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Jim Womack's eLetters & Columns

Jim Womack’s efforts to spread Lean Thinking throughout the world led him to found the Lean Enterprise Institute. While he was the CEO and Chairman of LEI (Jim is currently the Senior Advisor of LEI), he wrote a very popular series of eletters about lean. These are those letters, please feel free to share them with your colleagues.


Jim Womack, Ph.D
LEI Founder & Senior Advisor
  • Getting Over Gemba-phobia
    July 22, 2011

    “I work in a company where leaders think gemba walks are scheduled visits to the factory to look at performance visibility boards (forgetting to turn around and look at the work.) How do we try and correct this false thinking?”Jim responds with shared observations and suggestions for helping leaders learn how to walk the gemba.  read more

  • Gemba Walk Checklist
    July 13, 2011

    An attendee from Jim's Gemba Walks webinar asks: “Do you find it easier to complete your Gemba Walk if you have a pre-defined form to take with you on the walk?”Jim responds: "This is an issue of your objective and your experience." He goes on to discuss how the purpose of the walk might affect the response to this inquiry. read more

  • Who's Responsible
    July 6, 2011

    In reviewing my calendar, I find that I have taken eight gemba walks in the last five weeks. These ranged from manufacturing value streams in China, New York state, and Florida, to a healthcare value stream in Massachusetts, to regulatory value streams in Washington, DC, and Florida. At some point… read more