Resources: Videos and Case Studies


This joint venture between Toyota and GM introduced Lean tools to the US. There are many valuable resources and commentaries about the topic. Here are just a few.

John Shook “How to Change a Culture: Lessons from NUMMI” from the Sloan Business Review

Ben Gomes-Casseres “Nummi: What Toyota Learned and GM Didn’t” from the Harvard Business Review

Frank Langfitt “NUMMI” from This American Life


Working with process improvement and performance management means you have to think about how to motivate people to embrace change. Monetary rewards? No! “Autonomy, mastery and purpose” says Daniel Pink.

 Videos useful for training

Animals! Who doesn’t love animals? So, Lean at the Denver Zoo!

“Meals Per Hour” documents consultants from Toyota working with a New York City food bank after Superstorm Sandy.

The Washington Liquor and Canabis Board has made significant improvements using Lean tools.

Redmond, WA focused on their commercial building permit process.

This video from the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (DES) is a good introduction to daily huddles.

Cowlitz County worked with the Washington State Auditor’s Office Lean Academy to improve the hand-offs between the Treasurer’s Office and the Clerk’s Office. See what they learned.

“Burnt Toast” is a classic problem used in Lean training. Here are two great videos, a before and after.

How do we think about Flow? Here is a weird video about not-flow — strictly driving the speed limit with four of your friends.

Lean as a Management System

Karen Martin is one of the leading thinkers, writers, and presenters on Lean management. This presentation at the Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME) hits some very powerful points.
She helps us understand clarity, curiosity, and creativity.

Blog Posts

Mark Hamel and Chet Marchwinski co-authored an essay with a video-recorded conversation about “Kaizen Event Malpractice and What to Do About It.” I really like the short essay. The video could use sub-titles to translate “Lean” into “English.” That is, the conversation is very insightful if you already know what they are talking about, but if you are just learning their lingo it can be pretty impenetrable.