Lean Manufacturing Expert Bob Rush is “A Big Fan of Mistakes”

Lean Manufacturing Expert Bob Rush is “A Big Fan of Mistakes”


Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

My guest for Episode #90 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is my friend Bob Rush, a Lean manufacturing expert, a management consultant (Bob Rush Consulting), and a contributor to the anthology book Practicing Lean that I published a few years ago.

His bio from his chapter read: “Bob has over 35 years of operations experience and has had over 25 years of Lean practice. His experience is in companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies, and title levels that ranged from shipping clerk to VP of operations. Some of the companies he has worked with, and for, include Hewlett Packard, JDS Uniphase, and Idex Corporation. His journey includes ten years of consulting experience, where he had only himself to blame if things didn’t work out.” Bob was also “associate Lean manager” at Tesla Motors from 2015 to 2018 before returning to consulting.

In today's episode, Bob shares his “favorite mistake” story about not realizing, at first, that “Lean” is a system, not a toolbox. Why does he say that “the biggest project I’ll ever work on is myself”?

Other topics and questions:

  • What’s your elevator speech about Lean? How do you explain it to a CEO?
  • Creating a culture where it’s OK to talk about mistakes?
  • What was the teaching style of your mentors? They knew you’d figure it out? Not simple telling…
  • “Big fan of making mistakes” – Why did he once give a reward for the biggest mistake?
  • Find Bob on

Scroll down to find:


"The biggest lean project you will ever work on is yourself. How do I make myself better?"

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.