The Lean Manager: A Novel of Lean Transformation reveals how individuals can go beyond the short-term gains from tools, and realize a deeper, sustainable path of improvement. Full of human moments that capture the excitement and drama of lean implementation, as well as clear explanations of how tools and systems go hand-in-hand, this book will teach and inspire every person working to make lean a reality in their organization today.
This book will help you learn both the how of doing lean, as well as the why behind the tools, enabling you to become lean.
Lean is the most important business model for competitive success today. Yet companies still struggle to sustain enduring and deep-rooted business success from their lean implementation efforts.
The most important problem for these companies is becoming lean: how can they advance beyond realizing isolated gains from deploying lean tools, to fundamentally changing how they operate, think, and learn? In other words, how can companies learn to go beyond lean turnaround to achieve lean transformation?
The Lean Manager: A Novel of Lean Transformation, by lean experts Michael and Freddy Ballé, addresses this critical problem. As we move from what Jim Womack, author, lean management authority, and LEI founder, calls “the era of lean tools to the era of lean management,” The Lean Manager gives companies a definitive guide for sustaining their ability to learn and improve operations and financial performance, while continually developing people.
“The only way to become and stay lean is to produce lean managers,” says Womack. “Every isolated effort will recede—or fail—unless companies learn to use the lean process as a way of developing individual problem-solvers with the ownership, initiative, and know-how to solve problems, learn, and ultimately coach new individuals in this discipline. That’s why this book matters so much.”
The Lean Manager, the sequel to the Ballé’s international bestselling business novel The Gold Mine, tells the compelling story of plant manager Andrew Ward as he goes through the challenging but rewarding journey to becoming a lean manager. Under the guidance of Phil Jenkinson (whose own lean journey was at the core of The Gold Mine), Ward learns to use a deep understanding of lean tools, as well as a technical know-how of his plant’s operations, to foster a lean attitude that sustains continuous improvement.
Where The Gold Mine shows you how to introduce a complete lean system, The Lean Manager demonstrates how to sustain it. Ward moves beyond fluency with tools to changing his behavior as a manager and leader. He shifts from giving orders and answers to asking the right questions so people identify and address problems. He learns how to use tools to unleash the creativity and motivation of people, so they learn how to solve problems as well as coach and teach others to solve problems. Ward learns how to create lean managers.
“I am excited and have hopes that this book will enlighten readers about what it really means to live a business transformation that puts customers first and does this through developing people,” said Jeffrey Liker, author of The Toyota Way and professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. “People who do the work have to improve the work. There are tools, but they are not tools for ‘improving the process.’ They are tools for making problems visible and for helping people think about how to solve those problems.”
Michael Ballé, Ph.D., is a business writer and executive coach and has studied lean transformations for the past twenty years. He is Associate Researcher at Télécom ParisTech's Projet Lean Enterprise (www.lean.enst.fr) and the co-founder of the French Lean Institute (www.institut-lean-france.fr). With his father Freddy, he coaches CEOs and senior executives in using lean to radically improve their businesses' performance and establish lean culture. Together, they're the authors of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager. Michael writes the Gemba Coach column on lean.org/balle
Freddy Ballé started visiting Toyota plants in Japan in the mid-1970s while head of product planning and later manufacturing engineering at Renault, where he worked for 30 years. Upon leaving Renault, he pioneered the full lean system implementation at Valeo as Technical Vice President, then at Sommer-Allibert as CEO, and later at Faurecia as Technical Vice President. With his son Michael, he has founded ESG Consultants (www.esgconsultants.com) to advise CEOs and senior executives on making lean transformation as described in Lead With Respect. Together, they're the authors of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager.
Step inside any organization, even a very successful one, and you’ll probably find a lot of waste if you know where to look. From providing a feature that consumers don’t care about to exhausting efforts on tasks that only require adequate attention, there are countless areas where resources go down the drain. In Low-Hanging Fruit, Jeremy Eden and Terri Long provide seventy-seven of their most effective techniques for improvement, each drawn from their success working with major companies.
For more than twenty years, Jeremy Eden and Terri Long have helped companies of all sizes make millions by harvesting their low-hanging fruit. In this practical guide, Eden and Long share valuable, refreshing insights in entertaining chapters that get straight to the point. This book shows you how to smoothly shift your approach, your priorities, and your mindset to reveal the hidden potential in your organization. Whether you are a member of a small team or a global executive, you will learn how to identify and solve hidden problems, improve productivity, and increase profits.
Many people don’t realize that there are dozens of quick, easy, and affordable ways to make things better. Don’t buy into the myth that only some people have creative ideas. Typically, the people closest to the work (from the factory floor to the C-Suite) and the people closest to the customer know the best ways to improve business. We can pluck this “low-hanging fruit” every day to save time and money right away.
