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knowledge management on the Lean Post
The Power of Ma in Creating Cognitive Space
When we lead with respect for people, we need to truly understand that people work in different ways, argues Jim Benson in this piece about the power of… More »
Lean Thinkers Are Systems Thinkers
Lean thinkers are systems thinkers, argues Rich Sheridan: "Intentional cultures thrive when the simple systems put in place reinforce every cultural intention and that systems thinkers will always start with the attitude that improving the systems is the best route to improvement, success, and ultimately joy."… More »
How Are You Supporting Your Own Lean Transformation?
When someone in our organization complains about something we hand them a Kaizen card, shares Lisa Yerian of the Cleveland Clinic. Perhaps the same approach could apply to the broader challenge of improving the organizational ability to frame problems productively?… More »
Ask Art: How Can I Engage All Our Leaders to Learn and Teach Lean?
What's the best way to teach lean to your internal leaders? By forming teams who will learn by doing, shares Art Byrne. This will drive your gains, build great teamwork, and build the learning environment necessary to become a lean enterprise.… More »
What Do Sensei Actually Do?
What do lean sensei do? Take you to the gemba, discuss what the real challenges are, prescribe exercises, teach PDCA, and push you to the next step, argue the authors of the new book The Lean Sensei.… More »
Try These Lean Summer Reads
Summer is upon us and as you lean learners prepare for some decidedly non-value added time in your schedule, consider any number of these books for your summer reading.… More »
The Remarkable Chief Engineer
How can a system in which "we are all connected and no one is in charge" support purposeful and productive work? Toyota's famed Chief Engineer system has much to offer in this regard. John Shook explores how the leadership styles of, and ways of working by, the CE might provide something of a roadmap for all of us.… More »
"But TPS Doesn't Apply to Us...."
Yes, cars are not weaving looms. Patients are not cars, either. Airplanes are not cars. Electric vehicles are not the same as internal-combustion engine vehicles. We can play that “one of these things is not like the other” game all day long. A better use of time, perhaps, is to think about how TPS concepts and high-level Lean management principles can be adapted to your own setting, argues Mark Graban.… More »
Kanban As A Learning Strategy
Toyota’s Kanban legacy—and its underlying ideas—have far more direct lineage with today’s digital economy than most folks realize; and capture the core elements of the disruptive lean strategy fueling many of today’s successes.… More »
Designed In Quality
Extraordinary quality is not only designed into the product, it is designed into the development process itself, says Jim Morgan, who suggests that the next time you might be tempted to minimize Toyota’s quality performance, you will think about how Toyota’s principles and practices might help you design-in better quality in your products and processes.… More »
Is Your Strategy a Plan--or a Hypothesis?
Success in a VUCA world requires senior executives to engage thoughtfully and frequently with company operations across all levels and departments, argues HBS Professor Amy Edmondson. The people on the front line who create and deliver products and services are privy to the most important strategic data the company has available.… More »
Why We Believe that Lean is About Changing Our Own Behaviors, and Not Just Accumulating New Knowledge
Lean repeatedly pushes us to develop new competences (or recover lost know-hows) through kaizen and problem solving. This collection of short articles from seven leading lean sensei women from around the world expand on this topic, arguing that Lean requires a major shift in our behaviors.… More »
A Small Amount of Time Can Yield Big Results
Four minutes, well focused, can be a long time, notes Jean Cunningham. Without competing distractions, many words can be spoken, absorption of new info happens, and a good deal can be accomplished. We found we actually got more done by getting clear on our focus and our timeframe.… More »
Flaatnes Elektro-Mek Reveals How Double Loop Learning Supports Lean Thinking and Practice
Every experience is a learning experience. However, we tend to only experience single-loop learning where we reaffirm what we already think is true. Lean gives us a framework to challenge our beliefs and assumptions and create double-loop learning situations through concrete experiments, and often real-time feedback from the real world.… More »
Book Review: Designing the Future
Forget frameworks, processes, rote step methods. Read this book and think back to the “Why?” before the “What?” and “How?”: companies live or die on whether their products and services better help customers to do whatever they want to get done, at a better value-for-money deal.… More »
