Lean Blog Audio — Healthcare People: Study Lean and Kaizen in Japan

Come Join Me to Study Lean & Kaizen for Healthcare: Japan 2018

In the past year or two, it seems like I have heard more about people and organizations leading Lean study trips to Japan. This has gone on for decades, but there seems to be a resurgence.

I first partnered with Kaizen Institute in 2012 to lead a “Lean Healthcare” study tour, we did another in 2014, and we’re actively planning our next trip in early 2018.

Click here to learn more via a web page that I run. You can also click here for a PDF that previews the 2018 tour. Registration has not yet opened, but contact me if you’d like to be notified with details.

The dates are February 26 to March 2, 2018. Details are still being finalized, but the tour would start in Tokyo and end in Nagoya. The plan is to not just visit some hospitals that are leaders in Lean and quality improvement practices, but to also visit Toyota and some other world-class organizations.

The trip costs 5400 euros, which is currently about $6300. This cost includes everything from the start of the tour on Monday morning to the end on Friday evening. Your airfare to Japan and back is a separate, independent cost to you.

In the past two trips, we’ve had a very international group (a majority of attendees have been from Europe and Asia). This creates a special opportunity to not just learn from our Japanese hosts, but to compare notes and learn from others around the world.

Our trips are intentionally a mix of hospital visits and other types of organizations that we can all learn from. It’s great to see a Japanese hospital with a CEO who has been leading their quality and continuous improvement efforts for 20+ years and to hear their perspectives. At the same time, the hospitals we have visited were, at the time of our visits, relatively new to formal “Lean” practices – as they were building upon their “Total Quality Management” engagement and improvement practices… something that was NOT a fad for these hospitals or their leaders.

These trips are rich learning experiences. It’s not just the formal visits, but the time talking on buses and trains, the meals together, and the networking and sharing that, for me, has continued with attendees long after the week is over.

Here are my past blog posts about visiting Japan, with a few links below.

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