Human Centered Design with Michael Parent

Human Centered Design with Michael Parent

by Patrick Adams | Apr 19, 2022

 

This week I’m chatting with Michael Parent, a Master Lean Six Sigma Black belt and managing director of Michael Parent Consulting Services in Michigan. 

 

In this episode we talk about Lean and Human Centered Design and the value it offers Continuous Improvement in your business.

 

What You’ll Learn This Episode:

  • Operational Definition: What Human Centered Design Is
  • Exploring Human Centered Design
  • The value  Human Centered Design offers for Lean, Six Sigma, and Continuous Improvement
  • What  Human Centered Design offers
  • Lean and Six Sigma from a People perspective
  • Innovation and organizational strategy, what are some key learning points to know

 

About the Guest: 

 

Michael Parent is a Master Lean Six Sigma Black belt and managing director of Michael Parent Consulting Services in Michigan. He is also the author of “The Lean Innovation Cycle: A Multi-Disciplinary Framework for Designing Value with Lean and Human-Centered Design”. He was named an ASQ Rising Star in 2021.  Parent received a Bachelor of Science, engineering degree in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and an MBA from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. Parent serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers Operational Excellence Division. 

 

Important Links: 

https://sixsigma-consulting.com/books/

https://stats.stackexchange.com/users/205150/michael-parent?tab=profile

linkedin.com/in/parent-michael

 

Full Episode Transcripts: 

 

Patrick Adams

Hello, everybody, and welcome to the lean solutions podcast. Our special guest today is Michael Parent. Michael is a Master Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Managing Director of Michael Parent Consulting services right here in my backyard, right in Michigan. He’s also the author of the Lean Innovation Cycle, a multidisciplinary framework for designing value with lean and human centered design. And he just recently published this book. It’s brand new just came out this last week. So we’re going to talk a little bit about that today. Michael, welcome to the show.

 

Michael Parent 

Thanks for having me, Patrick.

 

Patrick Adams 

Absolutely. So like I mentioned, you just published this book. I mean, it was just this last week, right when it became live.

 

Michael Parent

That’s right. So, on April 12, is when it kind of kicked off on Amazon and on the publishers website. So we’re very excited to see how it does. And I’m excited to kind of have these conversations about Lean and Human Centered Design. Love it.

 

Patrick Adams 

So before we dive into the content in the book, and what you’ve written about, and you know, really where your passion is, tell us about the process of writing the book, I’ve had so many people, you know, being an author myself, I’ve had so many people that have asked me about the process, and you know, what we went through and you know, what it was like, and what, you know, why did I even want to write a book, I’m curious to hear from you what how you would answer some of those questions. Can you just walk us through, you know, how this all started? And what the process was like?

 

Michael Parent 

Yeah, I’m an inquisitive guy. And I always like to be doing something. So you know, March 2020, COVID happens? You know, we’ve heard that several times. And a lot of my projects slowed down came to a halt, and I’m not wanting to twiddle my thumbs. So I said, Well, I’m going to take this opportunity to really just do research, I’ve been exposed to human centered design. I liked it, I kind of liked a lot of the things they were saying from the the framework about it. And I saw a lot of synergies are potential for synergies between what I do and Lean and Six Sigma and Human Centered Design. So it really started as a research project. And then, you know, I was taking a lot of notes on it, trying to apply my own thoughts to it. And I said, I think I could really write something about this intersection between Human Centered Design Innovation, and Lean. And when I went and kind of looked at the marketplace, there was nothing really out there that had anything about Human Centered Design Thinking and L

ean. So you know, it had good market potential, I put it in front of a couple publishers, I, you know, got traction with one of them. And that’s kind of how it went.

 

Patrick Adams 

Very nice. We’ll dive into that, you know, some people are listening right now and wondering what is human-centered design? So, we’ll dive into that here in just a minute. But tell me about the process. I mean, did you how did you come up with the outline the framework for your book? What was the basis behind that? You know, what did that look like?

