Co-Owner, LEI Faculty
, Teaching Lean Inc.
Ernie has 25 years of Manufacturing and Human Resources management experience which allows him to see the cultural dynamics from both functional areas of a company. He gained this experience at Toyota Motor Manufacturing where he grew from Team Leader, to Group Leader, to Assistant Manager on the manufacturing side. After which he moved to HR, assuming, at different times, responsibility for skill development programs, safety and medical management.
As Acting Medical Director for Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America, Ernie was responsible for nine on-site medical clinics across Toyota North America (convenience care, full-primary care, and occupational care). He was also responsible for disability management (as described above) North American wide. Ernie worked at IBM for 8 years before joining Toyota. Currently, Ernie shares his extensive experience with members of the lean community as a co-owner of Teaching Lean and a Faculty member of the Lean Enterprise Institute. He is coauthor with Tracey Richardson of The Toyota Engagement Equation.
Articles by Ernie Richardson
Cultivating Intuition at the Gemba
Our trainers conditioned us to water the seed of experience and use it not just to fire-fight but rather be more predictive and value add with our time and how we taught others. We encourage each person to learn to trust their intuition enough to see through the process each day to ensure the purpose and accountability for standards and why we have them is known and bought into, not just a suggestion to do. More »
No Space to Think
Tracey and Ernie Richardsons talk about "space to think," leadership by employers and employees, the state of the lean management movement, and being a “sponge” rather than an expert. More »
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways – on a Valentine’s Day A3
The question lean practitioners Tracy and Ernie Richardson get more than any other isn’t about problem-solving, takt time, standardization, or their book. It’s about their “lean” marriage. More »
PDCA thinking and the NCAA March Madness tournament
"There is so much thinking that goes into this thing called 'Bracketology,' which gives sports fans a way to 'grasp the situation' of their favorite team (or the one they may be cheering for at tournament time)," write Tracey and Ernie Richardson. Ad a lot of that thinking may have more in common with lean than you might expect. Read more. More »
Looking for split seconds, it can mean a NASCAR race WIN!
Tracey and Ernie Richardson explore how NASCAR pit crews use visuals for safety and speed. More »
Getting to Sustainability
Sustaining gains from kaizen thinking is one of the hardest, and certainly most misunderstood, aspects of this work. It’s misunderstood because the actual change takes place at the beginning of the journey. Learn one of the best ways to Get to Sustainability from LEI faculty members Tracey and Ernie Richardson. More »
Raised by Toyota: A Question and Answer with Tracey and Ernie Richardson
In this extended interview, Toyota veterans Tracey and Ernie Richardson share how they learned at the source, explain how they apply their lessons widely (including their personal life), and speculate why this system called lean could just as well be called. .. our J-O-B. More »
The Value of Key Performance Indicators in a Lean Transformation
We all know to watch out for key performance indicators (KPIs) in the workplace - but are you tracking the RIGHT KPIs? Ernie and Tracey Richardson share their thoughts on the two categories of KPIs, how they can help you, and how to identify them. More »
We're Ernie and Tracey Richardson: Ask Us Anything
It's our second "Ask Me Anything" post, this time with lean coaches Tracey and Ernie Richardson. With a combined 54 years of experience at Toyota, here's your chance to ask them questions on problem solving and all things capability development! More »
Workshops Taught by Ernie Richardson
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 and horizontally) ensuring all of the functional areas begin to see through the same continuous improvement lens. 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 role in creating lean thinking through lean management led by their own behavior in “taking a walk. ” More »
Key Concepts of Lean
Designed for individuals and teams that want to gain a better understanding of the components and underlying philosophy of lean, based on the Toyota Production System (TPS), and how the elements and philosophy work together to create a Lean Enterprise. More »
Managing to Learn: The Use of the A3 Management Process
This workshop introduces the A3 management process and the way of thinking represented in the A3 format that capture the heart of lean management. Participants will be provided an overview of various forms and uses of the A3 format and will have an opportunity to create their own A3. Working in small groups, they will be able to read, discuss, and evaluate each another’s A3s. More »