One of W. Edwards Deming's great accomplishments was his creation of the "System of Profound Knowledge" (read more details here). The System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK) is described in Deming's book, The New Economics. In its most basic terms, SoPK is a framework designed to enable progress in the … [Read more...] about Profoundly Antagonistic Systems
For the last 30 years, our eyes have told us this truth: There is a strong consensus of opinion among CEOs that if any of Lean is to be adopted, it is solely its tools. CEOs have expressed little interest in adopting Lean as a comprehensive system of management to replace Classical Management. This … [Read more...] about Lean is an Intangible Asset
A fundamental feature of Toyota’s management system (and its derivative, Lean management) is the search for the truth. Why? In order to make real improvement – versus merely the appearance of improvement – one must know what is actually happening. And herein lies a problem: People often do not want … [Read more...] about Truth Has Consequences
There is a continuing, decades-long, lamentation in the Lean community, that leaders do not understand Lean and that they misuse Lean for cost cutting which results in layoffs and other zero-sum outcomes. There is a belief that if only leaders understood the true intent of Lean, then they would … [Read more...] about The Leader’s Prerogative
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?
Below is a summary of my significant original contributions to the body of Lean knowledge as author or co-author. My primary focus has been Lean leadership and Lean management, as well as Lean in higher education, Lean in supply chain management, and the history of progressive management. It … [Read more...] about My Contributions to Lean
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