 

Michael Parent 

You know, it was a lot of conversations with my publisher, which is Routledge. There’s something of Taylor and Francis, really, I wanted to divide it into kind of two conceptual frameworks. And we were just talking before we started this interview about, your work, Avoiding The Continuous Appearance Trap. But essentially, I wanted these conceptual frameworks, one to say, you know, how do we actually apply these concepts of human centered design thinking into the fold of Lean and Six Sigma? And then the other one is kind of where does it fit in the business model? Right. Those are two separate questions that I think are kind of more cerebral than practical. But they were something I wanted to do address in both cases. So that’s kind of where the outline came from was one is okay, how does it fit within lean dem AIC, and how the other one is, how does it fit in with strategy? How does innovation that it seems so many companies are interested in pursuing How does that actually fit in with the context of a business strategy? Sure, sure.

 

Patrick Adams 

Now, did you always know that you were going to write a book? Michael, is that always been something on your mind?

 

Michael Parent 

I wouldn’t say always. But recently, I’ve kind of said, Yeah, I think it would be a nice challenge, really, to try and create something meaningful for people to read. That’s how I get a lot of information myself is I like to read. And yeah, to contribute something in written form is great. I’m very happy to have the opportunity to do that.

 

Patrick Adams 

Nice. Yeah, it’s definitely a fun process. It can be overwhelming, stressful, but at the same time, very rewarding. So exciting. Okay, let’s dive into maybe some of the content or the terms. Starting out with,  an operational definition, what exactly is human centered design?

 

Michael Parent

Human Centered Design, I think is a lot like Lean and Six Sigma, in that it’s a problem-solving framework. In Lean and Six Sigma, most of the time, we’re focused on improving an existing process, that process has already been designed to do something, whether it’s manufacture or good deliver service, what not, human centered design is kind of more of when you’ve got that green field, how do I design something brand new that the customer is going to resonate with? And how am I going to deliver value to it? And the framework? There’s a lot of similarities. That’s kind of the whole point of this conversation is there’s a lot of similarities in Six Sigma. But really, it’s about empathizing with the end user. And a lot of the tools that human centered design have, it’s really focused on understanding who that customer is, who the end user is, what are their constraints, what do they care about? And that’s kind of really the crux of that problem solving framework.

 

Patrick Adams 

Okay, so would you say, that it’s a compliment to Lean? And Six Sigma? Would you say that it’s that there are similar tool sets that, you know, maybe are just looked at differently, depending on whether you’re working in human centered design? Or whether you’re in Lean? Or how would you say they fit together?

 

Michael Parent

Yeah, I think there’s a lot of things that are very additive, we could just take directly from human centered design, add it into the Lean, and Six Sigma toolbox, and we’ll be better for it. You know, human centered design is really about the Gemba. It’s about undergoing and seeing where the work is done, where the interaction between product that’s been developed, and end user is. So in human centered design, we talk about different types of users, you’ve got mainstream users who the product is actually for, you’ve got experts, people who might know the history of the product or, or why it is the way it is in its current form. And then you might have a niche group that are extreme users. These are people who are, you know, living on the edge, and they know every little constraint about the current product offering. And depending on, these categories, you’re gonna get different insights from them. One might be who you’re trying to sell to, but another one might be who you’re trying to learn from. So really, these are insights that we can take from the Lean perspective and say, Well, when I go to the Gemba, I’m not just looking for, you know, where the work is done. I’m trying to find that person who’s, you know, get the get the best throughput on the machine, or they’ve got the best quality in whatever process they’re doing. Those are very different interactions than just your average worker.

 

Patrick Adams

Sure, Yeah, that makes sense. Where did your interest in human centered design first, first start? Where did it come from?

 

Michael Parent 

I was first exposed to it. When I was in my MBA course, which was at the College of William and Mary. And I was really just blown away by it. I really liked everything that I was hearing, I wasn’t quite yet a Black Belt in Lean, and Six Sigma, but I saw some similarities. But the thing that really got me was we were going to prototype and said, Alright, you’re going to design a wallet, I had no problem. I know what a wallet looks like, I haven’t my back pocket, you know, it has my ID and three credit cards. And then I got paired in my group with a woman. And she had a very, very different understanding of what a wallet should do. It didn’t have to fit in her back pocket, right? She had different things in her wallet that I didn’t have in mind. And just understanding that empathizing with a different end user, putting my preconceived notions aside, we really were able to develop something that was way more robust for both of our needs, without just being constrained with my version of what I thought, well, it should look like. Sure. And I’ll also say I’m left-handed and you don’t get very far in life without understanding that things are designed for right handed people. And that’s just something you kind of live with, you kind of see the lack of empathy in a lot of places to say, Ah, this would have been better. You know, if you’ve ever used a lawnmower, right? You’re going pull that with your right hand and being a little tight trying to pull it with your non dominant hand was pretty difficult. So just things like that you really do get exposed to in life?

