When I founded the Lean Enterprise Institute nine years ago this summer I wanted to make the core lean knowledge available in easy to understand forms. My hope was that everyone could make faster progress toward creating organizations that create more value with less waste.
Looking back, I think we have done pretty well, although we've realized in the spirit of hansei (self-reflection) that nothing is ever good enough. We've produced a highly successful series of workbooks and an equally successful series of workshops on lean methods at the operating level. We've even produced a lean novel and we've run some very successful conferences in which we tried to rally the troops and build a sense of Lean Community. Perhaps most amazing because the technical capability for doing so arrived just as LEI was founded -- we have created a global Lean Community via the web that now has more than 88,000 members from 89 countries.
That's the good news, along with the financial health of LEI that the Lean Community has created through purchase of our products. But after some additional hansei this past year, we concluded that we need to do more. We've therefore decided to take a big leap in both the activities and the objectives of LEI that we are announcing today.
* We will expand our range of publications to include the entire Lean Enterprise -- extending to product development, supplier management, customer touch, policy management, and management of the extended value stream. To do this I've asked
* We will expand our range of teaching to reach from the shop floor to the executive level in a range of companies and industries. To achieve this I've asked
* We will expand our knowledge of what it really takes to create a Lean Enterprise -- from the CEO down -- by launching a series of high-level partnerships with a range of companies. To lead this effort I've asked
You might think of Lean Enterprise Partners as the research arm of LEI in which we try to go beyond the current situation in which there is still only one
* A final element of the new LEI is the appointment of Helen Zak, our Chief Operating Officer, to the additional role of Director of Lean Events. Helen will be organizing a series of conferences, some public and some private, where we will be sharing our mutual experiences about lean leadership and the lean journey as we bring all of the elements of the new LEI together.
I'm truly excited about our new adventure with a larger crew and in a new headquarters in
Chairman and CEO
Lean Enterprise Institute
P.S. Recently we've provided some practical advice on lean leadership in the form of our lean novel, The Gold Mine. On Thursday, May 11, authors Freddy and Michael Ballé and two senior executives with long records of lean leadership will discuss the leadership challenge in our second LEI webinar, "Making Lean Stick: What Do Lean Leaders Do?" This is a free service to members of the Lean Community and I hope you will be able to attend. Please go to www.lean.org for details.
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 hoped would be a founding sponsor. I explained to the senior leadership that a lean enterprise was far more than a brilliant production organization, as had they assumed. It was also a brilliant product development organization including a brilliant production process design team.
The Gift of Yokoten
In this article originally published in Planet Lean, after a visit to Goshen, Indiana, Jim Womack shared thoughts on the gift of lean thinking and the obligation that individuals learning this way of thinking feel about sharing what they've learned with others.
The Escalator of Issues
A daily management system with daily performance metrics gives caregivers the sense that managers are really paying attention, that problems really are being addressed, and that over time this will mean stability and a lower level of stress for all staff, says Jim Womack.
- 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