Twenty-Four Books

Evolution 1

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 and practice progressive management — that I hope is the legacy of my work. I also hope that the uniqueness of these works, individually and in total, as well as the integration of practical and scholarly rigor, will someday be more fully apprehended.

The top row in the image above are books resulting from an extended (13 year) study of a 130-year-old problem: Why do most top leaders resist or reject progressive management? In our time, the forms of progressive management in question are Toyota management and its derivative, Lean management. In earlier times, it was Scientific Management. More generally, the books answer the question of why most leaders resist or reject organizational change and improvement, and how and why the antiquated institution of leadership remains firmly in control. The study culminated in these groundbreaking three books:

These are followed by a capstone book that serves as a guide to those in the machine-dominated future who will revive progressive, human-centered management, to help them avoid repeating the many mistakes of the past:

These next two books reimagine leadership and business strategy. The former offers a simple pathway for leadership development while the latter carefully examines the role and value of business strategy in relation to the institution of leadership (i.e., strategy as a social construct):

Next comes two books about Lean transformation and Lean leadership. The first is award winning book about the enterprise-wide transformation is a real company, and the second is a workbook that explains what a Lean leader is, how Lean leaders think and behave, and what they do:

As kaizen was the method by which Toyota’s production system and its overall management system were created, it was important to write about this very important topic to help people better understand the method and appreciate its fundamental importance in modern progressive management:

Since my profession post-industry has been an educator, I took what I learned from Shingijutsu about kaizen and TPS and applied it to university teaching and administration:

Finally, I revived great forgotten works by Frank George Woollard, a key figure in the U.K. auto industry in the 1920s and 1930s, and a previously unpublished work by the world-famous industrial engineer and psychologist, Dr. Lillian Gilbreth, in which I have added extensive analysis and commentary to both works:

Doing this work for the last 18 years has been a true labor of a great love: a deeply empathetic interest to make things better for humanity — especially for workers — and to expand prosperity, but doing so in much less wasteful ways. It has been a tremendous joy to engage the nexus of progressive thinking and practice (in industry, teaching, and executive training), research, and writing. It is now time to move on from writing books to engaging people in other ways.

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