The intellectual foundation of Lean management was built decades ago at a time when business reigned supreme. It was an engrossing mania. Celebrity CEOs, more charismatic than competent, fed everyone a steady diet of hype and spin. The focus was on quarterly earnings, growth, and, of course, the … [Read more...] about Lean’s Crumbling Foundation
COVID-19, like all emergencies, commands people to focus on shrinking the time from order to delivery. People quickly remove all the barriers to getting the job done. They eliminate bad processes and steps in processes and get rid of queue time to get material and information to flow. And we see … [Read more...] about What is Lean’s Future?
This is the back story to the book Management Mysterium. Management Mysterium is a follow-on to The Triumph of Classical Management Over Lean Management (2018) and Irrational Institutions (2020). It adds to this body of work by examining invisible aspects of leadership and management … [Read more...] about The Back Story – Management Mysterium
Political economist David Ricardo (1772-1823) coined the term "comparative advantage." From that came the economic law of comparative advantage, and the intellectual foundation for international free trade. More familiar terms these days are "global sourcing" or "global supply chains," which means … [Read more...] about Is Lean Toast?
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a lot of business leaders to re-think many things, from paid sick leave to health insurance for all to the shortening of supply lines reducing dependence on globalized supply and the wisdom of spending cash on share buy-backs. One thing is for sure, all of this will … [Read more...] about Lean and COVID-19
When the public first became aware of Lean production in 1988, and Toyota's production system in the early 1970s, a small army of people leaped into action to do two things: 1) study TPS and Lean and 2) convince business leaders they should adopt Lean. That sounds like a reasonable plan. It was the … [Read more...] about Lean Got a Bad Start
Anyone who has studied the history of management practice since the late 1800s eventually comes to realize that despite all the effort to advance the practice of management, surprisingly little has come of it. Even if you have no knowledge of the history of management but have worked in … [Read more...] about Management IQ
Mark Graban recently wrote a blog post that reflects the current thinking of many Lean movement leaders and influences: "It’s Hard to Ask Leaders to Change the System in Which They’ve Risen and Excelled." The "system" in question is the management system and culture of the company or companies that … [Read more...] about Narrow Thinking, Narrow Results
Those of us who are fans of Toyota's management system (TMS) and Lean management (LM) are a curious bunch. We want to learn as much as we can as fast as possible. We want to know the details of TMS and LM and how to make them work in ways that fulfill our understanding and our expectations. We are … [Read more...] about Wanting to Know, Preferring to Ignore