Prior to around 1980, the leaders of large corporations had a strong affection for manufacturing operations -- the part of the business that makes money for the company by producing the goods that people want and pay for. Operations was widely seen as a noble part of the company that employees were … [Read more...] about Why Do CEOs Hate Operations?
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
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?
Here is a summary of my significant original contributions to the body of Lean knowledge over the last 20 years as author or co-author. My primary focus has been Lean leadership and Lean management, but also includes Lean in higher education, Lean in supply chain management, and the history of … [Read more...] about Summary of Contributions to the Body of Lean Knowledge
So here we are, 30 years into the Lean movement. That means a new generation of executives, ages 40 to 50 or so, are now beginning to lead corporations. To their predecessors, Lean "production" (as it was then known) was new and exploding with potential. Today's leaders experienced those Lean … [Read more...] about Lean Fatigue
Here is your chance to listen to and learn from someone who helped develop, improve, and expand Toyota's production system!This is a rare opportunity to learn genba kaizen from Chihiro Nakao. Nakao-san has more than 50 years of genba kaizen experience and was a part of the original autonomous … [Read more...] about Shingijutsu Super Kaizen Workshop
In my previous blog post, Teachers, Trainers, Coaches, or Faculty?, I gave examples of imprecision associated with Lean that affects people's understanding and practice, and which has a large impact on people, process, and outcomes. Among other things, I noted how Lean trainers are referred to … [Read more...] about Critic and Conscience of the Lean Movement
This year, 2017, is the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI). It is an organization that has inarguably been the most successful and influential in shaping people's understanding of "lean," due in part to the central role that its founder, James P. Womack, and … [Read more...] about Lean: Past, Present, and Future
Simon Elias, Director of Lean Competency System, recently wrote a blog post titled "Let’s Ban the Eighth Waste." Simon questioned the addition of an eighth waste, "untapped human potential," and identified five criteria to determine if something identified as waste actually is waste. So, … [Read more...] about Critique of “Let’s Ban the Eighth Waste”