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Lead With Respect Shares Tangible Practices That Develop Others, Says Author Michael Balle

by Michael Ballé
January 27, 2021

Lead With Respect Shares Tangible Practices That Develop Others, Says Author Michael Balle

by Michael Ballé
January 27, 2021 | Comments (16)

In this monthly feature highlighting the essential lessons of specific LEI titles, Michael explains what this 2014 book introduced that was both new--and eternal.

The “respect” dimension of lean is hardly new. The very first paper published in English on the Toyota Production System back in 1977 describes it as having two major features:

  • Just-in-time production: only the necessary products, at the necessary time in the necessary quantity are manufactured, and the stock on hand is held to a minimum.
  • Respect-for-human system: workers are allowed to display their full capabilities through active participation in running and improving their own work.

The meaning of the term "lean" has been evolving since it was popularized as a more generic label for the Toyota Production System. In the early days, just-in-time was put at the fore of the message. Since then we’ve come to realize the importance of respect-for-people to lean thinking. Whereas at first lean was essentially about kaizen workshops to improve flow, long ago we saw that shift from one-step improvement to continuous improvement. Evolving from on-going training to problem-solving was also a core element of lean thinking. At that time we had not looked at lean starting with “respect” and figuring out how the rest of lean thinking looked from this point of view.

We asked: is there a lean leadership behavior people could aspire to in order to deliver lean results?When my father/co-author Freddy and I started having this discussion, just after publication of The Lean Manager, we kept coming back to the basic fact that although Freddy tried hard to develop all of his direct reports to lean thinking, a few “got it” and many didn’t. Later on, after Freddy retired, we designed lean programs to help other companies based on his experience. We tried to improve the “got it” ratio without, I have to confess, much visible success. There always seemed to be two or three in ten execs who “got it,” and as a result would learn to redefine what performance meant for the group; this and would be followed by another five or six, who would then apply tools to catch up, leaving an unavoidable two or three resisting new ideas to the bitter end. Overall, this effort delivered visible results but had the familiar weakness of being quite fragile because the entire program would rest on the energy and wits of a small number of people.

I'm at the Gemba, Now What?

Looking at it case by case, we asked ourselves what distinguished the leaders who “got it” from the ones who didn’t, and came to realize we were asking the question of a leadership standard: is there a lean leadership behavior people could aspire to to deliver lean results? For years, we’d been saying that the first step to lean thinking was to “go to the gemba and see” – but what, exactly, was a leader supposed to do once at the gemba? (We realized that many leaders shunned the gemba because they felt uncomfortable about their role on the shop floor in front of workers’ comments and occasional demands.)

Based on Freddy’s first-hand experience as a supplier to Toyota, we started by interpreting “leadership” as a commitment to achieve objectives through the development of each individual person, as opposed to with the development of people. We realized that developing people was the first imperative: results were to be sought by people development first, not by command-and-control that incidentally develops people. This belief led us to define the main goals of leading by going to the gemba:

  1. Getting people to agree on the problem before arguing about solutions by focusing on facts and their interpretation – and making an effort to listen to frontline people’s opinions and hear their concerns.
  2. Day-to-day on the job development through the discipline of pull (JIT and jidoka) – every one learns by solving problems within the job itself by (1) learning standards and (2) solving problems.
  3. Intensifying collaboration within teams and across functional boundaries by learning to solve problems with colleagues – and thus to improve overall processes through better coordination.
  4. Encourage initiative and creativity from employees by supporting them in improving their own workplace through suggestions or kaizens.

In the numerous versions of the early drafts (thanks here to our editor, Tom Ehrenfeld, who kept challenging us on the topic), we realized that --

  1. The leaders who “got it” learned to learn: in supporting kaizen and listening to people they also changed their own understanding of what was important and what less so, occasionally opening the way to true innovations.

