The late 1970s and 1980s were an exciting time for those who studied Toyota's production system and Japanese management practices. Authors such as Monden, Cusumano, Schonberger, Suzaki, Hall, Imai, Womack, Jones, Fujimoto, and others -- particularly the great Norman Bodek (1932-2020) who published … [Read more...] about From Thought Leadership to Banal Thoughts
What was the purpose of writing 24 books? It was equal parts an intense personal curiosity, a desire to share what I have learned with others, and to make it easier for leaders to understand and practice progressive management. It is the last of these -- to make it easier for leaders to understand … [Read more...] about Twenty-Four Books
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 recent article in Toyota Times described Akio Toyoda's view of Toyota Production System in the context of: "bring[ing] back what makes us Toyota" "completely redesigning Toyota for the future" and [a] "training program is for Toyota’s management leaders who don’t work at manufacturing … [Read more...] about Akio Toyoda’s View of TPS: A Critical Analysis
One of the foundations of Lean management is to think -- to be a Lean thinker. That means more than thinking only about Lean and how great Lean is. It means thinking about evolving and adapting to changing times based on needs. It means changing Lean and building upon Lean if the need exists, … [Read more...] about What Comes After Lean?
People who have deep knowledge of TPS (or Lean) typically claim they are not experts due to the vastness of problems and possible solutions. There is a solid rationale for this view. But the reality is they are experts compared to others who have far less knowledge and experience. I would rather … [Read more...] about In Praise of Experts
One of the ongoing arguments that people have is that Lean is a system, while other things which have borrowed from Lean or attached themselves to Lean are somehow the same as Lean (and thus, a system). The image at right is an imperfect conceptual model featuring a 1971 Toyota Corolla that … [Read more...] about Lean, Agile, and Six Sigma
Corporate financial distress -- the so-called "burning platform" -- has long been cited as the crisis necessary to propel a management team to adopt Lean management. Is it? In my book, Triumph of Classical Management Over Lean Management, I said: "Even Lean’s supposed savior, 'the burning … [Read more...] about Lean and the Burning Platform
After more than three decades, we know one thing for sure: Lean management (as well as TPS) has proven itself to be inadequate as a replacement for Classical management. Why? Because Lean has failed to offer business owners and corporate executives the things that they want and need most: The … [Read more...] about Reimagining Lean