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John Shook's eLetters

In pioneering books such as Learning to See, Managing to Learn, and Kaizen Express John Shook has taken Lean Thinkers from the fundamentals of implementing lean business systems to new territory.
  • Emerging Stronger
    April 30, 2020

    Learn how GE Appliances and Herman Miller leverage lean practice to design new standardized work for assembly to ensure a safe working environment for employees. read more »

  • What's your problem
    October 31, 2018

    There may be nothing more fundamental to lean thinking and practice than problem solving. For that matter, there may be nothing more fundamental to being human than problem solving. We breathe, we eat, we create civilizations – we deal with (solve, tackle) problems every step of the way. read more »

  • A Humble Conversation
    June 28, 2018

    For the past two years, John Shook and Edgar Schein have enjoyed the honor of engaging in an on-stage dialogue. The occasion? The Lean Healthcare Academic Conference at Stanford. Read more about the exchange. read more »

  • Want Better Employees? Be a Better Employer.
    December 7, 2017

    Every nation in the world is on a quest to create more jobs. As they should be.But, we don’t want just “jobs.” We want good jobs. Our friend Zeynep Ton offers a prescription for good jobs. Ton, MIT professor and author of the Good Jobs Strategy, has seen jobs from many angles. Growing up in her native Turkey, Prof Ton had the opportunity to observe tough but decent paying factory jobs. In her university research in the US, where the economy has steadily moved from manufacturing to the service sector, Professor Ton has observed with dismay the sad state of service jobs and the wide variety of policies with which firms approach the employment of people under the pressure of harsh business strategies. But, the good news: Ton has also identified firms – like Costco, Trader Joes, Mercadona, and Toyota – that do a great job of treating employees right. And she shows how and why the firms reap the rewards just as well as do the employees. read more »

  • “Do I have to be team leader for the rest of my life?"
    June 27, 2017

    At his talk at the Lean Transformation Summit earlier this year, and at conferences since then, including Industry Week and Shingo, Lantech CEO Jim Lancaster shared these words, expressing a Groundhog Day-like despair at having to solve the same problems on a daily basis (“Didn’t we do this yesterday?”). As he voiced his anguish, I looked out and saw a good 600 of the 660 listeners looking down at their feet in a shared response, his comment the awakening whap of a “Zen stick” (as Dan Prock would say, see PS below) inspiring each listener to reflect, “Yes, that’s me!” and ask, “If he can break the cycle, why can’t I?” read more »

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Other John Shook Related Content

Books

Articles

  • Keep Calm and Manage Stably: Akio Toyoda’s Response to Crisis
    Jeff Liker and John Shook comment on the recent remarks of Toyota President Akio Toyoda, stating that they "reaffirmed the remarkable ways of the company, leaving us with confidence that Toyota will continue to serve as an inspiration, even as the world continues to change in unpredictable ways."
  • Addressing Production Challenges that Arise from the Pandemic
    How two companies with deep lean experience – General Electric Appliances (GEA) and Herman Miller – have responded quickly and with great agility to the frontline challenges presented by the pandemic.
  • Emerging Stronger
    Learn how GE Appliances and Herman Miller leverage lean practice to design new standardized work for assembly to ensure a safe working environment for employees.

Webinars