Home > Knowledge Center> What Are the Lean Enterprise Institute and the Lean Global Network

What Are the Lean Enterprise Institute and the Lean Global Network

7/24/2012

John Shook, CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI), describes LEI and the Lean Global Network, a group of 18 education-oriented nonprofits dedicated to spreading lean thinking. Shook was speaking at a meeting of the Lean Enterprise Institute Hungary, a network member.

At about 10:40 into the video, John summarizes lean management as a different way of thinking about work, not as cost cutting or shrinking the size of companies.

“Rather than just cutting cost, it’s properly understood as a way of thinking, said Shook.” Lean companies want everyone deeply engaged in solving company goals, which means giving customers what they want, when they want it, with minimum waste. It is that way of thinking that underlies the application of lean tools, such as 5S.

This way of thinking about work, which became known as lean manufacturing or lean management, developed at Toyota City as a series of experiments from about the mid-1930s until the mid-1970s. In the 1980s, Shook was the only American working there. “It was me and 70,000 Japanese trying to figure out how to transfer their production management system overseas.”

Related Content

Books

Articles

  • Lean Production Begins with LPPD
    To create a "turbo-charged product-creating machine, start by designing clear processes with useful tools and a “people first” culture--which form a socio-technical system underpinned by deep principles.
  • Standardized Work or Kaizen? Yes
    Some lean folks LOVE to quote the Taiichi Ohno observation that “there is no kaizen without standards," notes John Shook, adding that it is less noted but equally true that “there is no maintenance of standards without kaizen.”
  • Thinking About the Why of the What of Problem-Solving
    When we talk about problem-solving, what we’re really talking about here is creating adaptive capacity, the deep capability of an organization to tackle anything that comes its way, any obstacle that comes between you and where you want to go. Tackling problems one by one is what gives an organization capability for deep adaptability.