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.

What influences our ability to sustain change?

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – The author visits a company that has sustained lean for a decade. In trying to understand how they did it, he finds how fundamentally the management system has changed.
lean technology digital Halfway

Building applications that really support the daily work

FEATURE – Technology should help people in their work, and it is with this in mind that the  general manager of this car preparation center decided to learn to develop Apps.
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.
Doug Rickarby profile lean leadership

What this leader has learned in 40 years at Toyota Australia

PROFILE – What does one learn from working for Toyota over 40 years? This Australian leader has developed a unique holistic view, and a strong set of technical and social skills.
the lean employer jim womack

Jim Womack on what makes for a good lean employer

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – What does a lean employer look like? In this month’s column, the author reflects on the long-term commitment to employees a company engaged in lean thinking should make.
analysing traditional management

Mainstream management after decades of lean

FEATURE – Lean has now been around for quite some time, and its impact on business world is hard to dispute. But what does it tell us about traditional management practices?
lean butchers continuous improvement Botswana

How lean management saved a butcher’s shop in Botswana

CASE STUDY – Faced with complex logistics and customer complaints, a small deli and butchery in Botswana saw in lean a way to bring the business back from the brink. The philosophy didn’t fail them.
lean thinking at the Halfway Production Centre

Developing our people to flow value to our customers

CASE STUDY – One-piece flow and a focus on lean leadership and kaizen have allowed the Halfway Production Centre in Johannesburg to turn itself around in just 14 months.
womack social heijunka good jobs

Create stable, fulfilling jobs to fully benefit from lean

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – Toyota’s commitment to employees reminds us that it is impossible to tap into the full potential of lean without providing people with stable, gratifying employment.
lean book clubs at Fuji Xerox Australia

Driving lean with book clubs at Fuji Xerox Australia

FEATURE – In May, the author told us how the IT department at Fuji Xerox Australia used book clubs to engage people in lean. In this update, he explains how the efforts were brought over to a different area of the business.
knowledge for everyone lean companies

Trust your people and give them access to knowledge

COLUMN – As lean teaches us, a command-and-control approach to management is bound to fail. What we need instead is trust in people, and decentralization of knowledge.
gemba walk show respect Boaz Tamir

Boaz Tamir on why we must do more than just go see

COLUMN – Want to grasp the current situation? Then you must go to the gemba, but it would be a mistake to think that alone is enough to change your business… you also have to ask why and show respect.
Toyota Australia lean thinking

Jim Womack on the lean shut-down of Toyota Australia

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – On October 3, Toyota will cease its manufacturing operations in Australia, but the way it is managing the transition - in the leanest way possible - holds great lessons for us all.
Mirette Kangas lean thinking profile

Thinking lean is like playing music: meet the lean fiddler

PROFILE – Persevering, letting people inspire you and committing to continuous learning. These are the things you need to do to successfully embrace lean thinking and, it turns out, learn to play the violin.
lean management human nature

The relationship between lean change and human nature

RESEARCH – Human behavior tends to make change even harder to attain than it already is. This brilliant research paper looks at change from a psychological, technical and leadership point of view.
Glenday small problems

Why fixing the little problems should not be discounted

FEATURE – A broken phone or a clock showing the wrong time may seem small details to you, but they actually make people's jobs more difficult. Fixing these issues improves work and boosts morale... It also says a lot about you as a company.
lean logistics holland

Revolutionizing warehousing in a hospital with lean thinking

FEATURE – The warehousing department of a Dutch hospital has been implementing lean for a few years. Its Head of Logistics believes in an approach to change based on respect for people and on making small but steady steps.