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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Meet-up: Lean Six Sigma Academy's Ron Pereira

Today's Meet-up guest is Ron Pereira, blogger at Lean Six Sigma Academy and Managing Partner of Gemba Academy. I have never physically met Ron but we have chatted online for years. Ron's face is probably familiar from all videos you may have seen on YouTube or Gemba Academy.  Over the last couple of years their online content has grown substantially. Ron will share how he got started and his thoughts on lean.

Who are you and what do you do?
I'm married with 5 kids under the age of 9. That alone keeps me busy! I'm also the managing partner of Gemba Academy, who provides online and DVD based Lean & Six Sigma training to companies and individuals around the world. When I'm not in front of a video camera you can usually find me on a soccer field here in North Texas coaching or cheering my kids on. I'm also a huge Ohio State and Texas Rangers fan. Yes, I know, one strike away. Two times. Oh, the pain.

How and when did you learn Lean?
I was first introduced to lean while working at Nokia many moons ago by Jon Miller who, as it turns out, is now my good friend and business partner! Crazy how things turn out. I first cut my continuous improvement teeth with six sigma and learned lean later and have found having a solid understanding of both methodologies to be extremely helpful.

How and why did you start blogging or writing about Lean?
I have always followed Jon Miller's blog and decided to start my own blog several years ago. I had no earthly idea what I was doing but just started to write. A few days after starting it someone left a comment and I was like, whoa, someone besides my mom read this! That started an amazing journey that ultimately lead me to start Gemba Academy.

What does Lean mean to you?
Hmm... this isn't easy to answer. From a technical perspective of course lean is all about improving personal and company performance through the correct deployment of strategy and operational excellence... but, more importantly, lean is about respecting people while constantly seeking a better way.

What is the biggest myth or misconception of Lean?
That it's about attacking waste while six sigma is about attacking variation. When I hear consultants ramble on about this I want to scream! You see lean is MUCH more than waste reduction just like six sigma is MUCH more than variation reduction. Attempting to place any sort of continuous improvement methodology inside narrowly defined boxes is very dangerous.

What is your current Lean passion, project, or initiative?
Bringing the good news of continuous improvement to as many people across this amazing world through the power of words and web video.

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  1. Ron, your videos are great. I have enjoyed and used them in the past. Keep up the great work and thanks for all you have done to further lean thinking.

  2. Ron, who taught Nokia the six sigma or lean methodologies? Consultants or an internal sensei?