• Which side are you on?

    Corporate functions were invented on the Taylorist notion that engineers devise the best system which is then taught to assembly line workers. As far as it goes, it makes sense, but what applied to immigrant manual labor in the late […]

  • From fast thinking to deep thinking

    A true lean transformation relies on the engagement of all people all the time or, as the lean masters taught us, on “developing the kaizen mind in every employee rather than applying improvement tools to every process.” Kaizen is the […]

  • What is “true cost”?

    Lean can certainly help in getting commitment on specific financial targets and seeing that these targets are met on schedule, but not in the way one thinks, which is again one of the interesting paradoxes of this new way of […]

  • The enterprise as a flow of ideas

    For better or for worse, our thinking is, to a large extent, the result of our conditioning, a reaction of our memory. For centuries, leaders ordered, others obeyed. Then, with the advent of corporations, experts thought, others executed. These modes […]

  • Are you ready for lean?

    So many express their commitment to lean, yet so few carry it out? Why? Lean is not for everybody. Lean initiative after lean initiative we find that some prerequisites can’t be worked around: Are you serious about becoming better? Or […]

  • 5 biggest mistakes to hinder a lean startup

    Lean is not that hard, to be honest—you just need to get a few things right. First, every customer matters, and quality is about delivering to customer preferences as opposed to fitting the customer in your processes. Second, if you […]

  • True lean leadership at all levels by Michael Ballé, Daniel Jones and Mike Orzen

    Our world has become fluid: everything changes all the time at the pace of a Twitter feed. Being the gray-suited company representative of a well thought of institution simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Success now hinges on personal leadership: persuading […]

  • Face your problems, then learn to solve them

    Lean management is teaching the right people to solve the right problems the right way. None of this is easy. Senior management must agree to teach, not tell; middle managers must agree to learn. This is not easy and win/win […]

  • How do we help our plant managers want to do Lean?

    How do we help our plant managers want to do Lean?

    We’ve just changed our divisional general manager and the new boss wants our lean approach to be less directive and more participative. That is to say, our plant managers should want to do lean instead of feeling that they are […]

  • 10 tips for Lean leaders by John Shook, Jeff Liker and Michael Ballé