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systems thinking on the Lean Post
Towards A More Lean Statement of Purpose
Reflecting on a recent Business Roundtable statement pledging a commitment to all of its stakeholders (and not simply maximizing shareholder value, Orry Fiume reminds us how core Lean values overlap with this new stated mission.… 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 »
Why We Believe A Strong Customer Focus Is Needed To Drive A Lean Strategy
Is there any principle more core to the heart of lean than relentlessly focusing on the customer? In this collection of thoughts on the topic, seven lean sensei women explore how and why customer focus is at the heart of lean strategy.… More »
How Standardized Work Integrates People With Process
In this three part series on SW, John Shook argues that "the Toyota Way is a socio-technical system on steroids. A test for all our lean systems is the question of how well we integrate people with process (the social with the technical). Nowhere does that come together more than in the form of standardized work and kaizen."… 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 »
Lean Lessons from Tesla
This piece throws no shade at Tesla, a company that serves as a highly-charged conduit for many a heated debate about the future of manufacturing, mobility, innovation, modern business models, and, what, space travel. Rather, here are a few lean principles that Tesla's tale calls to mind.… More »
Tesla vs. TPS: Seeking the Soul in the New Machine
While Tesla has excited customers and drawn praise for innovative design and bold thinking, author Jeff Liker believes that it faces tough challenges in its approach to ramping up production that challenge its mechanistic vision of manufacturing.… More »
Lean in One Drawing
LEI faculty member, Dave Lahote, shares his concept of thinking about lean as a system and to demonstrate the linkage between lean tools and how the system can create organizational advantage.… More »
Advice from the Gemba: Best Tips for Designing a Work Experience
When designing a work experience, the benefits of having an experienced coach to guide you cannot be overstated. In this installment of Advice from the Gemba, three of the Lean Global Network's best coaches offer their favorite tips for designing a work experience.… More »
Are You Fixing the System or Just a Person?
"How often do our solutions fix a person (or single event) rather than a system?" wonders Kelly Moore. Hopefully not too often at your organization, because only system fixes will solve problems in the long term. Read more to read Kelly's reflection on this dilemma, and how two recent experiences made her look at it in a new light.… More »
The Secrets of Lean
"The key to Lean is that it creates understanding, not knowledge," write John Ehrenfeld (Executive Director of the International Society for Industrial Ecology) and LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld. "One difficulty in successful implementation of lean systems is that managers conflate these two important concepts." Read more.… More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 3)
LEI editors have gathered another five articles that either teach us something new about lean practice or show us where lean thinking is being applied (or might be applied) today. This edition features picks from Harvard Business Review, The New Yorker, Fortune, The Atlantic, and Planet Lean.… More »
Lean Government
"We in the Lean Community have no standing on whether a government should regulate any activity or provide any service," writes Jim Womack. "We can only make the humble suggestion that better decisions can be reached if the debate starts with a clear statement of the actual problem, followed by a structured process to identify and test countermeasures."… More »
Do CEOs Matter?
Journalist Jacob Stoller sits down with LEI's own John Shook to discuss just how important the role and support of the CEO is in the success of a lean transformation.… More »
The Question All Healthcare Leaders Should be Asking Themselves
Lean healthcare expert Mark Graban takes a common problem he sees again and again in hospitals (errors with hourly rounds or inconsistent hourly rounds) and explains how this problem is a symptom of a larger systems issue.… More »
systems thinking on Lean.org
Shigeo Shingo's Influence on the Toyota Production System
Isao Kato was in a good position to observe the early development of the Toyota Production System, the model for lean production. He developed training material at Toyota under Taiichi Ohno, regarded … More »
Toyota's New Material-Handling System Shows TPS’s Flexibility
Art Smalley, LEI author and faculty member, reports on Toyota's new material-handling system for assembly areas that he saw in action at an engine plant in Japan. The system reduces assembly errors wh… More »
Lean Thinking: A Look Back and a Look Forward
The meaning of lean thinking, how lean got its name, and an example of how it improved a grinding process By LEI President Jim Womack.… More »
What is the Theory of Constraints, and How Does it Compare to Lean Thinking?
Read about and discuss this topic.… More »
Pull Systems Must Fit Your Production Needs
Managers often stumble implementing a pull system because they don't realize there are three different kinds meant for very different production enviornments. LEI faculty member Art Smalley, author of… More »
Thinking Lean at Thedacare: Strategy Deployment (DVD)
This DVD illustrates ThedaCare’s strategy deployment method: how the true north metrics were developed and translated to different departments, and how leaders at all levels of the organization use … More »
Lean Management System
This one-day course is an overview of the elements that comprise the Lean Management System and an examination of how they work together to create a system of continuous improvement through collaborat… More »
Lessons in A3 Thinking: What Porter Learned in Managing to Learn
Understand the work, thinking, and leadership behind the A3 process -- not only what goes into the storyboard boxes.… More »
The Evolution of a Manufacturing System at Toyota
How did the Toyota Production System become the Toyota Production System – luck, manufacturing genius, trial and error, deliberate contemplation? Fujimoto explores and answers this dynamic and fascina… More »
Lean Government
"We in the Lean Community have no standing on whether a government should regulate any activity or provide any service," writes Jim Womack. "We can only make the humble suggestion that better decisions can be reached if the debate starts with a clear statement of the actual problem, followed by a structured process to identify and test countermeasures."… More »
Do CEOs Matter?
Journalist Jacob Stoller sits down with LEI's own John Shook to discuss just how important the role and support of the CEO is in the success of a lean transformation.… More »
The Question All Healthcare Leaders Should be Asking Themselves
Lean healthcare expert Mark Graban takes a common problem he sees again and again in hospitals (errors with hourly rounds or inconsistent hourly rounds) and explains how this problem is a symptom of a larger systems issue.… More »