The depth of lean thinking

FEATURE – To really embrace lean thinking means to ensure the bureaucratic structures in our organizations enable our people to excel, rather than constrain their creativity.
Michael Ballé yamazumi chart

Michael Ballé on how a yamazumi chart enables standard work

THE TOOLS CORNER – Standardizing the work is one of the fundamentals of lean thinking, but without a yamazumi chart visualizing it (and helping us to streamline it) this is impossible.
building trust lean company

Michael Ballé on how to really build trust in a lean company

FEATURE – In this interesting piece, the author explains why living up to the ideal of mutual trust is hard, and how lean tools can help us build a workplace based on respect.
Lean quality management Michael Ballé

How to ensure quality issues are detected and tackled fast

THE TOOLS CORNER – This month, the author discusses how we can ensure quality problems are identified early, tackled swiftly and prevented from reoccurring.
SMED lean tools Michael Ballé

Michael Ballé’s short guide to successfully using SMED

THE TOOLS CORNER – For the second article in our new series, the author offers a guide to the origins and use of one of lean's most important tools: SMED.
Kanban lean thinking

Unlocking the secrets of Kanban with Michael Ballé

THE TOOLS CORNER – In this new series, we go back to basics, offering a guide on how to implement some of the most important lean tools and explaining why they are so clever. First up, Kanban.
daruma dolls lean management

Michael Ballé on how to ensure lean leads to real advantages

FEATURE – Using the Japanese tradition of daruma dolls as an example, the author explains how to turn continuous improvement into concrete challenges – and, from that, real competitive advantage.
Michael Belle how lean works

Michael Ballé reflects on how lean really works

FEATURE – Continuously studying the challenges we meet and the responses we devise, lean gives us endless opportunities to learn. The author goes back to basics, reflecting on some core lean premises.
Michael Balle on Lead with Lean

Michael Ballé introduces his new book Lead with Lean

VIDEO - The author of Lean with Lean explains why he published a collection of papers rather than a business novel - his signature writing style - or a manual. Experience lean through the eyes of one of its greatest students... one a-ha moment at a time.
Balle lead with lean

Leadership and business transformation go hand in hand

VIDEO – We constantly talk about the role of leadership, but perhaps we don't realize just how intertwined leadership transformation and business transformation really are. This short video discusses why.
Michael Balle on lean strategy

An interview with Michael Ballé on lean as a strategy

INTERVIEW – In this interview, Michael Ballé discusses lean thinking as a strategy, how to unearth problems, and the best (or only) way to initiate a lean transformation.
lean tree ballé

An organic metaphor of the organization to truly grasp lean

FEATURE – We are used to seeing the organization as a mechanical entity, but how can a machine possible change and improve? We must change our mental model and learn to see the lean enterprise as a growing plant.
ballé lean experts

Ballé: before others, lean experts should heal themselves

FEATURE – The role of experts in lean thinking is often the subject of heated discussions. Here, Michael Ballé tells us about the common mistakes lean experts make, and explains why – before helping others – they should help themselves.
gemba seven sins

Michael Ballé on the gemba cardinal sins hindering kaizen

FEATURE – What are the immediate signs that tell us that our workplace is not conducive to kaizen? The author draws on his experience as a coach at the gemba to highlight them. Look out for them in your own company!
lean thinking strategy

Can lean support strategy as much as it does operations?

FEATURE – Does lean management help us at strategic level as much as it does operationally? What’s the strategic thinking behind lean thinking? Michael Ballé answers these questions by looking back at some of history’s great military strategists.

Michael Ballé identifies a set of lean management values to live by

FEATURE ARTICLE – If we see lean thinking as a paradigm, which we do, then we should be able to define a set of values this paradigm is built on. So, are there lean ethics? Michael Ballé identifies 10 undisputed lean values, plus one.
lean leadership change ballé

Ballé: lean thinking is the only way to become adaptive

ARTICLE - Michael Ballé shares a few thoughts on leadership and respect for people, and tells us why lean management is the only way to make adaptive change a way of life.