Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, published author, professional speaker, blogger, podcaster, and entrepreneur.
He builds upon a deep education in engineering and management with practical experience working with executives and frontline employees in multiple industries. He synthesizes and practices approaches, including Lean management, continuous improvement, statistical methods, and people-centered leadership to cultivate psychological safety and employee engagement.
Mark helps others learn how to improve and sustain performance. In his healthcare work, this means improving the quality of care and patient safety while reducing cost and improving the workplace experience. Across multiple sectors, goals also include improving the customer (or patient) experience, helping develop leaders and employees, and building more robust, adaptive organizations for the long term.
He has learned, practiced, and taught these methodologies in settings including manufacturing, healthcare, and technology startups, working independently since 2010. Mark often works in partnership with other consulting groups on larger engagements. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology and software company KaiNexus and has a small equity stake.
Books and Publications
Mark's upcoming book (June 2023) is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation.
His previous book Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, teaches how to use simple yet practical statistical methods that help leaders at all levels overreact less to their metrics, which frees up time for real, focused, sustainable improvement.
Mark is also the author of the book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement (Productivity Press), which was selected for a 2009 Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award, the first healthcare book to win this award. The book has been translated into eight languages. A 3rd edition was released in 2016.
Mark has also co-authored a second book, titled Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements, and is also a Shingo Award Recipient. A revised and condensed edition, The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen: Leadership for a Continuously Learning and Improving Organization, is also available.
He also edited and contributed to an anthology titled Practicing Lean: Learning How to Learn How to Get Better… Better a book of reflections and lessons learned about change, growth, and Lean management written by Mark and 15 other authors from various industries.
He is the founder, lead blogger, and podcaster at LeanBlog.org, which started in January 2005. See a list of his other articles and publications. Mark is also recognized as a “LinkedIn Top Voice.”
- Northwestern University:
- Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering (BSIE)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
- Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Fellow in the MIT Sloan Leaders for Global Operations Program.
Mark has also worked in automotive (General Motors), the PC industry (Dell), and industrial products (Honeywell). At Honeywell, Mark was certified as a “Lean Expert” (equivalent to “Lean Black Belt”). He has also worked for two software and technology startup companies.
From 2005 to 2009, Mark was a senior consultant with ValuMetrix Services, then a division of Johnson & Johnson, where he led many successful improvement projects and coached leaders in the United States, Canada, and England.
From June 2009 to June 2011, Mark was a Senior Fellow with the Lean Enterprise Institute. In that role, he served as the Director of Communication & Technology for the Healthcare Value Network, a collaboration of healthcare organizations across North America, a partnership between LEI and Catalysis (formerly the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value).
Mark has also worked for two software and technology startup companies:
- Factory Logic (acquired by SAP), 2000 to 2004
- KaiNexus, 2011 to present
Speaking and Teaching
Mark is a popular speaker at conferences and private company events. Mark has been a speaker and coach for organizations across the U.S., in multiple provinces across Canada, and in other countries, including Finland, Holland, Sweden, Brazil, Japan, Thailand, and China.
He has guest lectured at schools including MIT, Wharton, the UT Health Science Center Clinical Safety and Effectiveness course, and Ohio State University. He has served as a faculty member for the Lean Enterprise Institute, Catalysis, and Studer Group. He has been quoted and interviewed in many publications, including Health Affairs and the New York Times.
Honors and Boards
Mark has been honored as a Diplomate member of the Society for Health Systems.
He serves on the board of the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation.