Lean Management

The idea of “lean management” can refer to both individual managerial behaviors and, more in general, the set of principles and practices characterizing the adoption of lean thinking in an organization.

In the first case, lean management is closer in meaning to the idea of “lean leadership” and entails the development of behaviors that foster continuous improvement at the front line, such as respect for people, asking questions (rather than providing answers), going to see to really understand the work and the causes of problems, and scientific problem solving. In the second instance, lean management describes the lean philosophy more in general.

In its more general meaning, lean management – or lean thinking, if you prefer – derives from the Toyota Production System and is now recognized as a superior management approach that, through continuous improvement, customer focus, teamwork and relentless people engagement, leads to great results in terms of quality, performance, delivery, and cost. The promise of lean management is to create the most value for customers using the least possible amount of resources. As an approach to running a business, it brings benefits to all parties involved, from customers to employees, suppliers to wider society.

 

Lean-powered decision making

FEATURE – As lean thinkers, our focus is on problem-solving. The author explains why effectively solving problems depends on our ability to make the right decisions and suggests the lean community plays closer attention to this. 

The way to radical lean

FEATURE – Reflecting on Nomura-san’s recently published book on radical quality improvement, the author encourages us to embrace the spirit of “Dantotsu” to meet the challenges we face as a society.

Lean as a path

FEATURE – The author describes Lean Thinking as a path of discovery and explains why attempts to define it “once and for all” are destined to fail.

Standard work for leaders

FEATURE – The author reflects on the importance of standardized work in her daily life as a manager and explains why one can’t expect to run a company only using reports.

Awakening

INTERVIEW – The extraordinary events of the past year have encouraged lean organizations around the world to ask deeper questions about purpose and value creation, says Josh Howell.

Hope in lean nation

FEATURE – As 2020 finally draws to an end, our editor reflects on the year that was and discusses why the Lean Community is a such an important source of inspiration and hope.

A better way to learn lean

INTERVIEW – The Lean Enterprise Academy just launched the Lean Learning Journey, an online platform from which practitioners can pull the practical knowledge they need in their lean transformation.