The emerging buzz these days is to expand the use of Toyota's A3 reports from a tool to engage mid-level managers in improvement to a tool for changing business leaders beliefs and behaviors. Recent examples include "The Power of Personal Yokoten" to change beliefs and "Four Things to Remember When … [Read more...] about Methods for Changing Leaders: A3 or Kaizen?
I know I am. But that is because we have been hearing the same old things about Toyota -- their production system, obeya, coaching, gemba walks, A3 reports, value steam maps, LPPD, and so on. All the stuff that is easy to package and sell by various parties. You don't hear much about Just-in-Time, … [Read more...] about Tired of Hearing About Toyota?
A lot of people say they are Lean experts. But is there such a thing as a Lean expert? Let's assume there is. The next question is, what does "Lean expert" mean? Is a Lean expert someone who has comprehensive knowledge and skills in some Lean methods and tools? Or, is a Lean expert someone who is … [Read more...] about Are You a Lean Expert?
In a recent post, "Ask Art: Where Will the Biggest Resistance to Lean Come From?," Art Byrne accurately explains the people and parts of the organization that will resist Lean transformation based on his extensive experience. Art also offers some suggestions on how to overcome the resistance, the … [Read more...] about Lean Leaders Impede the Advancement of Lean
The big benefit of TPS and Lean is the change from batch-and-queue processing to one-piece flow. This is what generates huge business impact in terms of lower cost, higher quality, shorter lead-times, higher throughput, better safety, and so on. But over the years, the focus on Lean tools, … [Read more...] about Static vs. Dynamic Lean
A hallmark of classical management, rooted in batch-and-queue material and information processing, is the existence of a perpetual state of confusion. That is not a good state to be in. People cannot think clearly when they are confused, and so when confronted with problems they rely on … [Read more...] about Business as a State of Confusion
If you observe carefully, you will notice that the people with the best problem-solving skills tend to have poor social skills, while those with the best social skills tend to be poor problem-solvers. The former are curious and go deep into their analysis of a problem to understand its root causes … [Read more...] about How Soft Skills Impair Problem-Solving
"Every organization constantly deteriorates. And this is especially true of a business organization. It loses customers -- through death, through change in location, through the lures of competitors. It loses its personnel from the same causes. Its physical equipment is constantly wearing out and … [Read more...] about How to Never Run Out of Ideas
Two of the principal teachings of Toyota-style kaizen is to think of cost problems in terms of processes and in non-financial terms such as time, distance, space, defects, quantity, turnbacks, etc. To be able to effectively think in non-financial terms, we were taught to understand the difference … [Read more...] about Money vs. Process View of Cost