What we then needed to do was to describe more precisely what, exactly, we meant by “developing people” – and the people development underlying Toyota’s approach. Thanks to Toyota Way’s Jeff Liker’s generous help, we came to refine the “T-development” presented in the book:

Finally, by looking back on lean leaders actual behavior at the gemba, we defined a behavioral management model based on improving both the results and the relationship, which is now presented at the beginning of the book as the seven practices of Lead With Respect:

Boring Text Is Muda!

We are the first to admit that these ideas and practices have been at the core of lean practice since the very start: many of these principles can be found inThe principles and practices presented here are specific to lean, and the underlying motivational model is a blend of modern psychology research and lean experience at the workplace. Taiichi Ohno’s writings. What we have hoped to do is focus on a “people first” look at lean, and describe the principles and tools of the people aspects of the lean tradition as precisely as we could .

We believe these core ideas have been present in the TPS tradition, but rarely highlighted as such; and have not hitherto been published in a consistent form. Lead with Respect presents what we hope is a full, self-consistent theory of HR that breaks away from both traditional Taylorist and the Human Relations schools. The principles and practices presented here are specific to lean and the underlying motivational model is a blend of modern psychology research and lean experience at the workplace – this part, for sure, is new.

In the many years we’ve been writing lean novels, Freddy and I have tried to present lean from a fresh perspective each time. The Gold Mine is an introduction to lean thinking and tools in a practical context, with a strong link to the business situation. The Lean Manager is a presentation of a full lean system as a complete way to run one’s business. Lead With Respect portrays on-the-job behaviors of lean leaders which can be learned through practice to fulfill the promise of lean by aligning the company’s success to individual fulfillment. A rather lofty aim, which we tried to make as lively as possible through the lives of the characters (boring text is Muda!) to make it a good summer read as well!


What to do next:

  • Michael Balle's third lean novel Lead With Respect delves deep into the topic of how lean managers can adopt tangible ways of unleashing the human potential for growth. Read Lead With Respect. You can also buy the entire Gold Mine trilogy of all three Shingo-winning books, plus a 135-page study guide, for $75, a savings of $40.
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Bob Emiliani January 27, 2021

Michael - Sadly, you continue to mischaracterize Taylor and Taylor's work. To learn how aligned Taylor was with the concept of "Respect for People," and to thus correct your thinking on this, I again refer you to the paper "The Spirit and Social Significance of Scientific Management" by Morris Cooke https://www.jstor.org/stable/1819267 and the book "The Psychology of management" by Lillian Gilbreth https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Psychology_of_management/_H1oCAHKiHAC

Much like "Fake Lean" is prevalent today (continuous improvement without respect for people), there existed "Fake Scientific Management" (improvement without benefit to people). The terms you frequently use -- "traditional Taylorist" and "Super Taylorism" -- are willful and malevolent mischaracterizations of Taylor's work.  

The "fake" forms are progressive management are not attributable to pioneers such as Taylor or Ohno. They are attributable solely to business leaders, as they are the ones who misunderstand and misuse the work of Taylor or Ohno. It is not difficult for you to accurately convey these simple facts. Doing so respects people.

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Michael Ballé January 27, 2021
4 People AGREE with this reply

Bob, will you please quit trolling? I get it. We disagree. The only thing you caught from this piece is a reference to Taylorism?!? Enough with the constant negativity and attention seeking - it's tiresome.

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Bob Emiliani January 27, 2021

Can we agree that misleading people is tiresome? As an influential person, I image you would want to care about that.

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Ronald Kirby January 31, 2021

Hi Bob,

I like your aproach to the simple truth of understandings of "Learnings", by seeing and doing, on the road to complete... "Ture Lean CI Knowledge".

Your employes in traning in the US are trained diferently than they are at Toyota with True TPS.

