Celebration of Errors From Aerospace to Tech Companies: The Lean Journey of Ward Vuillemot

Episode page with links, transcript, and more: https://leanblog.org/489

My guest for Episode #489 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast Ward Vuillemot, a seasoned C-suite executive with over six years leading fully remotely while building technology organizations from the ground up for companies 150 to 650 employees in size and $50M to $125M revenue across the Americas and Europe.

He is currently the Chief Product Officer and CTO at RealSelf and is a technical advisor with his own company, where he advises startup founders and CEOs on technical roadmaps and technology organization along with lean approaches…

He was previously a guest on the “My Favorite Mistake” podcast with me.

A fervent advocate for Lean methodologies in the tech industry. Ward shares about his unconventional journey into Lean; from an aerospace engineer at Boeing to an integral part of Amazon's early stages, his pathway illuminated his unique approach to Agile practices.

Dive into the discussion as Ward unravels the essence of Lean as a democratized philosophy for constant improvement and innovation rather than a mere tool. Discover the significance of psychological safety in adopting Lean and Agile practices and how the perception of errors and ‘defects' as learning opportunities rather than punitive measures can revolutionize the business approach.

Questions, Notes, and Highlights:
How did you get exposed to Lean? What's your origin story?
Worst mispronunciation you hear of a Japanese lean word?
Shingijutsu experience for a year…
“But we don't build cars” — Boeing's version?
Into software -- agile as an offshoot of Lean?
Culture — Using mistakes as a vehicle for learning…
Psychological safety – is fundamental to LEAN
Tell us about the Celebration of Error concept – and practice…
From Correction of Error (Amazon) to Celebration of Error?
Punishment leads to more errors — the alternative is more learning, more prevention

The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in its 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more: https://leanexecs.com/

This podcast was also brought to you by Arena, a PTC Business. Arena is the proven market leader in Cloud Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) with over 1,400 customers worldwide. Visit the link https:// arenasolutions.com/lean to learn more about how Arena can help speed product releases with one connected system.

This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network: https://leancommunicators.com/

00:02:18: Ward's Origin Story

00:03:57: Experience with Shingujutsu Consultants

00:04:35: Shifting Back to Software Engineering

00:06:23: Ward's Experience with Amazon Fresh

00:08:35: Discussion on Dr.Deming's Philosophy

00:10:24: Language Miscommunication in Lean Terminology

00:12:16: Importance of Listening in a Lean Culture

00:14:16: Discussion of "Andon" and Ensuring a Positive Culture

00:14:52: Culture and Error Handling in Lean Organizations

00:15:36: Response to Incidents and Shaping Desired Behavior in Lean

00:16:28: Psychological Safety Importance in a Lean Culture

00:19:52: Culture and Psychological Safety in The Toyota Way

00:21:03: Introducing "Celebration of Errors" and Importance of Correct Behaviors

00:24:14: Changing terminology: from defects to problems

00:24:58: Role of the Chief Technology Officer in creating psychological safety

00:27:09: The importance of leaders modeling vulnerability

00:28:27: The impact of leadership on organizational behavior

00:31:57: Cultivating psychological safety: non-judgemental conversations

00:32:18: Reflecting on Learning Methods

00:32:25: The Power and Impact of the Word "Should"

00:33:03: Discussion on Authentic Self and Inclusion

00:34:26: Discussion on Nonviolent Communication

00:34:57: The Importance of Interactions and Handling Emotions in Leadership

00:35:53: Learning to Grow as a Leader

00:36:57: Stages of Psychological Safety Framework

00:37:44: The Value of Self Awareness and Hard Work in Leadership

00:38:10: Lifelong Commitment in Work Relationships

00:38:55: Contrast in Leadership Styles

00:39:55: Find Your People and Culture Fit

00:41:14: Reflecting on the Concept of Correction of Error

00:42:05: Positive note and value add discussion

00:42:40: Value add versus Non-value add

00:43:30: Adoption of tools for outcomes

00:43:59: Application of policies and procedures

00:44:34: Theory X versus theory Y

00:47:10: Celebrating errors and learning

00:48:35: Fate or destiny and the matrix

00:50:59: The role of psychological safety

00:51:19: Declarative knowledge and its importance

00:51:51: The importance of procedural knowledge

00:53:35: Frontiers of innovation and process improvement

00:54:37: The difference between knowledge and assumption

00:55:47: Closing Remarks and Farewell Conversation

00:57:16: Contact information and next episode suggestions
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