Five Lean Lessons to Live By

Lead Change Blog

Lean reflects the natural evolution of business and knowledge-based work: data-driven, yet practicing mindfulness in everyday production. At the team level, Lean prioritizes helping members pinpoint inefficiencies and work together to optimize results for the customer. Lean has long held a spot of great intrigue for us, so in 2016 we developed our first Lean Business Report based on survey responses from a number of Lean-practicing organizations across the globe.

Can Lean Manufacturing Put an End to Sweatshops?

Harvard Business

Producers in less-developed countries compete by keeping costs low. It involves replacing traditional mass manufacturing with “lean manufacturing” principles. Over the last thirty years, the lean approach — developed by Japanese automakers — has permeated the manufacturing sector in developed countries, but is much less commonly used in the developing world.

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Innovating the Toyota, and YouTube, Way

Harvard Business Review

By sheer happenstance, I had just gotten a copy of Gemba Walks , a collection of essays by James Womack , a co-author of the automotive classic The Machine That Changed The World and a pioneering importer of Toyota-inspired lean production insights and methodologies to America. The more deeply Jim's essays discussed the nature of supplier relationships, work-flow and value creation in lean enterprise, the keener the connection with YouTube's Space.

Stop Trying to Predict Which New Products Will Succeed

Harvard Business Review

When is it possible to predict a product’s success? How you answer this question may be the most important factor in how you design your product development process — and, ultimately, in whether your business succeeds or fails. Is market performance predictable for a specific product or class of products? Outcomes will usually be much worse than predicted, and we will waste design, production, and distribution resources. Product development

A Brief History of the Ways Companies Compete

Harvard Business Review

This was the original purpose of forming corporations — to facilitate the production of products and services with the least amount of wasted time, materials, and labor. Many companies still compete this way and there continue to be successors to Taylorism, including business process reengineering and lean production. Many attributed Japan’s economic ascension after WWII to dramatically increasing the quality of its products.

B-Schools Aren’t Bothering to Produce HR Experts

Harvard Business Review

In the 1980s, our organizations learned a great deal about how to improve productivity, quality, and costs from Japanese practices. Lean production , which includes a vastly expanded role for front-line workers in addressing problems, was brought to the United States by Toyota in its auto plants but has now spread to health care, professional services, and virtually every other industry. A few decades ago, U.S.

India’s Secret to Low-Cost Health Care

Harvard Business Review

costs by using practices commonly associated with mass production and lean production. It also creates specialists at the hubs who, while performing high volumes of focused procedures, develop the skills that will improve quality. hospitals have been developing similar structures, but there are still too many hubs and not enough spokes. They have also developed local devices such as stents or intraocular lenses that cost one-tenth the price of imported devices.

Does Your Leadership Flunk the Testing Test?

Harvard Business Review

Just as the "quality" and "lean production" movements of the 80s and 90s required quality to be designed — rather than inspected — in, innovators have got to demonstrate greater ingenuity and integrity around how they integrate real-world testing into their projects and processes. Just as with quality and lean, this turns out to be a cultural, organizational and technical challenge.

Why American Management Rules the World

Harvard Business Review

We have developed a tool to measure management practices across operational management, monitoring, targets, and people management. In contrast, developing countries like Brazil, China, and India lag at the bottom of the management charts. Southern European countries like Portugal and Greece appear to have management practices barely better than those of most developing countries.

The Coherent Conglomerate

Harvard Business Review

A conglomerate, by definition, is a large corporation with diversified product lines , owned and run by the same management. Danaher, a smaller but very profitable conglomerate with a diverse range of manufacturing businesses, has a very different set of strengths; it applies its distinctive lean production system to a variety of product sectors, often through companies that it acquires and then transforms.

Welch 15

Britain’s Patient-Safety Crisis Holds Lessons for All

Harvard Business Review

They created and maintained a close connection to frontline staff — what Jim Womack , the expert in lean production and thinking, calls “going to gemba ” — Japanese for “the actual place.”. This innovation developed because the frontline staff had strong, trusting, and supportive relationships with the patients they cared for and had strong improvement skills. In August, Dr. Donald M.

Breaking the Death Grip of Legacy Technologies

Harvard Business Review

Technologies like 3-D printing, robotics, advanced motion controls, and new methods for continuous manufacturing hold great potential for improving how companies design and build products to better serve customers. Robotics is a good example: It’s obvious that it can increase productivity, but it takes some know-how to put robots to work. Organizations develop processes through repeated problem solving. Managers also need to think differently about production systems.

Project Manage Your Life

Harvard Business Review

More and more companies are adopting software and product development frameworks like Agile , Scrum , and Kanban — which promote quick, iterative, lean production — to deliver higher quality products, faster. If these methods can help teams get on the same page, streamline tasks, and reach collective goals more quickly, can they also help people be more productive in their personal lives? Collaboration Leading teams Productivity

What You Won’t Hear About Trade and Manufacturing on the Campaign Trail

Harvard Business

They ignore the realities of how global manufacturing now works — how it has evolved into a complex network of interlinked factories that together build many of the products sold today. That is true at a high level — Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (and subsequent amendments) required every imported product to be “conspicuously and indelibly marked in English to indicate to the ultimate purchaser its country of origin, so we can see this plainly on store shelves.