This podcast by Mark Graban with Dr. Sami Bahri, “The World’s First Lean Dentist” is well worth listening to. It offers a wonderful example of how to apply lean ideas (I really appreciate how obvious the focus on learning and thinking has been key to becoming a lean organization). Dr. Bahri does a great job of explaining how he learned and applied lean thinking with a big focus on one patient flow. He worked with Deming’s ideas and TQM… before, in 1993, he really focused on lean thinking in 1993.
It is easier to see this, I believe, when it is not as easy to just copy what some other organization is doing. Trying to copy is never a good idea. Learning the concepts and then applying them to your situation is what is needed. Seeing what others do can be helpful, but you must learn and then adapt the ideas to your organization – copying is not a good idea. Then practicing continuous improvement and use the PDSA improvement cycle.