new or existing service offering
      • Improving initial customer contact, or problem resolution process in a call center
These areas can sometimes be overlooked in favor of more tangible processes (such as 5S or cycle-time reduction) but there is always room for innovation and continuous improvement with regards to the customer touch-points. After all, the customer experience is of the utmost importance.


Stay tuned later this week for the Graduation video for this Greenbelt group!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lean Problem Solving for Education

On July 11th, we went into a local educational institute and brought their executives up to speed on Lean Strategy. The day included intense problem solving utilizing Lean Sensei's TRANSFORM methodology. The TRANSFORM methodology is an expansion of Toyota's world famous Toyota Business Practices (TBP) approach.

Register online for programs at
For more information email

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lean is Green: Lean and Sustainability

"Leading companies are now finding that a green supply chain doesn’t just improve the public’s perception of their company and brand; it saves money by using resources more efficiently and reducing waste."

Lean principles focus on the reduction or elimination of waste in processes. As such, Lean thinking is green thinking, and is in many ways naturally symbiotic.
Therefore, Lean organizations already have a foothold on going green. Lean paragons showcase this fact:

Toyota, the model for Lean production systems at companies worldwide, is also a leader in energy and environmental performance:
  • Since 2000, Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America has reduced the average facility energy consumption per vehicle produced by 30%, resulting in a corresponding reduction in the CO2 emissions of its facilities
  • In fiscal year 2006, Toyota’s North American facilities reduced energy use per vehicle by 7% while increasing production by 4% Toyota used methods such as energy treasure hunts and kaizen events to achieve these results
The Boeing Company
  • Boeing Everett realized resource productivity improvements of 30-70 percent from Lean initiatives
  • Eliminated the use of 350 cubic feet of cardboard and bubble wrap packing material per 747 wing panel set
  • Reduced chemical usage per airplane by 11.6 percent Boeing Auburn Defects have been reduced from 1,200/10,000 in 1996 to fewer than 300/10,000 presently
  • Reduced floor space by 200,000 square feet
Trends in Sustainability

1. Climate change and growing energy needs
2. Future generations
3. Improve profits
4. Political pressures and becoming mainstream
5. Clean technology

How has Lean helped your organization become more green?
What can you do to perpetuate the crescendo towards a more Lean and more green organization?

This is the first in our Lean is Green series. We hope you enjoy it. You can leave your comments below or on our LinkedIn page.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


In the week leading up to the Lean Summit, we were published in Business in Vancouver magazine.

See the article below as well as a collection of other publications Lean Sensei has appeared in.

Articles About Lean Sensei

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Lean Summit: DVD Edition!

It has been a few weeks since the Lean Summit finished up, and we have been busy compiling all the footage from this amazing event. As those participants who attended the Lean Summit are aware, there will be a DVD available of all the footage from the 3-day event. This includes the presentations of Dr. Jeffrey Liker, Mike Hoseus and our Industry Speakers.

Please see the video below for more information:

You can inquire about the DVD and pre-order your copy by sending an email to

For those who have already pre-ordered your copy of the DVD, we will be in contact with you shortly. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Lean Sensei Summer Party

Here at Lean Sensei, we wound down the week today with our Annual Summer Party! We had a blast and we hope you did as well. Here is a short time-lapse of the main room during just a few hours of the party, pared down to just 30 seconds:

We are very thankful for our wonderful clients. Thank you so much for being a part of our Lean Sensei family!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Winnipeg Spring 2013 Greenbelt Graduation

The weather is getting warmer and our Greenbelt courses are heating up as well. The most recent group to graduate was the Winnipeg Spring 2013 program last Friday.
Group photo:

The "so-excited-to-graduate!" pose:

The grad video: