Some Recent Lean History

As you may know from my writings, I have long had a great interest in social, political, economic, and management history. And as the Baby Boomer generation of Lean thinkers and innovators get older, we become part of history — Lean history.

The younger generation of Lean practitioners and continuous improvement professionals — Generation Y and Generation Z — likely has little knowledge of what we did 10 and 20 or more years ago. The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine preserves that memory and enables us to easily retrieve it.

There were two significant websites devoted to Lean between the years 1997 to 2015: and Kevin Meyer created the website in 1997. Its focus was “Lean manufacturing.” In June 2011, that website morphed into the now-defunct Lean CEO website, also created by Kevin, whose intent was to engage senior leaders with Lean management (which then, like now, was lacking).

A Gold Mine of Knowledge.

Both and were very popular in their day in part because they published scores of articles from leading Lean thinker-practitioners. Nearly all the “big names” wrote for these two websites. I was a very frequent contributor to both and

Most, if not all of the articles that I wrote ended up in my REAL LEAN book series and in the book Lean Is Not Mean (previously published as a three-volume series of eBooks titled Kaizen Heart and Mind in 2011, 2012, and 2014) after further editing and improvement.

Below are links to numerous interesting and useful articles from decades past. You will see the problems and concerns that we wrote about back then. It’s a great time capsule of Lean history!



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