The Author: Michael Ballé
Leading author, speaker and researcher, I work on both the "hard" (improve quality, reduce lead-time, eliminate waste) and "soft" (engage people in problem-solving and improvement to develop them to the fullest of their abilities) dimensions of Lean transformation.
I started studying improvement initiatives twenty years ago as part of my PhD. research on Mental Models. I was persuaded by Toyota engineers that to understand lean you had to practice it firsthand and I have been working with supervisors, site managers and now CEOs to leverage their lean efforts into market share, people engagement and bottom line results. You don't know what you don't know and the most surprising thing I've learned as a cognitive sociologist is the value of: see with your feet and think with your hands!
I co-founded the Projet Lean Entreprise and the Institut Lean France. I have written several books and articles about the links between knowledge and management (Managing With Systems Thinking, The Effective Organization, Les Modèles Mentaux), and more recently, co-authored three business novels published by the Lean Enterprise Institute, one about lean turnaround, The Gold Mine, one about lean transformation, The Lean Manager, and a novel about Lean practice, Lead with Respect as well as a Lean manual in French, Le Management Lean.