Gemba Tales' 90 Day Reflection

thinkerGemba Tales is now three months old (my first "real" post was made on December 28, 2009). So, I thought it appropriate to engage in a little reflection or hansei. But not too much, mind you. I don't want to over-analyze anything when my blog is still so young and immature. I know that it takes much more than 90 days to build content and community. Slow and steady, as they say.

Lessons Learned

Here are some of my lessons learned, in no particular order:

  • Blogging ain't easy. Sure anyone can develop a site (I opted for some professional help), but you still have to come up with posts that matter, that bring value...on a routine basis. Sometimes I think I add value and sometimes, not so much. And sometimes there are technical glitches, like when a broadcasting "plugin" generated multiple (like 9) emails to subscribers for the same post. That seems to be under control now. I am thankful that the Gemba Tales email subscribers are such an understanding bunch.
  • I actually LIKE blogging. My twice weekly posting frequency almost pushes me over the edge (like everyone else I burn the candle at both ends way too much), but I actually like blogging. Frankly, I wish I could do more.  I enjoy the interaction (there could be more - hint, hint!) and I enjoy the intellectual challenge to come up with some fairly cogent posts that add value for the members of the community. It makes me think and it makes me consider what others might benefit from as they progress in their lean implementation journey and as they seek to develop their own personal lean competency.
  • Spammers are a pox on humanity. I am constantly bombarded with comments that are at best stupid and at worst unprintable from folks who want to advertise their products or "services." I guess spam is one of the hazards of blogging...
  • The lean community is awesome. Lean folks, by and large, live the principles of humility and respect for the individual...and then they go beyond. They share, they mentor and they encourage. I have benefited from the help of a number of first class people within the blogosphere. At the risk of omitting someone, here's a list of some very cool folks:
    • Jamie Flinchbaugh - Jamie shared some advice on how to get started, made some comments on my early posts and included Gemba Tales in his excellent Lean Blog Aggregator.
    • Larry Loucka - Larry provided needed encouragement, advice and comments.
    • Ron Pereira - Ron was absolutely gracious. He profiled Gemba Tales on his LSS Academy blog and then invited me to guest post. Thanks, Ron.
    • John Hunter - John writes some real profound stuff on his Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog. It was an honor when he included me in several of  his "Management Improvement Carnivals."
    • Brian Buck - Comments, link and inclusion in his "Roundup."
    • Evan Durant - Comments, link and some advice to a total Twitter novice.
    • Tim McMahon - Comments and inclusion in his monthly "Roundup."
Popular Posts

Some of my posts seemed to generate a fair amount of interest and others, well...I tried. Here's a short list of some of the most popular posts among the 28 thus far.

Looking Forward - An Invitation

I definitely want this blog to add value, so I invite you to either comment on this particular post or email me directly (see the green question mark on the sidebar) and let me know what lean subjects are most meaningful for you. I promise that I will try to cover those areas in future posts or, if you desire, via email.

Thanks for the past 90 days!

Best regards,

Mark R. Hamel

There are 8 Comments

Ron Pereira's picture

Congrats and keep up the great work. There are only a few lean blogs I ALWAYS read... Gemba Panta Rei, Evolving Excellence, Lean Blog, and now Gemba Tales. I follow a few others on my RSS reader as well... but these 4 are my personal favorites. I look forward to seeing your blog continue to grow and prosper. And Happy Easter. Blessings to you and yours brother. Pax Christi.

markrhamel's picture

Hi Ron,

Thanks for the kind words and all of your support thus far. It means a LOT to me! Happy Easter (all 50 days worth) to you and yours as well. Keep the Faith.

Best regards,

Eli Weinstock-Herman's picture

I'll echo Ron's comment, after reading your first couple posts I added you to my reader list and always look forward to a new article. I know how hard it is to create fresh content amid all of the other things that need to get done and applaud your ability (and efforts) to hit two a week, I post in the IT space and I'm happy when I manage one a week. Keep up the good work, and looking forward to your next post.

markrhamel's picture

Hi Eli,

Thanks so much for the encouraging words. Let me know if you're ever up for a Lean IT guest post on Gemba Tales! It looks like you have a lot to share.

Best regards,

Tim McMahon's picture

Congratulations Mark. I am only slightly more experienced than you at nearly 1 year. I will be getting ready to have my 1 year hansei soon. I think my experience is very similiar to yours. It is not easy, it is great fun, and the people are amazing. I think i have learned more in this past year than any other single period.
I enjoy your posts and the appreciate the value you bring to the lean blogging community. Thanks for including me in your 90 day hansei.

markrhamel's picture

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the comment and thanks for the assistance. You and the Lean blogging "graybeards" have graciously shared so much with us all. Congratulations as you close in on the one year mark!

Best regards,

Dale Savage's picture


One thing I appreciate about your blog is that it has something for everyone whether a company has been on the journey for a relatively short time or is farther down the road, there is something to glean from your post. That balance takes a lot of thought and skill. Keep up the good work. I look forward to continuing to learn from your efforts as well as the comments from others in the Lean community. We need all the support and encouragement we can get sometimes!!

markrhamel's picture

Hi Dale,

Thanks for the kind words. We're all learning and I think it's incumbent upon us to help each other along the way!

Take care,