Executive Leadership Articles
What Matters When Giving — or Accepting — the Gift of Lean Thinking and Practice
Some “flavors” of lean are better than others. Here’s a description of one of the best — contrasted with examples…Read article
Charting a New Course for US Manufacturing
LEI chats with Miles Arnone and Bonnie Davis about how Re:Build Manufacturing is revitalizing American industry.Listen to podcast
How Entrepreneurs Use Lean to Drive Sustainable Growth: A Conversation with Matt May and Pablo Dominguez
LEI chats with authors Matt May and Pablo Dominguez about how startups can scale using lean thinking and practice.Listen to podcast
What Will Be the New Social Contract for the 21st Century?
The current volatility in tech employment portends a shift from the sector’s earlier people-centered visions — and that’s concerning.Read article
Why ‘Framing’ is Crucial to Leadership and Encouraging Team Unity
A personal reflection of a company’s response to challenges brought on by Covid explores the fundamental thinking that drives how…Read article
Two LEI Learning Group Partner Executives Honored with National Award
GE Appliances, a Haier company, Pella Corporation, and the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute celebrate colleagues’ recognition for demonstrating excellence and…Read article
Understanding Lean Thinking and Practice Fundamentals
This overview helps beginner and mid-stage Lean Thinkers gain a more comprehensive understanding of lean thinking and practice — and…Read article
Ask Art: Why Do I Need a Kaizen Promotion Office (KPO)?
A veteran lean leader explains why companies seeking to cultivate a lean culture should establish an internal team to oversee…Read article
Ask Art: What Is the Biggest Cultural Change Barrier to Lean?
Art Byrne tackles the biggest cultural barrier to adopting lean practices in companies: the resistance of CEOs and senior management.Read article
A New Era of Jidoka: How ChatGPT Could Alter the Relationship between Machines, Humans, and their Minds
An exploration of how artificial intelligence will impact how people will work suggests exciting possibilities and challenges for human development.Read article
Transforming Your Organization with Lean Thinking and Practices
This brief animation offers a guide to the five fundamental equations that help lean practitioners understand — and execute —…Read article
In Honor of Dr. Edgar Schein: A Tribute to a Giant in Organizational Theory
Edgar Schein passed away last Thursday, January 26, 2023. Ed, the godfather of organizational development, was a spry 94 years…Read article
How Can Lean Help Manage the Costs and Complications of Satisfying Customers During Rapid Growth?
An entrepreneur shares why and how lean management helps startups innovate and grow.Read article
Ask Art: How Do You Align Incentives for a Lean Turnaround?
A veteran lean leader offers practical strategies for incentivizing employees during a transition to lean management.Read article
Why Lean Remains a Superior Business Model and Way of Thinking
The lean business model offers an alternative to conventional thinking that enables organizations to gain a competitive advantage by being…Read article
Ask Art: Why Should I Focus on My Balance Sheet to Grow Earnings?
Lean practitioners understand that focusing on this financial statement is the best way to achieve higher sales and lower costs.Read article
Putting Customers First
The cofounders of a successful startup share how lean thinking and practices helped ensure they kept their focus on the…Read article
Building a Learning Organization with Kata
Baptist Memorial Hospital uses kata to build an "army of problem solvers." Here's the "meta-routine" they follow and a few…Watch video
Ask Art: What is the Best Lean Leadership Development Program?
Leaders learn and adopt lean thinking the same way everyone else does: by practicing it. Here are a few ideas…Read article
How Lean Thinking and Practices Improves Disaster Recovery Efforts
This enhanced presentation explores how a disaster recovery organization uses lean thinking and practices to accelerate rebuilding efforts.Read article
Who, or What, Is Your Company Investing In?
A frontline supervisor's stellar work resolving a significant problem prompts a question for leaders: Will you have technology work for…Read article
Creating a System to Achieve Ambitious Goals: A WLEI Podcast
A lean veteran describes a system that can help leaders take their organizations to the next level.Read article
Ask Art: What’s So Important About Reducing Setup Times?
An overview of the strategic and tactical benefits of eliminating waste from changeovers demonstrates why it should be a focus…Read article
6 Guidelines for Moving Toward a Lean Value Stream
Once you’re ready to use value-stream mapping to continuously improve your value streams, follow this advice from the authors of…Read article
A Postcard — with Leadership Insights — from Nashville
A look back at LEI’s Lean Transformation Summit in 2018 shares a few tips from CEO keynoters on how to…Read article
Ask Art: How Important are Your Suppliers to Implementing Lean Production?
You won't reap the full benefits of lean production without involving your suppliers as an essential part of your value…Read article
Expanding the Purpose of Catchball￼
Learn how catchball, the process of colleagues tossing ideas back and forth to improve them iteratively, helps get the job…Read article
Embrace Lean for Respect, Learning, and Growth
A new book demonstrates how lean thinking and practices can help organizations manage rapid growth.Read article
Why Coaching is a Core Skill of a Lean Leader
If "learning by doing" at the gemba is the best way to learn lean thinking and practices (and it is),…Read article
Ask Art: Is Lean a Good Cost-Reduction Program?
A point-by-point comparison demonstrates why lean thinking and practice is a business strategy, not merely a cost-cutting strategy.Read article
All Lean Is Local
When I think about the idea of “all lean is local,” I think about the fundamental entry point questions for…Read article
Beyond Six Sigma: How Lean Delivers Deeper and More Enduring Benefits
In this enhanced presentation, former Wiremold Company CEO Art Byrne explores the differences between lean/continuous improvement and six sigma.Read article
Ask Art: How Well Do Companies Follow Toyota’s ‘Respect for People’ Principle?
Comparing traditional command-and-control management shows why this lean management tenet benefits both employees and the organization.Read article
To Successfully Apply Lean Thinking in Distribution, Go to Where the Action Is!
Two years after its first kaizen workshop, Plumbers Supply Company has made significant progress toward a lean business conversion. Starting…View case study
Understanding the Many Facets of ‘the A3’
A review of the many ways lean practitioners refer to this core lean practice reveals its versatility — and why…Read article
Ask Art: How Do You Motivate Managers to Adopt Lean?￼
Leading an enterprise-wide lean transformation requires everyone at every level to adopt new approaches to their work. Here are some…Read article
What’s the Problem?: Andrew Lingel Discusses Transforming a Family Business through Knowledge, Grit, and Outrage
In this What's the Problem? podcast with Matt Savas, President Andrew Lingel of United Plastic Fabricating shares how he helped…Listen to podcast
Ask Art: How Useful is Six Sigma and the Black Belts and Green Belts that Come with It?
Several specific examples demonstrate why lean continuous improvement practices are usually superior to six sigma for solving problems.Read article
How Lean Thinking and Practices Can Help You Prepare for and Rebound from a Crisis
As the world emerges from the depths of the pandemic, the Lean Sensei Women share how lean can help you…Read article
Ukrainian Resilience: How Lean is Helping Companies Cope with War, Part 1
A real-time discussion with the Lean Institute Ukraine President shows how leveraging lean thinking and practices help companies adapt to…Read article
Helping Companies Thrive by Creating Good Jobs
Two case studies and a detailed discussion of The Good Jobs Strategy show how investing in creating good jobs results…Read article
Ask Art: How Does Lean Apply to Every Company?
Lean veteran Art Byrne shares a back-to-basics explanation of why — and how — lean thinking and practices can improve…Read article
How the Toyota Way and Toyota Kata Fit Together
The author of The Toyota Way explains where Toyota Kata fits with Toyota’s broader management principles — and how each…Read article
How A3 Management Solves Problems and Develops Problem-Solving Capabilities
Through a detailed demonstration, Turner Construction Company VP and general manager Charlie Whitney shares an example of how the company…Read article
A Lesson for Enabling Leaders and Systems
An executive's gemba visit reveals the value of engaging value-creating frontline workers in improving their work processes — and how…Read article
Ask Art: Why is a Lean Sensei Necessary?
Lean veteran Art Byrne explains how having a lean sensei helps leaders and organizations succeed in their lean transformation.Read article
6 Things You Can Do to Become a More Effective Lean Leader
This collection of articles from Lean Coach David Verble examines how the way managers and leaders talk to employees (and…Read article
Applying Lean Thinking and Practices in a Digital Environment
The cofounder and CTO of Theodo, a software company, describes how lean management drives growth, increases employee engagement, and delivers…Read article
Steady Work: A Story of Personal and Enterprise Transformation at Starbucks
A former Starbucks regional director demonstrates how lean thinking and practices improve business performance.Read article
The Machine That’s Changing the World … Again
Lean leaders discuss how lean thinking and practices help businesses navigate an environment marked by disruption.Read article
Ask Art: How Do You Create a Lean Culture?
The author of the best-selling books The Lean Turnaround and The Lean Turnaround Action Guide and former CEO of The…Read article
Lean’s Role in Labor Shortages and the Supply Chain
LEI leaders talk about recent blame thrown toward Lean in the supply chain, the rising labor shortage, NFT's, and more.Listen to podcast
How to Focus on a People Accelerated Lean Transformation
Business and operational performance improved dramatically when a car dealership's leaders embraced the lean principle of respect for people. Here's…View case study
How a Bakery Uses Lean Thinking to Drive Growth
A lean system that runs like clockwork and constant attention to customer service enables Barcelona-based 365.café to achieve the seemingly…View case study
Ask Art: I Want to Convert My Company to Lean. What Are the First Steps?
The former Wiremold CEO explains the commitment you must make— and the expectations you must set—when you start your continuous-improvement…Read article
Learning More About a Leader Who Helped Build Toyota’s Culture
An LEI coach tells what it was like to work with the man who helped propagate the Toyota Way.Read article
Reaching Your Organization’s Full Potential
A visit to Turner Construction's New York Business Unit reveals how its leaders use the A3 process to build their…Read article
3 Go-To Ways for Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement Anywhere
To reach a state of endless continuous improvement, executives must lead the company in making a critical leap from management-driven…Read article
Becoming – and Developing — More Effective Leaders
Bill MacPherson, managing director of Mercer Celgar, a division of Mercer International, shares how adopting hoshin kanri helps transform how…View case study
Continually Improving the Strategic Planning and Execution Process
Bill MacPherson, managing director of Mercer Celgar, a division of Mercer International, describes how adopting hoshin kanri catalyzes and ensures…Read article
How Toyota Built its Culture Around the World
A new book takes a deep dive into a more effective way for senior leaders to manage talent to consistently…Read article
Breaking the Cycle of Ineffective Strategic Planning and Execution
Bill MacPherson, managing director of Mercer Celgar, a division of Mercer International, describes why hoshin kanri is a better approach…View case study
How Lean Can Help You Go Green
How to use lean thinking and practices to create sustainable business practices.Read article
Ask Art: What Targets Should We Set When Launching a Lean Turnaround?
Here's why setting results-oriented targets instead of process-oriented targets will doom your lean improvement efforts, says Art Byrne.Read article
What is Lean Leadership and How Do You Get it?
Jeff Liker, author of The Toyota Way, describes what organizations need to do to develop their leaders' lean leadership capabilities.Read article
How to Wipe Out IT’s “Technical Debt” with PDCA
Besides bonds, bank loans, and other types of corporate debt, your company also holds "technical debt," the burden of future…Read article
Imagining A World Without Email with Cal Newport
A typical work day is already packed, but is there waste that can be removed? WLEI host Tom Ehrenfeld and…Listen to podcast
Why Creating Better Jobs and Improving Work Matters
How improving your work environment is vital to improved business outcomes.Read article
Ensuring Success of Hoshin Kanri – a Better Way to Plan and Execute Your Strategy
Logoplaste's global vice president of lean and strategy shares a few vital lessons, learned through experience, about a proven way…View case study
Addressing a Critical Problem in Strategic Planning and Execution
Logoplaste's global vice president of lean and strategy deployment describes the experience -- and benefits -- six months into its…View case study
Creating Better Jobs and Better Work: A Podcast with Sarah Kalloch and Josh Howell
Josh Howell of LEI and Sarah Kalloch of the Good Jobs Institute want to foster good work, as they discuss…Listen to podcast
Ask Art: What Do You Look At in a “Pre-lean” Company?
Art Byrne identifies factors such as excess inventory and floor space, long turnaround times, and numerous other elements to study…Read article
Why You Need to Understand The Purpose of Purposeful Enterprise
Work with your team to articulate your purpose, as this shared statement will align the many aspects of your pragmatic…Read article
Learning From The Sensei Way at Work
Seek perfection by cultivating a daily discipline of mindfulness, whether in lean practice or Buddhist training, writes John Shook in…Read article
Are You Creating the Right Environment?
Turner Construction is working hard to develop the "right environment" in which productive lean inquiry is baked into the working…Read article
Combat the Ninth Waste of Overthinking
Overthinking should be considered yet another form of waste that true lean practice can identify and eliminate, argues Dan Prock,…Read article
Exploring When More is Not Better with Roger Martin
How lean thinking could help address America's wealth and power gap.Listen to podcast
A Spotlight on Leaders: What We Can Still Learn from Danaher and Wiremold
Watch Legendary lean pioneer Art Byrne, author of The Lean Turnaround and The Lean Turnaround Action Guide, in a lively…Watch webinar
Lean Roundup: Hoshin Kanri As a Strategic Force
Hoshin kanri can support and vitalize your strategic vision as well as bolster your ongoing work, writes Tom Ehrenfeld in…Read article
Once Again, Here’s Why JIT Matters
Jeffrey Liker argues that recent media snipes fail to understand the crucial role JIT plays in a complete #lean system…Read article
How Lean Thinking and Practice, Grounded in Purpose, Helped Drive Amazon’s Success
Marc Onetto shares his experiences in Amazon, underlining the importance of a customer-driven approach in times of heavy demand and…Watch video
Diving Deep to Discover the Value of Lean Companies with Cliff Ransom
The following conversation drills down into the lessons learned from looking at public companies through lean-colored glasses.Listen to podcast
How Lean Start-ups Can Avoid Big Company Disease
SATPOS, a lean start-up in Norway specializing in positioning, sensing and monitoring solutions for the ocean is learning to remain…Read article
Lean Roundup: How Hoshin Kanri Creates a “Line of Sight”
Like anything that is essential to lean, one must understand how hoshin kanri works from the very detailed, elemental levels…Read article
Ask Art: How Can I Ensure the Participation of Top Management?
Always keep in mind that to be successful with lean, senior management must drive the change, says lean veteran Art…Read article
Create Constancy of Purpose
Looking back on the admirable work of two lean leaders who established constancy of purpose, Jim Womack asks: what would…Read article
Learning By Doing with Art Byrne
Art Byrne has the expertise of a lean executive and he's sharing more knowledge than ever in this clip from…Watch video
10 Principles for Lean Leadership
These ten simple yet powerful leadership principles developed by Isao Yoshino provide wise guidance for any lean practitioner seeking a…Read article
Form A Bold Strategy for Uncertain Times
Jeff Liker shares a competing values model to help you assess your strategy and focus your operational practices on flawless…Read article
Spring Spotlight: Creating the Purposeful Enterprise
Information and insights that explore the many facets of this fundamental lean concept. A compilation of the articles published as…Read article
A Variety of Perspectives is Good For Your Products
The best product development teams attract, promote, and celebrate diversity of thought, asserts Kevin Nolan, president & CEO of GE…Read article
How Stalwart Lean Leadership and Classic Lean Practices Yield Operational and Clinical Excellence
Organizations can achieve the seemingly impossible when they have steadfast lean leadership, a sharp focus on purpose, and experience applying…Read article
Fight for Your Lean Team
Managers, supervisors and coaches should mindfully support the storming and norming that teams require in order to grow an existing…Read article
Why Hoshin Kanri is a Better Approach to Planning and Execution
Effective hoshin kanri builds on traditional strategy deployment by including key questions that conventional models fail to include, argues Pascal…Read article
Once More: What is Strategy Deployment, and Why Should You Care?
Strategy deployment helps keep lean practitioners focused on the prize—creating value for the customer, says Pascal Dennis in the foreword…Read article
3 Lessons Maersk Learned from Adopting Hoshin Kanri
Deploying hoshin kanri at Maersk was challenging, recounts Agne Nainyte, who shares the details of this work that helped the…Read article
Achieve Your Deeper Goals Through Daily Work With Hoshin Kanri
Hoshin kanri is a living process of planning, testing ideas, adapting, and learning, says Jeff Liker, in which people work…Read article
Bad People or A Bad Process?
Standing in a nightmare of a line at the airport prompted Jim Womack to reflect on this problem, and conclude…Read article
Why Lean Thinkers Should Ground Their Work in Sustainability
There's a solid case for implementing green thinking just as there's one for implementing lean thinking. The challenge, but more…Read article
How Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Teaching Embodies Lean Thinking
What can we learn about lean thinking from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? Christopher D. Chapman explains.Read article
Exploring the Continued Relevance of Lean with Womack, Jones, Gaudet, and Others in a Best-of Podcast
The global pandemic coupled with profound structural economic shifts are two daunting challenges reinforcing the need for a powerful method…Listen to podcast
Exploring the Continued Relevance of Lean, A Best of Podcast
Lean offers a powerful and productive approach to today's problems, both large and small. This "best-of" podcast featuring talks with…Listen to podcast
What’s Your Lean Origin Story? And Why Does It Matter?
I’m wondering, as a leader and a coach, how can I help others develop similar routines, propagating, for example, the…Read article
Cooking Up Perfection With a Master Chef
Master chefs often practice elements of lean without any formal recognition of this, says Orry Fiume, citing the words and…Read article
Show Respect by Exploring Problems With Your Workers
I trust that all of us want to show respect for people, writes Jim Womack, adding: The challenge for those…Read article
Two Giants, Two Communities, One Lasting Thing
In this graceful elegy of the impact of two pioneers who recently passed away, John Shook says: "Ezra and Norm…Read article
Lead With Respect Shares Tangible Practices That Develop Others, Says Author Michael Balle
Michael and Freddy Balle's book Lead With Respect portrays on-the-job behaviors of lean leaders which can be learned through practice. Michael explains…Read article
6 Insights on How to Show Respect for People: A Lean Post Roundup
Practicing respect in a lean environment requires both a general mindset committed to the practice and constant daily actions grounded…Read article
Diving Deeper into The Toyota Way with Jeff Liker
Professor Jeffrey Liker’s The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles From the World’s Greatest Manufacturer has proved to be one of…Listen to podcast
Diving Deeper into the Toyota Way: A Podcast with Jeff Liker
Professor Jeff Liker discusses the new, second edition of his classic book The Toyota Way on WLEI, the LEI podcast.Listen to podcast
Leveraging Strategy Deployment to Effectively Respond to the Unexpected
How Hoshin Kanri Builds Organizational Resilience.Watch webinar
Ask Art: Why Are Leaps of Faith Involved in a Lean Turnaround?
Leaps of faith are not incidental associations with a lean turnaround; they are a basic requirement, argues lean veteran Art…Read article
How the Hoshin Kanri Process Coupled with Coaching Drives Lean Transformation, Part 2
Discover how a coach can help leaders execute a successful organizational transformation using the hoshin kanri process.Read article
Develop Your People Patiently Rather Than Rely on Super Taylorism
Lean starts with quality, argue the authors, who note that by worrying about and improving quality, we are also reducing…Read article
How the Hoshin Kanri Process Coupled with Coaching Drives Lean Transformation, Part 1
A veteran coach shares a few intangible truths you'll need to know to execute an organizational transformation using hoshin kanri.Read article
How Lean is Apple?
