• Curiosity is the secret sauce to lean

    Curiosity is the secret sauce to lean

    Okay… it’s taken me something like 20 years but I’ve finally connected some dots. Lean thinking works, lean thinking is hard. Here’s why. One of the main themes of my doctoral research, in the previous century, was the “law of […]

     
  • The Crucial Battle

    The Crucial Battle

    Toyota is showing record results again in the car industry both in terms of sales and operational profitability. Yet, Akio Toyoda, it’s President is quoted in several outlets saying: “Over the next 100 years, there is no guarantee that automobile […]

     
  • How is lean a strategy?

    How is lean a strategy?

    Lean is a full business strategy. But first, a disclaimer: to explain how lean is a specific business strategy, I need to get into a debate about strategy and I want to make perfectly clear I don’t believe military thinking […]

     
  • Yamazumi! Yes, yamazumi…

    Yamazumi! Yes, yamazumi…

    I remember one of my senseis asking me one day: can you do one hour of 100% value-added every day? As I write this, I think: “what is going to make this piece interesting?” (that’s a hit and miss) I […]

     
  • Doesn’t lean ever get tedious? Does it ever change?

    Doesn’t lean ever get tedious? Does it ever change?

    Lean was born of the discovery in the late 1980s that Toyota outperformed all its competitors in all dimensions – not just one, but all. Thirty years later (30!) Toyota is still outperforming its competition whilst having produced the single […]

     
  • VA/VE is the strategy!

    VA/VE is the strategy!

    Why do entrepreneurs succeed, and then their companies fail? Or conversely, why do so many dominant companies keep succeeding although their customers hate them while new competitors never take off? There is an inherent contradiction is any human organization since – well, […]

     
  • How can I practice my team leadership skills?

    How can I practice my team leadership skills?

    If teams and team leaders are the basic building blocs of lean, the atoms, how can I become better at leading teams? This is a question I get often, and as a leader of informal teams in the lean movement, […]

     
  • What is “lean”? Again…

    What is “lean”? Again…

    Another day, another conference, and again the same debate… what is lean? We are collectively so deeply conditioned by taylorism/fayolism that people present without a second thought “lean manufacturing?” “lean development,” “lean IT”, lean this and that. They are showing […]

     
  • What do you REALLY want? Take a breath.

    What do you REALLY want? Take a breath.

     

     
  • Think of a standard as a kata, not a rule

    Think of a standard as a kata, not a rule

    Kata is a Japanese word for a detailed set of choreographed movements: it’s the way we do things. It’s not a rule. It’s not a program. It’s the best of of our knowledge at a given time. Sure, a kata is […]