Don't Retire Your Knowledge--Reuse It
Companies can tackle the problem of the surge of retiring baby boomers by adopting the lean principle of knowledge reuse, says recently retired lean thinker Norbert Majerus. He identifies common barriers to share and leverage this invaluable resource.… More »
Double Loop Learning at Kongsberg Maritime
Kongsberg Maritime, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Norwegian-based Kongsberg Group, tapped into a Kyoryokukai, or network for supplier innovation, to create a space for single--and double--loop learning for its members.… More »
Use Lean Development Principles to Avoid "Traveling Hopefully" Down the Wrong Path
Lean development is less about creating highly detailed plans based on things you can’t possibly know in the beginning of a development program (like conventional development attempts to do), and more about developing a deeper and shared understanding of the work to be done and increasing fidelity as you close knowledge gaps over time.… More »
Are You Learning to Learn Faster? A Conversation with Steve Spear
Learning to close the gap in our learning cycle is critical to keeping our promises and achieving our goals, argues Steve Spear in the recent WLEI podcast. Read more here and listen to the full conversation.… More »
Lean Roundup: Pull
A pull system links all production activity to actual customer demand--and creates what one lean thinker calls "an architecture for kaizen." Read more about this key lean principle.… More »
Bringing Lean to Your Sales Team
LEI faculty member Brent Wahba discusses the importance of bringing lean into your sales department as well as where to start.… More »
How the A3 Came to Be Toyota’s Go-To Management Process for Knowledge Work (intro by John Shook)
A3 thinking is synonymous with Toyota. Yet many often wonder how exactly this happened. Even if we know A3 thinking was created at Toyota, how did it become so firmly entrenched in the organization’s culture? Retired Toyota leader Mr. Isao Yoshino spearheaded a special program that made A3s Toyota’s foremost means of problem-solving. Read more.… More »
Why Value-Stream Mapping is So Difficult in the Public Sector
Identifying value in an organization isn't the easiest task to accomplish. If you happen to work in the public sector, that fact goes double. Public-sector consultant Gavin Martin has seen his clients struggle to identify value many times - sometimes to the point that their frustration puts their lean transformation at risk of stalling.… More »
What Too Many Value Stream Maps Completely Miss
Believe it or not, up to half of all the value-stream maps that cross Drew Locher's desk are missing something extremely important. In his first piece for The Lean Post, Drew reflects on what that "missing link" is and a technique to help you include it on your next VSM.… More »
Why and How to Engage Finance in a Lean Transformation. An Interview with Jean Cunningham
There's often a disconnect between an organization's lean and finance departments, especially when a lean transformation is underway. In her newest piece for the Lean Post, Jean Cunningham explains the root causes, potential dangers, and solutions to this all-too-common problem.… More »
Let's Stop Being Hypocrites: Work is Work
"We often talk about knowledge workers as though they need to be treated differently from shop floor workers," writes Dan Markovitz, "...but the truth is that they’re still production workers. And that means that we can approach their work, and solve their problems, in the same way that we approach the work and the problems on the shop floor." Read more.… More »
Turn on the Spigot: Create Flow in R&D
"Flow in R&D is as critical as in manufacturing," writes Terry Barnhart. "It is a little more difficult to see, which is why your company, if you create R&D flow, will begin to put on the market more innovative products and processes than your competitors."… More »
Lean Thinking and Information Flow
"Most of my career has been spent on making the production floor more efficient, i.e. the delivery of a product," writes Mary Morgan. "I remember how relieved I felt when I could finally spend time learning and teaching methodologies to improve the delivery of information."… More »
Too Much Information Can Destroy Effective Management
"A lean organization minimizes the amount of unnecessary 'junk' information and increases the amount of 'gold' (value-producing) information that is necessary for knowledge creation," writes Boaz Tamir.… More »
knowledge management on Lean.org
Fisher Offers Nation’s First Master’s Degree in Lean Management
The Max M. Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University announced that it has developed the Master of Business Operational Excellence degree, the first master's degree in lean management in… More »
An Approach to Lean Transformation
