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.

 

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.

The world after Covid-19

FEATURE – Looking to the future, the author encourages us to challenge obsolete ideas and seize the opportunity provided by Lean Thinking to make the world a better place for all.

New Year loss and found

FEATURE – 2019 was another momentous year for the Lean Community. John Shook reflects on what we lost and what we gained in the last year of the decade.

What is hoshin kanri?

ROUNDUP – In the last roundup on lean tools and concepts of the year, our editor collects and curates the best articles on strategy deployment (hoshin kanri).

Practice makes perfect

FEATURE – Much like lean management, attaining perfection in music requires constant practice. The author looks back at his musical past and at a recent Lean Global Network samba gig.

The iron law of scale-up

FEATURE – As our social systems grow, we need an effective way to manage them. This makes bureaucracies an inescapable part of life for our society and businesses. But how can we mitigate their negative effects?