Apple may not worship at the altar of lean, but a close look at its operations and strategy show clear…Read article
Taking Time for a Year-End Reflection with the Most Popular Lean Articles, Podcasts, and Videos of 2020
This year's content featured plenty of guests, returns from lean legends, and handfuls of ways that lean has been applicable…Read article
Remembering Norman Bodek, the “Miraculous Life” of an Author, Teacher, and Publisher of Groundbreaking Business Books
Called “Mr. Productivity” and the “Godfather of Lean,” Norman Bodek began 41 years ago translating and publishing groundbreaking books by…Read article
How Can Lean Affect Shareholder Value?
Lean can help challenge assumptions and surface opinions that ultimately improve shareholder value, argues Michael Balle.Read article
Making Lean Stick: A Podcast Conversation with Mark Deluzio, Art Byrne, and Jim Womack
The long-term success of companies like Danaher, Fortive, Herman Miller, Parker Hannifin and many others, have all validated the power…Listen to podcast
Why Lean Is the Strategy We Need For Today’s World
In a recent Lean Post article, Peter Ward noted that “lean is not a strategy per se but can be…Read article
What’s Needed to Ensure a Successful Lean Transformation
Learn what works--and what doesn't--in driving your lean transformation. LEI Senior Advisors Jim Womack and Jim Morgan share top-line learning…Read article
Are Lean Thinking and Practice Business Strategies?
Explore the nuances of leadership and strategy with Lean Enterprise Institute Chairman Peter Ward.Read article
Becoming the Change: New Leadership Behavior Strategies for Continuous Improvement in Healthcare
To successfully lead an organizational transformation, you and other leaders must embark on your own personal transformation. The challenge for…Watch webinar
The Digital Storm and the End of Old You with CI&T
A virtual lean learning experience featuring CI&T.Watch webinar
Turn To Lean in Times of Crisis
Lean thinkers need new tools and new mindsets to face today's daunting challenges, argues Jim Womack, who shares examples of…Read article
Applying Lean Thinking and Practice to Systemic Racism, Part 2 of 2
To create anti-racist organizations to fit, value, and respect all people, leaders should step forward with a sound vision framed…Read article
Using the Logic of Lean Thinking to Combat Racism, Part 1 of 2
To create new anti-racist organizations, leaders need to fully embrace the five principles of lean: value vs. waste, value stream,…Read article
Align Your Continuous Improvement Efforts: Practical Tips from 4 CEOs in 4 Major Business Sectors
Four CEOs who are leading lean management voices in the critical economic sectors of manufacturing, supply chain, healthcare, and education,…Read article
Becoming the Change with John Toussaint and Kim Barnas
Lean has always promised great improvements for health care providers, but has there been a personal element that has been…Listen to podcast
Becoming the Change: Talking Healthcare Transformation with Kim Barnas and John Toussaint on the WLEI Podcast
In this WLEI podcast, Becoming the Change authors Kim Barnas and John Toussaint discuss the personal challenges facing healthcare leaders…Listen to podcast
New Book, Becoming the Change, Shows that Real Organizational Change Is Personal
Learn the cause of and cure for healthcare improvements that relapse to the old ways of working. Kim Barnes, Catalysis…Read article
Lean Thinking’s Past, Present, and Future: A Q&A Roundtable with Jim Womack and Jim Morgan
To close each week of the Lean Enterprise Institute's Virtual Lean Learning Experience 2020 (VLX), we bring together the week's…Watch video
Ask Art: What Was Danaher Like In the Early Days of Lean?
In this personal account of launching lean at Danaher, Art Byrne shares a wealth of insights into how to seed…Read article
View Crises as Manageable Challenges Through Steady Lean Leadership
If you are using lean to tackle a series of crises, you may not be using lean in the first…Read article
How Respect for People Animates the Lean Spirit
Practicing respect is an animating force of lean leadership that colors how one coaches and develops people. This roundup of…Read article
Growing from a Tactical Practitioner to a Strategic Thinker
One helpful way to move from being a tactical leader to a strategic one is to suggest that a better…Read article
In this article exploring ways to help lead positive change, Josh Howell asks: is pursuing understanding and conviction part of…Read article
5 Guiding Principles for Tailoring a Path to Lean Transformation
Learn from top healthcare leaders who are transforming their organizations through lean thinking and practice.Listen to podcast
5 Guiding Principles to Accelerate Your Lean Transformation
Chief architects for lean transformation have been seeking effective ways of realizing tangible gains for years, says Senior Coach Alice…Read article
How A Complete Lean Production System Fuels Global Success
In this article prepared for the 2007 relaunch of the seminal book The Machine that Changed the World, co-author Jim…Read article
Being ‘Right’ is Not Enough
All of us have problem-solving experiences to reflect on and learn from. And what better time to draw out that…Read article
How Lean Experts Create a Pipeline for Leadership Talent
Developing a pipeline for diverse leadership talent is a key principle for leading companies--and the topic of a session led…Read article
Lean in Lean Thinkers to Root Out Racial Inequity
A lean leader calls on other lean thinkers to leverage humble inquiry and other problem-solving tools to eradicate the waste…Read article
Lean Roundup: Hoshin Kanri
Hoshin Kanri, described as "a management system that allows the organization to quickly and effectively adjust its priorities while engaging…Read article
Making Pivots Operational
Learn how NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP) hospital (NYP) pivoted to meet crisis-level demands at the epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic -- thanks…Read article
Why Managing Emotions at Work Matters
True effectiveness in the workplace – innovation, change, enhanced customer experience - requires an acknowledgement of how emotions interface with…Read article
Why a Lean Transformation Requires a New Quoting Process, Part 1
How to ensure your lean transformation leads to improved profitability.Read article
How to Develop and Execute New Strategies for the New Era in Business
These times demand a new way of looking at business strategy because the way we worked before the pandemic probably…Watch webinar
How Lean Helps During Economic Downturns: Lessons from the Past
John retells a quick history lesson about the birth of Toyota’s powerful way of working as it emerged from its…Read article
Searching for a Path Toward Healing
Dr. Kiame Mahaniah, the CEO of Lynn Community Health Center, shares the message he wrote to his staff about finding…Read article
Pivoting Just-In-Time with Hoshin Kanri at Toyota
Learn about the power of hoshin kanri, a systematic approach to defining a strategy and, more importantly, a management system…Read article
Keep Calm and Manage Stably: Akio Toyoda’s Response to Crisis
When we read the Bloomberg article Lockdown Leads Toyota Chief to Question Core Tenet for Carmaker, we were surprised, even a…Read article
Pursuing Dreams, Facing Reality
In this letter shared to his fellow Menloians, Rich Sheridan acknowledges the new reality they all must fact, and commits…Read article
Ask Art: What Do You Focus on When Assessing the Potential Gains From Converting to Lean?
Lean veteran Art Byrne shares the key areas to look at for gains to be realized from lean: focus on…Read article
Building the Mindset and Skillset to Improve from the Board Room to the Classroom
A school district superintendent describes how lean thinking and practice transformed a failing district into a nationally recognized model of…Read article
On the Job with Tom Root, Managing Partner of Zingerman’s Mail Order
Spoiler alert! The food you just ate is not fresh. It was "sourced" longer ago than you'd imagine. And since…Listen to podcast
Should I be worried that management is buying software for virtual gemba walks?
Dear Gemba Coach: A consultant is selling us “virtual gemba walks” software to schedule gemba visits with a “leader standardized…Read article
How Well Can Lean Principles Fuel New Ventures Like Tesla and Rivian?
How well do lean principles apply to the grueling challenge of launching a company—let alone launching a brand new automotive…Read article
Ask Art: What Are the Most Important Management Changes Needed to Implement A Lean Turnaround?
Lean thinking requires a totally different mindset than traditional management, argues lean veteran Art Byrne. This is probably the most…Read article
35. Designing the Future: A WLEI Podcast with Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and former COO Jim Morgan
If you do not yet know the company Rivian you will undoubtedly know it very soon.In 2019 Rivian made waves in the…Listen to podcast
Rivian: The Electric-Vehicle Company Taking the Auto Industry by Storm
In this podcast, Rivian Founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe and former COO Jim Morgan discuss the challenges of forming a…Read article
How Working In Oncology Has Reframed Failure and Success
Doctor Carlos "Fred" Pinto and his colleagues at IOV in Brazil have learned that resilience emerges when applying lean thinking…Read article
33. On the Job with Ron Kelner, President and COO of the Deublin Company
Ron describes the Deublin Company's business system built with lean thinking that puts human development at the center.Listen to podcast
How Ron Kelner Helped Build A System of Improvement at Deublin
In this podcast, Deublin COO Ron Kelner shares with Josh Howell the long learning journey of his company as it…Read article
31. CEO Transition – an obstacle or an opportunity?
Too often, a change in executive leadership can bring a lean transformation to a grinding halt. But that has not…Listen to podcast
How Lean Can Help Deliver Social Justice While Boosting Quality Health Care
In this podcast, developed from a talk at the 2018 Lean Transformation Summit learn how the Lynn Community Health Center…Watch video
Boeing Ex-Executive Alan Mulally Discusses a “Working Together Management System”
In this rare and revealing interview, Alan Mulally discusses lean management principles, including: the role of a CEO during a…Read article
My Personal Turning Point: Reflecting on a Decade as a Lean Coach
Last year I sat in the offices of several "lean champions" at their companies, agents of change who are trying…Read article
29. What’s the problem: A conversation with Pat Greco on transforming education through rapid problem solving
Pat Greco In 2011, Dr. Pat Greco began as the superintendent of the Menomonee Falls School District in Wisconsin. She faced no shortage…Listen to podcast
Adopting a system driven mindset for continuous improvement
In this podcast, Dr. Pat Greco discusses how she managed to align students, teachers, administrators, and the board of education…Read article
Can a manufacturer use lean management to advance its environmental and social sustainability strategy?
Dear Gemba Coach: Can a manufacturer use lean to advance its environmental and social sustainability strategy?Read article
How Do Lean CEOs Learn To Improve?
What, and how, do I have to learn? This key question confronts all CEOs who are practicing lean seriously, argues…Read article
27. Dying for a Paycheck? Must work be toxic for employees, and how can a more sustainable approach emerge?
In his new book Dying for A Paycheck, Stanford University Graduate School of Business Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer argues that there…Listen to podcast
How Lean Can Make Workplaces Safer and Healthier
The companies that are really going to solve the problem of unsafe work, just as they've done this for physical…Read article
Ask Art: What Do You Mean When You Say “Productivity equals Wealth”?
Productivity is the greatest wealth creator whether you talk about countries or companies, says Art Byrne. If you go about…Read article
26. On the Job: A conversation with Dr. Lynn Kelley about sustaining change at Union Pacific
Dr. Lynn Kelley was hired by Union Pacific to lead the introduction of the “UP Way” company-wide. The UP Way…Listen to podcast
Let Joy Power Your Organization’s Flight
Joy is a powerful word in life and, as it turns out, in business too, says Rich Sheridan. A company…Read article
How A3 Presentations Help Us Build Teamwork
CEO Nicolas Chartier shares a huge benefit of regular use of A3 among his team: "You realize as a CEO…Read article
The Power of Inspiration
Lean thinker Paige Henry shares a call to action: let’s get our leaders and people to realize “it’s about the…Read article
19. Building A Fearless Organization: An interview with Harvard Business School Professor Amy Edmondson
How can one create a safe workplace where all employees are encouraged and expected to take ownership of their work?…Listen to podcast
How Hoshin Kanri Aligns Your Key Organizational Systems
To build the culture and develop the complementary systems that connect your company's strategic and operational plans, consider how they…Read article
17. On the Job Podcast: One Pathologist’s Path an interview with Dr. Lisa Yerian of Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Lisa Yerian of the Cleveland Clinic sits down with Josh Howell, LEI President & Executive Team Leader, to talk…Listen to podcast
Ask Art: What Foundational Items Must I Be A Zealot About?
Be a zealot on the foundational items such as 5S, visual management, and setup reduction, says Art Byrne, and your…Read article
What Is Your Leadership Model?
In this reflection based on his work as CEO Lean is a leadership model: for more than 60 years now…Read article
Towards A More Lean Statement of Purpose
Reflecting on a recent Business Roundtable statement pledging a commitment to all of its stakeholders (and not simply maximizing shareholder…Read article
A Revelation at the Gemba
During my travels this summer, both personal and for LEI, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the Institute’s 20+ year…Read article
Ask Art: What Do You Mean When You Say Run Your Company On Your Operational Excellence Goals?
The Lean company competes on its operational excellence goals, says Art Byrne. These stretch goals must be aggressive in nature…Read article
How Are You Supporting Your Own Lean Transformation?
When someone in our organization complains about something we hand them a Kaizen card, shares Lisa Yerian of the Cleveland…Read article
Can lean be used to turn around a company?
Dear Gemba Coach: Can lean be used in a turnaround situation? Does a burning platform make it easier or harder?Read article
Feeling the Gemba Magic
After months of work at the gemba with his factory manager helping line workers grapple with problems, CEO Nicolas Chartier…Read article
Ask Art: Where Will the Biggest Resistance to Lean Come From?
Resistance to Lean will come from every part of your organization, senior management included, says Lean veteran Art Byrne. Knowing…Read article
Tales Of Lean, Chapter One: Facing the Problem
What is the best way for a lean coach to support and guide her team? In this fictional tale of…Read article
Ask Art: How Can I Engage All Our Leaders to Learn and Teach Lean?
What's the best way to teach lean to your internal leaders? By forming teams who will learn by doing, shares…Read article
Go and See: Where The Magic Is
To reconnect with the reality of your business, go to the gemba, advises CEO Nicolas Chartier of Aramisauto. But to…Read article
Reflections from LEI’s New President, Josh Howell
Josh Howell, an experienced manager and lean management coach, is LEI’s new president and executive team leader. Read his note…Read article
Stop Asking Your Leaders to “Support” Your Lean Transformation
Helping others with shared work tied to broad improvement goals can be challenging for lean leaders. Continuous Improvement Director Lisa…Read article
What should I look for so I don’t get burned taking a lean director’s job?
Dear Gemba Coach,I’ve been offered the job of a lean director in an industrial group. The offer sounds very attractive,…Read article
Show Respect, Psychological Safety, and Social Neuroscience
Mike Orzen and David Verble examine the meaning and lean relevance of showing respect, creating psychological safety, and the links…Read article
Ask Art: Why Focus on Why When Doing A Lean Turnaround?
In switching to lean, understanding the WHY is the most important thing, argues Art Byrne. It helps people overcome their…Read article
“But TPS Doesn’t Apply to Us….”
Yes, cars are not weaving looms. Patients are not cars, either. Airplanes are not cars. Electric vehicles are not the…Read article
Going Beyond Low-Cost Obsession with “Women Go Beyond”
Hear the chairman and co-founder of an apparel manufacturer with global operations explain how and why it invests in its…Read article
No Mani Pedi, But Keepers Improve Elephant Foot Washing
Supporting process owners includes stepping in for zoo keepers when their better idea for washing an elephant’s foot gets rejected…Watch video
Lean Without Limits
We come up with many different types of answers that sort Lean conveniently into categories for easy understanding and storage,…Read article
The Road to Becoming a Lean Leadership Team Has Potholes
Lean veteran Orry Fiume shares the story how the leadership team at The Wiremold Company took on the challenging work…Read article
Why We Believe that Lean is About Changing Our Own Behaviors, and Not Just Accumulating New Knowledge
Lean repeatedly pushes us to develop new competences (or recover lost know-hows) through kaizen and problem solving. This collection of…Read article
Why Meaningful Improvement Requires a “Growth Mindset”
Today is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, part of Engineering Week, Feb. 18 to 23. To mark Girl Day,…Read article
Good Night Sweethearts
On this Valentine's Day, GBMP President Bruce Hamilton laments this year's lack of Sweetheart Candies, reflecting that, "NECCO, like General…Read article
Building a Lean Culture at Turner Construction: A Talk with SVP Charlie Murphy
"Whether it’s safety, quality, production system, to me it just makes sense for us to contribute to the improvement of…Read article
People First Leadership: A Conversation by Jim Morgan with Alan Mulally
Alan Mulally is a brilliant engineer who led historic transformations as CEO of Boeing Commercial and then Ford Motor Company.…Read article
Alan Mulally, former Ford and Boeing CEO sits down with Jim Morgan to discuss Leadership, Designing the Future Special Ep. 2
“It seemed nothing short of a miracle could save Ford Motor Company in the mid 2000s. Ford didn’t receive a…Listen to podcast
Ask Art: How is Lean A Time-Based Strategy?
Operating lean is the best way to compete on time, says Art Byrne, who notes that every time you remove…Read article
I’m all in on our lean effort but how do I get my managers to be more supportive?
Dear Gemba Coach: As a business unit director, I am fully on board with lean, do gemba walks and support…Read article
3 Steps We Took to Change the Company Culture
The Lean Digital Transformation webinar with Bruno Guicardi, co-founder and president of technology services company CI&T, drew a global audience…Read article
Are You Building High-Performing Teams?
It is important to work hard at building a high-performance team. Not only does it lead to better performance outcomes,…Read article
What do you do when your advice is wrong?
Dear Gemba Coach: How do you handle it when you find out you’ve been wrong; when you’ve advised people to…Read article
Ask Art: How Do I Get the Senior Management Team On Board with Lean?
Lean requires teamwork, and so getting your senior management team on board requires a great deal of work, including new…Read article
As Thanksgiving approaches, Tom Richert notes that powering the TPS scientific mindset is a great deal of emotional energy. At…Read article
Can Lean Succeed in a Strong Labor Environment?
Lean is all about people, says Art Byrne, regarding the question of making lean succeed in a union environment. He…Read article
Season 2 Ep. 1 Leadership at the Gemba with Scott Heydon and John Shook
Former Starbucks Executive and Senior Coach at LEI Scott Heydon, joined author and LEI Chairman John Shook for a last…Listen to podcast
Can Lean Know-How Come Home?
When you decide to stop making things, you lose the ability to make things, argues Eric Buehrens: not just the…Read article
Ask Art: Why Does Boosting Inventory Turns Matter So Much?
If you want to deliver more value to our customers such that you can grow and gain market share then…Read article
A Great Company Culture Takes Purpose
If you’re determined to move your culture from good to great, listen to CEO Tyler Schilling as he describes two…Watch video
How to Lead with Values
A former health system CEO says it’s “strategically sound” for leaders to define a set of values that they and…Watch video
Real Leaders Think and Act Differently
Are your management routines and Gemba Walks suffering from the superficial observations of the day-tripper? Or are your leaders adding…Read article
What’s your definition of lean?
