The Lean Coach (Now available on Amazon)
Most organizations today are adopting lean culture or lean leadership. Many are struggling because of their inability to instill a sustainable change in the habits of continuous improvement and problem-solving. The cost of external coaching is too great and most companies do not have sufficient internal staff coaches. The only solution is for every manager to develop coaching skills and provide that coaching to other managers and teams. This is the Lean Coach. This book and companion online course are intended to provide the needed coaching process and skills.
There are two bodies of knowledge upon which the methods in this book are based. The first is Lean or Toyota Production System. The second is behavior analysis or behavioral psychology which focuses on observable behavior, not personality or attitudes. It can be summarized by the phrase “It is easier to act your way into a new way of feeling, than feel your way into a new way of acting.”
The culture of organizations and society is embedded in the behavior of both groups and individuals. To change the culture of an organization you cannot simply focus on individual leaders or employees. You must address the norms of behavior, the habits of group decision-making and problem-solving at all levels of the organization. High performing natural work teams and management teams are the key to high performing organizations. Building these teams is the purpose of Team Kata. The purpose of Team Kata is to develop the patterns of continuous improvement, high performance, and high satisfaction within every team and every employee. These are the skills of team leadership.This book represents the combination of two sets of learning: first, the experience of lean management; and second, many years of experience training and coaching high performing management and natural work teams. Many efforts to implement lean management have been disappointing. By far the most common cause is a failure to create a culture of teamwork and continuous improvement. This book presents the basic skills and habits that are essential to creating that change in culture. It should be read by every team leader, team member and team coach.
Getting to Lean is a guide to transformational change. It is about creating the future. It provides a process for significant and large scale change in culture and capabilities to build a sustainable lean enterprise. Getting to Lean presents whole-system architecture which engages stakeholders in aligning the systems and structures of the organization toward a common purpose.
Many change efforts separate lean management into its component parts, and like organs removed from the body, they are not sustainable. Systems that are whole and aligned are sustainable. This book is a guide to creating sustainable change.
Getting to Lean presents the practical lessons the author has learned from more than one hundred whole-system change efforts. It addresses the technical system (work process), the social system, and the economic system which must all be aligned to principles and to the strategy of the enterprise. It is not just about problem solving, it is a systematic plan for creating the architecture of the lean organization.
“In the early 1980′s I was most fortunate to publish the books of Taiichi Ohno and Dr. Shigeo Shingo that gave us the Toyota Production System (Lean). At around the same time I had the privilege to know and work with Dr. Lou Davis who taught and consulted on Socio-Technical Systems. I thought that if American industry was only smart enough to realize how to put together Lean and Socio-Tech we could really rule the world and be the most competitive. Larry Miller was one of the few consultants to understand the power of the combination. I never give up and hopefully the leaders of American industry can begin to listen to Larry’s wisdom.” Norman Bodek (author of The Harada Method, Quick and Easy Kaizen.)
“I’ve read hundreds of management books in my decades as a professor (currently Columbia University) and a management consultant. Over the last 30 years the trend has been to write a breezy, short book, maybe a fable with a big font and few pages. Larry Miller’s book, GETTING TO LEAN brings us back to solid content with vivid and fascinating examples from his many years as a management consultant. Miller goes through the entire process of how to create a high-functioning organization. This is no mean feat, as thorough as Miller is, because it requires great skills as a writer and thinker, as well as heavy doses of wisdom.” Dorothy Marcic, Ph.D, Columbia University, author of Understanding Management, Managing with the Wisdom of Love and playwright.
“Larry Miller’s approach to whole system change, using the principles of Lean and the best of management and change theory in a practical, action learning approach was transformational for my health care organization. The service referral system that took five hours on average to process was reduced to five minutes and productivity increased 20% since full implementation. A field nurse told me last week that she worked in the system prior to the change and it was very stressful, on return from a year’s absence in the new system she said, she can provide better service, she is happier and so are her colleagues and she is more efficient. Change can be challenging but engaging staff in the design of the work system increases ownership, accountability and the success of the change. Using Larry’s approach to Lean works, I highly recommend this book if you want to execute meaningful organizational change.” Sharon Goodwin, VP Quality & Risk, VON Canada
361 Pages; List Price: $36.95; e-book Price (Kindle, Nook & iPad) $19.95
Contact the author for volume price: LMMiller@lmmiller.com
This guide provides a road map to implementing lean culture within your organization. This guide represents the knowledge gained through thirty-five years of field experience implementing large scale change in the culture of organizations. This guide presents the principles and process of changing organization culture to capitalize on the competitive advantages of lean.
