Jim Womack

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You can’t make countries great without great jobs

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – Small firms represent the backbone of the economy, and there is no doubt lean can help them improve and grow – by making the jobs they offer great. Without it, countries won't be great either.
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Jim Womack on asking questions rather than providing answers

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – As a first instinct, most of us tend to provide answers and solutions rather than ask questions. In this month's Yokoten, Jim Womack provides advice on how to fight this behavior and become a coach.
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Work as we know it is disappearing; how can lean adapt?

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – The rise of the robots may still belong in sci-fi books, but there is no doubt that work as we know it is fading away. What is the role of lean thinking in this world of drones and driverless taxis?
Jim Womack on lean and taylorism

Jim Womack takes on the legacy of Taylor and Ford

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – The author reflects on how the legacy of Taylor and Ford still poses challenges to the lean movement, and why critics should move past a simplistic view of lean as mere standardization.

Womack – sustaining gains must become a focus of management

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – In our lean journeys we spend so much time on improvement (kaizen) and innovation (kaikaku) that we often forget to address the issue of how to maintain our gains. Do you know iji? Perhaps you should.

Jim Womack shares insights on how to help lean spread faster

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – How it is that some ideas and innovations spread like wildfire while others are slower to take roots? It is clear that lean thinking belongs to the latter category, but how can we speed up its diffusion?
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The future of agriculture – Jim Womack visits a lean farm

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – Lean in agriculture might still be in its infancy, but there is a small farm in Indiana that is already proving how valuable lean principles and techniques can be to this industry.
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Womack: lean transformed automotive once and can do it again

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – In this month’s column, Jim shares an insightful analysis of the trends and dynamics of today’s automotive industry and looks at the opportunity that lean has to facilitate its next transformation.
Womack on lean in aerospace

Womack: why lean is an opportunity for today’s aerospace

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – As a new age in aerospace dawns, with a need to move from huge and bespoke designs to affordable and high-volume production, lean thinking has a key role to play. But will the industry listen?
kaizen or kaikaku

Kaizen or kaikaku, wonders Jim Womack in his latest column

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN - Kaizen or kaikaku? This is the problem. When it comes to the pace of change, should we carry on with small, incremental improvements or aim at more revolutionary changes instead?
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Lean management to make the Paris Agreement on climate work

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – Last month nations signed a greenhouse gas emissions deal – on paper, an insurance policy against climate change. But if action is to follow promises, the cost of the insurance premium, as perceived by voters and governments, must be lowered. Lean thinking can help.

A New Year’s Resolution: Start with the Work

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN - If you are going to succeed at one of your resolutions for 2016, let it be that of always starting off a lean transformation with a deep analysis of the work at a single point in your organization, and then escalating your efforts to reach all the factors influencing the work.
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Jim Womack: a lasting transformation calls for “good jobs”

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – If truly embraced, lean thinking sustains and (in the long run) even creates jobs, but if a transformation is to last these jobs must be “good,” says Jim Womack.
machine that changed the world 25 anniversary

Jim Womack on what is holding lean thinking back

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – On October 10, 1990 the book that introduced lean thinking to the world was published. Twenty-five years after Machine, one of the authors reflects on what the lean movement has achieved and on what is slowing it down.
womack yokoten volkswagen

Jim Womack comments on the Volkswagen scandal

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – The Volkswagen “defeat device” scandal is the latest example of a company that has chosen to focus on growth rather than the customer. What can we learn from this, and what should we do when such a shift takes place?
lean thinking sharing

Jim Womack discusses Uber and Airbnb

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – The sharing economy came with a very “lean” promise – underutilized resources made available to those who need them for a reasonable fee – but not all that glitters is gold.
womack column rewards

Why are rewards tied to individual performance so dangerous?

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN - When managed poorly and tied to the wrong performance metrics, financial rewards can seriously damage your organization, Jim Womack warns in his latest column.
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Managing by metrics? Managers will game the numbers

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN - Senior leadership must learn to understand the work if they are to move away from the mindless metrics that lead managers to "game" numbers or to shift responsibility on to other departments.