Lean transformations occur in few companies because the change process is complex. Without understanding the multifaceted organizational and human factors related to lean transformations, change is di… More »
Role of Management in a Lean Manufacturing Environment
Gary Convis, president, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, explains that the critical role of management in a lean company is to motivate and engage large numbers of people to work together toward a… More »
Womack on Lean Management (DVD)
In this two-hour seminar recorded live, lean management thought leader James Womack explains how to manage and lead in a lean management system, the successor to obsolete “modern management” methods.… More »
Developing and Cascading Hoshin Kanri Directional Management KPI's
This 2 day workshop will take a deep dive into helping clarify the relationship of Hoshin Kanri directional management planning to A3 problem solving within each level of the organization (vertically … More »
Gemba Walks - A Management Process for Leading the Organization
This opening paragraph of the introduction of Jim Womack’s latest book, "Gemba Walks," is the starting point for a gemba-based learning experience designed to help participants better understand their… More »
Managing to Learn: Using the A3 management process
Managing to Learn by Toyota veteran John Shook, reveals the thinking underlying the A3 management process found at the heart of lean management and leadership. Constructed as a dialogue between a mana… More »
The Work of Management
Lancaster tells an inspiring and practical business story in his new book, The Work of Management (2017, Lean Enterprise Institute). It’s a close-up, candid look at Lancaster’s personal transformation… More »
Lean Roundup: Pull
A pull system links all production activity to actual customer demand--and creates what one lean thinker calls "an architecture for kaizen." Read more about this key lean principle.… More »
Bringing Lean to Your Sales Team
LEI faculty member Brent Wahba discusses the importance of bringing lean into your sales department as well as where to start.… More »
How the A3 Came to Be Toyota’s Go-To Management Process for Knowledge Work (intro by John Shook)
A3 thinking is synonymous with Toyota. Yet many often wonder how exactly this happened. Even if we know A3 thinking was created at Toyota, how did it become so firmly entrenched in the organization’s culture? Retired Toyota leader Mr. Isao Yoshino spearheaded a special program that made A3s Toyota’s foremost means of problem-solving. Read more.… More »
Why Value-Stream Mapping is So Difficult in the Public Sector
Identifying value in an organization isn't the easiest task to accomplish. If you happen to work in the public sector, that fact goes double. Public-sector consultant Gavin Martin has seen his clients struggle to identify value many times - sometimes to the point that their frustration puts their lean transformation at risk of stalling.… More »
What Too Many Value Stream Maps Completely Miss
Believe it or not, up to half of all the value-stream maps that cross Drew Locher's desk are missing something extremely important. In his first piece for The Lean Post, Drew reflects on what that "missing link" is and a technique to help you include it on your next VSM.… More »
Why and How to Engage Finance in a Lean Transformation. An Interview with Jean Cunningham
There's often a disconnect between an organization's lean and finance departments, especially when a lean transformation is underway. In her newest piece for the Lean Post, Jean Cunningham explains the root causes, potential dangers, and solutions to this all-too-common problem.… More »
Let's Stop Being Hypocrites: Work is Work
"We often talk about knowledge workers as though they need to be treated differently from shop floor workers," writes Dan Markovitz, "...but the truth is that they’re still production workers. And that means that we can approach their work, and solve their problems, in the same way that we approach the work and the problems on the shop floor." Read more.… More »
Turn on the Spigot: Create Flow in R&D
"Flow in R&D is as critical as in manufacturing," writes Terry Barnhart. "It is a little more difficult to see, which is why your company, if you create R&D flow, will begin to put on the market more innovative products and processes than your competitors."… More »
Lean Thinking and Information Flow
"Most of my career has been spent on making the production floor more efficient, i.e. the delivery of a product," writes Mary Morgan. "I remember how relieved I felt when I could finally spend time learning and teaching methodologies to improve the delivery of information."… More »
Too Much Information Can Destroy Effective Management
"A lean organization minimizes the amount of unnecessary 'junk' information and increases the amount of 'gold' (value-producing) information that is necessary for knowledge creation," writes Boaz Tamir.… More »