Dear Gemba Coach: My company is adopting lean, which has so many definitions that I find it confusing. What's your…Read article
The Cascade of Hoshin
A recent gemba walk at a Toyota plant reveals how the company operationalizes its hoshin plan — in this case,…Read article
Ugly Babies, Silent Enemies and Other Short Stories from a Continuous Improvement Conference
Besides the lessons, challenges, and results that belong to a company’s lean transformation, there are personal journeys as well. Here’s…Read article
Leadership and Having an Effective Plan
You wouldn’t want to be known as a source of “fake news” but are you practicingRead article
Lessons from Japan: Day Four
On day four of the Lean Learning tour in Japan, the participants share their lessons, which are tied to this…Read article
Sometimes Smaller is Better – and Better is Lean
LEI CEO Eric Buehrens reflects on how lean relates to the deeply hopeful story of renewal, reconstruction, and citizen engagement…Read article
Value Stream Walk, Management Walk or….Just Walking Around?
Gemba Walks can raise consciousness about problems and the possibilities for dramatic improvements, says Jim Womack. Or they can serve…Read article
Surviving CEO Change, Evolving Through Culture and Being a Humble Leader
Dr. Mahaniah was kind enough to sit down with LEI’s Chairman, John Shook to talk about growing up in different…Listen to podcast
Ep. 9 Leadership, Building Consensus, and Embracing Culture with Dr. Kiame Mahaniah and John Shook
Two things to think about. Challenges and Culture.Challenges shape who we are. I think we can all look at who…Listen to podcast
Can I change a company’s attitude that people can’t be trusted to do their jobs unless they are scared into complying?
Dear Gemba Coach: A major assumption in lean thinking is that people genuinely want to do a good job, and…Read article
Stability Before Innovation
Given its foundational strengths of stable and robust product development, production, supplier development, and general management system, Toyota is well…Read article
Why ‘Yes Chef!’ Is No Longer the Answer
In order to meet the changing demands of today's restaurants, chefs must learn to evolve from old-school methods of the…Read article
Finding a Lean Cure that Respects the Health of Healthcare Workers
In his prognosis of the health care system, LEI CEO Eric Buehrens says we need to improve the work to…Read article
Out of Fertile “Pre-Lean” Soil Bloom Lean Leaders
A new generation of leaders varies in individual styles but shares common beliefs that create a foundation for successful lean…Read article
As CEO, how do I get my management team to support the lean effort?
Dear Gemba Coach: As a CEO, lean has enabled me to renew our company’s profitable growth, so I love it.…Read article
“People who can’t change their minds can’t change anything else”
Many people argue that if lean management really was a powerful strategy, rather than an operational tactic, then more companies…Read article
Jim Womack’s Keynote Address from the 2018 Lean Summit
Catch the presentation of Jim Womack on the topic of how to develop better employees by becoming a better employer.Read article
Ask Art: Why Should I Set Stretch Goals?
Art Byrne urges you to take the lean leap and set stretch goals. Setting ambitious goals shows respect for your…Read article
Ep. 1: Lean and Tesla with John Shook and Jim Womack
Lean thought leaders Jim Womack and John Shook discuss Tesla.Related Articles:Tesla vs. TPS: Seeking the Soul in the New Machine While…Listen to podcast
If lean is all about people, why are the discussions impersonally cold and rational?
Dear Gemba Coach: Lean thinkers say it’s all about people, but the debates are then all so cold and rational. Where…Read article
Tesla vs. TPS: Seeking the Soul in the New Machine
While Tesla has excited customers and drawn praise for innovative design and bold thinking, author Jeff Liker believes that it…Read article
Your Consultant Doesn’t Have the Answers
Inspired by a true story from his tenure at the Toyota Production System Support Center, LEI Senior Coach Mark in…Read article
A Reflection on Competition
A meta-analysis of research shows that among the three main ways of achieving business goals, collaboration beats competition and individualism…Watch video
Ask Art: Why do you say the CEO needs to become a lean expert?
A key first step for any CEO leading a lean conversion is to call 1-800-lean-consultant to find an expert to…Read article
3 Therapies to Purge the Healthcare “Tapeworm”
LEI CEO Eric Buehrens, former COO and interim CEO of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has three suggestions for…Read article
Fixing Lean’s “Sales” Problem
When companies begin lean transformations, IT systems too often are viewed as obstacles. So, some lean thinkers may view Jacob…Read article
Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn
Hear how a personal lean transformation supported a crucial organizational transformation following a financial crisis at a large medical center.…Watch video
Thank you, Tatsuro Toyoda
John Shook remembers the late Tatsuro Toyoda, former president of Toyota.Read article
Want Better Employees? Be a Better Employer.
Every nation in the world is on a quest to create more jobs. As they should be. But, we don’t…Read article
Ask Art: Can Lean and “Make-the-Month” Co-exist?
"Make-the-month" programs are not unusual in manufacturing organizations. But, many people have asked Art Byrne, are such programs compatible with…Read article
How do we ensure sustainability of a successful lean effort?
Dear Gemba Coach: We used training and workshops to roll out a lean program with good early results – what…Read article
It Starts Within: The Lean Journey of CI&T
The lean transformation of Brazilian tech company CI&T was unique in that it began with an implementation of hoshin kanri.…Read article
Lessons Learned from the Cleveland Indians’ Historic 22-Game Winning Streak
In the wake of the Cleveland Indians' record-shattering 22-game winning streak, George Taninecz reflects on some important business lessons that…Read article
Can a Lean Mentality Help You in a Crisis?
We all know lean's power when problem solving. But what power does it have in resolving crises, which are more…Read article
How big should my lean promotion office be?
Dear Gemba Coach: How large should my lean promotion office be if I want to achieve quickly a lean culture…Read article
Back to Basics: Jim Womack on Why Managers Need a “Lean State of Mind”
In this classic eletter from 2009, Jim Womack explains the crucial importance of a "lean state of mind" if a…Read article
Why You Should Think of Lean Tools as Frames
Michael Ballé, co-author of the recent book "The Lean Strategy" with Dan Jones, Orry Fiume, and Jacques Chaize; discusses why…Read article
Real Respect Feels Like Knowing You’re Being Heard
To establish or strengthen a culture of engagement and continuous improvement, leaders must understand that genuinely listening to employees is…Read article
Yes, Lean is a Strategy!!!
Is lean a strategy? Absolutely YES, says lean author and thinker Orry Fiume. Replying to feedback on his new book,…Read article
Follow-up Webinar Q&A with Jim Lancaster, Lantech CEO and author of the Work of Management
"The Real Work of Management" webinar drew an engaged audience that wanted to know more about the daily management system…Read article
The Story of an Error
As a followup to his popular article from earlier this summer about lean profit-sharing plans, Orry Fiume delves deeper. He…Read article
Our hoshin plan failed. What do we do now?
Dear Gemba Coach: How do we deal with hoshin kanri when things don’t work out as planned?Read article
You can do a lot by doing a few things
"Developing a good strategy and actually executing it is really hard," writes Leslie Barker. "What I didn’t fully realize was…Read article
“Do I have to be a team leader for the rest of my life?”
In this reprint of his latest e-letter, LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook reflects on the powerful lessons in the…Read article
Do I have to be team leader for the rest of my life
At his talk at the Lean Transformation Summit earlier this year, and at conferences since then, including Industry Week and…Read article
Daily Management, Daily Sustainment: The Remarkable Story of Lean Transformation at Lantech
Jim Lancaster attended the 2017 Lean Transformation Summit in Carlsbad, California to speak about Lantech's journey to create a daily…Read article
Ask Art: Does lean compromise innovation?
To some, lean and innovation seem counterproductive. But Art Byrne is not one of them. Find out why he says…Read article
Advice from the Gemba: Top Mistakes Lean Leaders Make II
Everybody makes mistakes, lean leaders included. Our previous list of mistakes made by lean leaders was the highest-performing installment in…Read article
Painting the Vision for Your Organization
To successfully deploy a new initiative, leaders "need to paint a vision to engage employees at every level, from executives…Read article
When Do You Stop Learning?
Lean is about learning continuously and asking the right questions, not just providing answers. But, Orry Fiume wonders, does the…Read article
Ford CEO Mark Fields just decided he needed to cut costs. Then he suddenly realized he had 1400 people he…Read article
Webinar: The Real Work of Management
The Real Work of Management webinar featuring Jim Lancaster, author of The Work Management.Watch webinar
“Too Busy to Walk the Gemba”
Chris Weisbrod of Catalysis explains why healthcare leaders often claim they're too busy to walk the gemba and shares a…Read article
Want to Respect Your People? Share the Profits!
People and profit are key in any company, not just a lean one. But too often, an organization's drive for…Read article
Advice from the Gemba: Top Mistakes Lean Leaders Make I
Making mistakes is a natural part of lean thinking and practice. Here, three LEI faculty members share some common, yet…Read article
Faster than a Speeding Kanban…
"All of us living in Leanworld are well-trained to look for problems, identify gaps, and cure root causes," writes Brent…Read article
Is there a lean way of delegating?
Dear Gemba Coach: I’m an entrepreneur and I used to micromanage everything, quite successfully. Now the firm has grown and…Read article
Does lean change how you think about business?
Dear Gemba Coach: I can see that lean changes how one thinks about business, but can’t quite put my finger…Read article
Lean Leadership at Legal Sea Foods: An Interview with Roger Berkowitz
Watch the video to hear Legal Sea Foods CEO Roger Berkowitz explain the effects lean has has on his own…Watch video
Lean and Agile: Finding a Role for Your Leadership in Your Transformation Model
"Lean and Agile are two of the most commonly discussed (and hotly debated) principles for managing a business, particularly when…Read article
What are your three most important problems?
Dear Gemba Coacg: What should I look for during a gemba walk?Read article
Ask Art: Why Is Something As Simple As Lean So Difficult to Do?
"Recently my good friend Paul Akers of FastCap and lean blogging fame asked me why lean, which appears to be…Read article
Does a Lean Company Need Explicit or Implicit Leadership?
Dear Gemba Coach: Explicit leadership or implicit leadership? Does an explicit style sustain a lean organization?Read article
Lean Expansion: Spreading Lean from One Store to a Region at Starbucks
Scaling up is a challenge often talked about in lean circles. How can we best leverage our individual or small-scale…Read article
Focus Your Operating System To Bring Your Strategy to Life
A strategy can just turn into wallpaper if you don't have the right systems in place to support it. Jim…Read article
Lessons Learned from Sunpower’s (C)Lean Transformation
Sustainability is a key part of any lean transformation - but Sunpower of San Jose, Cali. took that word a…Read article
Lean Thinking at 20: A Q&A with Jim Womack and Dan Jones
Twenty years ago Jim Womack and Dan Jones helped launch the lean movement as we know it today with their…Read article
Lean Thinking: A Roundup
In honor of the 20th anniversary of the publishing of Lean Thinking, by Jim Womack and Dan Jones, Lean Post…Read article
Does a lean transformation boost a company’s stock price?
Dear Gemba Coach: You’ve worked with a lot of different companies in the public and private sectors. How have the…Read article
How do we pass the baton from one lean leader to the next?
Dear Gemba Coach: What are your thoughts about ensuring that a lean transformation persists past a leader’s tenure at an…Read article
Succeeding by Failing
People often wonder what exactly constitutes "success" in a lean journey - it's a longstanding question. Cam Ford has a…Read article
Ask Art: How Are Lean Teams Different?
"Teamwork in lean is a much bigger deal than the way most people think about it, and it's crucial to…Read article
The Tesla Way vs. The Toyota Way
Does Tesla offer a Way of working that can challenge TPS? Perhaps a bit more time, and the development of…Read article
Is Lean Getting “Fat?”
"Yes, lean has successfully spread around the world and gone from manufacturing to nearly every other type of value stream,"…Read article
Executive Egress: Why Many Healthcare CEOs Distance Themselves from Lean Transformations. An Interview with Jack Bowhan
A troubling issue in lean healthcare that Jack Bowhan has seen too many times is a lack of CEO engagement…Read article
Focus: Process or Results?
"We cannot improve results “directly," writes LEI faculty member Orry Fiume. "It can only be achieved by improving those processes…Read article
The Problems Inherent in Change – and What You Can Do about Them
Anyone who's been involved in an organizational transformation knows that its challenges go well beyond resistance. Katrina Appell sheds some…Read article
What are the pitfalls of implementing hoshin kanri?
Dear Gemba Coach: I’ve heard of hoshin kanri, and I’d really like to try it in my company – what…Read article
Ask Art: What to Look for in a Lean Team Leader
One of Art Byrne's most-asked questions is, "What are the key traits for a lean team leader?" His recommendation might…Read article
Carrington on Kata
This video explains how practicing the Improvement and Coaching Kata creates a culture where everyone feels part of a team…Watch video
Problem? What Problem?
"Whether using A3s, the 5 Whys, DMAIC, Value Stream Mapping, or any other problem-solving methodology, many organizations don’t spend the…Read article
Watch John Shook’s Keynote at Lean Construction Institute’s 17th Annual Congress!
This past October, LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook delivered a keynote at Lean Construction Institute's 17th Annual Congress in…Read article
What is your opinion about transformation process steps?
Dear Gemba Coach: What is your opinion about transformation process steps? First we choose a problem and start problem-solving processes…Read article
The Lean Management System: The Key to Sustainability and CI. An Interview with Joe Murli
Achieving wins is only half the battle in a lean transformation - you also need a way to sustain those…Read article
Why Your Lean Journey Needs a Self-Evaluation
Every company on a lean journey needs to occasionally step back and evaluate where they are, where they have gaps…Read article
Is There No Other Lean Exemplar Than Toyota?
"I believe that while Toyota isn’t the only lean exemplar out there," writes Michael Ballé, "it still gives us a…Read article
Just a Fish Stick: The Perils of Forcing Your Change Agenda onto Others
Change agendas may look good on paper, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're foolproof. Brent Wahba shares his thoughts on…Read article
Are You Responsible for Two Key Fobs?
In her first Lean Post article, Syngenta Continuous Improvement Lead Kelly Moore muses on a recent experience at a rental…Read article
"The very term “governance” seems somewhat antithetical to lean," writes Mark Hamel. "Yet...over my 20-plus years of lean learning, I’ve…Read article
Why are there so many different opinions about what lean management is and isn’t?
Dear Gemba Coach: I have attended several lean conferences and am deeply interested in the topic, but puzzled about the…Read article
How to Lead with Respect
Showing respect to employees falls far short of leading with respect. Discover the seven core practices that true lean leaders…Read article
Leading with Respect is Not a Soft Skill: An interview with Mike Orzen
By definition, a hard skill is a skill that can be defined, measured, and taught. Does that sound like it…Read article
What the Best Lean Leaders All Have in Common
What characterizes a truly exceptional lean leader? With years of first-hand observations behind him, Tom Ehrenfeld weighs in with his…Read article
Avoiding the Pitfalls of Leader Standard Work
What are some problems a lean practitioner might run into when implementing leader standard work? Ken Abbs and Scott Ullman…Read article
What Type of a Leader Do You Choose to Be?
Plenty of people want to become better leaders. Few people want to change. Michael Bremer shares his advice for more…Read article
Is a lean CEO’s job different from a traditional CEO?
Dear Gemba Coach: How does the role of CEO in lean management differ from that in traditional management?Read article
Rethinking Disaster Recovery on the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
As the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches on August 23rd-29th, read about how lean thinking is changing how New…Read article
Lean, Agile, Joy
Rich Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations, shares his thoughts on why the lean software and lean manufacturing communities need each…Read article
What “Co-Learning” Across Industries Looks Like in Practice
"In April, as part of a 2-day capstone learning event for Cardinal Health, we brought the newest wave of Lean…Read article
Could hoshin kanri be too bureaucratic for my small tech company?
Dear Gemba Coach: I get frustrated with being the only one seriously concerned with experimenting and learning new systems, so…Read article
Tried and True Strategies for Leading Lean Practice
"In my 30 plus years of leading Lean in a wide range of companies, I’ve learned common practices that work…Read article
Leadership Q&A: Lisa Yerian, MD, Medical Director of Continuous Improvement, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership: Lisa Yerian, MD, director of Hepatobiliary Pathology and medical director of…Read article
John Toussaint on What a Complete System Transformation Looks Like In Healthcare
John Toussaint, CEO emeritus of ThedaCare and CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, shared his guiding principles for…Read article
How is leadership engaged and trained in lean?
Dear Gemba Coach: How is leadership engaged and trained in lean?Read article
How do you protect jobs while reducing lines and shifts?
Dear Gemba Coach: How do you protect jobs while reducing lines and shifts?Read article
Are You Serving “Internal Customers” or Your Real Customer?
Are teams in your organization working in silos? Do processes feel fractured? Do upstream or downstream steps occurring in different…Read article
Latondra Newton on the Toyota Production System and Social Innovation
The success of Toyota’s lean management principles in manufacturing, healthcare, product development, and other areas is well known and well…Read article
Why Leadership Needs to Drive the Bus
"Lean change can start from the bottom-up, I won’t say that it can’t, but the situation needs to flip quickly…Read article
Three Types of Lean
"We’ve all heard 'Lean is great for 'that' company, but not for the business I lead,'" says Chris Vogel. Learn…Read article
Sharks & Tortoises
"A small number of firms have grown spectacularly in revenue, employees, and stock price by using [lean] to execute crisply…Read article
After improving processes with help from a consultant, how do I sustain kaizen in my department? My teams are hard to motivate.
Dear Gemba Coach: How do I sustain kaizen in my department? We’ve had a consultant help us with workshops, and…Read article
Lean Principles Are Changing How the U.S. Recovers from Tornadoes & Floods
When the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina receded, they uncovered tens of thousands of homes in devastated areas such as…Read article
Experimenting with LEI’s Transformation Model
Josh Howell, senior coach at LEI, reflects on LEI's Lean Transformation Model. "We set out to better understand the model,…Read article
Hoshin at LEI: Connecting More Closely with Our Customer
Whether you’re deploying hoshin in a small nonprofit or a huge organization, the struggles are the same," writes LEI Senior…Read article
Rich Sheridan on How to Succeed by Building a Strong Learning Culture
Rich Sheridan, CEO of the software company Menlo Innovations, talks with LEI's Chet Marchwinski about Menlo's unique learning culture, taking…Read article
New Year’s Reflection
Happy New Year! Even if you are not one of those who makes New Year’s resolutions the new year is…Read article
How do I set up an obeya room?
Dear Gemba Coach: I’d like to set up an obeya room – where should I start? What’s the simplest way…Read article
Make Broccoli (Or Lean) Taste Better Through Experiments
"Whether it’s eating healthy, saving for retirement, or pursuing Lean, we are all biased towards maximizing the here and now…Read article
Public Service: Lean’s Next Frontier?
John O'Donnell and Lex Schroeder share the thinking behind LEI's new Public Service Value Network and invite you to contribute…Read article
Lean Practitioners Gather to Share Ideas that Grow the Bottom Line by Growing People’s Knowledge
We were among the nearly 2,000 lean thinkers attending the 2014 AME conference, organized around six value streams: Engaged People,…Read article
HOW KATA FITS IN
With this month's SlideShare Mike and Jeff address a common question in the Lean community: "How do the Improvement Kata…Watch video
Grasping the Real Situation
Emmanuel Jallas visits a well-respected company that is vocal about its lean transformation. Upon further investigation he finds that like…Read article
The Five Poisons of Big Company Disease
What's "big company disease"? The tendency of any large company to worry about clearly defined territories, rules and procedures, and…Read article
What Should Lean Mean to Us?