 

Patrick Adams 

I know exactly what you’re talking about, because you and me, are both left handed. So that’s great.

 

Michael Parent

Yeah, you know exactly what I mean.

 

Patrick Adams 

Yes, I do. So can you, for those that are learning about human centered design, for the first time listening to this podcast, let’s go a little bit deeper, can you just maybe talk about some of the tools and the techniques, just, you know, maybe even through an example of some sort that that, that you could share with the group, with the listeners?

 

Michael Parent

Yeah,  I’m trying to think of an example off top of my head.  But there’s this great thing if you go on YouTube, And it’s through a company called IDEO. And IDEO is this company that’s been in Silicon Valley for,  25 years, and they’ve really designed everything that came out of Silicon Valley in the past 25 years. And they take this idea of, we’re going to redesign a shopping cart. And you know, what they do is they don’t have the shopping cart expert on their team, there is no such position. So a lot of what they’re doing, and the tools that they use, are really to have this kind of convergent, and or excuse me divergent, and then convergent flow to their workflow, I have to come up with a broad range of ideas, some that are just ridiculous and ludicrous. But they help facilitate the kind of this brainstorming this collaborative and creative process. And then through different, you know, interactions with the customer going to the Gemba, we might say, in the Lean world, seeing how people are using the shopping cart and seeing what constrains people from using the shopping cart, they’re able to identify who the expert users are, and what limits those users. And they’re able to create a new and novel idea for a shopping cart, one that’s more lightweight, one that allows you to you know, leave the cart in one place, but take a small basket and go and collect the things that you need in that aisle. So really, it’s this workflow of observation, of course, but then, you know, divergent ideas for creativity, and then converging on a solution, informed by those observations and those interactions, I would say, at a very, you know, broad strokes idea, that’s kind of what human centered design is.

 

Patrick Adams 

I love those examples, and even thinking, like you said, about the shopping cart, and just how everybody, you know, comes from different backgrounds, different cultures, different industries, you know, age groups, I mean, everybody’s doing things, thinking about things in different ways. And so to be able to come together and really design something that can fit for the majority, what would you do for, you know, I say, fit for the majority? And just the question just popped into my head. But what do you do for the minority for, you know, how does that work? When you have, okay, we’re designing this for the majority? How does that work? For those that are maybe outside of that group?  Is there certain techniques that you use?  How do you dive into that? Go ahead.

 

Michael Parent 

Yeah, I think there’s definitely principles that you can apply. Um, you know, one, one principle of design that’s very important is just transparency, it’s always better to have a product that’s transparent, versus one that’s not even not in products, but in service industries, right? It’s so much better to find out what your wait time is, as you’re waiting to get help with a call center, then, you know, because maybe you don’t want to wait 30 minutes, or maybe the call the call wait is 90 minutes. So by telling you and giving you some transparency into the process, you derive value as a customer. The same can be said for packaging, right, every packaging is clear. So there are some fundamentals that are good for everybody. Yeah. But as you say, there are some that are kind of mutually exclusive. Right-handed majority versus left handed minority. What do you do, and I think the summer guard, you have to build in flexibility. Things seem to be rigid. A lot of times I’m thinking of a shopping cart in my head, and I’m thinking now they have like cupholders and skinny, you know, scanners, and they’re on the right side. And, you know, just to have a little clip that could, you know, let me shift that over to the left-hand side was such a novelty, it costs them nothing. And really allow the end user to have the flexibility to decide how they’re going to use it. Right. Um, so certainly principles of flexibility and maneuverability would really allow you to reach a broader audience, you know, from the mainstream into the minority.