By using a TPS experienced Team Leader and a assioaciat of Lean Knowledge a Maintanance Leader of Machine non waste up time consistant with the new operator's Learnings of present TT of Knowledge of Machine Up Time and Operator Saftey at all times when they the TPS work station is moving and the Lean  current Process in action is flowing to the heart beat of TT... all will come to understand CI means simplely what it stands for, in all team members working enviroment of Lean comunication in "Team Empathy" (up stream and down stream), leads to new way to solve small and large problems that arise thru the Lean Tools of discovery of waste elimination and the promotion of safety work standars that lead to a Happy and Safe Work Value Stream of Assy of all Lean Team employes as a team and not as a one operator enity. The "Team" True Lean Learnings ar captured and flows to the very TOP of Comand from the Bottom of the 1st Lean Team from start to finish of the last Lean Team.. hence the term, "Lean TPM is understood from the Top to the Bottom but it is dilivered from the bottom to the TOP! The accountability is graded by the Lean Teams Work force Teams and not by the current Lean Management Officers, their job is to understand the Lean Knowledge they are receiving and share in the transfrence of said Lean Knowledge to their associate Bussiness on a Global scale of comuications in order to make new Lean Learnings happen with fast action in all of the companys bussiness... True Lean 360Deg.s work globally! Not just at one site... the SYSTEM of LEAN, is in fast comunications and teams action reconigintion!

Ron Kirby San



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Michael Ballé January 27, 2021
3 People AGREE with this comment

For those of you interested in the Taylor/Taylorism issue, Matthew Stewart's book on The Management Myth closely fits my own research at the time of my PhD thesis :-)

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Bob Emiliani January 27, 2021

Are you sure you want to cite Matthew Stewart's book? That the canonical source of your understanding of Taylor and his work? Stewart's book can easily be read as a thorough indictment of Lean as well -- after all, TPS was built on the foundation of industrial engineering that Taylor and his colleagues created, and which Lean derives from. Compare how Stewart describes Scientific Management https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/06/the-management-myth/304883/ to how Frank Gilbreth describes it https://www.google.com/books/edition/Primer_of_Scientific_Management/DTVVAAAAMAAJ ;

Can you please e-mail me the citations from your Ph.D. thesis? Just curious to see your sources. I'd like to learn more about your work in this area. You know how to contact me.

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Michael Ballé January 27, 2021
3 People AGREE with this comment

Taylorism, it's modern avatar 4.0 - and lean. Ideas matter because some ideas, if you hold to them too tightly can block your view and stop you from seeing things differently. We can't escape seeing ideas through the lense of their conclusion, where we think they lead to, which ultimately comes down to attitudes.

To put Taylorism back in context, at the end of the XIXth in the US, European immigrants got off the boat on the Eastern seaboard, many not speaking english (just as Chinese immigrants reached the West Coast), joined work gangs and were hired out to companies by work bosses - mostly for arduous manual work: lugging or moving things around.

Taylor's premise what that a worker couldn'g both  work and think about his work. He argued that if the company invested in engineers, measuring and recording tools, and specialized work appliances, engineers could study the work, devise the one best way, and then get workers to apply it. Because he met with such resistance, he also came up with the idea of pay for performance: the more productive the worker, the higher the pay. He ended up hated both by unions, because workers could now go and work directly for the company, without having to pay their dues, and owners, because of the wage inflation this triggered. Owners feared that companies adopting taylorism would get the "best" workers, and then inflate wages for all - historically, clearly a good thing. Taylor had also going for him a concern for the environment and a feeling industry should stop wasting so much material and labor.

Japan, at the time, was facing a completely different problem - that of creating a home grown industry, which meant developping machines and the skilled operators to use it. Sakichi Toyoda fell across a translation of Samule Smiles' "Self Help" book, which extolled the virtues of bringing yourself up by your bootstraps through study, application and learning.

During WWII's war effort, the US governement had to find a method to leverage industrial production fast. It could have chosen to generalize taylorism perfected on Ford assembly lines, but instead went another way with TWI. Of all the things it could have said, it started with the premise that suprivision was mostly instruction, and that supervisors needed to learn:

1/ instructing workers, 2/ improving work methods, 3/ solving individual job relations issues, 4/ using training as a way to solve production problems.

