Greg Howell Lean Construction

#042: Origins of Lean Construction with Greg Howell

Listen as Greg Howell tells the origin story of Lean Construction

Welcome to episode #42 of The Construction Leading Edge Podcast from, which is a great interview with Greg Howell, a founding father of Lean Construction.

In this interview Greg shares some amazing insights and stories on the following topics:

  • How the Lean Construction movement got started.
  • Greg’s experience as a Navy SeaBee, and how that influenced Lean.
  • The¬†impact of one commanding officer’s leadership style, and how it changed Greg’s approach to leadership.
  • The books he recommends that you read
  • A few paradigm shifts that construction leaders need to make.
  • The difference between an order and a promise.
  • One unexpected benefit of Lean principles that he can’t quite explain yet.
  • Why he only gave a few orders as a commanding officer in Vietnam…and one of them involved a monkey.


Resources mentioned in this episode:

Power To The Edge – Command and Control In The Information Age

Team of Teams – McChrystal, Collins, Silverman and Chris Fussell. (Click here to listen to my interview with Chris Fussell)

Turn The Ship Around – David Marquet

Normal Accidents: Living With High Risk Technologies – Charles Perrow

41 Mistakes To Avoid When Dealing With Conflict At Work

Archisnapper – An app for creating good looking project reports and punchlists