Brent Wahba offers lean beginners a few tips for how to be most impactful. "If you are working on how…Read article
Want Your Organization to Survive Over the Long Haul? Value Process Over Results
"There are two ways to run your business," writes Doc Hall. "Focus on value, or focus on results... Interestingly, when…Read article
Board Responsibilities and the Lean Management System
"A board needs to go far beyond checking performance measurements and actually hold senior leaders accountable for management systems and…Read article
Leader Standard Work: Where to Start
Striving to be an effective lean leader or manager is well and good, but without the discipline of leader standard…Read article
Are You Managing People or Making Way for Their Creativity to Shine?
"The role of the [lean manager] entails three main parts: clear definition of goals; provision of significant and consistent feedback;…Read article
John Shook on Where Lean Thinking and Practice is Headed Today
LEI's John Shook shares his view of how and where lean thinking can be used most effectively today. Insights on…Read article
Why Leadership and “Respect” Are Fundamentally Entwined
Hear the word "respect" and most of us can think of a time we've wanted our boss, team member, or…Read article
The Biggest Waste of All
"We can fix [problem symptoms] with basic lean thinking and tools, but unless our strategy is good, we will still…Read article
A Lean Management System Starts with Senior Leaders
"From events, projects, and A3s to focusing on a lean management system, we’re discovering a new way to run and…Read article
How Lean Tools Support the Principle of Respect (Part 2)
We first met Andy Ward when he was struggling to save his plant from closure in The Lean Manager. Since…Read article
Gemba Walks: Are You Going To See or To Be Seen?
"Supervisors talked about the significant improvements they were making as a result of kaizen events," writes Dave LaHote, "But all…Read article
I fail to see the difference between hoshin kanri and the strategic planning we used to do. What am I missing?
Dear Gemba Cocah: My boss has hired a consultant to take us through the Hoshin Kanri process. So far, I…Read article
8 Tips for “Passing the Baton” with Suppliers and Customers
In a relay, the winning team isnít the one that runs the fastest leg, but the one that runs fastest…Read article
Ask Art: What Does a Lean Manager Do Differently?
"The lean leader has a vision for growth just like the traditional manager, but he sees the source of growth…Read article
What’s new in your new novel “Lead With Respect”?
Dear Gemba Coach: I see that you have a new lean management novel out called “Lead With Respect.” What's new…Read article
Too Much Information Can Destroy Effective Management
"A lean organization minimizes the amount of unnecessary 'junk' information and increases the amount of 'gold' (value-producing) information that is…Read article
Are We “Doing Lean” All Wrong?
"Somewhere in Ohio is a small healthcare management company that is the best Lean company, EVER," says Brent Wahba. Why?…Read article
Put Your Strategy on a Diet
"When it comes to goal setting in most organizations, 'Just one more…' seems to be the compulsion," writes Pascal Dennis.…Read article
Leadership Then and Now
John Shook and the Leaper look toward the future of leadership.Read article
THE JEFF LIKER KATA INTERVIEW
This month's post is an inspiring 20-minute video that anyone involved in Lean will find beneficial. On the 10th anniversary…Watch video
Looking Back and Ahead at The Lean Transformation Summit
Read the highlights from the 2014 Lean Transformation Summit in Orlando (featuring transformation stories from companies like GE, Cardinal Health,…Read article
Lean Change Is Organizational and Personal
"Lean management is less about providing the right answers than asking the right questions and exploring those questions by engaging…Read article
We found your visit rather challenging … does “real” lean have to be such a struggle?
Dear Gemba Coach: The question I’m facing internally is whether “real” lean needs to be that challenging or is there…Read article
If You Want to Lead, Make Your Vision Actionable
An organizational vision that makes clear a compelling future, one that brings all levels of the organization together, one that…Read article
Beyond Lean: Towards Compression Thinking
"Lean thinkers make things better by framing issues as Problems," writes Doc Hall. "Yet today our great challenges transcend corporate…Read article
Lean Alone is Never Enough
Lean can help any organization become more efficient and effective, but there is much more to being successful than just…Read article
How Teaming Produces Execution-as-Learning
Amy C. Edmonson, Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, shares a concept she calls "teaming", a…Read article
Which Side Are You On?
Lean is based on developing every person’s kaizen mind, writes Michael Ballé, "not asking them to thoughtlessly apply a best…Read article
Bringing Respect for People to the World’s Sweatshops
Jim Womack weighs in on how we might use lean thinking and practice to tackle the ongoing, systemic problem of…Read article
Do CEOs Matter?
Journalist Jacob Stoller sits down with LEI's own John Shook to discuss just how important the role and support of…Read article
Why do you lean guys always focus on shop floor processes? The lack of clarity and focus at headquarters is far worse!
Dear Gemba Coach: Why do you lean guys always focus on shop floor processes? The lack of clarity and focus…Read article
Ask Art: How Do We Prevent Backsliding?
Backsliding is inevitable. "The key is to anticipate the backslide and take early, aggressive, organized steps to prevent it from…Read article
Are You Making Enough Mistakes?
How comfortable are you making mistakes? Do you make it safe for your team members to make mistakes? Boaz Tamir,…Read article
Transforming Healthcare is Complex, Start with a Model Cell
John Toussaint from the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value explains what he's learned about how meaningful organizational change happens from…Read article
Japanese Cult Invades Saskatchewan Government
Lean has become a political football in the normally congenial province of Saskatchewan. Read what John Shook has to say…Read article
Lead Lean by Being Lean
Lean just doesn't work if leaders don't actively, consistently demonstrate lean thinking themselves. In his first piece for the Post,…Read article
I don’t find much about lean strategy in the literature. Where should I look?
Dear Gemba Coach: I’ve been tasked to come up with a presentation on what is a “lean” strategy to our…Read article
Customers Should Determine the Businesses of the Future, Not the 1%
"We set up entrepreneurs to fail when we put all the emphasis on pitch day and the amount of money…Read article
In his latest piece for the Post, Michael Ballé explains why "humble 100x1% is better than 1x100% kaizen." This kind…Read article
Leadership Q&A: Gary Peterson, executive vice president, supply chain and operations, O.C. Tanner
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership:Gary Peterson, executive vice president, supply chain and production at O.C. Tanner, describes…Read article
Foolish Consistency or Meaningful Standard Work?
How do organizations develop system-wide standard work and also create the conditions for local problem solving within departments? Dr. Grant…Read article
The Lean Transformation Model
John Shook, CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institutes explains the Lean Transformation Model and how it can transform your organization.Watch video
Thinking Outside the Pyramid
Machiavelli said it's better to be feared than loved. Lean practitioner Daniel Fisher rejects this idea and argues it’s better…Read article
What’s Your Company’s Bottleneck?
"A bottleneck is the weak link in the system, the one constraint that prevents us from manufacturing that next toaster…Read article
What To Do When Executives Think Continuous Improvement Smells Fishy
Top executives are smart, but they don't always see the value of continuous improvement efforts. And continuous improvement professionals don't…Read article
Manufacturing’s Next Chapter
Using the experience of GE Appliance and other manufacturers, LEI CEO John Shook reminds lean thinkers that much remains to…Read article
The Best of The Lean Post 2013: Top Posts
It's time to look back on the best posts of 2013 (as determined by you, Lean Post readers). Which articles…Read article
Lean Startups Should Be Lean Cultures, From the Start
Mark Graban reflects on John Shook's talk, "Lean Startup--From Toyota City to Fremont to You," at this week's Lean Startup…Read article
Bridging Two Lean Communities
Two very different lean communities came together when Eric Ries and LEI's John Shook participated in the Lean Startup pre-conference…Read article
Standard Work for Lean Leaders: One of the Keys to Sustaining Performance Gains
Not every successful business follows a lean approach to management. In fact, the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies aren’t…Read article
Get On Your Sneakers and Start Conversations, Learning How to Create End-to-End Excellence
Take a (gemba) walk on the sustainable improvement side with Ingersoll Rand.Read article
Lean Healthcare Lessons and Preparing for Change
Develop capabilities by asking the right questionsRead article
My CEO would like to install a lean culture and has asked me to specify a few basic lean values we need to implement. Where should I start?
Dear Gemba Coach: My CEO would like to install a lean culture in our company and has asked me to…Read article
Managing to Reboot Leadership
"Despite sweeping changes to the business environment and real threats to organizational sustainability, too many managers remain stuck in traditional…Read article
Top misconceptions of the Lean movement, according to founder Jim Womack
The fall of 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the movement, noted managaement expert Jim Womack during the annual AME…Read article
“Lean Production” Turns 25
Author and management expert James Womack talks with The Leaning Edge about the state of lean management and what’s new…Read article
How You Can Influence a Lean Transformation
A Lean Enterprise Institute faculty member and co-author of Toyota Culture, Mike Hoseus explains how you can positively influence senior…Read article
Why Lean Gets Business Backwards (and why that’s a good thing)
Michael Balle explains why lean is a completely different approach to business than the traditional one.Watch video
A Lean Leap of Faith
Michael Ballé reflects on a core assumption of Lean that is often disregarded and explains why it is worth taking…Read article
Do you use Japanese terms in your lean transformation or purposely avoid them? Why?
Recently we asked our community "Do you use Japanese terms in your lean transformation or purposely avoid them? Why?" Below…Read article
Why Social Entrepreneurship is Dead
Despite all the hype, entrepreneur Nathan Rothstein (of Project Repat) believes social entrepreneurship is dead. Read what he recommends for…Read article
Why is it still so hard to convince executives to adopt the lean spirit?
Dear Gemba Coach: Why, in your experience, after all these years of preaching lean, is it still so hard to…Read article
A Learning Partnership to Support A New Era in American Manufacturing
As policymakers and business leaders work to rebuild and reimagine a struggling U.S. economy, GE is not only at the…Read article
Mark Donovan, co-founder of the women's knitwear company Wooden Ships, proposes that we all consider vacation as a standardized method…Read article
The Silent Killer of Health Care Transformation: Being Overburdened by Too Many Choices
Writing on the Huffington Post, Beau Keyte discusses a major problem that exists in our current system of healthcare transformation…Read article
No Really, Go to the Gemba
LEI coach Danielle Blais explains why it's so important for lean coaches, leaders, and all managers to regularly visit the…Read article
An Interview with Executive and Lean Practitioner Gary Berndt
Gary Berndt, who has led lean transformations in a variety of companies, answers questions about connecting lean efforts to strategy…Read article
Lean Leadership: a continuing series of interviews with senior executives on how they lead in a lean culture
The Lean Enterprise Institute interviews executives from manufacturing, service, and healthcare organizations on what they had to do differently to manage and…Read article
The Innovation Interview with John Shook
Culture matters but don’t use it as an excuse for failing to engage people, says LEI CEO John Shook in…Read article
Losing Patients: What Healthcare Organizations Have to Do to Survive Inevitable Changes
Writing on the Huffington Post, Beau Keyte discusses the effect that the full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable…Read article
Public-Private Partnerships Lead To More Effective Government in WA
Since 2012, Washington state government has received more than 2,000 hours of volunteer advice, training, coaching, and/or facility tours from…Read article
Ask Art: Doesn’t Lean Entail Headcount Reductions?
Many people think Lean is about reducing headcount. Art Byrne responds to this common misconception and explains what to do…Read article
What do effective leaders actually do every day? GTS4
So many of us know the value of lean thinking and practice, but what do lean leaders actually do every…Read article
Long Live Process Improvement?
For many beginner practitioners, Lean seems like just another "flavor of the month" program. If it isn't communicated and taught…Read article
Your Product Isn’t Everything, It’s the Only Thing
Jim Morgan, former product/process development executive at Ford (and co-author of The Toyota Product Development System), reflects on what should…Read article
Improving Continuous Improvement in Healthcare Through Collaborative Learning: The Leaning Edge interviews Perfecting Patient Journeys co-author Beau Keyte
Perfecting Patient Journeys co-author Beau Keyte talks with The Leaning Edge host Debra Levantrosser about the central role of collaborative learning…Read article
Why Are There So Many Points of View About What Lean Is?
Dear Gemba Coach: I’ve been interested in lean for over two years now, and can’t quite understand why after 20…Read article
Using Lean Thinking to Help Schools Get the Resources They Need at DonorsChoose.org
A fantastic example of how lean thinking and practice has moved into the nonprofit sector, DonorsChoose.org began its lean journey…Read article
How GE is making things better through lean
Bill McDonogh, HR Lean Transformation Leader at GE Appliance tells us how GE is making things better through lean thinking…Watch video
When a Passion for Caring Becomes a Commitment to Process Improvement: Judy Worth and Karl Ohaus on Lean Thinking for Healthcare Organizations
LEI interviews lean practitioners and co-authors of Perfecting Patient Journeys Judy Worth and Karl Ohaus about the potential for lean…Read article
Lean Case Study Interview: Q&A with Chad Vander Wilt, Manager of Transportation and Logistics
Chad Vander Wilt, manager of transportation and logistics at Vermeer, participated in one of the company's first kaizen events as…Read article
Lean management case study series: Lean Partnership with Dealer Network Helps Vermeer Reduce End-to-End Inventory on Top Sellers
A lean transformation had taken heavy-equipment manufacturer Vermeer away from batch manufacturing, but batch ordering by dealers was delaying how…Read article
Thousands of people have spent decades trying to disseminate lean management concepts. Many lean proponents can point to results showing…Read article
Same Foundation, New Message: LEI Aims to Make Things Better
Same Foundation, New Message: LEI Aims to Make Things Better At the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI), our mission for 15…Read article
Lean Leadership Lesson: First Thing, Grasp the Situation; Last Thing, Grasp the Situation (Appendix 1 to the eletter “Lead from the Front, Lead from Behind”)
In this appendix to his eletter on lean leadership, LEI CEO Joh Shook explains how leading in a lean management…Read article
Policy Deployment: aka Strategy Alignment, aka Hoshin Kanri (Appendix 2 to the Eletter “Lead from the Front, Lead from Behind”)
As a way of illustrating the most common misconception about hoshin kanri, namely, that it’s a top-down deployment process, LEI…Read article
How Lean Changes You as a Leader
Few business leaders in the world have applied lean strategy as successfully as has Art Byrne, former CEO of The…Read article
Developing a Problem-Solving Culture at Herman Miller: An Interview with Lean Practitioners George Mason and Dan Bos
In this interview from the Lean Coaching Summit in December 2012, George Mason, a Herman Miller Performance System (HMPS) manager,…Read article
Current and Future Challenges: A Reflection on 15 Years of the Lean Enterprise Institute
LEI CEO John Shook and Founder Jim Womack discuss the state of lean thinking past, present, and a possible future.…Read article
How do I convince senior management to visit the shop floor?
Dear Gemba Coach: How do I convince my senior management to get interested in our kaizen projects? In fact, how…Read article
Jim Womack on Lean Tools As Tools for Creativity
In this video, LEI founder and senior advisor Jim Womack answers the question: "What challenge do you think the lean…Watch video
Businesses Sharing Processes Face a “Prisoner’s Dilemma”
Managers and executives today face a “prisoner’s dilemma” in which they have to “betray” other departments or companies along a…Watch video
Leadership Q&A: Michael Hoseus, a former general manager at Toyota
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership: In this interview from LEI's Executive Series on Lean Leadership, Michael Hoseus, who…Read article
Where Lean Leadership Begins
As with all lean practice, leadership begins with grasping the current state. For lean leaders that means understanding the external…Watch video
How do we mid-level managers convince the CEO and senior management that adopting lean practices is worthwhile?
Dear Gemba Coach: The recent webinar on the business case for lean was particularly useful for us because it raised…Read article
Jay Johnson, president, Plumbers Supply Company
As part of a continuing series on leading lean transformations, the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) interviews executives from a variety of companies…Read article
Lean for Healthcare Organizations in South Africa: An Interview with Lean4NGO Founders Steve Bell and Karen Whitley Bell
In this interview, LEI speaks with Steve Bell and Karen Whitley Bell about a Lean4NGO workshop they offered with Norman…Read article
Anatomy of a Lean Leader (Introduction)
For 30 years, Jerry Bussell studied leadership while bringing lean practices to companies such as Medtronic and becoming a passionate,…Read article
Do lean-minded finance professionals make a difference in appraising lean initiatives?
Dear Gemba Coach: I would like to ask lean-minded fellow finance professionals if they make a difference in appraising lean…Read article
Leveraging Lean to Get the Oil Out
Aera Energy LLC, a California oil and gas company, relies on lean principles to improve key processes, including drilling new…View case study
What Are the Lean Enterprise Institute and the Lean Global Network
John Shook, CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI), describes LEI and the Lean Global Network, a group of 18…Read article
LEI Partners Program Drives Lean Thought Leadership Forward
The Lean Enterprise Institute’s Partners Program—longstanding, collaborative learning relationships between LEI and six organizations leading their own lean transformations—is one…Read article
Lean & ACOs at ThedaCare with Dr. Dean Gruner
Dean Gruner, M.D., president and CEO of ThedaCare, tells the LeanBlog podcaster Mark Graban how the Wisconsin healthcare system is…Listen to podcast
Lessons From LEI Partners on How Change Happens: An Interview with John Shook
An interview with Lean Enterprise Institute Chairman and CEO John Shook on the LEI Partners Program, collaborative learning, and what's…Read article
Summit Highlights: Healthcare Value Network and Bahri Dental Group Bring Lean Into Healthcare
A recap of two talks at the 2012 Lean Transformation Summit: Dr. John Toussaint's talk on the work of the…Read article
The Birth of Lean: How Practices, Principles, and Tools Came Together as a System
Toyota was struggling to survive when Taiichi Ohno and a handful of innovators began experimenting with methods that ultimately became…Read article
Denver Health Becomes Profitable After Using Toyota as a Template
In a story about the lean healthcare success at Denver Health, Governing cites five lean principles championed by the Lean…Read article
An interview with Gary Convis on A3 thinking and lean leadership
Lean veteran Gary Convis explains how the A3 report serves as a flexible tool that develops leaders and aligns important…Read article
Leadership Q&A: An Interview with Jerry Bussell, co-founder, Jacksonville Lean Consortium
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership:As vice president of Global Operations at Medtronic Surgical Technologies in Jacksonville,…Read article
How Do I Plan for the Long Term?
Dear Gemba Coach: I don’t know how to plan for two or five years out. As a plant manager, my…Read article
So, what are you going to do about it?
What a year for global supply chains! It started quietly, with a few leading firms taking the lead in reintegrating…Read article
How to Change a Culture: Lessons From NUMMI
The editors of MIT Sloan Management Review honored LEI CEO John Shook with the 2011 Beckhard Memorial Award for the…Read article
Should we have our own TPS “house”?