Need to grow your company’s earnings but don’t know where to find the low-hanging fruit? The answer is right in front of you, but harvesting it takes skill. Eden and Long show you seventy-seven clever ways to discover possibilities and make meaningful changes. Low-Hanging Fruit shows you how to easily improve your job satisfaction, your team’s performance, and your company’s earnings.
This practical guide from an experienced leader in business and operations management will change how you think, how you lead, and how your whole company operates. Addressing everything from strategy to innovation to leadership, it fuses traditional operational tactics such as efficiencies and supply chain management with customer, supplier and employee empowerment. This unique, integrated approach has proven to be the best approach to surviving in today’s tough market—and beating the competition at their own game.
Instead of looking for inspiration in other businesses’ best practices, Shawn Casemore urges you to seek ideas and solutions internally—by engaging sources internally and externally to your company in an effort to create a sustained vortex of business improvement. You’ll learn how to implement a structured approach to performance and productivity that disrupts the silo mentality, drives innovation, encourages collaboration all while empowering your employees—to reach even higher levels of operational performance.
Shawn Casemore (Owen Sound, Ontario) spent over seventeen years in leadership roles in Operations, Business Improvement and Supply Chain Management with Magna International, Arvin Meritor, Bellwyck Packaging, N.C.R. and Bruce Power. He currently is the Founder and President of Casemore and Co Incorporated.
—Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive
"The Ballé books are a great way to get started or to speed up your pace of transformation, personal and organizational."
—Jim Womack, Founder of Lean Enterprise Institute
In their new business novel Lead With Respect, authors Michael and Freddy Ballé reveal the true power of lean: developing people through a rigorous application of proven tools and methods. And, in the process, creating the only sustainable source of competitive advantage—a culture of continuous improvement.
In this engaging and insightful story, CEO Jane Delaney of Southcape Software discovers from her sensei Andy Ward that learning to lead with respect enables her to help people improve every day. “For us, lean is all about challenging yourself and each other to find the right problems, and working hard every day to engage people in solving them,” he says.
Lead With Respect’s timely message brings a new understanding of lean. While lean has become essential for companies to compete in today’s global economy, most practitioners see it as a rigorous focus on process to produce higher quality goods and services—a limited understanding that fails to realize the true power of this approach. This new novel by the Ballés, the third in a series that includes Shingo Research Award-winners The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager, breaks new ground by sharing huge amounts of practical information on the most important yet least understood aspect of lean management: how to develop people through a rigorous application of lean tools. You’ll learn:How to apply Lead With Respect attitudes to the lean tools you are using now so that you develop a truly sustainable lean culture.What specific steps to follow to make lean leadership behaviors daily habits.How to manage with respect through the emotion, conflict, tension, and self-doubt that you’ll face during a lean transformation.
"[Toyota Kata is] one of the stepping stones that will usher in a new era of management thinking."
—The Systems Thinker
"How any organization in any industry can progress from old-fashioned management by results to a strikingly different and better way."
—James P. Womack, Chairman and Founder, Lean Enterprise Institute
"Practicing the improvement kata is perhaps the best way we've found so far for actualizing PDCA in an organization."
—John Shook, Chairman and CEO, Lean Enterprise Institute
This game-changing book puts you behind the curtain at Toyota, providing new insight into the legendary automaker's management practices and offering practical guidance for leading and developing people in a way that makes the best use of their brainpower.
Drawing on six years of research into Toyota's employee-management routines, Toyota Kata examines and elucidates, for the first time, the company's organizational routines--called kata--that power its success with continuous improvement and adaptation. The book also reaches beyond Toyota to explain issues of human behavior in organizations and provide specific answers to questions such as:How can we make improvement and adaptation part of everyday work throughout the organization? How can we develop and utilize the capability of everyone in the organization to repeatedly work toward and achieve new levels of performance? How can we give an organization the power to handle dynamic, unpredictable situations and keep satisfying customers?
Mike Rother explains how to improve our prevailing management approach through the use of two kata: Improvement Kata--a repeating routine of establishing challenging target conditions, working step-by-step through obstacles, and always learning from the problems we encounter; and Coaching Kata: a pattern of teaching the improvement kata to employees at every level to ensure it motivates their ways of thinking and acting.
With clear detail, an abundance of practical examples, and a cohesive explanation from start to finish, Toyota Kata gives executives and managers at any level actionable routines of thought and behavior that produce superior results and sustained competitive advantage.
Winner of the 2012 Shingo Research and Professional Publications Award
“This great book reveals the secret ingredient to lean success: lean leadership. Not only is it a pleasure to read, but it is also deep and enlightening. This book is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in lean: it’s both an eye opener and a game changer.”
—Michael Ballé, Ph.D., coauthor of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager
“This will immediately be recognized as the most important book ever published to understand and guide ‘True North Lean’ and the goal of perpetual business excellence.”
