Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Newt praised as a "Lean Champion" by LeanBlog's Mark Graban

Though some had not heard of the term until Newt started mentioning it in his Presidential campaign, the concept of "lean" thinking, as exemplified by Lean Six Sigma, has long been advocated by Newt.

Yesterday, Mark Graban (follow him on Twitter here) posted the link to a story he wrote about Newt back in December 2009 after meeting Newt at the Ontario Hospital Association.

He posted the link in a discussion of Newt's conference call Wednesday about Lean Six Sigma. Newt.org reads: "If you work in the Six Sigma field, please join Newt for a conference call so he can listen and learn from you, get your feedback and ideas, and answer your questions - so together we can shrink and reform government to get back to a balanced budget."

I recommend reading the entire post -- there is also a few minutes of audio -- but here are some excerpts:
I had a huge thrill a few weeks back, seeing former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich give a talk at the Ontario Hospital Association annual event in Toronto. I had a chance to meet him briefly and had a quick exchange about lean in healthcare, something for which Newt has long been a loud proponent. He seemed genuinely interested when he asked about my talk the day before about lean.
Newt, being a historian (that’s his PhD), gave an amazingly detailed history of Dr. Deming’s influence on Toyota and the impact of lean on the auto industry.
After quoting Newt as saying "Cost control is a bureaucratic term that never works," Graban writes:
Ironically, focusing on costs often leads costs to go up. Improving processes and improving quality inevitably leads to true cost reduction. Newt understands that and we need his voice and those ideas in the healthcare debate.
It is too long to post the entire section, but what Newt and Graban had to say about the Wright Brothers' way of inventing the first airplane versus that of the federal government's both shows how more effective entrepreneurs are than bureaucrats and a little humorous.

Here is the link to the post again.

Here is a positive article today by Politico in which Lean Six Sigma, Dodd-Frank, and plenty of other of Newt's solutions are discussed. (It was written about Newt's speech today at The Heritage Foundation.)


  1. Josh - thanks for the mention of my post and thanks for highlighting this methodology that might sound foreign to some, with the connections to Toyota. As Newt knows, the roots are with Americans like Henry Ford and Dr. W. Edwards Deming...

  2. I am trying to learn more about it myself. Your blog and tweets have been a big help.

    I have heard Newt talk about Deming for years but just recently heard of LSS.


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