• Progress is the real source of motivation

    Progress is the real source of motivation

    How can I use the results of my activities to get ahead? Unless we answer this simple question, we’re missing out on the real source of motivation: personal progress. It’s always surprising to realize the depth of our taylorist conditioning […]

     
  • How is lean a strategy?

    How is lean a strategy?

    Eliminating waste is not just about increasing profitability – it’s about releasing capacity to make room for new products, which in turns feeds sustainable profitability. How can lean be considered a full business strategy? Isn’t it it a box of […]

     
  • Jidoka to learn to work better

    Jidoka to learn to work better

    If you want to learn to be better at your job, Jidoka is the right approach: when you have a doubt, stop, call, think and fix. Now. In everything we do, we create some value and generate some waste – […]

     
  • Make better or make money?

    Make better or make money?

    How do you measure your success? How much money you make? Or how much you make the world a better place? Capitalism is a driving force of our societies, and like any force it has a Light and a Dark […]

     
  • Now, change the story of your industry

    Now, change the story of your industry

    The deep purpose of lean thinking is to benefit society by growing sustainable and profitable companies that continuously strive to satisfy their customers more completely. The trick to doing this is to focus every person in the company in figuring […]

     
  • Is your Lean Director the worst enemy of lean thinking?

    Is your Lean Director the worst enemy of lean thinking?

    Sadly, in many (by all means, not all) companies, the Lean Director is the worst enemy of lean – he’s just there to stifle all real kaizen and promote the yes-men who excel at pretend lean. Why is that? True […]

     
  • 80 points + Alpha

    80 points + Alpha

    “A good movie is three good scenes, no bad scenes,” once quipped Howard Hawks. The Corolla’s first Chief Engineer established the doctrine of “80 points + alpha.” The idea is that, in developing a new products there are 80 points […]

     
  • Real competitive edge: say “yes,” be friendly

    Real competitive edge: say “yes,” be friendly

    Let’s face it, Europe’s time has passed and even European outshoots from America to Australia are waning. This is Asia’s century. Dr. Marcus Chao, one of my mentors who coaches me on the vast mystery that is China keeps chiding […]

     
  • Kaizen spirit: the antidote to taylorist bureaucratic thinking

    Kaizen spirit: the antidote to taylorist bureaucratic thinking

    These days, the rage in lean is all about “management system”, “hoshin kanri” or “standard work.” Where is kaizen gone? In the last conference I attended, three people independently quoted Taiichi Ohno reportedly saying “without standards, there can be no […]

     
  • The company is its products

    The company is its products

    Don’t kid yourself, your engineering strategy is your strategy. Engineering has progressively been devolved by professional managers to just another department who’s job is to realize the long list of specifications Marketing has dreamed up – as well as take […]