Management expert James P. Womack, Ph.D., is the founder and senior advisor to the Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc., a nonprofit training, publishing, conference, and management research company chartered in August 1997 to advance a set of ideas known as lean production and lean thinking, based initially on Toyota’s business system and now being extended to an entire lean management system.
The intellectual basis for the Cambridge, MA-based Institute is described in a series of books and articles co-authored by Womack and Daniel Jones over the past 20 years. The most widely known books are: The Machine That Changed the World (Macmillan/Rawson Associates, 1990), Lean Thinking (Simon & Schuster, 1996), Lean Solutions (Simon & Schuster, 2005), and Seeing The Whole Value Stream (Lean Enterprise Institute, 2011). Articles include: "From Lean Production to the Lean Enterprise" (Harvard Business Review, March-April, 1994), "Beyond Toyota: How to Root Out Waste and Pursue Perfection" (Harvard Business Review, September-October, 1996), “Lean Consumption” (Harvard Business Review, March-April, 2005).
Womack received a B.A. in political science from the University of Chicago in 1970, a master's degree in transportation systems from Harvard in 1975, and a Ph.D. in political science from MIT in 1982 (for a dissertation on comparative industrial policy in the U.S., Germany, and Japan). During the period 1975-1991, he was a full-time research scientist at MIT directing a series of comparative studies of world manufacturing practices. As research director of MIT’s International Motor Vehicle Program, Womack led the research team that coined the term “lean production” to describe Toyota’s business system.
Womack served as the Institute's chairman and CEO from 1997 until 2010 when he was succeeded by John Shook.
Jim Womack can be contacted at:
Lean Enterprise Institute
215 First Street, Suite 300
Cambridge, MA, 02142
- Sustaining Lean Gains by Taking a (Gemba) Walk
Featuring Jim Womack
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- Table of Contents
- Foreword by John Shook
- A Note on the Second Edition
- Introduction by Jim Womack
- Bad People or Bad Process? Through the lens of a customer in an airport, Womack looks at how "bad" or unsynchronized processes can often result in people blaming other "bad" people for problems rather than examining processes.
- Constancy of Purpose Visiting a company 14 years into its lean journey, Womack reflects on how important constancy of focus is for management to sustain a lean transformation.
- The Work of Management Womack looks at what managers do that actually create value.