About

... the Blog

The name “Gemba Tales” is borrowed from Mark Hamel’s Shingo Prize-winning, Kaizen Event Fieldbook: Foundation, Framework, and Standard Work for Effective Events. There are 39 Tales within the Fieldbook, all based upon the experiences (some successful, some not) of the author and other lean practitioners and shared for the purpose of providing insight into the application of certain lean concepts.  The purpose of this blog is really no different, just a bigger community for sharing and learning.

As for the "community," a Jakob Nielson usability study determined that about 90% of online-community folks are "lurkers," meaning they read without entering into the conversation, 9% participate "a little" and 1% actively contribute. So, here is an open and genuine invitation from me asking you to participate in the conversation. Don't be a lurker. We can all learn from each others, especially if we abide by the lean principles of humility and respect for the individual.

Gemba: A Japanese term that means “actual place,” it is the place where the work is (being) done. In conjunction with genchi genbutsu, Japanese for “go and see,” it specifies direct observation of the gemba in order to  grasp the current condition and gain insight into kaizen opportunities.

... the Blogger

Mark R. Hamel is a co-founder of the Lean Math blog and co-author of Lean Math: Figuring to Improve. He is a partner and COO of The Murli Group, Shingo Award-winning author Kaizen Event Fieldbook, and founder of the Gemba Tales blog.

Mark has played a transformative role in lean implementations across a broad range of industries including aerospace and defense, automotive, building products, business services, chemical, durable goods, electronics, insurance, healthcare, and transportation services. He has successfully coached lean leaders and associates at both the strategic and tactical level. Mark's 19-year pre-consulting career encompassed executive and senior positions in operations, strategic planning, business development, and finance. His lean education and experience began in the early 1990’s when he conceptualized and helped launch what resulted in a Shingo Prize winning effort at the Ensign-Bickford Company.

Mark holds a BS in Mathematics from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, MS in Professional Accounting from the University of Hartford and a MA in Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary. He is a CPA in the state of Connecticut and has dual APICS certifications. Mark was a national Shingo Prize examiner, helped develop exam questions for the AME/SME/Shingo/ASQ Lean Certification, and is Juran certified as a six sigma black belt. Mark authored the Society of Manufacturing Engineers published book, Kaizen Event Fieldbook: Foundation, Framework, and Standard Work for Effective Events. The Fieldbook was a recipient of a 2010 Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award. Mark is a faculty member of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) and was a regular columnist for Quality Digest.​

Mark can be contacted at mark@kaizenfieldbook.com. View Mark Hamel's profile on LinkedIn