Karen Wilhelm’s Lean Reflections

This is the third of three contributions to John Hunter‘s Annual Management Blog Review.

It is about Karen Wilhelm’s Lean Reflections, which needs to be said because there is another blog by the same name. Karen’s blog is at leanreflect.com; the other one, at leanreflections.com.

On the front page, Karen promotes herself as follows: “Need impeccable, clear, fact-checked web or print content that gets lean concepts right? Talk to me.” I got to know Karen more than 15 years ago, when she was the editor of the SME’s Lean Directions newsletter, and I have to agree that every claim she makes is true. When I wrote articles for her newsletter, she helped me improve them, and I have been regularly reading hers, with the confidence that I would learn something, that the information would be accurate, and that it would be clear and easy to follow.

Karen Wilhelm differs from the other Lean bloggers in that she is a professional writer and editor who knows about Lean, rather than a Lean professional who writes. She is not selling anything other than her ability to report on what others are doing, and she does not make recommendations or put forward opinions. So you read her for the  facts, not for guidance on what to think. And her blog is easy to search.

Clocking in at about 2 posts/month, Karen is not the most prolific blogger, but her output has been steady since 2005. While the last two posts, about a squirrel in her attic and the tracing of her iPad mini’s world travels may make you think “slow news day,” you find plenty of red meat in her archives, often about topics that are not well documented elsewhere, like Toyota’s shop floor safety policies and practices, or the meaning of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.