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.

The Toyota Way: A book review by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

The Toyota Way Jeffrey Liker McGraw-Hill (2003) To understand Toyota’s success, first understand its DNA I read this book when it was first published in 2004 and recently re-read it, curious to know how well Jeffrey Liker’s explanation of Toyota’s management principles and lean production values have held up.


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Toyota Under Fire

CEO Blog

Liker, author of esteemed lean production manual The Toyota Way decided he should again focus on Toyota’s cultural efforts, but this time with a bit of a twist. Instead of firing employees like many other large firms were doing at the time, Toyota embraced its mantra of kaizen (Toyota’s firm philosophy of change/improvement for the better) and held company-wide training seminars (most impressively in factories it had stopped production in).

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Benefits And Challenges Of Lean Manufacturing

Strategy Driven

Lean thinking is all about doing more with less. Therefore, lean manufacturing is about reducing or eliminating waste across the board, from customer service and design to distribution and manufacturing. It is also commonly referred to as lean production. There are many benefits associated with lean manufacturing, as well as numerous challenges. The short-term and long-term benefits of lean manufacturing.

Can Lean Manufacturing Put an End to Sweatshops?

Harvard Business

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. In addition to improved product quality and delivery times, the lean approach has been linked to improved terms of employment.

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.

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.

Why Can’t U.S. Health Care Costs Be Cut in Half?

Harvard Business Review

He didn’t do it by making cars shoddier or offshoring production to low-wage countries. His secret was mass production in a “focused factory,” using interchangeable parts, specialization, and the assembly line. Ford shifted the auto industry from craft to mass production, and the Japanese later took it a step further to lean production. The same can be said of other procedures that might lend themselves to mass or lean production.

Strategy’s No Good Unless You End Up Somewhere New

Harvard Business Review

Moreover, this isn’t always about coming up with new products and services. We tend to think of a shiny new product offering when we picture “strategic innovation,” but that’s too limited. And Toyota changed the auto industry forever with a systemic process innovation (the lean production system). How GE Applies Lean Startup Practices. Innovation isn’t always strategic, but strategy making sure as heck better be innovative.

India’s Secret to Low-Cost Health Care

Harvard Business Review

costs by using practices commonly associated with mass production and lean production. By focusing only on the most technical part of an operation, doctors at these hospitals have become incredibly productive — for example, performing up to five or six surgeries per hour instead of the one to two surgeries common in the U.S.

Please, Can We All Just Stop "Innovating"?

Harvard Business Review

The dynamic is always the same, whether the idea in question is reengineering, six-sigma quality, or lean production systems: A genuinely original strategy is born in one company or industry, consultants discover the practice and turn it into a marketable commodity, executives in all sorts of other companies race to "buy" the product — and then they wonder why the technique didn't work nearly as well in their organization as it did in the place that created it in the first place.

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

Many developing-country firms, even while trying to implement new techniques like Lean Management, ignore the fact that labor is different from other "inputs." in some of the other areas of management we examined, such as careful monitoring, lean production, and sensible targets. After a decade of painstaking research, we have concluded that American firms are on average the best managed in the world.

Founding a Company Doesn’t Have to be a Big Career Risk

Harvard Business Review

The most important way to mitigate risk is to become excellent at either engineering, product, selling, or operations and management. One option is to build expertise before founding a company: ask VCs and others in the startup community to recommend the most competent people they know — heads of engineering, sales, product, and operations — and look for a job working directly under them. “I’m so glad we read that case — I’m NEVER going to start a company.”.


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

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

Cracking Hierarchies In Japan After the Tohoku Earthquake

Harvard Business Review

Japan is famous for its lean production systems and efficient supply chains. Large companies such as Toyota and Sony were forced to halt production not because of damage to their own factories, which were quickly checked and ready to go back online, but because they were dependent on a small number of parts from suppliers in Tohoku. I returned to Tokyo from Kansai late last week, burdened with about 20 liters of water.

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.

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How Economists Got Income Inequality Wrong

Harvard Business Review

The market rewards each of us according to our actual productive value, he insisted : "To each agent a distinguishable share in production, and to each a corresponding reward &38212; such is the natural law of distribution." If firms can, indeed, make such substitutions and thus shop for factors of production as if they were consumer products, then markets do determine the value of each worker and each piece of capital. Does production really work this way?

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.”. In August, Dr. Donald M. Berwick presented the report from the independent National Advisory Group on the Safety of Patients in England ( A Promise to Learn — A Commitment to Act: Improving the Safety of Patients in England ) to Prime Minister David Cameron in London.

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. NUMMI) in California, did not deploy lean manufacturing across the company for decades despite the clear advantages.

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.

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