1st Edition

Creatively Lean How to Get Out of Your Own Way and Drive Innovation Throughout Your Organization

By Bella Englebach Copyright 2020
    190 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    190 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    190 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

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    You know your organization needs creativity. Your improvement program is effective, but you’re not making the real breakthroughs you were anticipating. Your employees struggle to create innovative change, while you struggle with how to help them. Your lean advisors talk about a "different way of thinking," but how do you get there? In this unique and uplifting book, Bella Englebach shows how the principles and tools of Creative Problem Solving drive deep and creative thinking when used with lean problem-solving approaches. In this book, you will learn how you can encourage creative thinking, how to support the creative thinking of your peers and employees, and how to help everyone in your organization develop high-value insights to advance strategy.

    Amid a lean deployment, Beth, a mid-level manager, is shocked to find that she has been assigned not one, but two coaches. Linda is her lean thinking coach, Carlo, a coach in Creative Problem Solving. As Beth faces serious business challenges, Linda and Carlo guide her to think deeply and creatively to solve problems and to become a strong lean thinking leader. You will follow her journey and see how Creative Problem Solving tools enhance lean thinking at every step. Creatively Lean is your roadmap to going beyond as a lean thinker and leader.

    Creatively Lean is more than a business novel. Appendices provide insight into the history of Creative Problem Solving, tools for divergent and convergent thinking, and tips on how to use Creative Problem Solving with A3 thinking. Use the book club questions to spur group discussion or for self-study.

    List of Figures. Preface. Acknowledgements. About the Author. Introduction. Chapter 1: A Meeting in the Parking Lot: Lean and Creative Problem Solving. Chapter 2: One of Those Surprise Meetings. Chapter 3: Carlo Meets the Management Team. Chapter 4: A Day in the Contact Center. Chapter 5: Carlo’s New Office. Chapter 6: Listening into Calls. Chapter 7: Beth Meets the Coaches. Chapter 8: Beth’s First Coaching Session. Chapter 9: Getting to the POINt. Chapter 10: Trouble in the Warehouse. Chapter 11: PDCA and CPS. Chapter 12: Doing and Checking and Adjusting without a Lean Coach. Chapter 13: Solving the Trust Issue in the Warehouse. Chapter 14: Creativity and the Improvement Kata. Chapter 15: Goal Setting in the Contact Center. Chapter 16: Gaining Acceptance. Chapter 17: Small Steps, Long Journey. Chapter 18: A New Product. Chapter 19: Not A Typical Monday. Appendix 1: A Brief History of Creative Problem Solving. Appendix 2: Rules and Tools for Divergent Thinking. Appendix 3: Rules and Tools for Convergent Thinking. Appendix 4: Creative Problem Solving in Practice. Appendix 5: A3s and CPS. Appendix 6: Discussion Questions for Self-Study or Book Club Use. Resources: Books and Websites for Further Learning. Index.


    Bella Englebach has been applying continuous improvement and Lean thinking to operations and R&D for over fifteen years. Trained as a scientist, she helps people to see that the heart of improvement is the scientific method. Humans naturally respond to the scientific method, because as children we were all excited to ask why - and we all loved to conduct experiments to find out why! Along the way, many of us left that type of exploration behind, and came to believe that we were not good at problem-solving or creativity.

    Bella believes that everyone can regain their excited inner scientist to drive people-centered improvement for any type of organization. She works with leaders and managers to create environments where problems can be seen, innovative solutions can be discovered and tested, and people can truly drive improvement.

    Bella spent 18 years at Johnson & Johnson, where she was a process excellence and business improvement leader, bringing the worlds of Lean and creativity together in research and development, regulatory affairs, and IT implementations. She opened her own business, Lean for Humans, Inc, in 2018.

    Bella is a Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Facilitator and is also an Associate Partner at?New & Improved, Inc, a consulting firm specializing in helping organizations create the environments for innovation thought the CPS approach. She is an experienced facilitator trained in continuous improvement, Creative Problem Solving, Lean improvement, Lean product and process development, and change management.

    Bella was a member of the Board of Directors of the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange for six years, where she served as Board Secretary and Conference Chair. LPPDE is a nonprofit organization created to foster opportunities to grow and share the knowledge, expertise and experiences that help organizations use Lean product development to dramatically improve product development performance.

    She is a popular speaker and workshop facilitator at Lean, operational excellence, and continuous improvement conferences.