Then, in the sixties, "management" professionalized (owners delegated running companies to professional managers) and, led by Drucker's thinking on managing by objectives (which he got from studying General Motors), consultants started devising better schemes for a people-free firm: if the structure and industrial processes were correctly organized, and people did what they were told, efficiencies would follow.

Drucker later changed his mind, sort of, realizing this didn't work so well with "knowledge workers" -people who made important decisions based on their own judgment in fairly low-key positions.

Kaizen, the spirit of kaizen, the beating heart of lean can't be found as long as you cling to the assumption that industrial engineers know best and will set the process. Lean went a radically different way by expecting workers to figure out how to solve problems themselves.

Of course you still need experts. But the expertise was in revealing the problems, pointing them out NOT solving them. Today, the lean operations I know do use lean officers. Their job is to recognize work issues, where work could be easier or smoother, show them to people and support their initiatives.

The confusion comes from the fact that some of the methods used to study work are similar to that invented by the Gilbreths et al. Obviously there aren't an infinite ways to breakdown work so yes, understanding Therbligs is useful - but the common ground stops there.

4.0 is the next logical step for Taylorist thinking. We can expand process control from shop floor operations and hard code the parameters of ANY job thanks to the new digital tools, ERPs and other workflow processes. As we know from the Gallup studies, this results in disengaged workforce, IT disasters, and overwhelmingly sub-performing company systems, but you can't stop such as powerful ideas as a people-free organizational model: people-free as independent of the individuals, so well design that IF PEOPLE DO WHAT THEY'RE TOLD, it will be fully efficient.

This, of course, is plain nonsense. As Deming explained, we need to understand systems, variation in systems (why people can't just do what they're told - they're not stupid), how to accrue knowledge and the psychology to understand how people's heads work - a people-centric view of the world.

Taylor's twin insights that 1/ the expert defines the work and the worker does the work as defined, and 2/ pay-for-performance have colored most of management thinking and are the root cause for many of the wrong interpretations of lean we deplore. Use the lean tools with that in mind and you end up with an industrial nightmare - the "fake lean."

For instance, it's tempting to see standard work on the gemba as the expert looking at the process, stopwatch in mind, and then telling the operator: use two hands instead of one - look, that's how the standard is written. Taylorism. And the way I was taught. It took me years spending time with sensei on the gemba across the world to undersand that standard work meant the supervisory skill to recognize where people struggle (and yes, stopwatches can be used) in order to ask THEM what they would do and how differently they'd take the job. Indeed, in France, Toyota's own managers have to be retrained at Mendo-Mi: taking into account each individual operator's difficulties, adapting workstations and encouraging creative ideas.

I keep coming back to Taylorism (not Taylor) because these ideas are still very much alive - and block the way to seeing lean, and lean's potential. We need to shed all notions of taylorism (you can retain therbligs if you find them useful), for the scales to fall from our eyes, and to understand the beating heart of lean.

Respect is not about about being nice or polite. It's about being fundamentally commited to the human part of the job - including disagreements and wilds ideas - in order to learn together. It's about listening harder to what they other person has to say. The late Mr. Harada once told me Taiichi Ohno was a Kendo practictioner, a sport in which you really need to look into your opponent's mind (when you get it wrong you get smacked), and he applied this at work: he look into people's mind at what they thought.

Because the spirit of kaizen starts with valuing that everyone does think about their work as they work, and will be creative about it if given the chance, and challenged to improve. Infinitely.



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Bob Emiliani January 27, 2021

RE: "I keep coming back to Taylorism (not Taylor) because these ideas are still very much alive..." The ideas that are still alive are not Taylor's. They are the ideas of business leaders who misunderstood and misapplied Taylor's ideas. Just like the ideas about "fake TPS" and "fake Lean" are still very much alive. Do we blame Ohno or Womack and Jones? No. It would be silly to do that.

