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 wanting to hire a sensei. And I get other calls and emails asking if we have a certification program for lean practitioners. (Lean Belts?) And I get still more calls and emails from Lean Thinkers searching for jobs and from firms seeking to employ lean experts, with both thinking we are some sort of executive search firm.
These are all fine tasks for other organizations, most of them operating for profit, but it's not who we are. So I thought I should clarify our purpose: We're a nonprofit research and education organization. We search for lean knowledge. We write the knowledge down in our workbooks. We teach the knowledge in our workshops and at conferences. And, most important, we network, network, network to raise consciousness and share the knowledge across the world.
The prime mechanism for knowledge sharing is our website at www.lean.org. Recent inquiries make me wonder if most Lean Thinkers have ever explored this free material. So I thought I should describe its seven sections:
Case Studies, written by Chet, describe in detail the methods recently used by Lean Thinkers to achieve breakthrough successes.
Jim Womack's Letters provides all of my monthly emails over the past years. (Just in case you misplaced one!)
Knowledge Center includes:
- Articles and Columns
- Our value-stream mapping icons.
- Videos and Webinars
- Forms & Templates
- and much more!
The site includes an impressive body of information and it is all free. However the amount of material we can add in the future depends on you as well as LEI: We can't answer questions you don't take the time to ask and we can't widely share information that members of the Lean Community fail to share with us.
So let me conclude by expressing my high hopes for open sharing of all lean knowledge across our community. That's what a nonprofit is supposed to facilitate and that's how you can benefit. It's also how you need to help.
President and Founder
Lean Enterprise Institute
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