—Ross E. Robson, President and CEO, DnR Lean, LLC, and the original Director of The Shingo Prize
“An excellent book that will shape leadership development for decades to come.”
—Karen Martin, Principal, Karen Martin & Associates, and author of The Kaizen Event Planner
About the Book:
TOYOTA. The name signifies greatness— world-class cars and game-changing business thinking. One key to the Toyota Motor Company’s unprecedented success is its famous production system and its lesser-known product development program. These strategies consider the end user at every turn and have become the model for the global lean business movement.
All too often, organizations adopting lean miss the most critical ingredient—lean leadership. Toyota makes enormous investments in carefully selecting and intensively developing leaders who fit its unique philosophy and culture. Thanks to the company’s lean leadership approach, explains Toyota Way author Jeffrey Liker and former Toyota executive Gary Convis, the celebrated carmaker has set into motion a drive for continuous improvement at all levels of its business. This has allowed for:Constant growth: Toyota increased profitability for 58 consecutive years—slowing down only in the face of 2008’s worldwide financial difficulties, the recall crisis, and the worst Japanese earthquake of the century. Unstoppable inventiveness: Toyota’s approach to innovative thinking and problem solving has resulted in top industry ratings and incredible customer satisfaction, while allowing the company to weather these three crises in rapid succession and to come out stronger. Strong branding and respect: Toyota’s reputation was instrumental in the company’s ability to withstand the recalls-driven media storm of 2010.
But what looked to some to be a sinking ship is once again running under a full head of steam. Perhaps the Toyota culture had weakened, but lean leadership was the beacon that showed the way back.
In fact, writes Liker, the company is “as good and perhaps a better model for lean leadership than it ever has been.” of innovation and growth. Yet, Industry Week reports that just 2 percent of companies using lean processes can likewise claim to have had long-term success. What the other 98 percent lack is unified leadership with a common method and philosophy.
If you want to get lean, you have to take it to the leadership level. The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership shows you how.
The Gold Mine deftly weaves together the technical and human pieces of implementing lean manufacturing in an engaging story that readers will find both compelling and instructive. Authors Freddy and Michael Ballé have produced the first integrated and systematic approach to a set of ideas that have maximized value and minimized waste throughout the world.
At the heart of The Gold Mine is Bob Woods, a curmudgeonly sensei coaxed out of retirement by his son Mike to help boyhood friend Phil Jenkinson save his struggling company. Despite terrific products and a backlog of orders, Phil's company cannot generate enough cash from its operations to pay its bills. And so Mike enlists Bob to help his pal fix this crisis.
“You're trying to deal with your mess as if it was a technical problem,” Bob tells Phil. “Move this machine here, change this design there, which it is to some extent, but … it's all about people. You have a leadership problem not just a production or business problem.” As Phil begins to tackle the key challenges necessary to improve his company's operations, he comes to understand the deeper points of lean. Readers will also draw powerful insights from his journey.
The Gold Mine presents all the key lean principles, ranging from well-known ideas such as pull and flow, to lesser-known yet equally important principles such as jidoka and heijunka. The book also reveals lean as a system—using a realistic story to show how the principles are interrelated and how they lead to useful tools such as kanban or 5S. Freddy Ballé draws from his authority of one of Europe's preeminent lean veterans, bringing his knowledge to life in the context of a dramatic human story of managers and employees struggling to apply these tools and ideas in a successful turnaround.
“Mastery of the technical details of lean thinking is never enough. A transformation will fail without the most important element: the engagement of the people doing the work,” says publisher James Womack. “The Gold Mine is the first book to comprehensively introduce all the lean tools by means of a vivid personal story showing how hearts and minds are won over. It will spark ah-ha's from everyone who has been there and provide profound insight for those who are just getting started. I can't recommend it highly enough as a way to teach your people the key lean tools that always lead to success while also teaching, in the words of Bob Woods, that 'it's all about people.”
“Reading The Gold Mine is like eavesdropping on a sensei dispensing gems to a client,” says co-publisher Daniel Jones. “The Ballés draw from a remarkable perspective of wisdom and experience. Readers, especially those individuals working on the shop floor, will gain revelation and inspiration by living through the experiences of the hero. This is an experiential novel that will resonate deeply with people who relate it to their own lives. Managers and executives just beginning a lean transformation will learn valuable insights about how to sidestep the technical and people problems that lay ahead. And experienced lean thinkers will discover fresh insights about overcoming resistance to change.”
While The Gold Mine represents LEI's first book of fiction, Womack envisions it as a natural complement to the workbooks that have established themselves as the leading guides for learning lean. “The Gold Mine was created on the premise that people have different learning styles, and that a set of ideas based on the shop floor—where the action takes place—can be grasped intuitively by illustrating how one particular company responds,” he says. “It complements our established products by presenting a different but equally vital method of sharing knowledge.”