Lean Blog — 493: Wiring the Winning Organization: Authors Steven J. Spear and Gene Kim

Episode page with video, transcript, and more

My guests for Episode #493 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast are Gene Kim and Steve Spear, co-authors of the new book Wiring the Winning Organization: Liberating Our Collective Greatness through Slowification, Simplification, and Amplification.

Joining us for the first time is Gene Kim, a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, researcher who has been studying high-performing technology organizations since 1999 – He was the founder and CTO of Tripwire for 13 years. He is the author of six books, The Unicorn Project (2019), and co-author of the Shingo Publication Award-winning Accelerate (2018), The DevOps Handbook (2016), and The Phoenix Project (2013). Since 2014, he has been the founder and organizer of DevOps Enterprise Summit, (now the Enterprise Technology Leadership Summit) studying the technology transformations of large, complex organizations. He lives in Portland, OR, with his wife and family.

Dr. Steven J. Spear, DBA, MS, MS is a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and author of influential publications like the book The High-Velocity Edge, and the HBR articles “Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System,” and “Fixing Healthcare from the Inside, Today.” 

An advisor to corporate and governmental leaders across a range of fields, he is also the founder of See to Solve, a business process software company. He has a doctorate from Harvard, masters degrees in mechanical engineering and management from MIT, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton. 

Steve was previously a guest give times in episodes 5887262358, and 386.

Questions, Notes, and Highlights:

  • Gene — what’s your “Lean” origin story or however you would frame or label it?
  • Steve — what’s a key highlight of your Lean origin story?
  • “The ultimate learning machine” – Toyota
  • Backstory on working together on this book?
  • How many copied 2 pizza teams from Amazon and failed??
  • What puts some companies in the “danger zone” and how is that detected if it’s not obvious?
  • The andon cord was a way to speak up
  • Steve – see, solve, share? A 4th step? See, safe to speak, solve, share?
  • You write about recurring problems in a workplace. How do you think the behavior of managers punishing people for problems gets in the way of solving problems?

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