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Lean Fan January 27, 2021
8 People AGREE with this comment

Trolls gain legitimacy when you acknowledge they exist. Best to ignore.

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Michael Ballé January 28, 2021
4 People AGREE with this reply

Good advice!

The tone is unpleasant, but the debate is legitimate. What are the roots of lean? 

Some people have it going back to the arsenal in Venice, which I was fortunate to visit, but then again, most of industry probably comes from there.

Others see the Gilbreths, Taylor and co. as precursors of lean. I don't. They take us to Gantt and Ford and mass production. I believe that Sakichi Toyoda had genuinely different concerns. Astonishingly, for someone born in the age of the Samurai, he went to the US three times as far as I can tell, and I'm sure he picked up many techniques, but every account tells of how uncertain the Toyodas were of what they saw there every time they went. 

I personally think we see the birth of lean in the Toyota museum - first a wood mechanical loom to  handle the shuttle with one hand, then a loom where shuttles are changed automatically, then the G model that stops when the cotton thread breaks.

When I was taught lean, my teachers seemed to be obsessed with people labor. It took me years to realize that the genuine Toyota sensei, when they showed up, were first looking at what people use: machines and materials. Fix this, and the people part is easy. 

If you try to create continuous flow, you'll find out soon enough that the main stumbling block is modifying the machines so that they can fit in sequence. THAT is the real difficulty.

Taylorism is all about adapting the human better to the process - the intention is clear and explicity, and understandable. Lean is about adapting the process to the human, this is also quite clear, and clearly distinct.

Why should any of this matter? Modern digital tools, again, create new opportunities for both. You can either push the limits of your ERPs etc. to control human behavior - monitor how long people spend on screen time, and all sorts of horrors that ARE happening as we speak. Or you can develop apps that make work easier, in the people's own terms. It's the same "intent" debate.

The roots question is important, because do we see lean as the offshoot of a long industrial engineering tradition of devising rigid controlled processes and then adapting human work to it? Or do we see lean as the result of a completely different insight from Sakichi and Kiichiro Toyoda, which is that you need to constantly improve the machines to make work easier and smoother for people.

I am not American, I have no issue in finding a distinctly non-US root to lean. On the other hand, I am fascinated by how global lean thinking truly is. Born of a Japanese outlook, it integrates early lessons from Ford and GM as well, in engineering, training from pre-war German aircraft engineering, as briliantly portrayed in Miyazaki's touching film "The Wind Rises."

The lean set of ideas are beautiful. This is us against the machine. They offer a way to keep people central, and to develop ever better machines to support human work, the human way.

I feel very strongly that we should highlight and defend what is unique in these ideas, what distinguishes them from mainstream management and industrial thinking, and what unique potential they carry for the future rather than assimilate back to one version of what everyone has been doing all along.

I remember when lean was a revolution - when I was a kid, it was such a wow! Now the Empire is winning again, and we have become the rebellion. The lean ideal is a human centric world.  The reason we look at value in the process is to understand how the people who design and run the process see and think about it. It's a good fight!

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Rose Heathcote January 28, 2021
2 People AGREE with this reply

A caring, human-centric world is one worth fighting for. There is much noise about what Lean is and what it isn't, and its rightful roots but, in my humble view, anything that builds people to do the best they can, for a collective purpose, is good. 

I only hope the heated, relentless debates don't become unhealthy and detract from the work we need to do to build stronger, forward-thinking, stable organisations - organisations that create and sustain jobs. Healthy, legitimate, respectful debates will challenge us to move forward, to be better. Such debates don't need to be unpleasant to be effective. 

On the topic of trolls. I have a handful of old-faithfuls who rear their heads from time to time. I suppose they come with the territory - when you post your ideas publicly you have to be willing to take the criticism that comes with that. Awarding them airtime fuels them (to add to Lean Fan's comment) so I agree we should not give them opportunities to bully online. Even posting this comment is asking for trouble :).

