There is continuous improvement, and then there is transformational change. Transformational change involves rethinking the whole-system of the organization, creating alignment to the external environment and among the internal subsystems of the organization.
What many don’t realize is that even Toyota has had to redesign their system of production based on the needs of the larger social system when they had 25% turnover among new employees in the 1990′s. Sometimes you have to think about the fundamental nature of your system and transform that system based on new principles.
Beyond Problem Solving to Co-Creating the Future
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 dis-aggregate 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.
361 Pages; List Price: $36.95; e-book Price (Kindle, Nook & iPad) $19.95
Table of Contents
Part One: Overview of Transformational Change Management
Chapter 1: Principles
Chapter 2: Who Will Participate
Chapter 3: Overview of the Process
Chapter 4: Case Study: Lean Implementation in Home Health Care
Part Two: The Process of Whole-System Architecture
Chapter 5: Are We Ready for Change?
Chapter 6: Writing the Design Charter
Chapter 7: Discovering Your Internal Assets and Liabilities
Chapter 8: Discovering Your External Environment
Chapter 9: Discovering Your Customer’s Priorities
Chapter 10: Discovering the Current Value Stream
Chapter 11: Dreaming the Ideal Future
Chapter 12: Designing the Work – Variance Analysis
Chapter 13: Designing the Work – Eliminating Waste
Chapter 14: Designing Knowledge Work
Chapter 15: Designing the Ideal System of Work
Chapter 16: Designing the Ideal Social System
Chapter 17: Designing the Future Economic System
Chapter 18: Deploy and Develop the Design
Chapter 19: On Sustainability
A. Case Study: The Conference Method of Redesign
B. Case Study: The Honda Way
C. Case Study: Reconciling Top-Down and Bottom-Up
C. To Centralize or Decentralize/Standardize or Customize