• It all starts with Takt Time

    As time goes by fact becomes legend and legend becomes myth. Takt time is one of the core concepts of lean, which origins are now misted in myth – uncertain and unknowable, but thought-provoking anyhow. Legend has it that Ohno […]

  • Creating a kinder, wiser work environment

    Lean is a heartfelt commitment to completely eliminate waste from work. The biggest waste being failed relationships and dumb decisions, lean isn’t about slash and burn cost reduction, it’s about creating a kinder, wiser work environment where every person has […]

  • Lean is a CEO practice

    The first thing his sensei told my father when they started working together was that the great weakness of TPS was that it rested entirely on the plant managers. Years later, this statement turns out to be confirmed, time and […]

  • The fight for the meaning of “lean”

    A few lean ideas have indeed spread well beyond the lean movement. “Batch is bad and flow is good” is still hard to do in practice, but is no longer disputed. Improvement (whatever that means!) is a key part of […]

  • Problems First!

    The first key to lean is leadership, the second leadership and the third… leadership. But a very special and specific kind of leadership. Of all the quirks of the lean thinking the one that has always fascinated me is “problems […]

  • 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 […]