What does a Lean Mindset mean to you? What steps can you take to create a culture of continuous improvement? What behaviors make you a more effective transformational leader?
In the workplace, often the most valuable insights often happen during informal moments. It’s these pockets of space, in between meetings and events, where casual, off-the-cuff conversations take place and ah-has emerge.
Quick question, have you ever wondered what it would be like to listen in to these “hallway” conversations to discover what leaders say and reflect on with each other?
If you’re curious, you’re in the right spot. In this episode of Chain of Learning, I take you behind-the-scenes with exclusive conversations I had with transformational change leaders and executives in attendance at GE’s The Lean Mindset event.
This exciting event, hosted by Larry Culp, Chairman and CEO of GE and GE Aerospace, brought together executives from some of the world’s top companies, professional athletes, and thought leaders all focused on pursuing excellence through continuous learning.
Thanks to GE’s generosity, I was invited to both share my knowledge (GE bought a copy of my book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn for all the attendees!) ,and to collect knowledge – by bringing my microphone to glean insights from the leaders in attendance during the spaces between the main stage events.
I can’t wait to share them with you here on the latest episode of Chain of Learning!
Behind-the-scenes at GE’s The Lean Mindset
This is an episode you won’t want to miss!
You’ll hear powerful excerpts from the conversations I had with these leaders, sharing their views of a Lean Mindset and how they’ve activated cultures of continuous improvement and high performance in their organizations.
My aim is simple: ignite your curiosity and furnish invaluable insights to propel you to your next level of leadership in your organization!
Tune into the episode to discover how you can lead with humility, embrace failure, and foster a culture of continuous learning and more.
You’ll hear excerpts from my exclusive conversations with senior change leaders and executives including:
✅ Eric Klein – Culinary Vice President and Partner at Wolfgang Puck Catering, who also led the production of the breakfast and lunch service using continuous improvement lean practices
✅ Dr. Lisa Yerian – Chief Improvement Officer at The Cleveland Clinic, who was also one of the mainstage speakers
✅ Betsy Bingham – Vice President of Lean Operations at GE Aerospace
✅ Phil Wickler – Chief Transformation Officer for GE Aerospace
✅ Pat Byrne – Senior Vice President for Operational Transformation at GE
If you are trying to create a high-performing learning organization, you won’t want to miss these invaluable behind-the-scenes leadership insights.
Hit play now to be inspired about how you can embed a lean mindset in your organization and accelerate your impact as a change leader.
Lean Mindset Insights and Key-Takeaways
In this episode you’ll learn:
🌟 The importance of embracing and learning from failure
🌟 The power of humility, empathy, and making daily connections with your team
🌟 Strategies to empower problem-solving and teamwork, including going to gemba, leveraging meaningful metrics, and created structured approaches to improvement
🌟 The mindset and behavior shifts leaders need to make to build effective leadership habits and lead by example
🌟 How being an effective leader doesn’t mean you have all the answers; it means you’re willing to ask questions, go see, and always keep learning
Tune in to discover even deeper insights and leadership tips from my guests, such as these topics below.
Eric Klein’s Insights on Embracing Failure
Eric Klein, Vice President of Culinary and partner at Wolfgang Puck Catering, shares the importance of embracing failure as a source of learning and leading by example to create the culture you want in your team.
Dr. Lisa Yerian on Shifting Your Leadership Mindset
Dr. Lisa Yerian, Chief Improvement Officer at The Cleveland Clinic, opens up about her leadership mindset shift and how she balanced humility and a hunger for performance helped create an environment where others feel safe and empowered to bring problems forward.
Betsy Bingham on Problem-Solving
Betsy Bingham, Vice President of Lean Operations at GE Aerospace, offers insights into effective problem-solving, emphasizing the importance of the human element and clarifying the real problems to solve.
Phil Wickler Explores the Importance of Gemba
Phil Wickler, Chief Transformation Officer for GE Aerospace, sheds light on the significant impact of getting out of your office and “going to Gemba” (the place where work happens) to show respect for people.
Pat Byrne’s Insights on Learning in Gemba
Pat Byrne, Senior Vice President for Operational Transformation at GE, also emphasizes the impact of going to Gemba has for learning, creating a problem-solving culture, and understanding customers’ needs.
Unlearning Command-and-Control Leadership
Betsy Bingham shares insights on how she learned to balance being directive with asking questions to foster team learning and engagement – and more efficient problem-solving.
