Mamachari – commuting Japan style

March 21, 2015 2

Everywhere you go in Tokyo are people on bicycles, riding on the streets and sidewalks, with kids strapped in the front and back, on their way to school, shopping or work. But these “mamachari” bikes are nothing […]

Mistake proofing at Starbucks

March 13, 2015 4

Last weekend in Kyoto, I was impressed to see this example of using a visual cue to mistake-proof the beverage making process at Starbucks. After placing our order, including one soymilk based beverage, I was handed […]

Overview of the Japanese Healthcare System

March 4, 2015 6

I recently attended a two-day class for newcomers to Tokyo. One of the speakers was a British general practitioner who lives and practices in Tokyo. He gave a brief overview of the Japanese healthcare system […]

Hospital management in Japan – is it Lean?

February 12, 2015 0

I’ve been told that most hospitals and healthcare organizations in Japan do not employ Lean management. Both foreigners who have done study trips to Japan and Japanese nationals have mentioned this to me as I was […]

Problem solving and command-and-control

February 2, 2015 0

In the three and a half weeks that we’ve been in Japan, I am intrigued by the comments many working foreigners have made that, as a whole, Japanese people are not creative problem-solvers (beyond strict […]

The gender divide

January 29, 2015 0

First impressions I have never experienced the gender divide in terms of roles as acutely as I have in the past three weeks. 95% of the women I have met who have children, both foreigners […]

Rules are not made to be broken

January 27, 2015 0

Rules are not made to be broken I had been cautioned prior to my arrival that the Japanese are very firm rule followers. Tonight was a prime example, though I’ve had multiple other experiences with […]

A lesson in mistake proofing (or lack thereof)

January 10, 2015 0

Mistake-proofing and visual systems Before this move, I had a preconceived notion that mistake-proofing (poka-yoke) and obvious visual controls would be commonplace in Japan. However, my first day in Japan proved that this is not […]

Intentions for life in Japan

January 9, 2015 0

We have arrived in Japan! We arrived to Tokyo from San Francisco in the wee hours of this morning! While my husband and older son are at the apartment to get the keys to our […]

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