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
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
What is the role of a professor in the Lean movement? Is it to mindlessly cheerlead Lean and accentuate only the positive? Or, is it to think critically, carefully analyze the product (based on experience using the product), and identify practical improvements? My involvement with Lean management … [Read more...] about The Role of a Professor in the Lean Movement
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