Resources for Teaching Lean Management

Those of you who teach full-time or part-time in colleges or universities will be interested in the following resources to help teach students about Lean management. Use these books for senior-level undergraduate courses and graduate-level courses in engineering and business school curricula. Corporate training and leadership development professionals will also find these books helpful to teach Lean leadership and Lean management to company leaders.

Course Topic: Lean Transformation 

"Better Thinking, Better Results, Case Study and Analysis of an Enterprise-Wide Lean Transformation" by Bob EmilianiBetter Thinking, Better Results is an award-winning Lean classic. It is a comprehensive case study of Art Byrne’s leadership of The Wiremold Company’s enterprise-wide Lean transformation. Use this book to teach Lean leadership, how to conduct an enterprise-wide Lean transformation, and important elements of Lean management. The Wiremold book project that I led in the early 2000s also resulted in the creation of wonderful detailed case studies that you will find useful in teaching various Lean concepts and practices:

  • “The Wiremold Company: The Field Sales Organization.” Martha Franson et al., CaseEpilogue, and Teaching Note
  • “The Wiremold Company: Wiremold Distrbution Incentive Program.” Martha Franson et al., Case and Teaching Note
  • “The Wiremold Company: Listening to the Voice of the Customer.” Martha Franson et al., Case and Teaching Note
  • “Performance Measurement in a Lean Organization: The Case of The Wiremold Company,” Lawrence Grasso et al., Case and Teaching Note
  • “The Wiremold Company: Ensuring Shareholder Commitment.” Lawrence Grasso et al., Case and Teaching Note

Course Topic: Lean Leadership

"Practical Lean Leadership, A Strategic Leadership Guide for Executives" by Bob EmilianiPractical Lean Leadership was the first book to describe Lean leadership and link Lean principles and tools directly to leadership beliefs, behaviors, and competencies. It has been called “the best description of Lean leadership today.” It examines the leadership beliefs that precede the required behaviors that inform the Lean leadership competencies essential for Lean transformation success. Practical Lean Leadership includes many exercises to help students learn Lean leadership and how it differs from conventional leadership.

Course Topic: Kaizen

"Kaizen Forever, Teaching of Chihiro Nakao" by Bob Emiliani, Katsusaburo Yoshino and Rudy Go "Shingijutsu Kaizen, The Art of Discovering and Learning" by Bob EmilianiShingijutsu-Kaizen and Kaizen Forever teach the genba kaizen method used by Toyota that lead to their great success and the success of organizations world-wide. They reflect the teachings of Chihiro Nakao, who learned directly from Ohno-san and is perhaps his most accomplished disciple. There are no other books like these. Together with Toyota Kaizen Methods, they form the basis for an excellent course in genba kaizen. Don’t forget to find a local business engaged in genba kaizen where students can gain valuable hands-on experience.


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