Looking Back: Top 10 Posts from 2017

Happy almost new year!

It’s that time of year not only to look back on personal reflections, as I shared in my most recent post, but also to round up your most favorite posts from the year.

Carved stone “daibutsu”, or giant buddha, outside of Tokyo.

Looking back and planning ahead

Looking at the data from your most viewed posts in 2017, it’s interesting to me that many are ones published back in 2016 or even 2015 (see below for a few of the top 5 posts from earlier years).

Of all the posts viewed in 2017, your most viewed topics of interest span a broad range, including:

  • experiences and insights from living in (and now visiting Japan),
  • leadership insights including those from conversations with Mr. Isao Yoshino and interviews with leading Lean thinking authors,
  • practical tips for coaching and problem solving, and
  • general reflections from learning experiences such as conferences and site visits.

What topics interest you the most for the future?

As I continue to write in 2018, I want to know what topics are of most interest to YOU.

As noted in my reflections on 2017, I will have several trips back to Japan in 2018, time with Mr. Yoshino, and other reflections experiences from my coaching and consulting practice, being part of conferences, and interviewing authors.

Let me know what you think! Please share your feedback of what interests you the most in the comments section below.

Top 10 posts from 2017

Here are your most read posts published in 2017. Data range is from January 1 – December 27, 2017 from Google Analytics. Which was your favorite?

1. Toyota Leadership Lessons: Part 8 – “The A3 isn’t a magical tool” (3218 views) – published June 2017

2. Toyota Leadership Lessons: Part 9 – Learning the value of asking questions (1357 views) – published September 2017

3. Resources to help you get out of the habit of telling & create a continuous improvement culture (798 views) – published January 2017

4. Japan Gemba Visit: Lean Thinking in Government – Part 1 – Kaizen, Kaikaku & PDCA to improve customer service (697 views) – published April 2017

5. Book Review and Interview with Michael Balle on “The Lean Strategy” – Part 1 – Is Lean a strategy? (672 views) – published August 2017

6. Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit 2017: Reflections and Insights (651 views) – published June 2017

7. You haven’t seen a start-up meeting like this one before: Teppen’s “Honki no Chorei” in Japan (631 views) – published July 2017

This post was a fun experience when I was back in Japan in May. I also wrote about some of my other experiences – including a daruma pilgrimage, spending time with Mr. Yoshino, and visiting the “5S capital” of the world.

8. Japan Gemba Visit: Lean Thinking in Government – Part 2 – Kaizen and Kaikaku to improve service to elderly constituents (595 views) – published May 2017

9. Highlights and Reflections from the Lean Transformation Summit 2017 (590 views) – published March 2017

10. Japan Gemba Visit: Ashikaga Part 3 – Ogura Metal’s joyful “5S Theme Park” and Kaizen Spirit (547 views) – published February 2017

Other popular posts read in 2017

As noted in the intro, some of your most viewed posts in 2017 were ones published in previous years. I’ve included the top 5 most viewed posts published in earlier years below.

Many of the other highly viewed posts were ones about insights that I learned from my friend and mentor, Mr. Isao Yoshino – a retired 40-year Toyota executive and John Shook’s first manager at Toyota.

You can CLICK HERE to get a PDF of the top 10 Toyota leadership lessons that Mr. Yoshino shared me in 2015 & 2016. I will be working on the next installment of 10 more leadership lessons from Mr. Yoshino from 2017 in the new year.

1. When to A3? 3 Problem Solving Tools to Match the Complexity of Your Problem (4298 views) – published in September 2016

This was the #1 post from 2016.

2. Life in Japan: Omotenashi – the spirit of Japan’s customer service & hospitality (4194 views) – published October 2016

3. Coaching for Improvement: Using A3 Thinking For Personal Development (Part 1 – Overview from Lean Coaching Summit) (3364 views) – published August 2016

This was the #2 most popular post from 2016.

4. Leading Daily Improvement: Creating New Habits and Practices to Support Continuous Improvement (1957 views) – published June 2015

5. Life in Japan: Where cash is king (or rather the shogun) (1843 views) – published January 2016

This was the #6 most popular post from 2016.

Thank YOU

Painting my own daruma at the daruma factory in Takasaki, Japan. It’s harder than it looks!

Thank you for reading and contributing to my blog! It’s been exciting to see my readership increase steadily over the past three years and I am appreciative of the connections around the world that writing this blog has helped facilitate.

It’s hard to believe that my family moved to Japan three years ago, and that we have been living back in the U.S. now for about as long as we were in Tokyo (18 months in both cases).

I started this blog as a way to connect to a broader community and I’m so appreciative for the connections that I have developed internationally through my experiences and through sharing ideas with you all.

Now that we have been back in the United States for nearly as long as we were living in Japan, I find that writing continues to be an important part of my life. Writing posts is my time for hansei (reflection).

Comment and share

Thank you to everyone who has contributed and shared comments in 2017 and earlier. I have learned from all of your comments and value the engagement my posts generate.

Please continue to share your thinking by adding your comments, and sharing posts on social media if you enjoy them!

Best wishes for health, happiness and learning in 2018! 

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