learning kaizen sustainability

Michael Ballé on helping lean thinking and kaizen take root

ARTICLE - Organizing for learning is critical to sustaining your kaizen efforts and improving your company. Choose the right managers, make sure they can self-develop and develop others, and help lean to take root.
lean thinking politics

Is lean management more conservative or progressive?

COLUMN - In political terms, is lean management more in line with conservative principles or progressive ideas? Michael Ballé reflects on a tough question.
lean management respect for people

Why respect for people and lean are the only way forward

ARTICLE - Mission creep, silos and a disengaged workforce are some of the negative effects of traditional management. Michael Ballé offers an alternative based on the respect for people principle of lean thinking.

Business growth, human growth

FEATURE - In his latest article, the author explains why pursuing human growth as part of our lean efforts is meaningless until we fully master our pull systems.

Still Toyota? What about Volkswagen?

COLUMN - Michael Ballé on why Toyota still inspires him in a way that no other organization can, and on the lessons lean thinkers can learn from the two most successful carmakers.

What happens in our people’s minds as lean takes root

COLUMN - What does lean do for people in your organization? This column explores how their way of thinking changes as a culture of continuous improvement and problem solving takes root.

Michael Ballé on rewards and recognition in a lean company

FEATURE - The author addresses the ongoing debate on rewards and recognition, explaining how an optimal relationship between team members, team leaders and group leaders will influence motivation.

Michael Ballé on why lean thinking makes cost-cutting smart

FEATURE - What is the relationship between lean thinking and cost-cutting? Here's why you should focus on improvements as opposed to slashing a budget.

Can a company be considered lean if improvements result in layoffs?

ARTICLE - Can a company be considered lean if its improvement efforts result in layoffs? The author answers this frequently asked question drawing from his own experience dealing with organizations.