Historical parallels are never exact. But, they are often eerily similar to one another in circumstances and outcomes. Let's have a look at the parallels between Scientific Management 100 years ago and Toyota Management (combination of Toyota Production System and The Toyota Way) today. Frederick … [Read more...] about Spooky Historical Parallels
...very helpful when it comes to learning from history to better understand the present. One of my great interests is to read books and papers from the early days of industrial engineering its transformation into progressive management. This time period, circa 1890-1935, interests me because … [Read more...] about A Little Bit of Knowledge Can Be…
Around this time twenty years ago, I was on an airplane traveling to from Connecticut to Los Angeles on a day-trip (a day trip!) to meet with an important supplier to my company, Pratt & Whitney. I had just bought the book Lean Thinking a few days earlier (at an actual bookstore), and I read … [Read more...] about 20th Anniversary of Lean Thinking
Recently, I have been re-reading some old books that I bought years ago to gain deeper insights into the relationship between economics and the prevalence and persistence of Fake Lean. By that I mean, the narrow use of Lean management by business leaders for the purpose of cost-cutting, in the … [Read more...] about How Economics Disrespects People
As you may know, I am a serious student of the history of industrial management, specifically the origins and evolution of Scientific Management and its linkages to the origins and evolution of Toyota's Production system (TPS, popularly known as "Lean production" from 1987 to 2007 and "Lean … [Read more...] about Lean Can Learn from History
The Gilded Age was an era between 1870 and 1900, marked by industrialization, mechanization, economic growth, the rise of large corporations, build-out of railways, urbanization, and immense wealth creation among business owners. It also included monopolies, worker abuse, child labor, corruption, … [Read more...] about Lean’s Bad Timing
What is Lean management? Many people offer definitions, but efforts to define it, while well-meaning, serve only to disable people's ability to understand it which, in turn, impairs their ability to practice it (the same is true for the "Respect for People" principle). Isn't it odd that definitions … [Read more...] about What is Lean Management?
Every day, thousands of people confuse Lean management with "Taylorism," properly known as Scientific Management. The negative association brings out those who work hard to create a great separation between Lean and Taylor. This is an ill-informed and inappropriate response. It is also an … [Read more...] about Lean Hypocrisy
Nearly 30 years after the start of the Lean movement, there is widespread agreement that things have not gone according to plan. Of course, there have been some notable successes (particularly those who worked with Shingijutsu), yet they are far fewer in number than anyone expected given the … [Read more...] about What Went Wrong?