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 across the world (most recently in India in May) and produced a series of workbooks and workshops that many of you have bought and attended. Let me take this occasion to express our deep gratitude for your continuing support.
LEI was founded with a very simple objective: To write down the "lean knowledge" in workbook form and to teach this knowledge in workshops so you could answer the "what do I do on Monday?" question about improving your business. We also wanted to bring lean thinkers together periodically across the world to raise consciousness, share experiences, and give each other mutual support. We did this initially in North America and more recently in sites ranging from the UK, Germany, and France to Brazil, India, and Turkey.
I can't tell you that the first five years have been easy. I'm told they never are for a start-up organization. But we have survived while continually growing. Indeed, in the fiscal year just ended we managed to break even in the face of a recession with no contributions from the corporate partners who helped us get started. So we feel we're really growing up and we are now thinking hard about our future as a mature organization!
This is where I need your help. We have just posted a questionnaire on the LEI website [Editor's Note: The questionnaire is no longer available.] that contains a short list of questions on what you think of LEI's efforts to date and what you think LEI should do in the future. We are hoping to get your responses as soon as possible to incorporate in our plan for the years ahead. The plan will be presented to LEI Board of Directors for approval in September.
I hope you will go to the web right now and respond to the questionnaire. It has been designed with lean thinking in mind and will take only a few clicks and a few minutes to complete. If you are not currently logged in to the web site, you'll be asked to log in, then taken right to the survey. The first thing you will see is the profile information we have from you. Please take a moment to update it, especially your industry category. We've added more categories to give us a better picture of our customers.
And as you think through the questionnaire, I hope you will remember how important your support has been in the past and how helpful your frank evaluation and comments will be for the future of the lean community.
The Power of Personal Yokoten
Personal yokoten to teach new mindsets and attitudes is an activity all of us can perform out in the world every day with every manager, team leader, and team we touch, says Jim Womack. He believes we can transfer new, lean ideas about management and leadership in our civic roles and even in our families as we think through tough issues.
The Power of Yokoten
I’ve written a lot about yokoten in recent years – the practice of spreading good (lean) ideas horizontally between and across organizations from their point of initial success (“Yoko” means in Japanese horizontal.) It turns out that this is hard, even for the methods and tools needed to create lean value streams. Lean requires practice, even when the theory is clear and simple, and it’s hard to find enough teachers with enough experience and time to lead the cycles of practice needed for sustainable yokoten.
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 Womack correctly forecast Toyota's rise, and identifes the key elements of a dynamic lean production system.
- Learing to See the Whole Value Stream: The Power of Value-Stream Mapping
- Sustaining Lean Goals by Taking a (Gemba) Walk
- Forward to Fundamentals
- Managing to Learn: Part 1 - How Lean Leaders Create Productive Problem-Solvers
- The Power of Purpose, Process, and People
- Lean Management & the Role of Lean Leadership
- Lean Solutions