Tag Archives: Lean

Here’s a great mantra courtesy of Paul Akers at Fastcap LLC for a culture dedicated to continuous improvement:

“Leave everything better than you find it”

More of Paul in lean loo action below and on his website :

Culture tools vs culture mindset via Jonny Wilkinson

On the Lean Thinker blog I came across this thought provoking lean culture deck by Mike Rother, author of (Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results) on a proposed definition of Lean:

“The permanent struggle to flow value to one customer”

Mike’s definition hinges around a key concept in great culture, that of mindset. Mindset enables people to apply a consistent cultural standard whatever the situation. Mindset becomes their foundation and starting point rather than which tool to apply.

Mike makes the case that many definitions of Lean treat it as a discrete toolset, something that Company B can pick up and apply in the same way as Company A to get the same results. For example, if Company A uses pink index cards and coloured markers to map their work out and achieved 45% reduction in overheads, Company B thinks all we have to do is get ourselves down to Staples, stock up on index cards and markers and we’ll magically achieve the same performance. Continue reading →

The Machine that Changed the World

If you’re going to read only one book about the Toyota Production System, this classic has to be on the shortlist. The Machine that Changed the World is a deep, fascinating history and analysis of the impact of implementing Lean thinking on an enterprise, focused on the cultural manufacturing practices and philosophy embedded in Toyota. The contrasts against other car manufacturers are illuminating and occasionally brutal illustration of how not to operate.

Lean thinking is commonly associated with a focus on eliminating waste and building maximum efficienices into supply chains and production lines. The element not so commonly referred to (but just as vital and given equal prominence/priority by Toyota) is respect for people – the idea that your people are an enormous asset and should be given the space to use their brains and tools to act on the systems they work in to make things better.