The Value of Repetition and Structures for Practice
Pat Byrne shares the pivotal role of practice and repetition to create habits aligned with a Lean Mindset, and Dr. Lisa Yerian
discusses how daily team huddles can give the structure for leaders to practice those “good reps” fostering improvement and learning.
Leveraging Metrics for Improvement
Several of the GE lean leaders discuss how to effectively leverage metrics to serve as drivers of operational improvement by ensuring they are aligned, actionable, and relevant.
Embracing Problems and Breaking the Telling Habit
My guests highlight the importance of embracing problems and resisting the leadership urge of always solving the problem and giving their answer, and share how they have worked to “Break the Telling Habit.”’
Strategies to Cultivate Lean Mindset Practice and Culture
The discussions wrap up with strategies and practices of how to personally put a Lean Mindset into practice, and how to integrate it into your organizational culture. You can also discover the three key takeaways from the Lean Mindset Event and recommendations from GE Chairman Larry Culp.
Reflect and Take Action
As you listen to this podcast episode, reflect on these insights from my behind-the-scenes interviews with transformational change leaders and executive and how you can apply them to amplify your impact and foster a learning culture in your organization:
- What is one thing you learned from this episode that you can put into practice this week?
- How will you continue to improve as a leader or lean practitioner?
- How can you foster a Lean Mindset in your organization?
Building a Chain of Learning
I loved Larry Culp’s closing remarks and reminding us that leadership it’s not just about us as leaders or how we improve ourselves. Lean is a team sport.
I personally loved hearing this comment because it reinforces what this podcast is all about. When we connect and communicate openly, sharing our experiences and lessons from failure and success, we are building a strong team committed at every level to continuous improvement.
When we embrace the attitude that we can all learn from each other. And, when we do this consistently and with intention, we strengthen our chain of learning – sometimes one link at a time, and sometimes, by lengths.
This is a Chain of Learning®.
Now you are a part of that chain and you have the opportunity to strengthen it by putting in place what you learned today and sharing this episode with your colleagues and friends!
Listen now to Inside the Lean Mindset on Chain of Learning®
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You can also watch this episode of Chain of Learning on YouTube.
- GE’s The Lean Mindset Event videos
- My initial key takeaways from The Lean Mindset event
- My book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn
- Episode 2 of Chain of Learning: “Leading with the Heart to Create a Culture of Continuous Learning”
- Episode 3 of Chain Of Learning: A Growth Mindset is the Foundation of a Continuous Improvement Culture [with Carol Dweck]
- Follow Katie on LinkedIn
- Follow Eric on LinkedIn
- Follow Lisa on LinkedIn
- Follow Betsy on LinkedIn
- Follow Phil on LinkedIn
- Follow Pat on LinkedIn
And be sure to check out Mark Graban’s article highlighting the Wolfgang Puck’s team putting together the food at the event.
Listen now on your favorite podcast players such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Audible. More podcast players can be found here.
00:00 – Introduction to the episode
00:55 – Delving into the Insights from GE’s The Lean Mindset Event
01:27 – Reflecting on personal interactions at the event
01:40 – A deep dive into the principles of lean management
02:38 – Presenting the esteemed lineup of leaders
03:10 – Overview of themes covered at the lean mindset
04:14 – Excerpt from Chef Eric Klein: exploring the lean mindset in a kitchen
05:14 – Emphasizing the importance of humility and the willingness to embrace failure to evolve as a learner
05:59 – Dr. Lisa Yerian discusses balancing humility and hunger in leadership
07:16 – Betsy Bingham on problem-solving and the human element
08:04 – Phil Wickler shares Insight on the significance of Gemba
08:55 – Pat Byrne explores the importance of Gemba for both employees and customers
09:35 – Betsy Bingham on problem-solving efficiency
10:57 – Recognizing the value of repetition to build lean mindset skills
11:42 – Dr. Yerian reinforces the importance of quality repetition
12:35 – Leveraging metrics to drive operational improvements
15:35 – Embracing challenges and how to approach to problem resolution
16:35 – Benefits of breaking the telling habit for effective leadership
17:35 – Insights on cultivating a lean mindset within your organizational culture
22:30 – Larry Culp’s three key takeaways
23:50 – Closing thoughts on the event and inspiring team dynamics
Full Episode Transcript
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