Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, keynote speaker, and blogger. He builds upon a deep education in engineering and management with practical experience working with executives and frontline employees in multiple industries to synthesize and practice methods including Lean management, continuous improvement, statistical methods, and people-centered leadership approaches.
Mark’s motivation is to humbly help others learn how to improve and sustain performance. In his healthcare work, this means improving the quality of care and patient safety, while also reducing cost and improving the workplace experience. Across multiple sectors, goals also improving the customer or patient experience, to help the development of leaders and employees, and to build stronger, more adaptive organizations for the long term.
He has learned, practiced, and taught these methodologies in settings including manufacturing, healthcare, and technology startups. Working independently since 2010, and in partnership with other consulting groups, Mark enjoys working with organizations that are looking for better ways to improve, with leaders who are willing to lead that charge. Mark is also the Vice President of Improvement & Innovation Services for the software company KaiNexus.
Books and Publications
His most recent book is an anthology titled Practicing Lean: Learning How to Learn How to get Better… Better, a book of reflections and lessons learned about change, growth, and Lean management written by Mark and 15 other authors from various industries.
Mark is also the author of the book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement (Productivity Press), which was selected for a 2009 Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award, the first healthcare book to win this award. The book has been translated into eight languages. A 3rd edition was released in June, 2016.
Mark has also co-authored a second book, titled Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements, which is also a Shingo Research Award recipient. A newly revised and condensed edition, The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen: Leadership for a Continuously Learning and Improving Organization is also available.
He is the founder and lead blogger and podcaster at LeanBlog.org, started in January 2005. See a list of his other articles and publications. He also also a “LinkedIn Influencer,” where he contributes articles on leadership and business for a broader audience.
Mark earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University as well as a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA as a Fellow in the the MIT SloanLeaders for Global Operations Program.
Mark has worked in automotive (General Motors), the PC industry (Dell), and industrial products (Honeywell). At Honeywell, Mark was certified as a “Lean Expert” (equivalent to “Lean Black Belt”). He has also worked for two software and technology startup companies.
From 2005 to 2009, Mark was a senior consultant with ValuMetrix Services, then a division of Johnson & Johnson, where he led many successful improvement projects with sustainable results in the United States, Canada, and England.
From June 2009 to June 2011, Mark was a Senior Fellow with the Lean Enterprise Institute. In that role, he served as the Director of Communication & Technology for the Healthcare Value Network, a collaboration of healthcare organizations from across North America, a partnership between LEI and Catalysis (formerly the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value). Today, Mark is a faculty member, instructor, and trainer for organizations including LEI, Catalysis, and Studer Group.
Speaking and Teaching
Mark is a popular speaker at conferences and private company events. Mark has been a speaker and coach for organizations across the U.S., in multiple provinces across Canada, and other countries including Finland, Holland, Sweden, Japan, Thailand, and China.
He has guest lectured at schools including MIT, Wharton, the UT Health Science Center Clinical Safety and Effectiveness course, and Ohio State University and has served as a faculty member for the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. He has been quoted and interviewed in many publications, including Health Affairs and the New York Times. Mark is also a speaker for Studer Group.
Honors and Boards
Mark has been honored as a Diplomate member of the Society for Health Systems.
He serves on the board of the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, the board of the AME Southwest Region, and on the advisory board for the Michigan Lean Consortium. Mark is also an advisory board member for the startup technology company Homeward Healthcare.