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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Annual Management Improvement Carnival: 2010 - Gemba Tales

Continuing the review of blogs as part of the Annual Management Improvement Carnival, today I want to highlight Gemba Tales.  

Gemba Tales is the work of Shingo Prize Winning author Mark Hamel.  Mark won the prize this past year for his book Kaizen Event Fieldbook.  This book book goes beyond just Kaizens to link the technical aspects of kaizen to lean philosophy.  A good resource for anyone working on Lean transformation. 

Mark and I have developed a great relationship this past year.  He lives a few miles away so we occassionally go out to lunch to converse about Lean and blogging.  I really enjoy Mark's posts because I find them very relatable.  I wonder if he is watching me sometimes the way he seems to write about issues I am facing.  This provides great insight.  Here is a sampling of several of my favorite posts from this past year:

Time Observations - 10 Common Mistakes – Mark Hamel talks about 10 mistakes to avoid when taking time observations.

Standard Work is a Verb – Mark Hamel explains the importance of reviewing and revising standard work as part of continuous improvement not just kaizen events.

The Post-Value Stream Analysis Hangover – Mark Hamel shares some symptoms that occur after a VSM and how to deal with them.

Kaizen and Chemistry – Mark Hamel shares some advice on what to do when a kaizen team has poor chemistry.

Telling “How” Removes Responsibility - Mark Hamel explains why employees take more responsibility for the solution when you explain the "why" not the "how".

Lean and Six Sigma - You Can't Serve Two Masters – Mark Hamel says since you can't serve two masters you should define one based on the principles of operational excellence.

With Mark's easy to understand writing style everyone can learn a better way to do improvement.  Do you have any favorite posts I didnt' mention?

You can also connect with Mark on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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  1. He has a great blog and I loved his book.

    One of my favorite posts from Mark was his guestpost at leanblog this year:

    “Do” Only Gets You Half the Way There, or…“No Pie for You!”


  2. I am with Brian. I really liked "No Pie for You!"

    Mark's site it is great. Great review, Tim.

  3. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for the kind words! Most important is our lean/blogging friendship that we've developed. And yes, I have not forgotten my promise to write a guest blog for A Lean Journey. Trying to dig out at the end of the year here and facing a looming publishing deadline for book #2.

    Happy New Year,

  4. Brian and Matt, Thanks for sharing your favorite. Those are great posts as well.

    Mark, Don't worry. I still go out to lunch with you. Talk to you soon.