Improve something today

Improve something today
Brief notes on practicing continuous improvement in a world that’s just one damn thing after another. Transcripts available at

0020: Bought and sold and bought again
Oct 9 • 3 min
Stories and what they do for us whether we like it or not. Discussed: No Thanks, a poem by Nven Mrgan; Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity by Richard Rorty; War Talk by Arundhati Roy.
0019: Begin again
Sep 21 • 3 min
What to do when you’re clinging to piano tops and concepts. Stephen Mitchell’s version of Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching.
0018: Respect for people
Apr 18 • 4 min
Why respect for people is an important part of lean, and four starting points for determining how to do something with this idea. Slightly more detailed notes on the four starting points. More about motivation-hygiene theory.
0017: Throughput
Jan 12 • 4 min
Welcome back! Throughput, goodput, and making the most of it.
0016: Housekeeping
Aug 17, 2018 • 1 min
You gotta take care of yourself, so I’m taking a week to do just that. Also, 2 easy ways you can support this podcast after it returns from a 1 week break.
0015: Countermeasures
Aug 16, 2018 • 3 min
Looking for countermeasures instead of solutions.
0014: Movement and transportation
Aug 15, 2018 • 2 min
Revisiting the wastes of lean, and two particular types of waste.
0013: What is continuous improvement, anyways?
Aug 14, 2018 • 2 min
It’s about getting good at small, reversible improvements. Over time folks will learn they no longer need to be scared of change, or even of failure.
0012: See one, do one, teach one
Aug 13, 2018 • 2 min
Learning and training when things are complicated.
0011: Book: Measures of Success, by Mark Graban
Aug 3, 2018 • 2 min
Get the book: A free sample chapter is also available at LeanPub:
0010: In which I split my pants
Aug 2, 2018 • 2 min
The job of facilitation and the value of facilitating with a partner.
0009: Finding what’s bad
Jul 30, 2018 • 3 min
Waste! Defects • Overproduction • Waiting • Not using what people to give • Transportation • Inventory • Movement • Extra processing.
0008: Knowing what’s good
Jul 26, 2018 • 2 min
If people can agree on what’s good, the rest is details.
0007: Liberating structures
Jul 25, 2018 • 4 min
Nobody can make anything better alone. When you’re working with other people, the time is ticking away according to one structure or another. Liberating structures online:
0006: A weird story about fax machines (updated)
Jul 24, 2018 • 2 min
Lay information and knowledge out as simply and concisely as possible, so you can get it out of your brain and into the world.
0005: Guessing
Jul 23, 2018 • 2 min
Guesses work best when it’s OK for a guess to be wrong. Delany’s tweet:
0004: Variation
Jul 20, 2018 • 3 min
How can you distinguish between typical variation in a process and an indication that something has changed? Book recommendation: “Understanding Variation” by Donald J. Wheeler.
0003: Standards
Jul 19, 2018 • 2 min
Setting standards and trying to perform to standard is a method. Better service, better outcomes, better relationships—that’s the goal.
0002: What did you notice?
Jul 18, 2018 • 3 min
You matter and your ideas matter. Taking time to notice what’s going on around you is where those ideas come from.
0001: Problems
Jul 17, 2018 • 2 min
Problems, solutions, and the problem with solutions.