Columns

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.
Creating a learning environment in our lean companies

Why we should create a learning environment in our companies

COLUMN – Creating a learning environment that welcomes problems and experimentation and adapts to market changes should be our main objective. So why do we stick to obsolete ways to teach and develop people?
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.
Boaz Tamir on United Airlines

The lean lessons from the United Airlines controversy

COLUMN – Last month a video surfaced of a passenger being forcibly removed from an overbooked United Airlines flight and the Internet went ablaze. What does this story tell us about the relationship between profitability and customer value?
LEI turns 20 hansei

Where the Lean Community is and where it should go

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – As the Lean Enterprise Institute turns 20, its founder provides us with a bit of hansei on where we are and where we are going next as a community, and on what challenges we might tackle.

Business school education should be gemba-based

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – Somehow surprisingly, management schools teach very little about management, and when they do all learning is classroom-based. Instead, they should go to the gemba.
lean innovation unleashed

Lean thinking unleashes your power to innovate

OPINION – Our systems to develop new products are slow and inadequate for the ever-changing markets we have to work in. The author describes the three lean elements that will unlock your potential to innovate.
Jim Womack daily management

What foils our ability to apply effective daily management

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – Effective daily management is still hard to achieve for most organizations. But until line managers start tackling problems first hand as they emerge, rather than deferring and delegating them, basic stability will remain a mirage.
Boaz Tamir on humble consulting

Good lean consultants humbly create trust and dialogue

OPINION – After reading the latest book by Edgar H. Schein, the author reflects on the nature of consulting and management, and explains why humility must become a defining trait of both.
Jim Womack on lean trade

Picturing trade in a world of lean enterprises

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – Between the upcoming Brexit negotiations and the protectionist stance of the new US Administration, trade is making the headlines once again. But what would trade look like in a world of lean organizations?
talent retainment digital revolution

A modern HR department must offer a dynamic work partnership

OPINION – The digital revolution has forever changed the nature of employment: today's workers have more choice and employers competing for them than ever before. It's about time our approach to HR reflected that.

What the election of Donald Trump tells us about leadership

OPINION – Tomorrow, January 20, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as 45th President of the United States. What can his campaign and dumbfounding victory teach us about leadership?
jim womack great jobs

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.
technology innovation

When technology hinders our ability to innovate

OPINION – In a competitive and unpredictable market, the temptation to rely on technology is always strong, but experience proves that there is no better support than people's ability to learn and adapt to new situations.