Shingijutsu’s Kaizen Magic

One of great failures of Lean community leadership (pick any prominent name you like) is to give credit where credit is due. Shingijutsu, co-founded by Yoshiki Iwata and Chihiro Nakao, likely has the best track record of success of any consultancy since in 1987. The article below tells one such story of the successful turnaround at Porsche. Click here to read another.

Shingijutsu Kaizen Magic

What people commonly regard as successful “Lean transformations” is usually not that. In nearly all cases, it is actually Shingijutsu-led transformations of companies to TPS-like management systems via kaizen and extensive leadership coaching. And if it is not Shingijutsu who did that, it is the “Lean” consultancies formed post-1987 whose principals learned just about everything they know about TPS from Shingijutsu.

Shingijutsu was ground-zero for creating TPS-like management systems in hundreds of companies worldwide and the training ground for scores of future competitors — only a few of which are almost technically as good as Shingijutsu, but they uniformly lack the incredible wisdom of Chihiro Nakao.

Consequently, Shingijutsu’s legacy runs both wide and deep. Yet, most people are far more impressed with second-rate imitators such as the Lean Enterprise Institute, the Lean Enterprise Academy, or even the Shingo Institute than with Shingijutsu. This misunderstanding is one of the great tragedies of the modern progressive management movement and it is also massively disrespectful. (See more below).

Read the article about Porsche. And before you criticize Shingijutsu consultants on how they treated people decades ago and claim that they did not respect people, you must first understand the context of their work, their mission, and their point of view about business and its stakeholders. Most people trained by Shingijutsu are deeply grateful for what they learned and greatly appreciate their unique forms of tough love.

If you want to learn Shingijutsu’s kaizen magic, then get started by reading these two books, Shingijutsu-Kaizen and Kaizen Forever. You will learn both the method and the wisdom that comes from more than 50 years of experience with TPS. And then take the next step and get hands-on training in genba kaizen by the original Shingijutsu sources here or here.

SK KF Books

NOTE: I have never had any financial or other affiliation with either Shingijutsu USA or Shingijutsu Global. My work and recommendations are free of any conflicts of interest.

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