Dear Gemba Coach: My management wants to build our own version of the TPS (Toyota Production System) house in order…Read article
Getting Over Gemba-phobia
“I work in a company where leaders think gemba walks are scheduled visits to the factory to look at performance…Read article
Performance versus costs, part 2
Dear Gemba Coach: I’ve read your recent column on performance versus cost with great interest, as I believe we’re currently having…Read article
Leadership Q&A: Robert Chapman, chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Inc: “Guiding Principles of Leadership”
Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Inc. CEO Robert Chapman describes how the company's Guiding Principles of Leadership merge with lean thinking at this…Read article
The Gemba Walks Webinar Follow-Up Q&A Video
On June 23, 2011 LEI presented the webinar "Sustaining Lean Gains by Taking a Gemba Walk", featuring Jim Womack, author…Watch video
Lean Management Benefits Delayed at Airlines and Aerospace Companies by Traditional Management Practices
Lean manufacturing tools such as 5S, kaizen, and kanban are common in aerospace shops and offices, but their effect is…Read article
In reviewing my calendar, I find that I have taken eight gemba walks in the last five weeks. These ranged…Read article
Leadership Q&A: Bill Hopkins, Akron Children’s Hospital board member and former vice president, technology/strategic initiatives, at Goodyear
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership:Hopkins on why Akron Children’s Hospital leadership decided to implement lean process…Read article
From Recalls to Redemption: Toyota Did NOT Lose its “Way”
Jeffrey Liker, author of The Toyota Way and coauthor of Toyota Under Fire, sums up the automaker's response to its…Read article
The spirit of challenge
Culture will drive Toyota’s recovery from recalls and recession, according to this excerpt from Toyota Under Fire.Read article
‘Lean’ Manufacturing Takes Root in U.S.
In an overview of lean, Fox News notes that General Electric estimates it has saved up to four direct labor…Read article
Any Color You Want Except Tuxedo Black
Henry Ford could get the customer any type of Model T as long as it was black. But the Ford…Read article
Teaching a ‘Lean Startup’ Strategy
A new MBA elective course at Harvard, called Launching Technology Ventures, uses a lot of concepts from the "lean startup" methodology, which…Read article
The Gemba Walk, from the 2011 Lean Transformation Summit
Jim Womack, LEI founder and author, talks about his experience with Gemba Walks and his book Gemba Walks.Watch video
Lean Continuous Improvement as Culture
Author David Verble shares three fundamental ways that a lean culture bases its practice of continuous improvement on the principle…Read article
Lean Thinking is Horizontal Thinking
In the first of a two-part interview, Jim Womack, founder and senior advisor of LEI, talks with LeanBlog podcaster Mark…Read article
Podcast #116 – Jim Womack, His New Book “Gemba Walks”
Jim Womack, LEI founder and saenior advisor, sat down wit Mark Graban at the Lean Blog for a 2-part interview,…Listen to podcast
Follow-up Q & A to the Webinar “Big Company Disease: What is it? and Why Should I Care?”
The following questions represent the most-asked ones that we couldn't get to during the webinar “Big Company Disease” with presenter Pascal Dennis.Read article
Lean Product Development and Engineering at Ford
James Morgan, director, Global Body Exterior and Stamping Business Unit Engineering, Ford Motor Company, explains how he got skeptical engineers…Read article
Follow-up Q & A to the Webinar “Integrating Leader Standard Work with Visual Management Tools”
This webinar was one of our most popular and highly rated. From among the hundreds of questions that we received…Read article
Lean IT as a Factory?
Lean IT authors Steve Bell and Mike Orzen comment on a study by McKinsey & Company that 64% of executives are currently…Read article
How Do I Lead An Existing Lean Initiative as a Newcomer?
Dear Gemba Coach: The head of the lean initiative in our company has left and they gave me the job. I’ve…Read article
Frontiers and Fundamentals
Thank you to the over 350 of you who replied to my letter of last month by sending in suggestions…Read article
Follow-up Q&A to the Webinar: On the Mend – Changing a healthcare organizational culture to continuous improvement
The lean healthcare webinar “On the Mend: Changing a healthcare organizational culture to continuous improvement” drew an engaged audience that…Read article
The Joys of a Brownfield
“Lean experience teaches us to enjoy and make the most of going to see. Go to the gemba, go there…Read article
Passing the Baton
Jim Womack and John Shook reflect on passing the baton of leadership at the Lean Enterprise InstituteRead article
Lean Leap by Auto Supplier Gets Boost from Leaping Figure Skaters
As part of its lean transformation, a Nexteer Automotive plant in Saginaw, MI, is using video and motion analysis software…Read article
An Open and Honest Culture at Thedacare, a Lean Story
In this video, John Toussaint, a co-author of the LEI publication On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and…Watch video
Lean Drives Improved Patient Care at Park Nicollet Frauenshuh Cancer Center
Instead of requiring patients to move from department to department to receive their care, a process typical in most cancer…Watch video
Homicide by Example?
My LEI colleague Dave LaHote is fond of saying that managers - and especially senior managers - overestimate their effectiveness,…Read article
Lean Transformational Leadership Webinar – Follow-up Q & A and Reading List
During the Transformational Leadership webinar, many of you asked for the list of related books and articles that presenter Jim…Read article
NUMMI Closes and is Crushed by N.Y. Times Columnist Bob Herbert
New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. closes its doors for the final time this Thursday, April Fools' Day. It is a…Read article
The End Of The Line For GM-Toyota Joint Venture
LEI Founder and Chairman Jim Womack and Senior Advisor John Shook are among the key experts interviewed for this look at the…Read article
Toyota Troubles: Fighting the Demons of Complexity
An interview with Professor Takahiro Fujimoto, Manufacturing Management Research Center, University of TokyoRead article
Lean for the Long Term
I've now been thinking about lean continuously for thirty years, since the fall of 1979 when my MIT bosses asked…Read article
Robert Cole’s Observations on the Liker-Shook Dialogue regarding Toyota’s Quality Crisis
I have previously introduced readers of this column to Robert Cole, Professor Emeritus at Berkeley, former long-time professor at the…Read article
Back to Work
Only a month ago I wrote about going beyond Toyota. And in light of the last month's events, I suppose…Read article
It’s Not the Crisis; It’s How You Respond to It
He probably didn't ask for a problem of quite this magnitude, but like it or not, Akio Toyoda has his…Read article
Shook Says Toyota Recall Could Cost Customer Trust: Video
John Shook, LEI author, faculty member, and senior advisor, in an interview with Bloomberg News about Toyota's recall of vehicles with sticking accelerators…Watch video
Rapid Growth Has Its Perils, Toyota Learns
Toyota's rapid growth from 2002 to 2010 garnered it 15% of the global auto industry, surpassing General Motors as the world’s largest…Read article
Can Great Lean Companies Develop Great Lean Managers?
Dear Gemba Coach: I know that not everyone can fulfill the lean ideal—but shouldn’t the system of managing folks who…Read article
Weíve won the battle of ideas on how to operate and improve processes. But creating management systems and organizations that…Read article
So Long 2009 – Hello 2010!
Whew, what a year! Most everyone I know is eager to escort the hard times of 2009 out the door…Read article
How NUMMI Changed Its Culture
I received a lot of questions on-line and off about last week’s column on the pending closing of NUMMI. One…Read article
A Lean “Teachable Moment”: Starbucks in The Wall Street Journal
John Shook discusses recent news about Starbucks and lean.Read article
The Mind of the Lean Manager
Several years ago I started to talk about the need to move beyond lean tools - including the very powerful…Read article
Leadership Q&A: Karl Wadensten, president, VIBCO
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership:In the first couple years of its lean transformation VIBCO, Inc. saved over…Read article
GM Is Bankrupt: Does That Mean GM Managers Are Bad Managers?
John Shook discusses GM's bankruptcy and managementRead article
Sailing a Straight Course in a Time of Variances
Recently I spent a day as a lean anthropologist, sitting in the back of the room and observing the behavior…Read article
New Sloan must define new GM
James Womack, founder and chairman of the Lean Enterprise Institute, writes in Automotive News that the genius of Alfred Sloan…Read article
Strategy Deployment In Action: One Executive’s Perspective – Follow up Q & A
Webinar presenters David Brule and Pascal Dennis answer questions from their webinar about strategy deployment on March 12, 2009.Read article
The End of an Era
When General Motors filed for bankruptcy yesterday it marked the end of an era. The first truly modern, manage-by-the-numbers corporation,…Read article
Following The Toyota Way, For Better Or Worse
The article and audio present an overview of how Toyota is dealing with its worst year since the 1930s. The…Read article
Forward to Fundamentals Webinar with Jim Womack and John Shook
In recent years, most discussions around lean transformation have understandably evolved toward more managerial and strategic matters. Yet there remains…Read article
Repurpose Before You Restructure
One of my favorite questions when meeting with senior leaders of enterprises is, "What is your organization's purpose?"Read article
Forward to Fundamentals Webinar with John Shook and Jim Womack, Written Transcript
In recent years, most discussions around lean transformation have understandably evolved toward more managerial and strategic matters. Yet there remains…Read article
Taking the Wheel as Toyota Skids
As he assumes the presidency of Toyota Motor Corporation after a 25 year apprenticeship, Akio Toyoda embodies the company's Toyota Way…Read article
Constancy of Purpose
The first of Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s 14 Points is "create constancy of purpose for continual improvement of products and…Read article
Gemba-Based Leadership – Not Just for Chief Engineers
John Shook on gemba-based leadershipRead article
Learning to Manage
My colleague John Shook has recently written a wonderful book for LEI about "managing to learn". By this he means…Read article
John Shook on 14 Principles (not just Deming's and Liker's, either!)Read article
Leadership Q&A: Dan Ariens, CEO of Ariens Co.
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership:In the late 1990s, Ariens Co.faced a blizzard of problems. The iconic…Read article
Podcast with John S. Toussaint, MD, about Lean at ThedaCare
Mark Graban welcomes John Toussaint, MD, CEO emeritus of ThedaCare, and CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, to…Listen to podcast
What’s your challenge?
Toyota can’t exist -- Toyota can’t be Toyota -- without a challenge. That’s true for each individual or work group…Read article
Making Lean Leaders — Ariens Internship Program Develops Lean Management and Leadership Skills in Everyone
Besides making snow-blowers, mowers, and string trimmers, Ariens Co., of Brillion, WI, makes lean leaders. An internal lean internship program…View case study
A Lean Dream…
…wouldn’t it be great to see some lean Practical Problem Solving brought to the Detroit 3 “bailout” debate in Washington?…Read article
Leaning Your Boss
What do top managers need to learn to be able to lead a lean transformation? I get asked this question…Read article
Eiji Toyoda and Management Muda
Enthusiasts know how tremendously influential Eiji Toyoda has been to the development of Toyota and its revolutionary management system. Perhaps…Read article
Mega Mura Bubble Trouble
I started writing my monthly e-letter in October of 2001 to speak to the worries of the Lean Community as…Read article
A Recession Action Plan
A recession is a good time for lean. Organizations can either postpone lean and resort to traditional cost cutting, or…Read article
HighGrove Partners, an Atlanta landscaping company, needed some time to figure out how to apply lean management principles. After all,…View case study
The Worst Form of Muda
One of the souvenirs I collect on my visits to different countries is special reasons why lean is impossible in…Read article
From Staffs Conducting Programs to Line Managers Solving Problems
Jim Womack, founder and senior advisor of LEI, introduces the concept of 'touzen'—kaizen that should not have been necessary.Read article
Nice Car, Long Journey
2008 marks the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the Model T Ford. This truly is “the machine that changed…Read article
Creating Value or Shifting Wealth?
How do we judge the progress of the Lean Movement? One critical indicator is our success in extending lean thinking…Read article
Using Lean Thinking to Reinvent City Government
In many cities, stagnant tax revenues from a slowing economy coupled with rising healthcare and energy costs are causing budget…View case study
Yokoten Across the World
The trick to yokoten, the term Toyota uses for the horizontal transfer of information and knowledge across an organization, is…Read article
Respect for People
For years I've visited companies where "respect for people" is a core element of the corporate philosophy. So I've asked…Read article
Ten Years and Counting
What do we at LEI -- and in the whole lean movement -- need to do now? This is the…Read article
The Problem of Sustainability
I recently got a call from an old friend who led one of the first lean implementation efforts in healthcare…Read article
Why Toyota Won and How Toyota Can Lose
Simon & Schuster has just re-issued The Machine That Changed the World, which Dan Jones, Dan Roos, and I co-authored…Read article
More Thinking About Lean Transformation
Recently we at the Lean Enterprise Institute have started a new research project trying to answer a simple question: “What…Read article
What I’ve Learned About Planning and Execution
By the time I founded the Lean Enterprise Institute in mid-1997, I had been thinking for years about how organizations…Read article
From Lean Tools to Lean Management
I’ve been thinking about the challenge of lean transformation for 27 years now, since I started studying Toyota as part…Read article
The Lean Way Forward at Ford
I’ve been reflecting on today’s remarkable headlines about the latest retreat by the Ford Motor Company as part of its…Read article
Thinking End to End
Every value stream runs from raw materials all the way to the end customer. And value for the customer is…Read article
Purpose, Process, People
When evaluating your lean efforts, Jim Womack suggests that you examine your purpose first of all, and then your process…Read article
Fewer Heroes, More Farmers
I recently met with the chief executive of a very large American corporation organized by business units, each self-contained with…Read article
Why Toyota Won
In an op-ed opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, James P. Womack, founder and chairman of the Lean Enterprise…Read article
Mr. Ford’s Wrong Turn
In an op-ed piece in The Washington Post, James P. Womack, founder and chairman of the Lean Enterprise Institute, responds…Read article
Necessary But Not Sufficient
One of the hardest things in my line of work is seeing a company make enormous strides in getting lean…Read article
The Health Factory
This quote from the article applies to the ideas in Managing to Learn: What sets the non-health care leaders apart…Read article
Frontiers of Lean
It is eighteen years since the first western firm, Danaher in the USA, began its lean journey guided by disciples…Read article
Lean Beyond Production
Read how Lean Thinkers, using the same lean tools that worked in production, now are making improvements and benefits off…Read article
Why We Are a Nonprofit (And How You Can Benefit)
Every month I get calls and emails from folks thinking the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) is a consulting business and…Read article
The Prospects for Lean
As we all return to work in the New Year, I wanted to provide a few thoughts on the prospects…Read article
Is Lean Mean?
I was recently asked a question that demanded an answer: “How can you advocate ideas that improve efficiency but destroy…Read article
The Beginner’s Guide To Lean
Toyota has just overtaken Ford as number two in the global motor industry, and at the Tokyo motor show confirmed…Read article
We Have Been (Lean) Thinking
In the many years since we launched Lean Thinking, events amply confirm our long-held view that managers will try anything…Read article
Here’s to Toyota
More than twenty years ago Dan Jones and I made an important discovery. On a trip to Japan we concluded…Read article
Substituting Money for Value Stream Management
I've been traveling again since I last wrote, this time to visit a household-name American company trying to pursue perfection…Read article
What do you need from LEI?
August 1 marks the fifth anniversary of the Lean Enterprise Institute. In our first five years we've conducted Lean Summits…Read article
A Great Time for Lean Thinking
I’ve just been reading the financial news and realizing that this is a great time to be a lean thinker.…Read article
Getting Back to Basics
I recently had a request from a Detroit newspaper to write a brief piece for the Motor Show on how…Read article
Shopping for a Sensei
We at LEI have been getting a lot of requests recently to help companies find lean expertise for harder times.…Read article
The Human Side of Hard Times
Harder times call for leaner thinking and presented an action plan, but what about the human side? Lean thinking requires…Read article
Action Plan for Hard Times
Last week I pointed out that the big leaps in applying lean thinking have all been made in hard times.…Read article
Leaner Thinking for Harder Times
So now we have the recession of 2001. Its time for all of us to marshal our energies, focus our…Read article
The Five Steps of Lean Implementation
Step 1: Specify ValueDefine value from the perspective of the final customer. Express value in terms of a specific product, which…Read article
Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System
Steven Spear and H. Kent Bowen explain in the Harvard Business Review how the Toyota Production System can be tightly choreographed and supple. The key…Read article
Strategies for Tackling Complex Problems: a Conversation with Paolo Savaget
LEI chats with author Paolo Savaget about how clever workarounds can aid companies solving challenging problems.Listen to podcast
Empowering Frontline Operators with Human-Centric Technology: a Conversation with Natan Linder
LEI chats with author and entrepreneur Natan Linder about the potential of software to enable improvement among frontline workers.Listen to podcast
Learning to Solve Problems By… Wait for It… Solving Problems
A team learns what matters when it comes to problem-solving using lean thinking and practices.Read article
Serving Up Lean with a Southern-Fried Kick
Haven Hot Chicken used lean thinking and practices to launch a successful restaurant during a pandemic.Read article
How Purpose Shapes Culture
The author of Joy, Inc. reflects on the struggles and rewards of building a leadership culture that elevates human energy.Read article
Building in Learning and Knowledge Reuse
LEI's lean product and process development coaches share the third of several guiding principles that will help you improve the…Read article
Embracing Regret for Better Living: A WLEI Podcast with author Dan Pink
LEI chats with author Dan Pink about his new book and how it relates to retrospective outlooks and continuous improvement.Listen to podcast
2021’s Top Posts: Insights that Will Enhance Your Lean Thinking and Practice
This year's most popular Lean Posts feature thought leadership and guidance on several issues that are challenging for even the…Read article
How to Respond to the ‘Great Resignation’
A trip to the gemba reveals an overlooked management strategy that could be the most effective way to keep your…Read article
Designing the Future: A WLEI Podcast with Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and former COO Jim Morgan
LEI explores the early days and product development strategies of electrical-vehicle startup Rivian.Listen to podcast
Seeking Radical Quality in the Tech Industry
The CTO of a website design firm explains how a recent book on radical quality improvement in manufacturing inspired him…Read article
People-First Leadership: A Conversation Between Jim Morgan and Alan Mulally
Leading through challenging times means enhancing your work process and always looking to improve people's lives. Putting people first is…Listen to podcast
Videos from WLEI: Deep Dives on the Factory Floor with Cliff Ransom
Cliff Ransom walks through a factory with us, emphasizing how lean thinking improves the quality and efficiency of the work…Watch video
LEI In the News: Leading Trade Journal Asks How Lean Principles Performed During the Pandemic
Lean management principles didn’t fail during the pandemic; some companies failed to execute them correctly, especially the practice of just-in-time…Read article
Lean at Amazon.com: Reconciling Lean and High-Tech
Contrary to what some people think, adopting lean in a high-technology environment isn’t just possible; it’s essential. Just ask Marc…Watch webinar
Steady Work Shares Practical Ways to Create Quality Enterprise For All
Karen Gaudet's Steady Work is the story of a leader helping teams develop steady work to help them get through…Read article
Ask Art: What is the Walk of Shame, and Why Is It Effective?
Take your team on a walk of shame, urges lean veteran Art Byrne. He suggests that you have some fun…Watch video
Art of Lean on Situational Leadership, Part 5: Being an Expert and the D4-S4 Quadrant
To wrap up, Art Smalley gives some lasting impressions and key takeaways from his segmented takes on Situational Leadership. From…Watch video
Art of Lean on Situational Leadership, Part 4: Supportive Style, from Basketball to Toyota
Part four continues the series' trajectory of further contextualizing situational leadership and lean thinking. By picking personal examples from his…Watch video
Art of Lean on Situational Leadership, Part 2: Toyota, Taiichi, and TWI Job Instruction
After the introduction to what situational leadership actually is, Art Smalley returns to run through some examples as to how…Watch video
Are You Deploying Lean Mechanistically–or Organically?
