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The Gold Mine
by Freddy Ballé and Michael Ballé

List Price: $30.00

20% discount on purchases of 10-99 copies
30% discount on purchases of 100 or more copies

Available Languages: Dutch English Japanese Portuguese Simplified Chinese
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Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award recipient

The Gold Mine deftly weaves together the technical and human pieces of implementing lean manufacturing in an engaging story that readers will find both compelling and instructive. Authors Freddy and Michael Ballé have produced the first integrated and systematic approach to a set of ideas that have maximized value and minimized waste throughout the world.

At the heart of The Gold Mine is Bob Woods, a curmudgeonly sensei coaxed out of retirement by his son Mike to help boyhood friend Phil Jenkinson save his struggling company. Despite terrific products and a backlog of orders, Phil's company cannot generate enough cash from its operations to pay its bills. And so Mike enlists Bob to help his pal fix this crisis.

The Gold Mine presents all the key lean principles, ranging from well-known ideas such as pull and flow, to lesser-known yet equally important principles such as jidoka and heijunka. The book presents lean as a system—using a realistic story to show how the principles are interrelated and how they lead to useful tools such as kanban or 5S. Freddy Ballé draws from his authority of one of Europe's preeminent lean veterans, bringing his knowledge to life in the context of a dramatic human story of managers and employees struggling to apply these tools and ideas in a successful turnaround.

“Mastery of the technical details of lean thinking is never enough. A transformation will fail without the most important element: the engagement of the people doing the work,” says publisher James Womack. “The Gold Mine is the first book to comprehensively introduce all the lean tools by means of a vivid personal story showing how hearts and minds are won over. I can't recommend it highly enough as a way to teach your people the key lean tools that always lead to success while also teaching, in the words of Bob Woods, that 'it's all about people.”

“Reading The Gold Mine is like eavesdropping on a sensei dispensing gems to a client,” says co-publisher Daniel Jones. “The Ballés draw from a remarkable perspective of wisdom and experience. Readers, especially those individuals working on the shop floor, will gain revelation and inspiration by living through the experiences of the hero. Managers and executives just beginning a lean transformation will learn valuable insights about how to sidestep the technical and people problems that lay ahead. And experienced lean thinkers will discover fresh insights about overcoming resistance to change.”

For every 5 copies of The Gold Mine purchased, you will also receive one free copy of The Gold Mine Trilogy Study Guide.

Publisher:  Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc.
ISBN-10:  0-9743225-6-3
Publication Date:  May 9, 2005
Number of Pages:  360
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Michael Ballé

Michael Ballé, PhD, is a lean management practitioner, business writer, and author. His most recent book, co-authored with father Freddy Ballé, is Lead With Respect: A Novel of Lean Practice, published by the Lean Enterprise Institute.

They're co-authors of two earlier Shingo Research Award-winning business novels about lean management. The Gold Mine tells how lean concepts turn around a failing plant. The Lean Manage describes the conversion to a complete lean business system. Michael also writes the Gemba Coach column at http://www.lean.org/balle

For the past 20+ years, he has studied first-hand lean transformations, helping companies and people in fields such as manufacturing, engineering, construction, services, and healthcare make the transition to different ways of working and managing.

As a managing partner of ESG Consultants, Ballé coaches executives on how to obtain exceptional performance through lean tools, principles, and different management attitudes. His main coaching technique is the "real place visit," where he helps senior executives learn how to really see their own shop floors, teach people the spirit of kaizen, and reach the right conclusions for the whole business.

An engaging and colorful public speaker, Ballé also is an experienced workshop facilitator, an associate researcher at Télécom ParisTech's Projet Lean Enterprise, and co-founder of the French Lean Institute. Ballé holds a doctorate from the Sorbonne in Social Sciences and Knowledge Sciences. He is co-founder of the Project Lean Entreprise and the Instituet Lean France.

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