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Recap: The Lean Effect Podcast (EP 128 with Matt Banna)

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Aug 11, 2023 10:42:00 AM

Blue vivid image of globe. Globalization concept-1In a recent episode of The Lean Effect Podcast, Mark De Jong sat down with our very own Matt Banna, Enterprise Account Executive at KaiNexus, to delve into the world of employee engagement, executive buy-in, and process improvement. Here are some highlights from the episode, which can be found below the podcast player.

Listen to the Episode:

Episode Highlights:


Matt discusses how various organizations tackle improvement deployment and lean methodologies. Although deployment varies from organization to organization, Matt emphasizes the importance of standardization in successful organizational-wide implementations. With larger organizations, this is hard to achieve with multiple divisions, but if you’re able to standardize elements, and facilitate communication, sharing, and alignment across different teams, this will make the Lean process more effective and efficient.

According to Matt Banna, when talking about standardization:

“One thing I think that we found that helps drive success at an organizational level is to have some level of standardization. Yes, it's very hard to get there, especially when you're talking about 50,000 people. But when you are a large organization that has different pockets doing different things in different places, is it possible? Absolutely."


Standard Work for Frontline Leaders webinar

Employee Engagement:

Employee engagement emerged as a central theme in the episode. Matt discussed the significance of establishing effective habits within an organization to encourage participation and engagement in improvement initiatives. He talks about the habit loop and how habits vary at each level of the organization. 

“The frontline engagement habit loop is very different than the habit loop of an executive, which is also different from a middle-level manager. You have to incentivize different behaviors in order to get those processes working.”


Executive Buy-In:

Executive buy-in and active participation are crucial for a successful lean program. Matt highlights how mere verbal support from the executive team is insufficient; tangible actions such as attending huddles, recognizing staff, and personal engagement are necessary to demonstrate commitment. Without this genuine involvement, support from the rest of the organization will be lacking. 

“You can say that an executive team supports lean until you're blue in the face, but if they're not coming to huddles, if they're not recognizing staff, if they're not participating themselves, then it's going to be empty words… If you can get executive buy-in and participation in your lean program, that will do better than anything else that you could possibly do.”


Incremental Changes:

Significant transformations can’t happen overnight, whether it’s deploying software throughout an organization or implementing standardized processes. You can’t flip a switch and instantly expect everyone to embrace change. Instead, start with smaller changes that educate and involve employees at some level while recognizing that not everyone will immediately adopt new practices.

“Don't let perfect be the enemy of good… You're not going to be able to flip the switch in a day to go from bad to amazing or even good to great. It's gonna take all those little, little steps.”


The Value of Small Improvements Webinar


In this episode, I gained valuable insight into key aspects that drive successful lean practices within an organization.

To hear the full conversation and dive deeper into these topics, tune in to the Lean Effect Podcast episode with Matt Banna. Whether you’re a business owner, a continuous improvement professional, or someone interested in maximizing potential, this episode offers valuable takeaways for organizations seeking to cultivate a culture of continuous improvement.

Topics: Lean, Improvement Culture

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