Toyota operates on a complete system based on organic rather than mechanistic principles, argues Jeff Liker, who delineates the advantages…Read article
Avoiding Lean ‘Flatlining’: A Podcast with Mark Deluzio, Art Byrne, and Jim Womack
Mark Deluzio, lean consultant, practitioner, and author of Flatlined, discusses enduring challenges with Art Byrne and Jim Womack on this…Listen to podcast
Practical Approaches for Making Innovation an Enterprise-Wide Activity
Jim Morgan tells an interviewer how to make innovation an enterprise-wide endeavor, based on his years of experience as a…Read article
Avoid the Costly Work of Rework
Customers care only for the product or service they receive, says Rose Heathcote. They're not interested in how much effort…Read article
Changing the Way New Value is Created with Lean Product and Process Development
Learn the six guiding principles of LPPD and why they are critical to successful new product, process, and service development.Read article
The Power of Yokoten
I’ve written a lot about yokoten in recent years – the practice of spreading good (lean) ideas horizontally between and…Read article
Jim Womack Shares a Future-Focused Reflection on ‘Machine’
Jim Womack shares a future-focused, humble reflection of the groundbreaking book he co-authored with Daniel T. Jones and Daniel Roos,…Read article
How Menlo’s Virtual Teams Are Lighting the Way Forward
While Menlo Software continues to adjust to the never-ending changes caused by COVID-19, founder Rich Sheridan takes solace that they…Read article
Tapping Technology to Boost the Power of Lean: A Talk with Jeff Liker and Jim Morgan
What principles should guide lean thinkers as they introduce digital tools into their work? How about people, processes, and purpose,…Read article
Why You Should Link Your Hoshin Kanri and A3 Management Processes
An organization that integrates a robust long-term-oriented strategy deployment process with a daily management process achieves greater performance gains than…Watch webinar
How to Develop Healthy Habits for Mindful Coaching
Powerful lean coaches help others create productive habits that over time produce a type of "muscle memory" that forms a…Read article
How the A3 Process Developed to Help Build Better Managers, Part Two
In this second of two articles, Isao Yoshino and John Shook explore how A3 emerged as powerful practice at Toyota…Read article
What You Will Learn by Reflecting on Your Organization’s Work-at-Home Experience
Reflecting on your work-from-home experience promises to provide needed insights about knowledge work and the routine work that accompanies it—both…Read article
Building the Enabling Bureaucracy
A conversation with RJ Scaringe about creating the "Rivian Way."Watch video
Why You Should Link Hoshin Kanri with A3 Problem-Solving
With A3 tightly linked to hoshin, an organization will not only solve problems but also will have the opportunity to…Read article
Why We Believe Tough Times and Opportunity Go Hand in Hand
In this detailed set of suggestions for managing the current challenges posed by Covid-19, Rose Heathcote and the Lean Sensei…Read article
Book Review: Learning to Scale, a “Practical Field Guide” to Lean Growth
In his new book Learning to Scale, author Regis Medina has "successfully translated each concept of the TPS and lean…Read article
How to Show Respect During a Pandemic
Lean Coach Katrina Appell shares how to use Maslow's hierarchy of needs to clarify how to show respect for people…Read article
Five Revolutions Into the Lean Journey: What’s Next?
The current pandemic serves as an opportunity for us to rethink the world of enterprise (and more), says Dan Jones.…Read article
Combat Isolation with Productivity by Using PDCA for Effective Meetings, part two of two
How to run a productive meeting, the Toyota WayRead article
Reimagining restaurants after Covid-19
The future has never looked more uncertain for restaurants and cafes. The authors share a set of practical lean tips…Read article
How Hospitals are Leveraging Visual Management in the Battle Against Covid-19
A Lean Global Network team of lean practitioners and coaches shares a set of lean healthcare tips hospitals can use…Read article
Single Week Exchange of Business
You’ve no doubt heard of a single-minute exchange of dies in manufacturing, but what happens when you need to changeover…Read article
Designing the Patient Flow to Fight Covid-19
A Lean Global Network team of lean practitioners and coaches shares a set of lean healthcare tips hospitals can use…Read article
Developing Awareness On the Gemba (part 2)
In this followup to her article on ways to develop awareness on the gemba, Lean Coach Sandrine Olivencia argues that…Read article
Developing Awareness on the Gemba
Lean Sensei Sandrine Olivencia shares practical advice on ways to be present and to coach in the moment at the…Read article
Lean and “emotional heijunka” in a Time of Pandemic
In this timely reflection, Jim Womack calls for "emotional heijunka": taking a deep breath, identifying the most important problems that…Read article
Maintaining Emotional Heijunka During a Pandemic
In this timely reflection, Jim Womack calls for "emotional heijunka": taking a deep breath, identifying the most important problems that…Read article
How One Company is Using Lean Fundamentals When Facing Disruption
Companies that have been built using lean principles are turning to these core ideals when confronting the unique challenges caused…Read article
Ask Art: How Does Lean Bring the Customer Directly Onto the Shop Floor?
The lean approach reduces setup times, creates flow, improves quality, lowers cost and drastically shortens lead times, says Art Byrne,…Read article
Why You Need a Product Focus for an Enterprise Transformation: A Talk By Jim Morgan
In this talk from the 2018 Designing the Future summit, former Rivian COO and LEI Senior Advisor Jim Morgan discusses…Read article
Delivering Quality Foods with Zingerman’s Mail Order
Listen to this podcast between Tom Root, Zingerman Mail Order's Managing Director, and Josh Howell for a wide-ranging conversation about…Read article
The Value of A Visual Schedule is Developing Shared Understanding
People closest to the work should understand it best, so they are in the best position to share what the…Read article
Working Hard…For One Minute
Anyone who doubts the ability of their people to work hard in enacting change--or who blames problems on their "people"…Read article
Time To Make Time
When the people in a lean system don't value time, everyone is cheated, says John Shook, in this fascinating reflection…Read article
Are These Two Non-learning Trends Hurting Your Company Culture?
The beating heart of continuous improvement is learning, concludes author and product development executive Jim Morgan, who has done pioneering…Read article
What Ever Happened to Mura?
If we really want to dig down into the root causes of waste, we need to bring the two lost…Read article
How We Improved Our Tiered Daily Huddles
At Cleveland Clinic, where he leads a continuous improvement team, Nate Hurle and others have discovered ways to build on…Read article
Overcoming a Fear Of Failure Culture
Managers and teams can overcome the elements of a fear of failure culture, argues Andrew Quibell. His piece illustrates steps…Read article
Why Doesn’t Lean Have a Seat at the Table?
Why hasn’t Lean spread more widely, asks Steven Spear, suggesting that it has not been framed in a way that…Read article
Ask Art: At What Pace Should A Lean Turnaround Be Implemented?”
Changing from a traditional batch, make-the-month culture to a lean value driven culture takes a lot of time and effort,…Read article
Believe in One Thing All the Way
Who is a “superhero” in our companies, asks Darril Wilburn in this inspiring piece: Is it the person that can…Read article
Lean Thinkers Are Systems Thinkers
Lean thinkers are systems thinkers, argues Rich Sheridan: "Intentional cultures thrive when the simple systems put in place reinforce every…Read article
Thoughts on the Birth of Lean
There is much to be learned from the history of Lean that applies powerfully today in every aspect of the…Read article
Profit and Cost At Toyota
Fresh off a tour of Japan where she observed how Toyota talks about costs and profit on the shop floor,…Read article
What are the key factors within an obeya room?
Dear Gemba Coach: On YouTube and in books there is a lot about A3 storyboards. Did you ever see them…Read article
What Do Sensei Actually Do?
What do lean sensei do? Take you to the gemba, discuss what the real challenges are, prescribe exercises, teach PDCA,…Read article
As head of a lean office, what must I do to really walk the talk?
Dear Gemba Coach: I am the head of a lean office. I’d like to lead by example, but it occurs…Read article
How to Scale Up Positive Social Change
Far more households globally have access to a mobile phone than a toilet, notes Ann Mei Chang, a tech executive…Read article
Join the Conversation and Stop the Rework
In the spring of 1997, as I was starting the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute, I visited a company that I…Read article
Ask Art: What Incentives and Bonus Programs Best Support Lean?
Bonus and incentive plans work best when they serve an underlying purpose, says Art Byrne, who advises that management design…Read article
Cutting Carbon Emissions and Product Costs Through Lean Product and Process Development
As the need to reduce carbon emissions becomes clearer, the need to understand the impact and consciously consider it during…Read article
As someone who is new to lean, is there something I’m not being told?
Dear Gemba Coach: I’m new to lean, and I find it fascinating. Is there something I’m not being told? Is…Read article
What Do Managers Do?
After walking the gemba with sensei Hideshi Yokoi, Matt Savas learned three basic agreements between workers and management, and shared…Read article
Lean Is A Product-Driven Strategy
What is at the core of lean? Michael Balle argues, in terms of our best known example: "Toyota is not…Read article
How Standardized Work Integrates People with Process
In this three-part series, John Shook argues that "the Toyota Way is a socio-technical system on steroids" that brings together…Read article
How Accounting “Squirrels” Can Ferret Out Waste
While other functions are busy as beavers looking for waste during a lean transformation, your accounting staff is like a…Read article
Should we seek professional help for our sensei who talks to parts?
Dear Gemba Coach: My sensei has gone crazy; he’s talking to parts. Everyone is looking at him funny on the…Read article
Ask Art: How Should I Re-invest the Gains from Kaizen?
Becoming lean through using kaizen activity allows you to remove a great deal of waste and deliver value to your…Read article
What If Elon Musk Took Manufacturing Cars Seriously?
Jeff Liker asks of Tesla: What if it took Toyota’s help seriously in learning basic manufacturing before undertaking disruptive technology…Read article
Can you implement TPS if management doesn’t accept the fundamental values of the Toyota Way?
Dear Gemba Coach: How can we implement the principles of TPS if our management doesn’t accept the fundamental values of…Read article
And Now For Something Completely…Lean
Lean practice is no joke, argues Brent Wahba. And yet he draws lessons from great comedy to help address this…Read article
Lean Production Begins with LPPD
To create a "turbo-charged product-creating machine, start by designing clear processes with useful tools and a “people first” culture--which form…Read article
After three years of working with learning partner companies, LEI’s Lean Product and Process Development group observed that the companies…Read article
Seafood Restaurant Fishes for Problems Customers Really Care About
The executive chef at Legal Sea Foods explains how the restaurants are cutting lead times from fishing boat to your…Watch video
Lean Digital Transformation
Discover how the application of lean principles can improve entire corporate ecosystems to deliver digital services and products that customers…Watch webinar
Designing the Future Jim Morgan Talks Passion with Dave Pericak – A WLEI Special
In this special edition series, Designing the Future. Jim Morgan talks with Dave Pericak, the Chief Engineer of the 2015…Listen to podcast
Ask Art: Does Lean Really Work in A Non-manufacturing Company?
All companies and organizations, whether manufacturing or not, are nothing more than a group of people and a bunch of…Read article
Jishuken, Part Two: The Power of Self-Learning
Consider Jishuken to be an intensive effort to drive individuals and the organization to a higher level, says Mark Reich,…Read article
Is agile project management simply lean thinking applied to software development?
Dear Gemba Coach: You seem to distinguish between agile and lean, but to my understanding, agile is simply lean thinking…Read article
Does it matter if we call lean “lean”?
Dear Gemba Coach: If it works, why worry if it’s called lean, operational excellence, or the company’s excellence system? As…Read article
The Escalator of Issues
A daily management system with daily performance metrics gives caregivers the sense that managers are really paying attention, that problems…Read article
Avoiding Dashboard Wallpaper
Build a system of dashboards up and down the organization, says Leslie Barker. Connect them so ideas flow upward and…Read article
Fresh Eyes Bring Lean Problems into Clarity
“Fresh eyes” reviews are an indispensible part of developing new value. It’s amazing what you can learn from the input…Read article
As Toast Kaizen Turns 20, Bruce Hamilton Shares How This Famous Video Came About
Watch this "director's cut" video by Bruce Hamilton sharing the backstory behind what has become a classic lean resource: Toast…Read article
Thinking About Waste Helps Build A Learning Culture Everywhere
Developing people to reduce waste in everything from using toilets to saving one second of work is key to creating…Read article
I’m thinking about outsourcing some administrative activities to be more flexible, but what does lean say about outsourcing?
Dear Gemba Coach: Financial results do not allow me to have excess people. After two years of struggling, I'm thinking…Read article
Ep. 10 Port to Plate, Lean Changes the Restaurant Industry with Legal Sea Foods’ Executive Chef Rich Vellante
Can the restaurant industry change they way they've worked for decades? Legal Sea Foods has been on their lean journey…Listen to podcast
Ask Art: Why Should I Be Able to Make Every Product Every Day?
Working on the goal of "every product every day" helps all companies realize the benefits of lean as a strategy,…Read article
As a business unit manager who is new to lean, what is the one thing I must know to get it right?
Dear Gemba Coach: I’m a business unit manager new to lean, and our CEO has decided to embark us on…Read article
Thoughts on Coaching from John Shook and Edgar Schein
Excerpts from an in-depth conversation between John Shook and Ed Schein on the nature of coaching, humble inquiry, and the…Read article
Do I have the right attitude during gemba walks?
Dear Gemba Coach: How do I know if I have the right attitude during gemba walks? We’ve started doing those…Read article
Ask Art: Why Do People Reject Proof that Lean Works?
Despite compelling proof, most people will find a way to doubt the power of lean to improve their particular work,…Read article
What is your psychology of change?
Dear Gemba Coach: Do you have a psychology of change? And if so, what is it? Where should we start?Read article
The Formula for a Successful Management System: LB * OS = MS
In order to reap the benefits of an effective management system it is important that the operating system and leadership…Read article
Learning to Teach the Soft Side of Lean
If there’s one common theme among virtually any failed effort, it boils to a failure to engage people in the purpose,…Read article
Rethinking the Model Line
The model line, once seen as the key to helping organizations learn and share lean thinking, has served a critical…Read article
Ep. 5: The Lean Farm and Sharing Your Gift Live from the 2018 Lean Transformation Summit
Live from the 2018 Lean Transformation Summit in Nashville, Jim Womack interviews Ben Hartman, author of the Lean Farm, Joel…Listen to podcast
Eric Buehrens Keynote at the 2018 Lean Transformation Summit
LEI CEO Eric Buehrens looks at ways that lean thinkers can help contribute to the future of work.Watch video
Tips for Proving the Financial Value of Lean to Leadership
Of the many aspects of lean accounting, one that has proven especially useful is the principle of “cost avoidance.” Today…Read article
Is there a crack in the model of continuous improvement?
Is this a case of déjà vu all over again? The Wall Street Journal says the sterling reputation of “Japanese…Read article
How Do I Tell Good Obeya Rooms From Bad?
Dear Gemba Coach: Obeyas are popping up everywhere in our organization, and I don’t know what to look for to…Read article
Shook Addresses Current State of Lean Thinking After U.S-Turkey Tiff Compels Keynote Countermeasure
Indefatigable presenter John Shook quickly made this video as a countermeasure to being denied entry to Turkey, where he was…Read article
The Time for Healthcare Leaders to Implement Lean Is Now – Stat!
Pioneering healthcare leaders have demonstrated that lean applied to healthcare can help solve the problems of quality, delivery of care,…Read article
It’s Not All About the Cash: How to Help Leadership Understand Lean’s Financial Benefits
Lean's cost savings might not show up immediately on the income statement -- but that doesn't mean there were no…Read article
Lean Was a Lot Simpler Back in the Day…
Lean transformations aren't easy. But, according to Brent Wahba, they weren't always that way. In his newest Post, Brent discusses…Read article
Advice from the Gemba: Top Mistakes Lean Leaders Make III
Mistakes are just a part of lean, even for leaders. Luckily they're also a great opportunity for improvement. Today three…Read article
Follow-up Q&A for Jim Lancaster’s Work of Management Webinar
“The Real Work of Management” webinar drew very engaged attendees who submitted hundreds of questions. We now present some of…Read article
It’s All About the Mindset on Gemba Walks
Darren Walsh believes that there are few things more critical to a successful gemba walk than the right mindset. Do…Read article
Dear Gemba Coach: Why do you insist so much on visualizing information?Read article
Ask Art: Is there a balance between lean and full automation?
As a followup to his piece last month dealing with another aspect of lean and automation, Art Byrne now explores…Read article
Why do lean management experts differ on how to apply lean principles?
Dear Gemba Coach: I’ve worked with several managers who worked at Toyota or Toyota suppliers who were considered experts in…Read article
Want to Be a Better Leader and Coach? Listen to Yourself
Conduct this simple two-step analysis to learn whether you’re practicing the communication behavior that encourages a culture of engagement and…Read article
Leaders’ Actions Speak, but Their Talk Matters Too
How leaders talk to employees can either help or hurt efforts to create and sustain a culture of engagement and…Read article
How can I tell good lean consultants from bad?
If lean’s not a scam – but there are scammers -- how can I distinguish good lean consultants from bad?Read article
I’ll Follow You into the Dark…
We all know that lean transformations can happen in any industry or environment. But have you ever thought about a…Read article
Managing to Win: The Remarkable Lean Transformation of Phase 2
Revisit the enlightening case study of Phase 2's lean transformation in the face of losing its biggest customer, plus insider…Watch video
Ask Art: Is Lean a Strategy?
The debate over whether lean should be considered a strategy, philosophy, methodology, etc. is a long one. Merriam-Webster defines a…Read article
A Tool That Every High-Mix, Low-Volume Leader Needs to See
"High mix, low volume operations are a difficult concept to grasp," writes Greg Lane. But it doesn't have to be…Read article
Ask Art: Why do so few companies that implement lean do it successfully?
We've all heard the stories of failed lean implementations, as well as the hotly debated question of "Why did it…Read article
Changing High School Culture with Lean Coaching
Nearly eight years ago, headteacher Tony Lamberton of Christleton High School was struggling with poor reviews of his school. After…Watch video
What Too Many Lean Leaders Forget about Gemba Walks
Lean Coach Darren Walsh of the UK's Lean Enterprise Academy has seen many lean leaders make a troubling, yet highly…Read article
What do you think are the pros and cons of merging lean and TOC?
Dear Gemba Coach: In the DevOps movement, the amalgamation of agile, lean, and IT service management practices, there is a…Read article
Working on the Management
Effective daily management is still hard to achieve for most organizations, says Jim Womack. But until line managers start tackling…Read article
A Thriving Community of Practice – Book Report
I am often asked why the “lean movement” has outlasted so many business improvement movements that have come and gone.…Read article
Planning Meetings Around A3s
"How many times have you sat in a meeting to discuss solving a pressing, urgent or serious problem – and…Read article
Managing to Create Problem-Solvers: A Lean Transformation Summit Roundup
Countless people have asked us over the years, "My organization can't be lean without a problem-solving culture. So how do…Read article
What kind of conversation should I expect during a gemba walk?
Dear Gemba Coach: What kind of conversation should I expect during a gemba walk?Read article
Does implementing lean mean creating a lean management system?
