The following is an excerpt from John Shook's latest eletter to the lean community. To view it in its entirety, click here.
I am often asked why the “lean movement” has outlasted so many business improvement movements that have come and gone. For some ad hoc thoughts in response to interview questions in that regard, check out my conversation with Roberto Priolo at Planet Lean.
Surely one sign of the health of any community is the continuing evolution of theory and practice. Given the nature of lean thinking, we look for evolution that is grounded in deep basic thinking and practices that benefit from years—decades even—of refinement so that, used as intended, this new practice has that fundamental thinking embedded inside—a topic that I explored in more depth in this column.
This rich dialogue about the nature of lean has ranged over the years, from the publication of Jim Womack and Dan Jones’ Lean Thinking to the extensive series of The Toyota Way books by Jeff Liker to extrapolations such as The Lean Startup (a kind of “pioneer” application of lean thinking) by Eric Ries and Toyota Kata (which you could call a fundamentalist approach) by Mike Rother. Everywhere you look new threads and twists continue to develop.
Today that spirit of experimentation and learning is going strong: lean theory and practice are thriving here in early 2017 with the arrival of a small but rich batch of new books. These recent and upcoming books all bring new ideas and new stories that can help grow and energize the lean community...
FInd out what those books are and more when you read John Shook's full eletter.