 

Patrick Adams 

Yeah,  And especially in today’s fast paced, you know, ever changing world I mean, being agile, being able to be flexible with design. I mean, that’s, that’s the key for the future. You talked about value, and being able to really understand what’s the value for the end user, let’s tie that back to Lean Six Sigma continuous improvement. From a value perspective, how does human centered design help? In the end, I know that we hit on Lean and Six Sigma, a little bit. But, you know, for those that are listening, the majority are either working in, you know, again, different industries, but in some way they they’re tied into Lean and Six Sigma, what value can human centered design offer to them? Depending no matter what industry they’re from?

 

Michael Parent 

Yeah, um, you know, one thing I’ll say is, I think human centered design really gets at the ethos of lean, I don’t like when people say Lean is about removing waste. Lean is about adding value to the customer defining what that value is, and adding value. I don’t think there’s any better way to do that than to go and observe how the end user is actually using a product, how they’re actually interacting with it. And this is even better than focus groups and surveys that say, you know, no, I’m actually going to do it this way. Because when you’re actually observing somebody, when you’re actually seeing somebody, use the product, see how they’re frustrated with it, see what’s intuitive about it. That’s going to inform everything from that all the way back through the value chain. So I would say that’s the very, like, if there’s one principle you taking away from this is that human centered design, that thought process that that methodology will inform your understanding of customer value better? I also think there are things lots of principles. We’ve already talked about the gimbal, and how we’re compartmentalizing the interactions we have. But also in brainstorming and idea generation. There’s a lot of different techniques that you can use devil’s advocate, obviously, we use affinity diagramming, but they’re just different, you know, how might we statements is another one that can facilitate these creative and divergent sections of the lean? You know, process, but when you think about solutioning, and coming up with something to a countermeasure, if you will? Sure. So, those are two things at a high level, I think we could take away from it.

 

Patrick Adams 

Yeah, even think about just, you know, product and process development, new product development, you know, we’ve already mentioned a few things that tie in specifically to that, and I know, there’s many listeners out there that are, you know, that are doing Lean product development within their companies. But, you know, maybe even taking Human Centered Design and tying it into your, new product development process. Have you ever been to Menlo Innovations before?  No, oh, you have to go visit. They have high tech anthropologists.  Their job is to go out and meet with the end user. And it’s, really human centered design is what they’re doing. They’re really going out there. They meet and they’re going to the Gemba.  They’re meeting with the the end user in the environment that they’re in. And they’re thinking about how do we bring this back now what what we’ve learned and present it to the group as we’re developing and building new products to go out to the market. You know, how do we build it with the end user in mind? So definitely something that I would recommend going and visiting them at some point.

 

Micheal Parent

Absolutely. There’s, I think the technical term for that is ethnography. Which was, you know, if you find that on Jeopardy, I don’t think you can use it any other way. But really, you know, a great story I’ve heard about this is, as people were trying Well, I guess, Procter and Gamble, they were trying to sell more cleaning product, pine, solar, or Mr. Clean, whatever it is that their brand is. And in so doing, they go in there observing the process of people cleaning their floors, adding the soap, the detergent, you know, getting the hot water in the bucket. And they realize that this is actually like a really, really difficult process. It’s a frustrating process, you’ve got to haul this bucket of hot water around, it’s gonna slosh and spill and then you’ve got to get down on your hands and knees and clean your floor, then you got to wait for the Florida dry. And they said, Wow, we can create a product around around this process around this whole user experience. You know, that’s a buzzword now, back in the 90s. It really wasn’t but they created the Swiffer from going in there and looking at you know, doing that high tech anthropology, ethnography and saying, Wow, this whole process is really the product that we’re selling, or rather the product that we’re selling necessitates this process. And by changing the product, we’re changing the user experience. And it’s just a great example of how this empathy how this demo really affects product development.

 

Patrick Adams 

I love that. That’s great. Let’s, let’s shift gears a little bit and go directly into your book being that you just released it this last week. Can you tell us a Just a little bit about the book, and, you know, maybe dive into maybe a couple of topics that you present in the book. I know, you talk about innovation, organizational strategy, you know, what are some of the key takeaways that listeners can get? If they reach out? Grab your book?

