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How Lean Start-ups Can Avoid Big Company Disease
By: Daryl Powell and Eva Rognskog | April 21, 2021
Columns
SATPOS, a lean start-up in Norway specializing in positioning, sensing and monitoring solutions for the ocean is learning to remain agile by observing the effects of BCD on its larger counterparts. CEO Eva Helen Rognskog and Daryl Powell share its progress. More »
It's Time to See JIT as A Hero Rather than A Villain
By: Ken Eakin | April 8, 2021
Columns
Lean and JIT production have never been the primary causes of materials in the world's supply chains reported over the past year, says Ken Eakin. He explains the true nature of JIT and suggests that it can in fact support powerful solutions that are far more resilient and efficient than we have today. More »
Form A Bold Strategy For Uncertain Times
By: Jeffrey Liker | April 5, 2021
Columns
Jeff Liker shares a competing values model to help you assess your strategy and focus your operational practices on flawless execution of this path. More »
Seeking the Right Problems to Solve: Catch the WLEI Podcast with Author Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg
By: Lean Leaper | March 22, 2021
Columns
Learning how to frame your problem will help you solve it, suggests author Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg. He describes how in this episode of the WLEI podcast. More »
Boost the Power of PDCA By Tackling the Challenge of Self-Awareness
By: Mike Orzen | March 10, 2021
Columns
While PDCA is the engine of lean discovery, argues Mike Orzen, building self-awareness into this scientific method truly unlocks the power of lean. More »
Achieve Your Deeper Goals Through Daily Work With Hoshin Kanri
By: Jeffrey Liker | March 9, 2021
Columns
Hoshin kanri is a living process of planning, testing ideas, adapting, and learning, says Jeff Liker, in which people work towards clear targets addressing the next big obstacle. This approach reflects scientific thinking instead of mindless implementation. More »
Art of Lean on Situational Leadership, Part 2: Toyota, Taiichi, and TWI Job Instruction
By: Art Smalley | January 22, 2021
Columns
After the introduction to what situational leadership actually is, Art Smalley returns to run through some examples as to how this process of development has been, and continues to be, incredibly effective. Stay tuned for next week's episode as well, which will tackle further quadrants and coaching examples. More »
Planning the Purposeful Turnaround
By: Josh Howell | January 19, 2021
Columns
The capability to repurpose, and then to redesign and retool, is critically important in these challenging times, says Josh Howell, who adds: I hope you have enough cash and the built-in capability to learn what’s needed for a successful turnaround. More »
Develop Your People Patiently Rather Than Rely on Super Taylorism
By: Rose Heathcote, Daryl Powell and Eivind Reke | January 11, 2021
Columns
Lean starts with quality, argue the authors, who note that by worrying about and improving quality, we are also reducing both the cost of our misconceptions and our product's actual cost -- by developing our people. More »
How Lean is Apple?
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | December 10, 2020
Columns
Apple may not worship at the altar of lean, but a close look at its operations and strategy show clear resonance with established lean principles. More »
Improve Continuously by Mastering the Lean Kata
By: Rose Heathcote and Daryl Powell | December 9, 2020
Columns
Lean is about learning, say Rose Heathcote and Daryl Powell. Learning to find real problems, learning to face the limits of our current knowledge in light of these problems, learning to frame the gaps as learning challenges, and finally, learning to form and share actionable solutions. As such, lean is really about learning-to-learn. More »
Are You Deploying Lean Mechanistically--or Organically?
