In Lean, we are taught to observe. Here is something that I observed in the years 1994-2007. For decades, people’s focus was on continuous improvement - what in 2009 I called "The Toyota Half-Way." The focus was so strong that people, especially employees, often experienced very bad outcomes such … [Read more...] about Eyes on Lean
People often complain about the name "Lean," the generic version of Toyota’s management system. It has long had a bad connotation because most managers misunderstand Lean and have used it to lay people off. So, I propose the following new name: "Flaco." Instead of "Lean management," we will now … [Read more...] about New Name for Lean!
A while ago I had a spirited e-mail exchange with a well-known and highly accomplished Lean practitioner, someone I have been friends with for more than 15 years. The former executive, now a very successful Lean consultant, was responding to a Lean Leadership News article in which I criticized … [Read more...] about The Profits Generator
This is the back story to the recently re-discovered classic book, Principles of Mass and Flow Production. To most people, the history of progressive management begins and ends with Toyota. It seems as if Toyota developed everything of importance: the principles, the methods and tools, and so on. … [Read more...] about The Back Story – Finding a Lost Classic
Today, Labor Day, is an opportunity to reflect on the valuable contributions made by labor to the economy and in the production of goods and services that we consume. They do this while having to contend with stagnant or declining wages, demands for increased productivity and increased service … [Read more...] about Respect for Labor
In my view, Toyota’s most amazing accomplishment is that its leaders were able to sustain the company’s management system over generations of managers. In particular, the nearly 50-year period between 1947, when Taiichi Ohno joined the company, to 1995, the year Toyota became sales and market-share … [Read more...] about Toyota’s Amazing Accomplishment
Have you ever heard of Kenneth Wantuck? If not, I’d like to introduce him to you. Ken, age 77, is the author of a wonderful, comprehensive book, Just-In-Time For America, describing how to implement Just-In-Time. The book was published in 1989. Ken was one of the very few early authors to … [Read more...] about Just-In-Time For America
My favorite quote is by Eiji Toyoda, former President and Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation and cousin of the company’s founder, Kiichiro Toyoda. The quote is: “…employees are offering a very important part of their life to us. If we don’t use their time effectively, we are wasting their … [Read more...] about My Favorite Quote