If we truly believe in respect for people, we will acknowledge each other's opinions politely - we may continue to disagree, but we will also learn something. I admit, I don't always get this right, but there is a willingness to try. 


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Michael Ballé January 28, 2021
1 Person AGREES with this reply

Hmmm ... interesting thought. What is our greatest test of respect - demanding politeness or being able to see beyond rudeness to the point that is being made?

Yes, the present gotcha culture makes it hard to be spontaneous, but I still believe in giving everyone some slack - myself included. In the present case, The Professor does hit my buttons with the way he invalidates everyone in seeking more validation for his own work. And my immediate response was clearly one of being thoroughly fed up with what I feel is his constant harping.

And I'm cool with that - we are who we are. But then I can simmer down and think about the argument, the debate. The funny thing is I don't disagree that Taylor has 1/ been dead a long time, 2/ probably gets a short shrift - I used to defend the man and his works myself.

The fact remains, in his writings, he considered workers as objects, not subjects. I feel it makes all the difference, and it's still absolutely relevant to our discussions about the deeper meaning of lean - and 4.0. It's an ethical perspective that goes beyond polite, nice, etc.

I don't have an issue with trolls, they are my teachers. Every time I see red, I wonder, what has that ol' troll touched to infuriate me so - healthy exercise! (full disclosure: some other guys out there get to me far more than The Professor does). 

I also think that we're an old movement, with too many lost battles against what we can call "supertaylorism" (hey, trolls, have a field day :^))). More juice is good. These debates are real. Particularly now that the pandemic and remote tools have us locked down in our small rooms pretending to get things done while other people treat patients, drive trucks and make parts.

Some people don't play by the rules of polite discussion - who can blame them right? That doesn't make them wrong (doesn't make them right either) :^))))

Bob Emiliani January 28, 2021

Rose - Your (and Michael's) use of the word "troll" is an ad hominem attack, and thus inherently disrespectful (as is the pejorative use of the term Taylorism and "Super Taylorism" being disrespectful to Taylor). Such an attack is irrelevant to the argument, though it certainly works to your advantage in gaining support among your audience. Tone is similarly irrelevant in the realm of disagreement. Please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Graham%27s_Hierarchy_of_Disagreement.svg So far, Michael has offered nothing more than  contradiction and has failed to muster a credible counterargument in response to my first comment at the top.

Another Lean Fan February 03, 2021
1 Person AGREES with this reply

@Michael - I don't always agree with your takes. And, to be frank, you can kinda come off like a jerk sometimes too.

But while I appreciate your comment about seeing past rudeness to the debate, that's certainly not Respect for People. If Bob wants to disagree, that's fine, but never once have I ever seen him "seek first to understand"... it's ALWAYS "I'm right, you're wrong, and here's a link to my website". It's exhausting. I stopped reading and following him years ago - it's the same plucked string over and over and over. Even today, he's got a rebuttal piece on his own blog about all of this because he simply can't accept that he may 1. be wrong, 2. not get the last word. Again - both firmly against Respect for People. It's sad & pathetic, really.

Respect means being heard, trusted and considered. It doesn't mean we have to treat each other with kid gloves, but it certainly does mean that we should use words like "I don't understand what you mean..." and "Can you explain what you meant by...". Bob and his ilk do none of these. FFS - NONE of us ever met Taylor - he died over 100 years ago, so all of this is an effort in futility. All this "Taylor meant this and that" is at best an interpretation of what he left behind. To argue over it seems pretty pointless.

Michael Ballé February 03, 2021
5 People AGREE with this reply

@Another Lean Fan LOL, I'm sure I sometimes come off as a jerk - for starters, I'm a Frenchman  writing in English so what do you expect? ;^). I'm counting on you to calling me out on it when I do - one person's directness (I plead guilty) can easily be another's jerkiness (I also plead guilty :^).