Dear Gemba Coach: My understanding is that implementing lean means setting up a lean management system. You seem to disagree.…Read article
What the Books Don’t Tell: Explaining the Financial Benefits of Lean
It's a curious fact that very few books about lean address the topic of finance. Questions about lean's financial benefits…Read article
Green from the Start
LEI faculty member Jim Morgan shares his insights with Kelly Singer, managing editor of the Lean Green Institute, on how…Read article
3 Common Problems in Government that A3 Thinking Can Help Solve
I’m always surprised at how little the public sector uses A3 thinking to tackle their toughest challenges. It’s the same…Read article
Does respect for humanity mean the same as respect for people?
Dear Gemba Coach: Does respect for humanity mean the same as respect for people? I hear that the literal translation…Read article
You Can’t Know If You Don’t Know
Recently LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook found an interesting blog by Dr. Helen Kales of the University of Michigan,…Read article
What Do I Tell My Leaders When Experiments Fail?
When experiments fail, it's natural for a leadership team to get nervous. But in the context of lean, they shouldn't…Read article
Ask Art: People are Nervous about Too Much Change, Can I Lead Lean Incrementally?
Resistance to change is a classic part of lean transformation, and it's not uncommon to see efforts to skirt around…Read article
What is leader standard work?
Dear Gemba Coach: Is there such thing as a leader standard work, and, if so, what is it?Read article
How the A3 Came to Be Toyota’s Go-To Management Process for Knowledge Work (intro by John Shook)
A3 thinking is synonymous with Toyota. Yet many often wonder how exactly this happened. Even if we know A3 thinking…Watch video
Do we need more research to understand what works and what doesn’t when implementing lean healthcare?
Dear Gemba Coach: There are controversies over whether lean/TPS works in healthcare or not. Authorities in lean practice suggest conducting…Read article
You Need More Smoke Detectors: Countering Firefighting with Leader Standard Work
Excessive firefighting is a major threat to lean transformations - it may seem easier to time-strapped managers, but it does…Read article
Lean Transformation: Have You Hit the “Lean Plateau?”
After realizing that that their five-year track record of continuous improvement was leveling out, Craig Stritar and his team knew…Read article
Establishing Lean Healthcare Believers When Professional Society Allegiance Impedes Engagement
When implementing lean in a healthcare organization, it's not uncommon to encounter resistance from medical professionals set in their traditional…Read article
Generating Multiple Alternatives is Not Necessarily Waste
I was once asked: 'How is set-based design lean? Isnít designing multiple alternatives creating waste and the opposite of lean?'î…Read article
Reflections on Hansei
For many of us, Japanese lingo has become synonymous with lean. But according to Dan Markowitz, this just makes things…Read article
Any step forward in a lean transformation is a good step — right?
Dear Gemba Coach: Surely a step forward in a lean transformation is a good thing, even if it’s not completely…Read article
Ask Art: What Lean Books Should I Start With?
Art Byrne shares with us his book recommendations to newcomers on insights into the philosophy and general approach behind lean.Read article
Creating New Value and a Lesson in Fundamentals
After a recent trip to Toyota's headquarters in Japan, Jim Morgan made an epiphany about the Toyota Production System and…Read article
Accountability: Not What You Think it is…
"When managers and associates hear the term [accountability], they often flinch!" writes Mike Orzen. "This is a major problem for…Read article
Why and How to Engage Finance in a Lean Transformation. An Interview with Jean Cunningham
There's often a disconnect between an organization's lean and finance departments, especially when a lean transformation is underway. In her…Read article
A Principles-Based Approach to Changing Healthcare Management
"This year alone over 250,000 Americans will die due to medical error," writes Dr. John Toussaint. "How can so many…Read article
Put Your People at The Center of Your Development System
"It is your people that provide the skills, energy and creativity," writes Jim Morgan. "They are the single most important…Read article
Why you can’t convince your boss to support lean activities, unless …
Dear Gemba Coach: I work as a deployment champion in a manufacturing company, but I don’t have the support of…Read article
Gemba Walking on Mars
Lean is all around us in our daily lives - including at the movies, as Lean Institute Brasil president Jose…Read article
Bad Data: The Elephant in the Room
"The goal of IT is to enable people to perform their jobs well by providing access to complete and accurate…Read article
LEI’s Lean Transformation Model Animated
Need a simple way of explaining lean thinking to your team? LEI has released a new animated video of how…Watch video
Leadership Stories From One of Lean’s Fastest Growing Communities of Practice
On the heels of the Lean Healthcare Summit earlier this month in Dallas, Texas, we've gathered three stories in which…Read article
We need to think about redefining work. Until we – anyone who wishes to bring about organizational change – redefine…Read article
Lean is About Building Organizations that Learn to Learn
In April, LEI's John Shook spoke at the LeanUX NYC conference about how the lean movement has changed (and not…Watch video
My management team feels tense and pressured about going to the gemba. Is this normal?
Dear Gemba Coach: I’ve decided to take my management team to the gemba to get them to solve real problems…Read article
Transforming Healthcare: What Matters Most? How the Cleveland Clinic Is Cultivating a Problem-Solving Mindset and Building a Culture of Improvement
Imagine if you could create a culture of excellence and improvement in a large healthcare organization. That’s the challenge that…View case study
Continuous Improvement is Good, But Is It Lean?
Take a look at your organization. Is Lean clearly directed and connected to strategy? Are senior leaders directly involved in…Read article
Strategy Deployment at The Lean Enterprise Institute
Is your organization “chasing too many rabbits?” It’s a tendency too many companies have of annually setting more strategic objectives…Watch video
Leadership Without Giving Solutions (from a Fire Fighter’s Perspective)
LEI faculty member Greg Lane shares a lean coaching story from his own life, in which he finds himself advising…Read article
We’re Ernie and Tracey Richardson: Ask Us Anything
It's our second "Ask Me Anything" post, this time with lean coaches Tracey and Ernie Richardson. With a combined 54…Read article
Making a Football is a Contact Sport
With football on the brain after the Superbowl, Lesa Nichols reflects on the football manufacturing process. "There's a concept called…Read article
How Do You Spread a Lean Transformation from One Site to Many?
Dear Gemba Coach: My CEO has asked me to spread lean to 30 other sites. How should I go about…Read article
What Strategy Is and What It’s Not
"In my career, I was always more interested in what it would take to create and sustain competitive advantage than…Read article
Lessons Learned from My Lean Sensei about “Customer Service”
"To 'get' Lean we have to change our specs, and no longer see processes as sequences of dependent tasks, but…Read article
The Cure for Bad Meeting Syndrome
"Anyone who leads a group needs the ability to design and plan a meeting," writes Alice Lee. "This isn’t just…Read article
“Learning from Manufacturing” Versus Learning To Think Differently
Beau Keyte talks lean thinking and practice in non-manufacturing settings. "The big challenge now isn’t to learn lean thinking the…Read article
10 RULES FOR FAILING WITH TOYOTA KATA
Looking for tips to successfully practice the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata in your organization? In this month's Kata SlideShare…Watch video
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
"What the leader demonstrates as important is what the team will focus on," writes Erin Urban. "If we are to…Read article
How to Lead with Respect — Follow-Up Q&A to the Webinar
At the end of the lean management webinar “How to Lead with Respect,” we had a couple of hundred questions…Read article
Lean Product Development is About Thinking Horizontally in a Vertical World
Check out the blog from Day 2 of the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange (North America) conference in Durham,…Read article
Remembering Jim Harbour
"We in the Lean Community stand on a lot of shoulders. One broad pair belonged to Jim Harbour, who passed…Read article
Say Goodbye to the Report Out
"If we want to improve coaching, let’s build the requirement for it into the daily management process," writes Dave LaHote.…Read article
How Lean Tools Support the Principle of Respect (Part 1)
We first met Andy Ward when he was struggling to save his plant from closure in The Lean Manager. Since…Read article
KATA CASE EXAMPLE – GKN SINTER METALS
This month's video is a case example of deploying the Improvement Kata & Coaching Kata. Wayne Meyer illustrates GKN's application,…Watch video
A Body Needs Skeleton and Muscle to Work
How do you create alignment across the organization when you have separate departments, value streams, and executives with conflicting priorities?…Read article
“How ThedaCare Created Its Own Management System”, Follow-Up Q&A
Kim Barnas, author of Beyond Heroes: A Lean Management System for Healthcare, answers questions that we couldn't get to during…Read article
Ask Art: How Much Lean Training Should We Be Doing?
Why aren't more companies successful at Lean? Art Byrne says it has to do with an over-focus on planning and…Read article
President of Lean Institute Brasil, José Ferro, gives us the background situation on the World Cup and tells us about…Read article
Long-term Organizational Health or Sugar High?
"We know 'flavor-of-the-month' initiatives can't be the focus of a lean leader," writes Bob Miller of the Shingo Institute. So…Read article
Real Concurrent Engineering: Developing Engineers and Products Simultaneously
Jim Morgan and Durward Sobek compare and contrast Lean with traditional product and process development.Watch video
What is the worst mistake you’ve made on the gemba?
Dear Gemba Coach: What is the worst mistake you’ve made on the gemba?Read article
Monozukuri Through Hitozukuri
Michael Ballé reflects on what it really means to "make people before parts" and introduces two more lean terms that…Read article
How to Handle Fire Fighting, Process Averse Cultures, Naysayers, and More
Summit attendees hosted their own conversations on lean thinking and practice last week, identifying challenges and opportunities for Lean within…Read article
Starting Up, Growing Up, and Starting Over
In an essay first published in Gemba Walks (2nd Ed) and adapted for the Post, LEI founder and thought leader…Read article
Effective Leaders Tackle Challenges Systematically
"It's not enough to simply set a challenge," writes Dario Spinola. "We need effective ways of working toward challenges." Read…Read article
We are all trying to transform. That's what lean thinking and practice are all about: challenging us to reflect deeply…Read article
The Question All Healthcare Leaders Should be Asking Themselves
Lean healthcare expert Mark Graban takes a common problem he sees again and again in hospitals (errors with hourly rounds…Read article
How does lean fit together with Lean Startup concepts?
Dear Gemba Coach: I work in IT and discovered lean through the Lean Startup movement. Now, as I read more…Read article
On Lean Production’s 25th Anniversary: Candid Reflections
At the 2013 AME (Association for Manufacturing Excellence) conference three management thought leaders (Jim Womack, Dan Jones, and John Shook)…Watch video
Catchball Helps Us Get Past We Versus They
When employees dread going to work every day, your company loses. Read what Tracey Richardson has to say about boosting…Read article
Fighting fires vs. problem solving: what’s the difference?
Dear Gemba Coach: I hear that lean is about less fighting fires and more problem solving but I am unsure…Read article
Where Lean Meets Innovation
"Many people see Lean purely as an improvement method, not a total enterprise solution or a new way of doing…Read article
Ask Art: Does Lean Really Work Everywhere?
There's a common misconception that Lean is "just some manufacturing thing." Read why Art Byrne believes Lean can be applied…Read article
Lean Starts With the Need to Achieve
"The first step in a lean implementation is to identify employees with an intense desire to achieve," writes lean practitioner…Read article
Create Your Fantasy Island Organizational Culture
What would your dream organizational culture look like? What about your fantasy lean transformation? Tracey Richardson shares her advice for…Read article
Alice Lee on the Challenges and Rewards of Applying Lean to Healthcare
Alice Lee, VP of Business Transformation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, discusses BIDMC's unique application of lean…Watch video
Should I use an A3 report to kick off a problem-solving effort?
Dear Gemba Coach: Should I use an A3 report to kick off a problem? I encourage my managers to tell…Read article
In his first piece for The Lean Post, lean thought leader and LEI author Michael Ballé shares Toyota's lessons for…Read article
Lead from the Front, Lead from Behind
In my last letter I alluded to a common view in the Lean Community – shared by the broader business…Read article
How is lean strategic?
Dear Gemba Coach: I’ve been told by my senior management that there is no strategic vision in lean and they…Read article
Don’t Just Do Lean; Be Lean
A lean transformation cannot be just one of 10 elements of your strategy, according to former Wiremold Company CEO Art…Read article
How can we reconcile the lean principle of respect for people with our disrespectful atmosphere?
Dear Gemba Coach: My company's lean program stigmatizes competent people as “concrete heads” for disagreeing with the lean coaches, even…Read article
Asking Effective Questions: The Foundation of Coaching with Margie Hagene
Lean Enterprise Institute faculty member Margie Hagene offers tips for using the four types of questions -- humble, diagnostic, prompting,…Watch video
What Is Your Purpose? Who Is Your Audience?
In this article, the third in a series of starting your A3, sensei David Verble suggest that you reflect more…Read article
Management has a bad case of investment loss aversion. What can I do?
Dear Gemba Coach: I’ve been asked to take over the corporate lean program but the company’s investment plan favors large…Read article
Was Steve Lean?
I don’t know that much about Apple. The only gemba I've visited are lots of Apple stores (I don't know…Read article
Fulfillment-Stream Measurement Systems: Driving Action in Real Time
Derek Browning, a lean supply chain executive at LeanCor, takes time out from a lean logistics conference to answer questions…Read article
What Are the Different Types of A3s?
What are the different types of A3s and what are they used for?Read article
Problems First and Positive Thinking
Dear Gemba Coach: Isn’t always focusing on problems discouraging? My people feel that they’d like to be recognized for their successes…Read article
A Fundamental Question
As I continue to visit your gemba and receive emails (over 500 and counting since I started in September), I…Read article
How Can One Be A Better Sensei?
Dear Gemba Coach,Our operations VP is disappointed with our lean program. Despite his close personal involvement with the program, it…Read article
The Tipping Point?
Early efforts to apply lean principles to healthcare faltered and for many years the challenge seemed to be too great.…Read article
When should I push and when should I praise?
Dear Gemba Coach: I am in charge of a service activity and have started a lean approach with a sensei. In…Read article
Toyota the Bad Guy
Recently I am cornered frequently by beleaguered lean change agents eager to show me their scars inflicted by re-energized resistors.…Read article
Lean Transformation: Thinking, Learning, & Experimenting For Today’s Complicated Operating System
Matt Zayko, an LEI faculty member, notes that many organizations that have tried to implement lean in the past 20 years have…Read article
The End of the Beginning
NUMMI closes today. The GM-Toyota joint venture assembling motor vehicles in California lasted 25 years - a very long time…Read article
Toyota Trouble: A Dialogue with Jeff Liker (AKA the Coffee Shop Talks)
With the appearance of Toyota's various quality and recall problems, Jeff Liker and I have been meeting in coffee shops…Read article
Don’t Gloat Too Quickly – If This Could Happen to Toyota, It Could Happen to You …
Okay, so how do you respond to a "crisis"? My recent encouragement to Toyota President Akio Toyoda that "It isn't the…Read article
Developing a Kaizen Consciousness with Shingo Prize winner Michael Balle
Michael Ballé, co-author of The Lean Manager, published by the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI), cautioned in a podcast interview with Business…Read article
Making Everyone Whole
I've had a big smile on my face for much of the last month because I've had the opportunity to…Read article
A Trip to the Dentist That You’ll Enjoy
At AME's annual conference in Covington, KY, two weeks ago, Sami Bahri used his book, Follow the Learner, to base…Read article
How Can I Address the Conflict that Lean Creates?
Dear Gemba Coach, I have just finished reading The Lean Manager, and I was very taken by the chapter on…Read article
Herman Miller’s Experiment in Excellence
With initial support from the Toyota Supplier Support Center, Herman Miller cultivates experimental thinkers who make process improvements every day.…View case study
Signs of Progress
Dear Gemba Coach: We've been doing lean for several years now, and the program has had its ups and downs.…Read article
How Much Control Do I Need (and Need to Give Up) to Lead?
Dear Gemba Coach: I am interested in setting up a team for implementing lean. So far I have been trying…Read article
Forward to Fundamentals
John Shook talks about the importance of lean fundamentalsRead article
GM Veteran Lou Farinola Responds to, “Why hasn’t GM learned from NUMMI?”
John Shook discusses how GM learned from NUMMI with a former GM executiveRead article
The Remarkable Chief Engineer
Last week I shared this principle quoted from an unexpected source, the U.S. Marine Leadership Manual: "An individual's responsibility for…Read article
2008 in Summary: A Large Enough Wave Swamps All Boats
We all know the phrase, "a rising tide lifts all boats", and this was true during the world economic bubble…Read article
Survive to Make Money or Make Money to Survive?
With GM’s demise becoming more real every day, many people have been asking me, “Why didn’t GM learn from Toyota…Read article
The Most Frustrated Person in Your Company
No, it’s not you. Earlier in my career I spent most of my time down in the front lines of…Read article
What is Lean Management?
If lean thinking means a different approach to business, then it must also imply a different approach to managing by…Read article
Manage the Contract or Improve the Value Stream?
As much as I would like to, I can't walk frequently along every type of value stream. As a result,…Read article
The Big Mura and Mean Leanness
How can we have dramatic short-term gyrations in an economy whose business is to supply what a relatively constant number…Read article
From Supply Chains to Value Streams
Fifteen years ago I first began to study lean supply chains, by observing Toyota’s inbound parts supply chain and later…Read article
Gross Domestic Product Verses Gross Domestic Waste
I’ve always been fascinated by how humans count, especially the way we always seem to count the wrong things. Recently…Read article
Change in Implementation Approach Opens the Door at EMCO to Greater Gains in Less Time
Many lean thinkers ask how they can accelerate the pace of a transformation or spread it to other facilities. EMCO…View case study
The Big Opportunity
I started studying manufacturing performance††26 years ago this fall. We set out at MIT to perform the most exhaustive and…Read article
Competing with China
There are two sea changes going on in the world economy. The first is the rise of the “low cost”…Read article
Lean Consumption, Lean Provision, and Lean Solutions
Here’s some good news for the Lean Community. I was recently in Spain where I toured a facility belonging to…Read article
The Dramatic Spread of Lean Thinking
Without question, lean thinking was born in the factory. Then lean thinking spread to logistics, to tie supplier production tightly…Read article
"Lean Consumption" is the lead article in the March 2005 issue of the Harvard Business Review. It previews the breakthrough…Read article
On my gemba walks I often get comments and questions about leadership. “We can’t seem to get anywhere because we…Read article
Years ago when Dan Jones and I first visited Toyota in Japan, we were struck by something that seemed out…Read article
Dueling Sensei and the Need for a Standard Operating System
Recently I witnessed a sight I’ve seen too many times before. I was visiting a company when a new sensei…Read article
The second edition of Lean Thinking has been out two months now and at least a few members of the Lean Community…Read article
Lean Thinking for Air Travel
Recently I got a call from an aide to Don Carty at American Airlines (their Chairman who resigned this past…Read article
Taking a Value Stream Walk at Firm A
I was out walking through a company this past week, something I often do. The firm I visited had asked…Read article
Move Your Operations to China? Do some lean math first.
