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"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 »
Beyond 'Linear' Intelligence: Learning Lean Through Shared Experiments and Improvements
By: Masia Goodman | August 10, 2020
Columns
Learning entails far more than a linear set of directions from one person to another, argues LEI's Masia Goodman, who presents ways that the upcoming Virtual Lean Learning Experience (VLX) seeks to incorporate lean ways of learning. More »
How the A3 Process Developed to Help Build Better Managers, Part Two
By: John Shook and Isao Yoshino | August 7, 2020
Columns
In this second of two articles, Isao Yoshino and John Shook explore how A3 emerged as powerful practice at Toyota for developing better managers. More »
Learning the Hard and Soft Skills of Lean Coaching
By: Lean Leaper | August 3, 2020
Columns
While lean is often associated with process improvement, error reduction, and greater efficiency in a wide range of numbers; most veterans argue that above all else, this system is primarily about healthy, productive, and sustainable coaching. More »
Making Your Work Work in the First 90 Days
By: Andrew Quibell | July 28, 2020
Columns
In your first 90 days as a lean leader, what path will you take to support transformation? Andrew Quibell details the elements of both a tactical approach as well as a strategic one. More »
How A Complete Lean Production System Fuels Global Success
By: James P. Womack | July 22, 2020
Columns
In this article prepared for the 2007 relaunch of the seminal book The Machine that Changed the World, co-author Jim Womack correctly forecast Toyota's rise, and identifes the key elements of a dynamic lean production system. More »
Learn by Doing: Overcoming Inertia and Triggering Engagement Through Kaizen
By: Lean Leaper | July 20, 2020
Columns
Practicing daily kaizen powerfully drives the heart of any serious lean effort to learn and improve, a topic that will be addressed in the Virtual Lean Learning Experience by several process improvement leaders from Amadeus Hospitality. This Post shares articles from the archives that expand on this practice. More »
How Lean Experts Create a Pipeline for Leadership Talent
By: Lean Leaper | July 13, 2020
Columns
Developing a pipeline for diverse leadership talent is a key principle for leading companies--and the topic of a session led by two Herman Miller leaders in the upcoming Virtual Lean Learning Experience. The handful of articles culled from the LEI archives share lessons on this topic from a range of experts. More »
Why Product Focus is Customer Focus
By: Jim Morgan | July 6, 2020
Columns
How can you know your entire organization is aligned around delivering best in class value to your customer? Your product gives you that focus, says LEI's Jim Morgan. In a piece reminiscent of upcoming VLX classes, he argues that your product is who you are as an enterprise; it’s your identity. More »
Why We Believe Tough Times and Opportunity Go Hand in Hand
By: Lean Sensei Women | July 1, 2020
Columns
In this detailed set of suggestions for managing the current challenges posed by Covid-19, Rose Heathcote and the Lean Sensei Women focus on leveraging assets in these cash-strapped times: "How we handle the crisis is a defining moment. How we prepare for life after the crisis is vital.  " More »
Why Managing Emotions at Work Matters
By: Susan David | June 22, 2020
Columns
True effectiveness in the workplace – innovation, change, enhanced customer experience - requires an acknowledgement of how emotions interface with outcomes, says author Susan David. It is when emotions are acknowledged and brought into organizational processes, rather than being sidelined, that the full power of human intellect and possibility is realized. More »
How to Fail At Lean in Four Easy Steps
By: Regis Medina | June 19, 2020
Columns
Nobody wants to fail at lean, to be sure. Author Regis Medina calls our four surefire ways to achieve this goal, and suggests a more productive way of thinking moving forward. More »
How to A3: Resources for Developing Structured Problem-Solving and Leadership Skills
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | June 18, 2020
Columns
As LEI prepares its next course on Managing to Learn, here's a popular article rounding up a wealth of resources about practicing A3 Thinking by Tom Ehrenfeld More »
Book Review: Learning to Scale, a "Practical Field Guide" to Lean Growth
By: Catherine Chabiron | June 5, 2020
Columns
In his new book Learning to Scale, author Regis Medina has "successfully translated each concept of the TPS and lean strategy into a clear and practical guidance for today’s digital world," says Catherine Chabiron in her review. More »
How NOT to Jump to Solutions When Facing A Problem
By: Dan Markovitz | June 4, 2020
Columns
Dan Markovitz argues that productive leaders solve problems by leveraging a deep understanding of the facts, buffering them from the temptation to jump to solutions. Before you come up with a solution to a problem, go to the crime scene and see for yourself. Make sure you have the facts, not just the data. More »
Why Good Lean Detectives Visit the Crime Scene
By: Dan Markovitz | May 28, 2020
Columns
You can't solve a problem with data alone, says Dan Markovitz. He urges you to go to the "crime scene," the source of the problem, to gather the facts required for a full analysis of what has gone wrong. More »
Nine Lessons from Steady Work
By: Karen Gaudet | April 27, 2020
Columns
In her book Steady Work, Karen Gaudet discusses nine key lessons for practicing lean. Here she discusses these key principles. More »
Developing Awareness on the Gemba
By: Sandrine Olivencia | April 8, 2020
Columns
Lean Sensei Sandrine Olivencia shares practical advice on ways to be present and to coach in the moment at the gemba More »
Preventing Problems by Thinking Upstream: A Talk with Dan Heath
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | March 23, 2020
Columns
Tune in to the LEI podcast to catch a conversation with Dan Heath on his new book Upstream, which urges people to address problems before they happen rather than tackle them after the fact--in "fire fighting" mode. More »
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