LEI/LEA Lean Transformation Model

The Lean Enterprise Institute and the Lean Enterprise Academy have recently created a Lean transformation model that I like a lot because it is an accurate representation of how Toyota developed the Toyota Production System concurrently with The Toyota Way over many years. A big thank you to John Shook.


The model is a good one for everyone to follow. But, being a professor and someone who likes to think and improve things, I thought it might help people to see the model with a greater level of detail – in part to make it more specific and actionable. The details that I have inserted are consistent with the history and evolution of Toyota, inclusive of management’s thinking and practice. I hope you find this to be a helpful compliment to the above image.


It is very important to recognize that the “Basic Way of Thinking” is the foundation for success. Too many business leaders lack this “Basic Way of Thinking,” and, as a result, are unable to emulate Toyota in even the most simplistic of ways. Their Lean efforts fall far short of expectations and usually do harm to people. Effective Lean transformations must begin with many big changes in the “Basic Way of Thinking” for entire senior leadership teams.

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