I recently got a phone call from a reporter for The Wall Street Journal with a simple but provocative question:…Read article
Inventory Turns Charts
How can you tell if your firm is really getting lean — count the future state maps on the walls,…Read article
10 Lean Steps for Surviving the Recession
Jim provides an action play for lean thinkers to think leaner to get through the recession and secure a strong…Read article
Lean WX – An Rx for Making Things Better
As someone whose understanding of lean/TPS grew exponentially by working on the line, Josh Howell encourages every would-be lean enterprise…Read article
Tap the Power of Flow to Develop Lean Thinkers
Flow is personal--a moment of enrichment, and a mental state. It´s stretching oneself just that little bit extra, not because…Read article
Why Product Focus is Customer Focus
How can you know your entire organization is aligned around delivering best in class value to your customer? Your product…Read article
Why Good Lean Detectives Visit the Crime Scene
You can't solve a problem with data alone, says Dan Markovitz. He urges you to go to the "crime scene,"…Read article
What the Covid-Virus Can Teach Us About the Toyota Way
This is a time where people are coming together with a passion and common focus, says Jeff Liker. He shares…Read article
Caring about others, caring about quality, caring about professionalism. When you care, continuous improvement and action come naturally. Turner Construction…Read article
Be More Innovative with These Resources and Ideas for Exploiting World-Shaping Trends
Great products and services begin with great ideas and great ideas are informed by the big trends that are shaping…Read article
What should I expect as a lean manager?
Dear Gemba Coach: I’m currently a team leader, and I’ve been offered a job as a lean manager – what…Read article
How Can Lean Help Respond to Crises?
Although lean might seem fragile to crises, because of low inventories, it’s quite the opposite, says Michael Balle: Lean thinking…Read article
Is it really necessary for a sensei to act obnoxiously?
Dear Gemba Coach: Is it really necessary for a sensei to act obnoxiously?Read article
Respect for People Means Taking Care with Your Questions
Asking effective questions is an art in and of itself, says Karen Gaudet, in this excerpt from her new book,…Read article
Why We Believe that Pull Flows Are Too Often Overlooked
In this incisive series of articles on the essential value of pulled flow, the lean sensei women argue, in the…Read article
Learning from Toyota Way Principles versus Copying Toyota Practices
Toyota is an exceptional company, says Jeff Liker, who argues that the way of thinking is a model to learn…Read article
Grit, PDCA, Lean and other four-letter words
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of what author Angela Duckworth calls Grit. She defines grit as a…Read article
Why Lean is a Time-based Strategy
Lean is a time-based strategy: it uses time to gain competitive advantage, says Orry Fiume. "Once I understood this I started…Read article
Ask Art: Why is Takt Time So Important in a Lean Turnaround?
Takt time represents the beat of the customer, or, the rate of demand, says Art Byrne: "As the primary focus…Read article
22. What’s the Problem: An interview with medical oncologist and CEO of Instituto de Oncologia do Vale (IOV), Dr. Fred, on reducing the cancer burden
Dr. Carlos Frederico Pinto (aka ‘Dr. Fred’) is a medical oncologist and CEO of Instituto de Oncologia do Vale (IOV),…Listen to podcast
21. On the Job: Discovering Strategy by Doing the WORK, a conversation with Dave Brunt, CEO of the Lean Enterprise Academy in the UK
In a conversation across the Atlantic LEI’s president, Josh Howell, talks to the Lean Enterprise Academy’s CEO, Dave Brunt, about…Listen to podcast
Want Better Relations and Results from Suppliers? Hear Two Execs Explain the Benefits of “Matched Pair” Leadership
New products and service development does not stop at the exterior walls of your company. Outside suppliers play critical roles,…Watch video
Talking About Lean: How Leaders Support Improvement With Words and Actions
In this comprehensive series of reflections, Lean Coach David Verble examines how the way managers and leaders talk to employees…Read article
How can I help middle managers handle contradictory instructions from top management?
Dear Gemba Coach: As a lean coach, how can I help middle-managers who are faced with contradictory instructions from top…Read article
Can Smart Manufacturing Replace the Art of Go and See?
Continuous improvement in a manufacturing environment has to happen at the spot where the work took place, shares Dave Westphal,…Read article
4 Actions that Solved My Lean Management Identity Crisis
Mike Orzen had lean management down cold – or so he thought. After all, he makes a living teaching it…Read article
Cultivating Intuition at the Gemba
Our trainers conditioned us to water the seed of experience and use it not just to fire-fight but rather be…Read article
Review: Designing the Future
In his review of the new book Designing The Future, Michael Ballé points out that it “makes clear the central…Read article
Don’t Retire Your Knowledge–Reuse It
Companies can tackle the problem of the surge of retiring baby boomers by adopting the lean principle of knowledge reuse,…Read article
Not Every Problem Is a “Nail” But Companies Typically Reach for the Same Old “Hammer”
Learn how you can avoid the frustrating, ineffective, but widespread “hammer-and-nail” problem-solving pitfall by recognizing four main problem types so…Read article
Getting Out of the Habit of Telling
In this engaging talk at the Lean Transformation Summit in Nashville, Katie Anderson talked about learning how to keep from…Watch video
We mapped a process, improved it, but six months later, performance is as bad as it was before – what are we missing?
Dear Gemba Coach: We’ve drawn the value-stream map of one of our complex production processes (17 steps), identified the key…Read article
Practical, Actionable Tips for Re-Engaging People with a Suggestion System, Part 2
Companies, responding to surveys showing that a troubling number of people are disengaged at work, respond with perks like nap…Read article
Practical Tips for Re-Engaging People with a Suggestion System
Companies, responding to surveys showing that a troubling number of people are disengaged at work, respond with perks like nap…Read article
JoePa and Other Biases to Avoid
A recent viewing of the biographical film Paterno led LEI Senior Coach Mark Reich to reflect on the way many…Read article
Lean Roundup: Respect for People
Respect for People is one of the most abstract and yet most concrete tenets of lean, a guiding principle that…Read article
Expanding Our Perspective on Lean Management, Part 2: Lean has its Roots in Spirituality
To explore the idea that there may be other angles for understanding lean management than business or analytical perspectives, a…Read article
Ask Art: Am I Showing Respect for People by Asking for Fast Action?
Lean is a “learn by doing” exercise not a classroom training approach. The best method I know to achieve this…Read article
The Road to Production Hell is Paved with Lack of LPPD
The real work of companies like Tesla who face stupendous challenges in launching a product should have happened long before…Read article
The Quiet Factory
Could noise be considered another waste to be reduced in the system? Matt Savas ponders the implications of a Toyota…Read article
Why do you keep referring to Toyota; does it still matter?
Dear Gemba Coach: I’m very interested in lean, but fail to see why you guys keep referring to Toyota. What does…Read article
HR Strategies for Successful and Sustainable Lean Transformations
The interest in strengthening employee engagement is sometimes considered a separate topic from lean transformations. Cheryl Jekiel, who has over…Read article
The “Playbook” of Sustaining Change
In a world where most lean transformations fail, what can we do to learn from others' mistakes and help our…Read article
Is the digital revolution a more important business development than lean?
Dear Gemba Coach, Isn’t the digital revolution, especially in services, a more important business development than lean?Read article
Ask Art: “Do lean conversions actually go smoothly, like in the books?”
Art Byrne receives many inquiries from people wondering whether lean transformations really are as smooth as they seem in books,…Read article
Shouldn’t lean focus on solutions, rather than problems?
Dear Gemba Coach: Why is lean so focused on problem solving? Isn’t seeing everything as a problem negative? Shouldn’t we…Read article
Advice from the Gemba: How Do People Accidentally Make Change Unsustainable?
The only thing tougher than change is SUSTAINING change, we often hear. But does sustaining change need to be SO…Read article
Enabling Fast and Innovative Product Development at Bose
Bringing products to market as quickly as possible is a key cornerstone of lean product and process development. With this…Read article
Developing Better Habits Using A3 Thinking
Think A3 thinking is only for solving organizational problems? Think again! LEI faculty Katie Anderson shares her secrets for using…Read article
What are the key traits I should look for in a potential Chief Engineer? A Q&A with Katrina Appell
The Chief Engineer is a key cornerstone of lean product and process development. Katrina Appell has been asked many times…Read article
Ask Art: How high is up with lean?
Art Byrne explains that continuous improvement really is continuous and that there is no limit to the “up” in lean.Read article
An A3 Antidote to the Opiate Epidemic
Opiate use in America has been spiking at an alarming rate. Many healthcare organizations, such as the University of Michigan…Read article
Innovative Companies Continue to Learn from Each Other: Fall 2016 LPPD Learning Group Event
Find out what learnings took place at the Fall 2016 LPPD Partners' Meeting in Davis, California.Read article
You Can’t Manage a Secret
How did the obeya management system come to be at Toyota? How has it been refined since its beginning as…Read article
Advice from the Gemba: The Most Frustrating Types of Waste (and How to Eliminate Them!)
If you've ever lost sleep over a particularly frustrating source of waste in your organization, you're not alone. Some forms…Read article
Lean Roundup: Jidoka
"Jidoka captures the principle of building quality into the production process—of designing work so that the people making the product…Read article
Lean Thinking at 20, Part 2: A Q&A with Jim Womack and Dan Jones
Twenty years ago Jim Womack and Dan Jones helped launch the lean movement as we know it today with their…Read article
What are the elements of knowledge-based product development?
Dear Gemba Coach, What would be a knowledge-based approach to product development?Read article
Ask Art: Is Lean Inward-Focused?
Art Byrne has been asked over and over if lean is inward-focused or customer-focused. There are aspects of lean that…Read article
The Crucible of Innovation
Innovation is key to a successful successful development project, we always read. But innovation is a fickle term that gets…Read article
Raised by Toyota: A Question and Answer with Tracey and Ernie Richardson
In this extended interview, Toyota veterans Tracey and Ernie Richardson share how they learned at the source, explain how they…Read article
You Are Not Different: Make universal lean principles work locally
Lean principles are universal, argues Orry Fiume, but the application of them is always local. Don't use this challenge as…Read article
I’m struggling to understand exactly what people mean by a “lean system”?
Dear Gemba Coach: I’m struggling to understand exactly what people mean by a “lean system”?Read article
No Shortcuts: Creating a Lean Environment the Right Way
As much as we may wish there was a way to pull off a lean transformation with only a basic…Read article
Key Traits and Behaviors of Great Lean Consultants
"If you want to accelerate your lean practice I highly recommend reaching out to a good lean consultant to serve…Read article
Lean Fitness: The Individual vs. the Organization
"For both the individual and the organization, the problem is the same," writes Dan Markovitz. "There may be a stated…Read article
Is there a way to define standard work for senseis?
Dear Gemba Coach, I’ve been working on lean projects for years and my CEO has now asked me to act as…Read article
My CEO, who supported lean, has left and been replaced by a pure finance guy. It doesn’t look good for the lean effort. What should I do?
Dear Gemba Coach: My CEO, who supported lean, has left and been replaced by a pure finance guy. It doesn’t…Read article
Using Cynefin to Solve Problems While Navigating Uncertainty
Kim Ballestrin, an agile coach, explains how her team at Telstra (an Australian telecommunications and IT company) uses a problem…Read article
Lean Startup: The Most Revolutionary Idea Since SMED?
"From my view, Lean Startup is quite simply the most revolutionary idea to advance the way business is practiced since…Read article
The Hidden Benefit to A3 Thinking
"A3 thinking helps us think, solve problems, and strategize," writes José Ferro. "But it also helps us calm down, concentrate,…Read article
Training Within Industry for the 21st Century
"How about a program that does for senior leaders today what Training Within Industry did for Japanese management in the…Read article
No Change is Easy: The Starbucks Siren Steps into Dunkin Donuts’ World of Orange and Pink
Lean is about a willingness to experiment and if necessary, change our approach to our work and our daily routine.…Read article
From Victim to Partner: The Evolution of a Manufacturing Development System
"Excellence in product development is not 'an engineering thing'; it is an enterprise thing," writes Jim Morgan. And it's helpful…Read article
Why do we hear less and less about lean in manufacturing?
Dear Gemba Coach: Why do we hear less and less about lean in manufacturing? Is it that most companies have…Read article
GTS6 + E3 = DNA (Break the Code for Standardization, Sustainability, and Kaizen)
There's no "formula" for doing Lean well, but there are principles and practices that keep you on track. Read Tracey…Read article
Innovation at Smartphone Speed
Ever wonder what it takes to make those smartphone chips? Learn how IBM continuously improves smartphone technology using lean thinking…Read article
The Leader’s Dilemma: Becoming a Learner
We build leaders up to be all-knowing, but leaders who act as 'knowers' (as opposed to learners) actually limit their…Read article
"We in the Lean Community have no standing on whether a government should regulate any activity or provide any service,"…Read article
It’s About Best Practicing
"Just like practicing to learn to play an instrument, practicing the Improvement Kata helps us learn to view uncertainty more…Read article
Challenge: Understand and Adapt for Sales Pace Growth
It's our first Lean Challenge post! Come up with a plan to help a machining business deal with the technical…Read article
Why One Startup Will Never “Change the World”
Nathan Rothstein, co-founder of Project Repat, calls for founders to stop pitching their companies as "world-changing" charitable organizations. Businesses should…Read article
Think Like Judoka
"Resistance in an organization can be a daunting foe to even the most highly skilled Lean practitioners," writes Joel Gross.…Read article
How a Problem-Solving Culture Takes Root
Changing one's own leadership behaviors is no easy task, but it can be done. Leaders can shift away from giving…Read article
Managing By Not Wandering Around
“We’re still very early in our journey,” says Dan McDonnell, VP of Operational Excellence at Ingersoll Rand. “But we’re following…Read article
Why Fundamental Shifts in Thinking Take Longer Than You Think
Think learning the fundamentals of lean thinking and practice is easy? Think again. Deep shifts in thinking will take some…Read article
Lean Transformation Starts with a Learning Culture
After attending a Lean Applied to Sales seminar, Tina Roach and Pete Mangan of ProMed Molded Products knew they needed…Read article
What happens after the lean coach leaves?
As a lean coach, after you move to a new management assignment, finish a training course, or run several kaizen…Read article
What’s Your Lean Elevator Pitch?
How do you describe Lean to others? To beginners, your team members, your boss? What's your quick definition or elevator…Read article
Adding Flavor to the Gemba Using SALT
Dr. Grant Greenberg, Associate Medical Director for Quality for the University of Michigan Faculty Group Practice, has come up with…Read article
Product Focus = Customer Focus
"Customer-defined value creation is the first principle of lean thinking... But how do you know your hard work will deliver…Read article
Talking Lean with a Neuroscientist
How do we turn large, complicated, risky projects into catalysts for learning and innovation? Lean IT expert Steve Bell reflects…Read article
Continuously Improving Lean IT at Toyota
Pierre Masai, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Toyota Motor Europe, weighs in on the changing face of Lean…Read article
Reason #27 Why Your CEO Is Just Not That Into Lean
You know the value of Lean, but maybe your boss or a key member of the senior leadership team doesn't.…Read article
Starting Points for Different Value Streams
No lean transformation story is the same. Read Dan Jones's take on gaining traction for lean learning within your organization…Read article
Ask Art: How Do I Get Senior Leadership On Board with Lean?
Lean transformations are rarely successful without the support and participation of senior leadership. Art Byrne, former CEO of Wiremold, shares…Read article
Managing to Connect the Macro with the Micro
LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook explains management PDCA: improving the way we align people with process to achieve purpose,…Read article
Part 2: What is the best lean way to understand VALUE (in terms of what our customers want)?
Dear Gemba Coach, What is the best lean way to understand VALUE (in terms of what our customers want)Read article
Why isn’t there more emphasis on lean engineering?
Dear Gemba Coach: Why isn’t there more emphasis on lean engineering?Read article
The Insourcing Boom
From industrial monument to memorial and then back again, the improving fortunes of GE’s huge Appliance Park plant illustrate the…Read article
Don’t Call It…Anything
Would lean be easier to teach and learn if it weren't called lean? If in fact it weren't labeled at…Read article
How Can Our Back Office Sustain Lean?
Dear Gemba Coach: The improvement program at the back office of the bank where I am a lean facilitator is…Read article
Visual Management – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Visualization is a good thing. We all know that. And many of us in the Lean Community practice it, to…Read article
Kaizen and Innovation
Dear Gemba Coach: Can kaizen stifle breakthrough innovation?Read article
It seems that lean these days is all about learning and coaching. What about the good ol’-fashioned just-in-time stuff of the earlier days?
Dear Gemba Coach: It seems that lean these days is all about learning and coaching. What about the good ol'-fashioned…Read article
How Do We Sustain A3 Thinking in our Organization?
Dear Gemba Coach: My firm has been investing a lot of time and energy this year in teaching A3 thinking…Read article
Are lean principles universal?
Dear Gemba Coach: Can we really consider Lean principles as Universal? I am currently working on a case study about…Read article
The Lean IT Challenge
View slides from the Lean IT workshop showing the roles IT can play in a successful lean transformation.Read article
Takt Time Thinking for a Low-Volume High-Mix Company
Dear Gemba Coach: Our company produces custom products that cannot be easily forecast in terms of when they will be…Read article
Standards at workstations
Dear Gemba Coach: Our corporate production system asks us to post standard work at workstations, but we feel that the paperwork…Read article
Should I pursue waste elimination or lead-time reduction?
Dear Gemba Coach: We’re having a heated debate in our company over whether to pursue cost reduction through waste elimination by…Read article
The Business Case for Kaizen
Dear Gemba Coach: I can see the benefits kaizen has brought our company, but find it hard to formulate the…Read article
How can firing people be part of developing people?
Dear Gemba Coach: Can you explain how you reconcile the principles of "developing people" and "firing people," especially in light…Read article
How Do We Reduce Costs with Lean?
Dear Gemba Coach: I have been asked to reduce the cost of a product by a significant amount. I believe…Read article
Managing To Learn in Sloan Management Review
John Shook discusses Managing to Learn in two Sloan Management Review articlesRead article
Toyota, Too, Is Looking to Cut Costs
Toyota employees meet in a large "war room" at a plant in Woodstock, Ontario -- called an obeya in Japanese -- to find nearly $100…Read article
Forward to Fundamentals Redux – Kaizen Express
Thanks to those of you who joined last week’s webinar. We had some great questions, only a few of which…Read article
Michikazu Tanaka of Daihatsu on “What I Learned from Taiichi Ohno”
This week (and in some future columns as well, no doubt) I’ll indulge my deep interest in the history of…Read article
Back to Basics at the Lean Transformation Summit
John Shook reflects on the 2009 Lean Transformation SummitRead article
Back to Basics
I often take advantage of relaxing holiday time to go over old things, take care of less pressing matters that…Read article
Jumping to Solutions
We are all guilty of one of the greatest sins with lean – not having the patience to really understand…Read article
It is always refreshing going to the gemba – actually walking a value stream all the way through an organisation.…Read article
Lean Thinking: A Look Back and a Look Forward
The meaning of lean thinking, how lean got its name, and an example of how it improved a grinding process…Read article
What Lean Thinkers Think About The Gold Mine
Questions and comments†from readers to co-author Michael BallÈ about his book The Gold Mine.Read article
Developing Problem Solvers
We traditionally see an organisation as a collection of departments or activities, each managed separately and each separated from the…Read article
Adding Cost or Creating Value?
I was out on tour this past week, listening to companies' stories as they try to achieve a "lean" transformation.…Read article
Overcoming Challenges with Lean Thinking Leads to Record-breaking Performance
Despite obstacles, a new CEO transformed a manufacturing business from plant floor production to design engineering — and created a…Read article