Made To Grow, Manufacturing Podcast, episode two cover

Made to Grow: Episode #2 with Tom Hughes

In episode #2 of Made To Grow, Tom Hughes, an expert in Two Second Lean Methodology, joins Rich Dale from Flowlens to explore the world of Lean Manufacturing and how to foster a culture of continuous improvement within your organisation.

Tom shares his extensive background in manufacturing, how he experienced a ‘Lean Epiphany’ and his experiences along the way. He shares how to get started on your Lean journey, the most common reasons for failure and he tells us how he became a self-professed ‘Lean Maniac.’

Key Points:

00:00:00 – Introduction

Rich Dale welcomes Tom Hughes, a seasoned Lean Methodology expert, to discuss building a Lean culture for continuous improvement.
Tom shares his wealth of experience in Lean manufacturing and its impact on businesses.

00:02:30 – Defining Lean and Continuous Improvement

Tom explains the fundamentals of Lean manufacturing, emphasising waste reduction and productivity enhancement.
Continuous improvement involves nurturing a culture of ongoing growth and development.

00:10:15 – Engaging Employees in the Lean Journey

Tom and Rich discuss the significance of engaging employees in Lean initiatives.
Empowering teams to identify and eliminate waste, making Lean principles relevant to their daily work.

00:22:45 – Developing Standards and Focusing on Individuals

Establishing standards to identify and address defects and inefficiencies within processes.
Prioritising the individual’s experience, reducing stress, and enhancing work-life as crucial aspects of Lean success.

00:35:20 – Three Crucial Stakeholders in Lean Success

Tom outlines the three essential stakeholders for Lean success: individuals, the business, and customers.
Putting employees first, followed by focusing on business improvement and customer satisfaction.

00:38:39 – Integrating Technology in Lean Practices

The role of technology in Lean transformation and streamlining processes, reducing manual waste.
Striking the right balance with technology to avoid hindering Lean implementation.

00:41:20 – The Pitfalls of Overreliance on Dashboards and KPIs

Tom discusses the drawbacks of relying solely on dashboards and KPIs for decision-making.
The importance of being close to the workplace (gemba) for well-informed decisions.

00:42:35 – Embracing the “Improvement Starts With I” Mindset

Tom highlights the significance of the “Improvement Starts With I” attitude for driving lasting change.
Taking responsibility for contributions to problems and continuously striving for self-improvement.

00:44:25 – GembaDocs – A Lean Documentation Solution

Tom introduces GembaDocs, a software designed to document processes and standard operating procedures (SOPs).
GembaDocs as a valuable tool for businesses aiming to implement Lean practices effectively.

00:45:55 – Conclusion and Next Episode Preview

A recap of the episode’s key takeaways, emphasising leading from the front in Lean transformations.
A preview of the next episode featuring Rich Dale discussing financing growth plans.


In this engaging podcast episode, Tom Hughes, the Lean expert, and Rich Dale from Flowlens explored the world of Lean manufacturing and continuous improvement. Listeners gained insights into Lean principles, the importance of engaging employees, and the need for a customer-centric approach.

If you want to know more about Tom’s work download his book at Improvement Starts With I, follow him on LinkedIn at Tom Hughes or check out GembaDocs for a free 30 day trial.

Subscribe and follow @Flowlens on social media for updates on future episodes and more valuable content.

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