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.

 

What is Yokoten?

ROUNDUP – Knowledge sharing is a powerful enabler of lean change. In this roundup, our editor discusses the benefits of yokoten and shares a few examples.

The theory of lean transformation

FEATURE – In this compelling theoretical piece, the author reminds us how in a lean organization relations are structured around learning opportunities rather than execution. This is what ultimately enables a company to grow.

The power of suggestions

FEATURE – At Toyota, led by senior executives, suggestion schemes have contributed to decades of improvement. This article explores why they are so effective and encourages you to try one out for yourself.

What kind of executive are you?

FEATURE – Lean provides everyone with a framework to learn continuously and do an ever-better job. Without this understanding, an executive will not be able to steer the organization in the right direction.

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.