By: Jeffrey Liker | December 7, 2020
Columns
Toyota operates on a complete system based on organic rather than mechanistic principles, argues Jeff Liker, who delineates the advantages of this approach. More »
"I am the Violin," or, Mastery through Doing
By: Orest (Orry) Fiume | December 2, 2020
Columns
Developing lean vision, lean mastery, is hard work says Orry Fiume, who compare this learning journey to a childhood prodigy who explained her young talent by saying "I am the violin.  " More »
Fundamentals Redux--An Appreciation of Kaizen Express
By: John Shook | November 25, 2020
Columns
Kaizen Express is the expression of an approach to kaizen that is at once a return to basics while at the same time emphasizing the centrality of individual and team learning, says John Shook. This resource is grounded in the belief that the thinking of TPS can only be achieved through doing. More »
Why We Believe Micromanagement is Worth A Deeper Conversation
By: Lean Sensei Women | November 24, 2020
Columns
The Lean Sensei Women explore how poorly-focused micromanagement destroys trust--while well-placed micromanagement supports Lean fundamentals and delivers exceptional results. More »
Navigating a Lean Quality 4.0 Road Map
By: Andrew Quibell | November 16, 2020
Columns
Lean thinking and practice has a great deal to offer when it comes to adjusting to Industry 4.  0, and in this article Andrew Quibell shares thoughts (and a sketch) on this topic More »
Learning to Learn with the Lean Sensei
By: Lean Leaper | October 28, 2020
Columns
Lean is not a production system, it's an education system, argues the book The Lean Sensei, which was recently awarded the Shingo Award for publishing excellence. A look into its framing the heart of lean as an act of coaching that generates learning. More »
The Deeper Purpose of Problem-Solving
By: Regis Medina | October 27, 2020
Columns
Ultimately, the goal of problem-solving is not just to fix tools and processes, argues Regis Medina. He says that problem-solving in a lean setting is in fact a unique opportunity to think about our thinking, and develop expertise where it counts. More »
"It's Only A Failure If You Don't Learn"
By: Lean Leaper | October 14, 2020
Columns
"It's only a failure if you don't learn" says Toyota veteran Isao Yoshino, whose experience developing an ultimately failed water-ski boat venture for Toyota is shared in Katie Anderson's new book documenting many of his life lessons. More »
Never Fail...To Create the Conditions for People to be Successful
By: Katie Anderson | October 13, 2020
Columns
In this excerpt from Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn, Katie Anderson shares the story of how Isao Yoshino learned first-hand the value that Toyota places in learning from failure--from humbly framing unexpected outcomes as opportunities to learn. More »
Applying Lean Thinking and Practice to Systemic Racism, Part 2 of 2
By: Christopher D. Chapman | October 8, 2020
Columns
To create anti-racist organizations to fit, value, and respect all people, leaders should step forward with a sound vision framed by the five principles of lean. Here's how. Part 2 of 2. More »
The Power of Personal Yokoten
By: James P. Womack | September 29, 2020
Columns
Personal yokoten to teach new mindsets and attitudes is an activity all of us can perform out in the world every day with every manager, team leader, and team we touch, says Jim Womack. He believes we can transfer new, lean ideas about management and leadership in our civic roles and even in our families as we think through tough issues. More »
Lean Lessons from Cobra Kai(zen) and the Karate Kid
By: Michael Ballé | September 24, 2020
Columns
The unexpected wake-up call of the modest perfection of the original Karate Kid movie was that we need to move beyond defending this or that method of work and look to highlight opportunities of improving things beyond monetization, says Michael Balle in this reflection on the meaning of this classic movie. More »
Mining the Lessons From Designing the Future
By: Lean Leaper | September 23, 2020
Columns
Designing the Future shares a wealth of insights that transcend product development minutiae; this articles shares the broader argument presented by the authors in this notable book. More »
How Respect for People Animates the Lean Spirit
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | September 7, 2020
Columns
Practicing respect is an animating force of lean leadership that colors how one coaches and develops people. This roundup of articles from our archives shares a range of voices on this essential practice. More »
How to Build Resilience Through Sustained Lean Practice
By: Lean Leaper | August 31, 2020
Columns
As the upcoming virtual lean learning experience shows, lean thrives when the individuals using this learning and improvement method leverage its power for long term growth. More »
Enduring Lessons from The Birth of Lean
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | August 26, 2020
Columns
Lean was never conceived as a new and comprehensive system designed to replace conventional enterprise. Rather, as shown in The Birth of Lean, it evolved over years, and then decades, to become what we know it as today. More »
When the Toyota Way Meets Industry 4.0
By: Jeffrey Liker | August 24, 2020
Columns
Industry 4.  0 is not a disruptive force that makes TPS irrelevant, but rather can be an enabler that builds on TPS culture and thinking, argues Jeff Liker--a way of viewing technology that is a core principle of productive lean thinking. More »
Tapping Technology to Boost the Power of Lean: A Talk with Jeff Liker and Jim Morgan
By: Lean Leaper | August 24, 2020
Columns
What principles should guide lean thinkers as they introduce digital tools into their work? How about people, processes, and purpose, say Jeff Liker and Jim Morgan in this WLEI podcast with host Tom Ehrenfeld. More »
How Using Kanban Builds Trust
By: Michael Ballé | August 12, 2020
Columns
Kanban functions as a trust machine because everyone using it must understand what they have to do and why, says Michael Balle: "Our purpose here is to share our ideas on what we believe is important in lean thinking.  " More »
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