Lean Blog — 476: Ken Pilone on Transferring TPS & Lean to Areas Outside of Manufacturing, Including Policing and Healthcare

Episode page with transcript and more

Joining us for Episode #476 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Ken Pilone, who has more than 30 years experience in Organization Development in Government, Retail, Automotive, Distribution, and Aerospace.

He recently retired from Providence Health & Services, working most recently as the Senior Manager of Business Process Engineering at Providence Health & Services — a role that encompassed internal Lean consulting, including executive coaching, lean training, leadership development, and all functions typical of a lean promotion or PI/CI function.

He’s now working as an independent coach.

He spent nearly 20 years with Toyota as Lean consultant within the company as well as with suppliers, vendors, partners, and community groups. He a co-creator of the University of Toyota at the company HQ. He led the work to adapt the Toyota Production System to non-production environments (warehousing, supply chain, HQ administration depts., sales, product distribution, dealer operations, etc. In addition, he led the Center for Lean Thinking.

Ken has a Masters’s in Industrial Psychology and Organizational Development with his Toyota experience, Ken has developed specialties in Lean consulting in non-production environments, curriculum development and delivery, leadership, and management development coaching, Toyota problem-solving method training, and public speaking.

He’s the author of Lean Leadership on a Napkin: An Executive’s Guide to Lean Transformation in Three Proven Steps.

In today’s episode, we discuss the application of Lean in healthcare and Ken’s experience there… and more!

Questions, Notes, and Highlights:

  • Police work? LAPD
  • Viewing work as a process… 
  • Helping people see that in healthcare? How to go about that?
  • Not using the term “value streams”
  • Fixing defects vs. fixing the system?
  • Defects in policing paperwork in the field
  • Correcting the paperwork vs. why it occurred
  • Process is broken — Band-Aids
  • No time… why? How can we create time?
  • Microexperiments vs. implementing? How to help people look at improvements as experiments?
  • Psychological safety – removing the danger?
  • “Never Events”? Zero Harm?
  • JPL – process gremlins and being proactive…
  • “Breaking the system on purpose”
  • Adapting to healthcare… Tell us about your later transition into working in healthcare? Pulled or pushed?
  • The importance of leading with humility? How to build that?

The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in its 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more.

This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network