After more than three decades, we know one thing for sure: Lean management (as well as TPS) has proven itself to be inadequate as a replacement for Classical Management. Why? Because Lean has failed to offer business owners and corporate executives the things that they want and need most: The … [Read more...] about Reimagining Lean
Gaining the attention and commitment of CEOs for Lean management requires that we understand them. We think we do. In fact, we have long thought that we do. But in truth, Lean promoters, advocates, and practitioners never have. Even accomplished Lean CEOs don't understand their peer CEOs. The many … [Read more...] about Lean People Never Understood CEOs
Let's take the word "leader" to mean anyone in an organization who has management responsibility, beginning with supervisors and extending to CEOs. Most leaders have good intentions when it comes to doing their job, satisfying customers, and helping the organization prosper. Yet, even leaders with … [Read more...] about How Leaders Sabotage Lean
Two of the principal teachings of Toyota-style kaizen is to think of cost problems in terms of processes and in non-financial terms such as time, distance, space, defects, quantity, turnbacks, etc. To be able to effectively think in non-financial terms, we were taught to understand the difference … [Read more...] about Money vs. Process View of Cost
My enduring curiosity and passion for problem-solving led me to work on a problem that the principal leaders of the Lean movement either ignored or told me that it would be a waste of time. I could not ignore it and I did not see it as a waste of time. My view is that arousing interest in Lean … [Read more...] about Business Leaders’ Case for Ignoring Lean
The image at right shows the problem that Lean, as well as its predecessor systems of progressive management, has been unable to overcome and may never overcome: The inability to displace de jure -- except in rare cases, and for only a limited time. Sooner or later, de jure wins.The image shows … [Read more...] about The Problem Lean May Never Overcome
Time has proven that the central problem with Lean management is that most senior leaders are not interested in it. They have many other ways to achieve their business goals without needing to think about Lean. Relatedly, sooner or later Lean always loses out to Classical management. Despite these … [Read more...] about Is Lean Too Arrogant to Save Itself?
We are all aware that precious few Lean transformations fulfill the vision of many Toyota-like managed companies in all industries. For decades, the prevailing wisdom was that better explanations of Lean, from Lean tools to Lean strategy, and more and more examples of Lean success, no matter how … [Read more...] about What’s Holding Lean Back?
Lean transformation is often said to be difficult. But what if that is only the apparent problem, based on our perspective as people who work to promote Lean and help organizations transform from Classical management to Lean management? The difficulty clearly looks to us like a lack of understanding … [Read more...] about Lean Transformation is Not Difficult