 

Michael Parent

Yeah, Thanks, Patrick. The book is kind of divided into two sections. The first section is really all about the synergies between the framework of human centered design and the framework of Lean and Six Sigma, I get into, you know, what tools you can use and which part of the DMAIC process I kind of create my own framework for you, which is called the Lean innovation cycle, which essentially amalgamates the two together, but it’s essentially a PDCA cycle. Okay. So that’s one part. And you get into everything from market segmentation and Hoshin, Kanri. And, and your x matrix and trying to figure out, you know, what exactly my strategy is, and how does innovation fit into it all the way into different analysis tools, if anybody listening is a design for Six Sigma black belt, you might be familiar with the Kano model, or quality function deployment. These are all tools that we talk about in the book, within the purview of human centered design, as well as how these interactions and divergent convergent thinking can be facilitated by some deep and hefty analysis as well. So that’s the first part of the book. The second part, really get into, you know, how does innovation work within the business context itself, I divide, I define innovation in the first either in the introduction or first chapter is a business activity, I think it’s really important to understand that it is an activity, it’s something that’s done by a business, it’s not a thing, it’s not a product. Innovation is the business activity. And as such, it needs to be subordinated to a greater business strategy. That doesn’t sound too groundbreaking. But I think in a lot of contexts, it is because people want this disruptive innovation, they want this first mover advantage that gets after new products and new segments and stuff. And it’s simply, you know, in the research that I’ve done is simply not the case that that’s any type of guarantee. In the book, I use an example of TiVo, right, great, great product of the late 90s. Nowhere to be found today, right? They had total market penetration, they had everything they had the name, we still know it as TiVo when nobody knows it as DVR, right. And yet, the company cease to exist, because this first mover advantage just didn’t pan out the way they thought it would. So I’m really it’s a lot of conversation about sustainability of innovation, strategy of innovation, and how it how it ought to be subordinate to a greater, more thoughtful business strategy.

 

Patrick Adams

Very nice. I use the example of blockbuster a lot, because, you know, you used to see a blockbuster on every corner. And, you know, it’s unfortunate, but, you know, Blockbuster was, was trying to improve their processes of how to get people to the counter as quickly as they can with a DVD, or with a VHS tape or whatever it might be, rather than thinking about, you know, what does the future look like? And how is technology changing? And, you know, how can we innovate and look at other ways what’s adding value for the customer? What is the customer looking at, for the future, and that’s really what you’re talking about is, is really don’t get stuck, you know, being content with whatever product or you know, industry that you’re in, but really, you know, look, look at where the world is going, Look at what listen to your customer base voice of the customer and understand what’s important to them, and what’s valuable to them, so that you don’t end up being the next blockbuster.

 

Michael Parent 

Right. I I’ve always heard blockbuster in the 90s. They were especially worried about on demand video. That is what they thought was going to disrupt them. And somebody’s told me it’s essentially as if a train tycoon thought the Zeplin the airship was going to displace train travel, and just totally didn’t see the automobile coming at all. So it’s, I think there’s a lot of that of they were reading the tea leaves incorrectly. But also in the book, I get into different strategies like Microsoft, in the 90s had one product, they had the Windows operating system, and everything they did, every innovation they did was meant to augment the value of their one product. Conversely, Apple had this just suite of different products. They were they were in everything, they were doing everything. And they were never really able to compete with Microsoft until about, you know, 2007 2008 when they came up with the iPhone, which is really when you think about it, a different operating system the first time Microsoft actually had to compete with another operating system. And that until that point, there was really no comparison between them. And even when Apple did that they, they made it go through iTunes, everything they did went, you know, they were essentially using Microsoft’s playbook. And that’s it just kind of that idea of innovation, towards augmentation, right, get your core, you know, get your competitive advantage, and then everything you want to do, should be to create barriers to that competitive advantage for competitors.

