In this week’s blog, Lean expert and author Keyan Zandy highlights the podcasts of 3 Lean Construction influencers who are leading the push towards the adoption of Lean throughout the construction industry.
Lean Construction Influencers Podcast Round-Up
When Joe and I wrote The Lean Builder in 2019, we did so in part because we felt that (while many insightful Lean design and construction publications/resources existed) field-applied Lean—or Builder’s Lean, as we call it—felt underrepresented. While we hoped that a wide audience found our book and blog informative and helpful, The Lean Builder truly targets a very specific group of people: superintendents and last planners. Our goal was to explain the concepts, tools, and principles of Lean in a format that is easily understood, so that these field leaders felt empowered to implement them on their projects, even if they didn’t have other resources or champions available to them.
Happily, we are not alone in this mission! Over the last couple years, an army of Lean practitioners and enthusiasts have emerged, who selflessly give away their time and knowledge through their own books, blogs, and podcasts, continuing to push Lean adoption forward to make our industry great. We’d like to highlight just a few of these influencers who are sharing ideas, concepts, and perspectives which may push you to abandon the comfort zone that is “that’s the way we have always done it.”
Learnings and Missteps Podcast
Jesus (Jesse) Hernandez (Regional Lean Manager for Turner Construction Company out of San Antonio) is making some serious noise on his Learnins N Missteps Podcast. A plumber by trade, Jesse spends some of his free time speaking to students, helping them understand how fulfilling a career in the trades can be. When that outlet was closed due to Covid, Jesse (inspired by an autobiography of Danny Trejo) launched his Learnins N Missteps Podcast with a singular goal: change the image of careers in the trades. Fueled by his belief that too many young people are pushed in directions that don’t suit them, his platform offers an exciting look at viable, alternative career paths for them to consider.
With his brother, Rene, the podcast delves into the stories of men and women who have built careers in the construction industry. Guests are typically field leaders who intimately describe their journeys and share how they intend to make an impact going forward. While the podcast is not strictly about Lean, Jesse is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the subject, weaving in Lean concepts, culture, and philosophies every time he is on the mic.
The craftspeople in our industry are often overlooked or diminished, and there is no one today that is elevating their voice more than Jesse. Please check him out on social media here:
Jason Schroeder has spent most his career in the construction industry, working his way from field engineer to project superintendent, general superintendent, to field operations director. Feeling called to improve the lives of foremen, field engineers, and project superintendents, Jason created Elevate Construction—and he has been busy! Through his books, podcasts, blogs, videos, and in-person or online bootcamps, Jason is doing everything in his power to help the field achieve a better quality of life. I highly recommend you check Jason out. Here is how:
Elevate Construction Podcast – Over 331 episodes with Jason interviewing industry leaders, providing training and techniques, and sharing perspectives that enhance thought leadership for the field.
Book: The Art of the Builder: Elevating Construction Superintendents – To explain why he wrote his book, Jason says, “I couldn’t find a book about the art and form of being a superintendent. Yes, there were books about Lean, construction management, and the requisite skills of a superintendent, but there were none that covered what I saw as the art of the builder in construction and the back-to-basics, fundamental attributes of a true leader in the field. I saw a need for one, and I wanted to provide the solution.”
Through leading operations for Skiles Group, I know that the superintendents who have read Jason’s book have benefited from the concepts he’s taught. Check out Jason’s Social Media at:
EBFC Show (Easier, Better, for Construction Show)
Felipe Engineer-Manriquez (National Director of Lean Construction for McCarthy Building Companies) is a committed Lean practitioner with over two decades of construction industry experience. When it comes to “Lean street cred,” it’s hard to find others with more credentials. An LCI Chairman’s Award winner, Felipe holds active leadership roles in the Lean Enterprise Institute, Construction Industry Institute, and other business organizations. He is also a Jeff Sutherland Certified ScrumMaster®, which means he’s someone who is moving the needle on how Scrum can be effective in the construction industry.
His Easier, Better, for Construction Show is where people who are working to make building easier and better share how they’re doing that. Felipe and his guests dig into design and construction topics that are proven to positively build up people, processes, and the business of building.
Felipe brings in a variety of guests—including scrum experts, professors, seasoned Lean coaches, and true field Lean champion construction superintendents—to share stories around learning, growth, improvement and more. In my opinion if there was ever a “voice” for a show, Felipe’s got it with his smooth broadcasting speaking style. You can follow the EBFC Show on social media at the links below:
If you have an author, blogger, or podcaster you follow who is making waves in our industry and elevating field-based Lean, please share them in the comments!