Lean Leadership for Ops Managers

Lean Leadership for Ops Managers

Lean Leadership for Ops Managers is a podcast for leaders in Ops Management who’ve had some targeted success with Lean, but haven’t yet built the everybody-everywhere-everyday improvement culture they crave. In each episode, former Fortune 100 Ops Executive and Lean Enthusiast Jamie V. Parker will teach you how to engage your team, develop a Lean culture, and still get your day job done.


September 27, 2023 11 mins

How do you approach safety? As leaders, it's easy to focus on policies to ensure everyone follows the rules, but safety encompasses so much more than procedures; it is a team sport. In this episode, Jamie shares how safety starts with our mindset and culture within our team.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Safety is a product of servant leadership
  • Safety is an expression of love
  • An evaluation of the safety...
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Hello from New York! I am coming to you live from GE's Lean Mindset Event, which focuses on encouraging the right mindset to embrace lean and features several excellent speakers across different industries, including CEOs from top companies, former NBA and NFL players, and more. In this episode, I share an overview of the event, plus my initial reaction and key takeaways.

What You'll Learn from this Episode

  • Live fr...
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How might operations leaders delegate more effectively? In this episode, Jamie explains how the reason we delegate can drive more effective delegation and practical steps you can take to delegate for development efficiently.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • How to Delegate More Effectively
  • The Primary Reason for Delegating
  • Gaining Clarity on the Individual, Activity, and Skills
  • Define the Level of Delegation
  • The Logisti...
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Why do you delegate? How does that determine what tasks you choose to give? 

In this episode, Jamie discusses the real reasons Ops Managers should delegate and how it benefits themselves plus other members of their team.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • The Reasons Ops Managers Delegate
  • Delegating for Myself
  • Delegating to Help the Individual
  • Delegating for the Good of the Team

Get full show notes and more infor...

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August 2, 2023 13 mins

How often do you delegate? It can be difficult to delegate tasks that could be completed by other members of our team, in turn freeing up more of our time. In this episode, Jamie discusses three common obstacles that leaders face regarding delegation.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How often do you delegate
  • It takes time to delegate
  • Letting go of control
  • Feeling guilt in delegating


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How often do you characterize your work as fun?  

In this episode, Jamie shares how a big challenge and getting creative and trying new and better ways is fun for her, and as Operations Managers, you should be finding fun in your work too. Even though not every aspect of your job may be enjoyable, if you never find joy in what you do, there is a problem.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • A shift in my client workload...
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You can’t have a lean culture without conflict, but so many organizations and leaders are NOT comfortable with conflict. Here’s the question: “What would be the impact to your organization if you could have less destructive conflict and more productive conflict?”

What You’ll Learn from this Episode

  • Two types of workplace conflict, and how they differ
  • How the research behind DiSC for Productive Conflict does - and doesn’t - al...
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Do any of your leaders ever rush into solving a problem? It’s so easy to jump in and start pushing and moving too fast without taking a measured approach. In this episode, Jamie discusses the pitfall of Unstructured Urgency and how to overcome it.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode

  • How Unstructured Urgency Shows Up
  • The Impact of Lack of Structure
  • How to Help Leaders Avoid Unstructured Urgency

Get full show notes and more infor...

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Do you ever find yourself stalling to make a decision? Leaders often get stuck not making a decision because they don’t know enough or how to make the “perfect” one. In this episode, I share how perfection is an Enemy of Effective Operation and some practical steps to overcome it. 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How perfection shows up
  • The consequences of the decisions we make
  • Perfection delays action
  • Ways of thinking to overc...
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May 10, 2023 20 mins

What causes Ops Leaders to struggle with effective execution? Even when the processes are in place, they never seem to be used consistently or correctly. In this episode, Jamie discusses how complexity is a cause of failed execution, and how to create simplicity instead.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Choosing the Tasks to Complete
  • Complexity as an Enemy to Effective Execution
  • Creating Simplicity

Get full ...

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I know you are busy. So, how do you prioritize tasks when they are all important? How do you decide what to focus on? In this episode, I discuss an enemy of execution: distraction. Not being distracted with meaningless or unimportant things, but staying focused on long-term, strategic goals when there is so much to do in your day-to-day. 

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Dealing with the Day-to-Day
  • Separating Priorities
  • Th...
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So often leaders want to learn how to “fix other people.” To get them to do the work, to get on board, to be better. But true leadership starts with our own thoughts, beliefs, and self awareness. 

You are probably keenly aware of your results. But what about your feelings? Or your underlying, automatic thoughts? 

In this episode, I dig into coaching techniques for self leadership. Because whether you like it or not, it’s ha...

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Do you want it done on time, or do you want it done right? We’ve all heard statements like this, and maybe we’ve even said them. It’s so easy to get caught up in this either/or thinking and thinking it’s impossible to have both outcomes. But what if it is possible to have both?

In this episode, I share the idea of AND thinking and a replay of my story from Episode 001, where I experienced a missed opportunity to practice this mindse...

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As a leader, do you find too much of your time is spent in chaos and firefighting? Would you prefer to spend your energy moving your team toward an improved culture with better business results? In today’s episode, Paul Dunlop explains how Leader Standard Work cuts through the chaos and creates a stable environment ripe for Continuous Improvement.  

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • The role of leader as coach
  • Ho...
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Is there any greater priority in today’s business environment than attracting and retaining talented and dedicated employees? In today’s episode, Tracy O’Rourke explains the critical impact of meaningful leader routines on the engagement of a company’s workforce.  

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:  

  • The role of leader routines in improving culture
  • Steps for implementing and enhancing Leader Standard Work
  • Ideas for effectiv...
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While work is made up of process, organizations are made up of people. That’s right, weird, messy, emotional human beings. So operations leadership isn’t just about managing operations or improving process - it’s also highly dependent on leading people.

 Moe Carrick joins us to discuss how we can lead people well while also getting results. 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode

  • People Make Organizations Great
  • Skills for Ac...
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How often do you share your mistakes as a leader? So often in organization we celebrate success and share what went right, while shying away from the mistakes and lessons learned it took to accomplish that success. 

In this episode we talk with Elisabeth Swan about reframing mistakes as gold that can help foster stronger collaboration, team building and problem solving.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How improv made Elisabeth a better le...
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Diverse executive teams deliver better performance. It’s shown in study after study. Despite modest progress, women are still dramatically underrepresented in leadership roles.

How can women take steps to advance to the rooms where decisions are made, and then to confidently contribute in those rooms?

How can current executives take responsibility and action to build greater diversity and inclusion among their s...

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Happy New Year! As we shift our focus to the next year by setting goals and thinking about what we want to achieve, it’s easy to limit what we believe is possible. In this episode, Sarah Tilkens shares how to shift from a goal mindset to a growth mindset to expand what is possible.  

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Setting Meaningful Goals
  • How Mindset Can Expand what is Possible
  • Five Steps for Expanding your Min...
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What is your personal purpose? So often, we talk about organizational purpose as part of our True North, but what about you personally? What motivates you to keep going during those challenging days?

In this episode, Sam Morgan joins us to share how he helps change people's lives by assisting them to uncover their personal purpose while also understanding the process of Improvement Kata and tying it together through daily coach...

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