Opinion

When a top exec becomes the lean manager

OPINION – What happens when a senior executive jumps the fence and finds himself having to drive the very same change he was asking others to create?

Lean thinking for the family business

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – The author discusses the benefits that the many family businesses making up our economies can harness from embracing lean management.

A lean take on trade

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – As tariffs spread, the author explains where forcing production to move overnight is wasteful, particularly for lean producers.

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.
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.
Womack production line

Lean has changed the production line forever

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – This month, the author looks at the production line, a century-old idea that still fascinates us, reflecting on how lean thinking has changed it.
Tesla Womack lean management

Jim Womack shares his lean take on Tesla

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – In his first column of 2018, the author looks at one of the most talked about companies in the world, Tesla, from a lean point of view.

Jim Womack on the importance of spreading the lean word

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – Ahead of the holidays, for his last column of the year, the author reminds us of the power of sharing. Go out and spread the lean word!
womack on sustaining 5s

Jim Womack provides us with a few tips on how to sustain 5S

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – 5S seems to mean different things to different people. What’s common, however, is the difficulty to sustain it. The author offers a few tips.
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.
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.
lean global network at Shokki plant

Reflections on a week in Toyota City

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – Last week, during a study mission in Japan, the Lean Global Network visited Toyota. Here, Jim shares his thoughts on what we saw and learned.
strategy for success Boaz Tamir

Boaz Tamir on why success does not come down to chance

OPINION – The rise and fall of organizations does not depend on chance or bad luck. It generally stems from a fundamentally flawed strategic approach that fails to define a purpose, alienates workers and ignores customers.
Jim Womack on the lean promise

Jim Womack on where lean has failed and why not to give up

YOKOTEN – Lean has changed the world in many ways, even though the original vision of its founding fathers has failed to materialize. Jim discusses why, as a movement, we shouldn’t give up and review our strategy instead.
preparation to avoid risk lean thinking

Identify objectives and issues before starting a new venture

COLUMN – With many of us about to leave for our summer vacations, the importance of planning (a holiday just like a business venture) could not be clearer. But objectives and potential problems should be identified before setting off.
social basis for lean management

Jim Womack on creating the social basis for lean management

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – The author looks at hoshin planning, A3 thinking and daily management as the three key elements of a lean management system, and highlights the related behaviors that will allow lean to thrive.
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.
Jim Womack drives the Toyota Mirai lean and green

Jim Womack drives the Toyota Mirai and talks lean and green

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – After a road trip from Boston to Philadelphia driving Toyota’s hydrogen fuel-cell Mirai, Jim reflects on lean and green and why the two are not necessarily the same.