And I agree with you regarding Bob, hence my first knee jerk (jerkish?) reply to his comment - what really troubles me is that by focusing the debate on rearguard actions to defend Frederick Taylor's good name and place in history, he hijacks the discussion very far from the intended points in the post, namely how we improve our leading with respect abilities - I don't think any of that is innate, and it takes work.

The deeper debate on politeness I suspect is very culture-dependent. As a non-anglo, I share the rest of the world's frustration with the tendency to try and control the debate by deciding which arguments are acceptable and which are not. I'd tend to split it more in which arguments are friendly and which are disagreeable, but all are legitimate, everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how weird or extreme - and yes, sometimes very weird and very extreme.

As authors we all think we should get more credit than we do. I empathize with this big time. As authors we all think we've said it earlier and no one picked up on it. I empathize with this also. So I guess this would make me slightly more empathic  to the frustration of not getting the credit or the readership we hope for - and clamoring for attention.

But all said and done, authors' egos apart, what really matters are the ideas. I feel that ideas are the code of society and need to be debated. The taylorism (engineers decide the one best way, operators appy, and get paid accordingly) is very different from toyotism (sensei points out weak points, supports people in solving problems and coming up with their own improvements and then sharing it) is one of the key debates to this day of how we look at people and the relationship they have with work - not the only one, but a major one.

I hope I can still separate the people from the problem. The bluster is usually there to hide the problem and the magnitude of it. We can't understand the issues with 4.0 if we don't see the digital taylorism lurking there - and its impact on society.

I agree with you trolls are a pain - but I think mostly because they derail debates into ego food fights - which, in turn, is a challenge to our own capacity to listen, and a good meditation exercise :^)))

Another Lean Fan February 07, 2021
3 People AGREE with this reply

@Michael - thank you for your response! I always find your ideas thoughtful and self-reflective... which is more than I can say for the good Professor, as I'm now apparently the target of his ire for having the gaul to question the mighty Oz. (I'd provide a link to his blog in which he condescendes to me, but I'll leave that to him, since he likes doing it so much).

@Bob - although your lack of self-awareness, your ego and your arrogance will prevent your from doing so, you should look at your response and compare it to Balle's. I called the guy a jerk, and he says "yeah, I can be sometimes. Call me out when I am!", whereas you lecture me, talk down to me, and go point for point middle school debate team style on all the reasons I'm wrong and you're right. Then you have the audacity to claim that you're being respectful for "coaching"me. Seriously, does your narcissism know no bounds?

Hmmm. Maybe that's why you've never lead a Lean transformation. No one would follow you!

I'd love to go toe to toe with you Bob, and show the world what an arrogant arse you are, but you're handling that all on your own quite well. I'm just a gal doing the best I can, trying to make my workplace better, and learning as much as I can. Even after 20 years, I've still got things to learn & I'm man enough to admit it. Are you?

Thankfully, there are so many other Lean leaders to learn from; people who encourage, listen and are eager help. I'll give them my attention and my respect, and I encourage everyone I know to do the same.

As far as Taylor goes - again, your arrogance goes on full display as you claim that mere citations prove that what you're saying is right. I guess I should expect as much considering you had the balls to write a book about conversations with Taiichi Ohno that you never actually had.

There's lots I don't know, Bob. There's lots you don't know, too. The difference is that I know enough about Lean to know that I don't know, and I have the confidence to admit it. You, on the other hand, rabidly attack anyone who questions you. I believe that you are really quite insecure, which is why you bark so loudly, yet have no real Lean chops to fall back on. Just your opinions, which are worthless. Jsut like Oz - a booming voice, but a small man hiding behind a curtain. If you never try, you never fail, right?

And that's all the headspace you'll get from me. Apologies to the folks at LEI for taking the comments off-topic of the OP, but enough is enough. I won't be bullied by some man's overinflated ego because he thinks he's more than he is. 

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