For a topic with so many authors, students, practitioners, and leaders, it’s probably no surprise that there are a ton of blogs about Lean - Lean manufacturing, Lean enterprise, Lean thinking, etc. This list includes some bloggers I’ve been reading for the longest time, those who are the most active, and those whose insights are really valuable (and sometimes, people fall into all three categories). It’s hard to list just ten, but I have a longer “blogroll” list and a separate list of Lean healthcare blogs that I maintain on my site.
Note: This blog post was originally written in 2015 and was updated in 2020.
Here’s a list of Lean blogs, in no particular order… it’s a list, not a ranking.
- Management Improvement Blog (John Hunter)
John has been blogging even longer than I have, since 2004. He blogs on a wide range of topics, including quality, Lean, and the Deming philosophy. A recommended 2015 post: Transforming a Management System – A Case Study From the Madison Wisconsin Police Department.
- Kevin Meyer
Kevin has written about Lean and management since late 2004, as well (a popular time to start blogs, apparently). Before moving to his new domain, he blogged at the site “Evolving Excellence,” but all of his old posts are on his new site. He’s also writing on the Gemba Academy blog (#9 on our list). A 2015 post to check out: The Mindful Ohno.
- KBJAnderson.com (Katie Anderson)
Katie started blogging back in 2015 when she lived in Japan -- and her blogging has continued. You might remember her recent webinar that she did for us as a preview of her upcoming book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn. A recent 2020 post that I really enjoyed was Reconfirming the Value of "Go to Gemba" on a Recent Trip to Japan. Learn more from Katie in this webinar she recently gave:
- “Old Lean Dude” (Bruce Hamilton)
You might know Bruce as the “Toast Kaizen Guy,” but as the leader of GMBP.org, he’s been blogging since late 2010 and, as you can tell from the blog’s name, he’s a pretty low key guy. A 2015 post that I enjoyed and commented on: The Emperor’s New Huddle Boards.
- TMKG (Karen Martin)
Karen is founder and president of the consulting firm TKMG, and used to blog a lot when she wasn't writing Shingo-Award-winning books like The Outstanding Organization (her book writing has continued). One notable post from 2014 was "Eliminate the Need for Heroics."
- JFlinch (Jamie Flinchbaugh)
Jamie is involved in many things, including as an investor and advisory board member for KaiNexus (see his recent webinar he did for us). Oh, back to the blogging… he started by writing guest posts for my blog and then opened his own site. One recent post is "Why coaching?"
- “The Gemba Coach” (Michael Balle)
Michael writes very in-depth blog posts that are hosted by the Lean Enterprise Institute and has been doing so since 2009. He’s also written three business novels, with his father Freddy, on Lean management that have been very popular. One post to start with: Any Tips for Conducting Daily Stand-Up Meetings with my Team?
- The Lean Coach (Crystal Y. Davis)
Crystal has an active blog on her consulting website and she was a guest on my podcast earlier this year, where we talked about the need to pivot during this pandemic. She's also written on this theme in the post How Lean Six Sigma Can Help Fight the Coronavirus Pandemic.
- Gemba Academy (Ron Pereira & Team)
Ron Pereira started blogging years ago as “Lean Six Sigma Academy,” but as Gemba Academy took off, he incorporated his blogging into the Gemba Academy brand. Ron has also started podcasting and other team members, including Jon Miller have been blogging there too. A recent post to see: Bowling Should Be Unnecessary. Disclosure: Gemba Academy is a formal partner of KaiNexus.
- Lean Sensei Women (Catherine Chabiron, Rose Heathcote, Lucy Liu, Sandrine Olivencia, Cécile Roche, Anne Lise Seltzer, Katie Anderson, and Karyn Ross)
As it says on the Lean Enterprise Institute site, "The Lean Sensei Women are a group of experienced lean practitioners who take turns to discuss business and world topics with lean lenses." This post from March 2020 is still timely: Why (and How) We Believe Lean Can Help During COVID-19.
- Lean Pathways (Pascal Dennis & Team)
Pascal Dennis is a former employee of the Toyota plant in Ontario and he’s been a prolific author of books including Lean Production Simplified (a new edition coming soon) and business novels including The Remedy. Pascal and his colleagues in his firm are active bloggers and this post is a great place to start: Reprise - How Do We Change Our Thinking?
- The Toyota Gal (Tracey Richardson)
Another Toyota alum, Tracey hasn't blogged since 2017, but there's a lot of great content there. I also love her book, co-authored with her husband Ernie (another Toyota alum), The Toyota Engagement Equation. One post I enjoyed was "Valuing the Customer --My Lexus service experience!"
- LeanBlog.org (Me, Mark Graban)
OK, this is my own blog, but it’s my work so I’m partial to it. I started this blog back in 2005 and I can’t believe that I’ve been working on it for fifteen years now. I started podcasting back in 2006 and have learned a ton in the process. Here’s a link to some of my favorite posts.
There are many, many excellent Lean blogs that are not on this list. We’re fortunate to have so many great blogs to read. What blogs do you enjoy enough to recommend to others? Please leave a comment and let us know.