Lean culture is a lot more than the tools and techniques of lean. It is the framework of values, daily habits and relationships within which those techniques can succeed. Someone said “Culture eats process for breakfast.” If you don’t work as hard on creating new culture, a culture supported by systems, structure, skills, style and symbols, as creating lean processes, your culture will eat your process.
“Overall, an excellent book for those that want to understand and implement lean culture. The book encompasses all of the various aspects of creating a sustainable lean culture. This includes creating the systems and structures that will support the new culture, tools and tips, and the behavior and daily practices of managers. There are lots of examples and background information, along with plenty of illustrations to reinforce the points in the book. Overall, I highly recommend it!” Justin Noll, Merck Pharmaceuticals.
“For those faculty with some background in management theory, leadership, and organization behavior, Larry Miller’s new book, Lean Culture, The Leader’s Guide, is an excellent refresher in a very applied way. that is, how to build lean organizations. For faculty (and students) with limited exposure to these topics, it is a great survey book. The strong applied nature of the book makes it good supplemental reading regardless of background. Miller has done a great job of tying management literature to lean literature. One can tell from the presentation that Miller has fought the culture wars necessary to bring about organizational change. And successful implementation of lean often means fighting those wars. Miller, has indeed, provided the leader’s guide for the battle.
“I think you will find that the book really is The Leader’s Guide for implementing lean and that it will help you and your students make lean work.” Professor Jay Heizer
This is my best selling book on leadership and corporate culture. The largest data base on culture is the history of the rise and fall of civilizations. I took that model of rise and fall, emergence and decline, and used it as an analogy for why companies, and their leaders, rise and fall. There are great lessons in the role of the prophet, the barbarian, builder and explorer, administrator, bureaucrat and aristocrat. You may find yourself and your company here.
“One day your sluggish company will taken to the sound of a beating drum and the sight of a competitor approaching at ramming speed. On deck will be a jut-jawed Barbarian….He will hardly blink as his target is ripped asunder, sending Aristocrats, Bureaucrats and their unfortunate shipmates to their corporate death….So goes Mr. Miller’s tale, from which we can all profit.” The Wall Street Journal
“Barbarians to Bureaucrats presents a brilliant new solution to a stubborn old business problem: how to halt a company’s descent into wasteful, stifling bureaucracy. Lawrence M. Miller, a management consultant for such corporate giants as Xerox and 3M, argues that corporations, like civilizations, have a natural life cycle, and that by identifying the stage your company is in, and the leaders associated with it, you can avert decline and continue to thrive.
“Every company begins with the compelling new vision of a Prophet and the aggressive leadership of an iron-willed Barbarian, who implements the Prophet’s ideas. New techniques and expansions are pushed through by the Builder and the Explorer, but the growth spawned by these managers can easily stagnate when the Administrator sacrifices innovation to order, and the Bureaucrat imposes tight control. And just as in civilizations, the rule of the Aristocrat, out of touch with those who do the real work, invites rebellion — from employees, customers, and stockholders. It will take the Synergist, a business leader who balances creativity with order, to restore vitality and insure future growth.
“Executives from major corporations have already put the powerful insights of Barbarians to Bureaucrats into practice to regenerate their own companies. Now you can use this brilliant, lucid, and dazzlingly original book to put your company — and your career — back on track.”
This is a different sort of book. I am a member of the Baha’i Faith which presents guidance on many modern day issues. I have attempted to apply Baha’i teachings to the world of management and organizations. That is the goal of this book. While realizing that this book is not for everyone, I offer my humble effort to apply spiritual principles and guidance to the world of corporations and all organizations. This is an area that I feel many need to meditate upon.