Category: Lean Manufacturing

The Lean Culture Challenge: Can You Graduate from the 5S’s to The 7S’s that Really Matter?

Doing 5S is easy because it requires nothing of executives and very little if any change in the behavior of managers. It does not disrupt their world. And, that is exactly why it does not address the big issues that drive the culture and competitiveness of any organization. Real competitive advantage is derived from internal strategy, building the capabilities of the organization, and that requires managing the Big Seven S’s of organization culture.

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Lean & Meta Principles 2: Empiricism and Humility

The primary task of a manager is to think. The future success of the organization is dependent upon his or her ability to think clearly, critically, and creatively.

The greatest enemy of continuous improvement is arrogance, particularly on the part of leaders, and the opposite quality of humility is a requirement of learning and improvement.

In my previous post I introduced the idea that there are “big thoughts,” or over-arching cultural principles that are essential to creating a genuinely lean culture. I suggested that the principle of Unity was the first. The second is what I will call the principles of Empiricism and Humility.

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Lean and Meta Principles: The Unity Principle

Some companies have engaged in what they think are “lean implementations” by reducing lean to component parts and experimenting with one component over there, another over here, and a third somewhere else. That is guaranteed to fail. The very idea of reducing lean to its component parts fails to “get it.” I believe that the first principle of meta-lean is what I called in a previous book, The Unity Principle. Honda took this principle to heart and sought to apply it in their U.S. operations.

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Lean Lessons from the Hawthorne Studies

The Hawthorne studies have been a frequent source of misinterpretation over the years. It happens that they also have significant implications for the implementation of lean practices in organizations.

Understanding the research can help one develop a system that is sustainable and not merely a short term boost in performance. The power of feedback, reinforcement and teamwork are the real lessons of Hawthorne.

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The Practice of a Lean Management Systems: Achieving Economic Efficiency and Social Intimacy

Lean Management Systems: The New Modern Management Lean management systems are becoming the twenty-first century standard. Many years ago one of the first books I read on management was Peter Drucker’s The Practice of...

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