 

Patrick Adams 

Sure. That’s amazing. Yeah, one of the things that I think about is, we’ve done some work with a company and I’m not going to name I’m not going to mention the name of the company. But it’s a pizza company that’s making pizzas for, for their client base. And, you know, one of the things that they’re asking themselves is what’s, what’s valuable for the end customer? What would they see as value add, right? Is it value add for them to have to come into our, into our store? And sit down and eat pizza? Or is it valuable for them to get a hot piping pizza, in their living room, you know, as quickly as possible? Well, that’s for them. That’s, that’s the real value. And so if they optimize their dining room experience, and they optimize their ability to get pizza, you know, out of the oven and into the dining room as quickly as possible, they’re going to be missing the mark. Right? They have to really be listening to the end customer, the voice of the customer, what is what is valuable to them. And so, you know, there, there’s pizza places out there that are working on how to, you know, with technology and everything, how do we use this self-driving car experience? You know, that that’s how do we could we throw an oven into a into a delivery vehicle, and actually, you know, take the time that an oven is being or that a pizza is being baked and actually make it part of the delivery time? Right? So how do we get it there quicker? How do we get it to them hot and fresh, you know, faster than any other delivery company? You know, again, so that’s, that’s the value is really thinking about what is what’s important to the customer and asking yourself that how can we add more value to the customer? Not necessarily what we think is the best thing, but what do our customers want, right?

 

Michael Parent 

This, we might have to talk a little bit about this offline, I worked for a very large pizza company. About seven or eight years ago, they were doing exactly the opposite. They were trying to bring people into the restaurant they were trying to create not just a delivery model on but really kind of this casual dining or fast casual dining experience. And obviously, the pandemic has a lot to play in with that. But it’s interesting to hear that now, at least a competitor of the company I’m familiar with, is thinking the exact opposite. And I think you’re exactly right, where the customer ought to be driving this cameras, but whatever the whatever the the right decision is, the customer ought to be the one who’s driving this decision, not necessarily, you know, Joe’s pizza company, or whatever it is telling us no, no, come on and have lunch in our restaurant,

 

Patrick Adams

right? Absolutely. So obviously, a really, really interesting discussion. We could probably talk about that all day long. But I want to get back to human centered design. Maybe we can talk about how do we design the most optimal pizza? That sounds good. It’s almost lunchtime here. So we might have to take a break and go grab a pizza. But anyways, let’s go back to human centered design. So, you know, last question that I have is just from a people perspective, you know, is there anything else that we haven’t talked about, that maybe human centered design can offer to the Lean and Six Sigma world from a people perspective?

 

Micheal Parent

Yeah, I think there’s, there’s a lot there, you’ve got customers, understanding the customers better how, you know, human centered design informs how these interactions ought to be had. We didn’t really talk anything about prototyping. Prototyping is a really interesting interaction; a lot of people will try to sell people on on their idea. And that’s really the exact wrong way to do it. If you have to sell somebody on a prototype, you have to show them how to use a prototype. It is not a very good prototype. It’s not intuitive enough for them to know how to use it. Keep designing it. So I think there’s ideas about prototyping where it’s really not to get your idea out there. But to extract something from the customer. The ideas of push versus pull here, right? I’m not pushing my idea on the customer. I’m pulling insights from it. That’s the reason I’m not you know, this isn’t at market yet. I’m just trying to understand what a customer understands about a product. So I think that’s a human interaction. I think there’s a lot when it comes to brainstorming and it comes to it. creation within human centered design that the tools of human centered design, and they’re not proprietary, you can Google, you know, human centered design tools and brainstorming tools. And you’ll find them out there that really inform how we can create environments that are really open and conducive to coming up with new ideas. I already mentioned having a devil’s advocate, having, you know, using affinity diagrams, but there’s also so much more than the actual physical space, the environment that you create, and prototype and try new things out on needs to be conducive to failing. I’ve worked at a company that has this, you know, Innovation Center, and it’s got glass walls, and it’s immaculate, and it’s got robotics in there, it’s got a 3d printer, and it’s got hardwood floors. And it’s the exact wrong way to do it. Because nobody will go in there and mess anything up, you know, at the place I was at, you couldn’t bring food. And it’s like, how am I going to feel about trying something new? If I’m constantly fearful of doing anything wrong, right. So even kind of having a makerspace. So or, you know, having a physical environment that’s conducive to failure and allowing that in its place to be a good thing of we’re going to try something and fail. I love Mythbusters. I used to watch Mythbusters all the time. Yeah. And they, they always had this, you know, this creed that said, failure is always an option. And it allowed them you know, in the right time and space to really push the envelope and figure out, you know, how to get something done. And I’ve always loved that.

