Gemba Academy Collaborates with the Lean Enterprise Institute on New "Reflecting on 25 Years of Lean" Video Series

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Gemba Academy, a leading provider of online, video-based Lean and Six Sigma training, in collaboration with the Lean Enterprise Institute, is pleased to announce the "Reflecting on 25 Years of Lean" video series. This series of 11 videos includes discussions between the thought leaders that coined the term "lean" - James Womack, John Shook, and Daniel Jones.

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Gemba Academy, a leading provider of online, video-based Lean and Six Sigma training, in collaboration with the Lean Enterprise Institute, is pleased to announce the "Reflecting on 25 Years of Lean" video series. Countless organizations have benefitted from the tenets and tools of Lean over the past couple of decades, learning to reduce waste, increase productivity, and deliver the highest quality results to customers.

The lean leaders featured in the "Reflecting on 25 Years of Lean" series authored several foundational books on lean, including James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones "The Machine That Changed the World" and "Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Organization". John Y. Shook has an extensive history with Toyota and has authored several important books in the field, such as "Learning to See" which introduced value stream mapping. Womack and Shook have also co-authored and released a new edition of their book "Gemba Walks". In "Reflecting on 25 Years of Lean", the three original thought leaders, James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, and John Y. Shook, who coined the term "lean" twenty-five years ago, discuss a range of topics from lean government to the term "lean" itself.

Throughout the 70 minute "Reflecting on 25 Years of Lean" series, the group addresses several core questions such as if they had to do it over again, would Jim Womack & Dan Jones still support calling it lean? And what did John Shook originally think about the book title "Learning to See"? Finally, what is the "Great Stagnation", how does it relate to today’s economy, and what does it have to do with lean thinking?

Reflecting upon the opportunity to collaborate with Womack, Jones, and Shook, Managing Partner of Gemba Academy, Ron Pereira, said "It was extremely exciting to collaborate with the Lean Enterprise Institute on this project. Watching the energy and passion these lean thinking thought leaders brought to the interview was both an honor and privilege." The collaboration with the Lean Enterprise Institute enabled has enabled Gemba Academy, one of the top lean content and training companies, to join forces with the leading Lean non-profit research and educational organization to capture and share the thoughts of some of the founders of lean about its twenty-five year history.

Gemba Academy will include the new video series in their online subscriptions so that all customers have access to this important dialogue. Gemba Academy has also made the videos freely accessible on the Gemba Academy website at:

Below is the list of videos included in the "Reflections on 25 Years of Lean" Series:

1.    Calling it Lean: If they had to do it over again, would they still call it "lean"?

2.    Learning to See: The group continues the discussion on their concerns with the word "lean" and especially their hesitation with introducing new tools such as value stream mapping.

3.    Lean Management Behaviors: The group discusses their early struggles with finding the correct balance between management systems and tools – the humanists and the technocrats – and realizing the fundamental importance of practice.

4.    Starting with Purpose: The importance of being able to state a purpose for an organization, and then creating alignment to support that purpose.

5.    Lean Healthcare: Why lean is resonating so well within the healthcare community, and how it has the potential to radically change the entire industry.

6.    Lean Government: Lean seems to develop and thrive within a crisis, and therefore government may be ripe for lean thinking.

7.    The Great Stagnation: The impact of the recession, and what Jim Womack calls "the great stagnation," on lean thinking. We need to shift out of left-right thinking into a process of running experiments to improve value and outcomes.

8.    Lean Startups: The group gives their thoughts on the lean startup movement – is it real or just a new flavor?

9.    Lean NGOs: The opportunity and rapid growth of lean in NGOs – non-government organizations – especially with operations providing aid to Africa. This directly demonstrates the potential of lean to change people’s lives.

10.    Lean Shoring: How lean is impacting offshore outsourcing and creating the opportunity for reshoring – or "lean shoring."

11.    Final Thoughts: Where lean is headed over the next 25 years, and why it is important for organizations to look at an entire holistic approach instead of considering lean to be a basket of tools.

About Gemba Academy:

Gemba Academy, a leading provider of video-based Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma training, has delivered online training to more than 2,000 companies around the globe including Toyota, The Hershey Company, and Mass Mutual. Designed by and for real practitioners, Gemba Academy has revolutionized online training with their unique "site based subscription" model and never charges a per-use or per-person fee. With over 120 hours of training and more than 500 videos, Gemba Academy provides flexible solutions and access to a wide selection of videos that can serve as a baseline for training or enhance existing continuous improvement efforts.

About Lean Enterprise Institute:

Lean Enterprise Institute Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Cambridge, MA, makes things better through lean research, education, publishing, and conferences. Guided by a mission to advance lean thinking and practice around the world, LEI also supports other lean initiatives such as the Lean Global Network, the Lean Education Academic Network, and the Healthcare Value Network. Visit LEI at for more information.

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Kristin Snow
Gemba Academy LLC
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