 

Patrick Adams

Love that. Are you familiar? Do you guys have a makerspace? out near you on your side of the state?

 

Michael Parent

I’m not aware of one I’d be you know, have one on the west side? I think

 

Patrick Adams 

I do . We have what’s called they call it the Fab Lab, but it’s a makerspace. in Muskegon, Michigan, there’s also one in Grand Rapids too. But I’ve been there multiple times. And it’s pretty amazing. I mean, you got all these young people, high school, college aged kids that are in there, and they have the freedom to make a mess to fail to try things to. And it’s amazing, it is amazing to watch these, these kids who, you know, can go in there and have the freedom to do whatever they want, and mess up and just learn and try something else. And I mean, they have 3d printers, they have lasers, they have just all kinds of stuff in there that for these, these kids to mess around with. It’s pretty amazing.

 

Michael Parent

That’s awesome. I, you know, like I said, I had an MBA at William and Mary. And they had a makerspace, they called the Youth Rep suit studio. And you know, MIT has their makerspace, Stanford D School has their makerspace. And it really is, I think, kind of the industry best practice of, hey, we’re going to, we’re going to set it conducive to failure, we’re not going to worry about making a mess, we’re worried about finding out you know, what we can do and what the customer thinks of it. And I just think it’s a great kind of mentality to be in. And it’s rare. It’s tough to get to. Yeah, anyway.

 

Patrick Adams

So for anybody that’s listening in it, you know, obviously, what we’re talking about is creating a culture where people are not afraid to try new things, right. And if that means you got to do a little field trip out to a makerspace. And, you know, but ideally, you’re, you’re building that type of culture, right in your own right in your own facility or your own organization. And, obviously, that type of culture is the type of culture that is going to be able to, you know, innovate and apply some of these tools and techniques that we’re talking about today are around human centered design. So, Michael, thank you. It’s been amazing today to have this conversation with you. I’m excited to get a copy of your book myself, the Lean Innovation Cycle, we’re actually going to drop out, we’ll drop a link in the show notes for the book so that if you are interested to grab a copy of Michael’s book, you can go to the show notes, you can click on the link and go directly to the site to get it. Is it available out on Amazon? If someone wanted to search it?

 

Michael Parent 

It is if you if you search it in the Amazon search bar, you’ll find that if we can put my website on there as well. Absolutely. I just get a little bit bigger cut. Greedy, but I get a little bit bigger cut if I sell it myself and then also the Routledge which is the publisher who has I think you can actually get it the cheapest on that website too. So if you know if price point a couple dollars makes that big of a difference. Go there and I think you can get it for the cheapest.

 

Patrick Adams 

Okay, Michael, what’s your website?

 

Michael Parent

It is six sigma dash consulting.com and six is spelt out siX. Perfect.

 

Patrick Adams 

We will drop that into the show notes as well. And make sure that everybody has access to that. So definitely go out to Michael’s website and grab a copy of his new book, The Lean innovation cycle. excited to read it Michael, thank you so much for being here today. It’s been great to talk I’d love to touch base with you at a later point or maybe even after this, talk a little bit more about our experiences with the pizza joints.

 

Michael Parent

Absolutely. Absolutely. I’m getting a little hungry now though.

 

Patrick Adams

All right. Hey, have a good week. Thanks so much for tuning in to this episode of the Lean Solutions Podcast. If you haven’t done so already, please be sure to subscribe. This way you’ll get updates as new episodes become available. If you feel so inclined. Please give us a review. Thank you so much.

Meet Patrick

Patrick is an internationally recognized leadership coach, consultant, and professional speaker, best known for his unique human approach to sound team-building practices; creating consensus and enabling empowerment. He founded his consulting practice in 2018 to work with leaders at all levels and organizations of all sizes to achieve higher levels of performance. He motivates, inspires, and drives the right results at all points in business processes.

Patrick has been delivering bottom-line results through specialized process improvement solutions for over 20 years. He’s worked with all types of businesses from private, non-profit, government, and manufacturing ranging from small business to billion-dollar corporations.

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