lean and respect for people

A crazy little thing called change

COLUMN – In her first column, the author reflects on the role of leadership in striking a balance between the enthusiasm for change and the need to involve everyone in a transformation.

How I learned to treat people like individuals

FEATURE – In this intimate, moving account, the author shares her journey of personal transformation that caused her mindset and her attitude towards employees to dramatically change.

Kgotla, a foundation for lean thinking

FEATURE – Is it possible to build our lean transformation efforts on pre-existing cultural aspects we find in our societies? According to the author, it is… and it works really well.

Lean thinker, I salute thee

ROUND-UP – As the year ends, our editor reflects on the state of the lean movement and looks back at the best articles published by Planet Lean this year.

Dramatic lean improvement

FEATURE – How an amusement park in Norway is using lean visual management to support actors during their busy schedule and to give visitors an experience they will never forget. 

Building a better future in a better way

FEATURE – Building on the benefits of the Last Planner System™, lean thinking is supporting people at Turner Construction Company as they solve problems in a structured way.

The power of our origin story

PROFILE – Earlier this month, our editor visited the US and sat down with the CEO of a community health center near Boston. His humility and honesty about his lean leadership are striking.

Retaining talent to make a difference

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – This French company provides support to the severely disabled, and is currently using lean thinking to limit employee turnover and recruit faster.

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 butchers continuous improvement Botswana

How lean management saved a butcher’s shop in Botswana

CASE STUDY – Faced with complex logistics and customer complaints, a small deli and butchery in Botswana saw in lean a way to bring the business back from the brink. The philosophy didn’t fail them.
lean thinking at the Halfway Production Centre

Developing our people to flow value to our customers

CASE STUDY – One-piece flow and a focus on lean leadership and kaizen have allowed the Halfway Production Centre in Johannesburg to turn itself around in just 14 months.
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.
lean book clubs at Fuji Xerox Australia

Driving lean with book clubs at Fuji Xerox Australia

FEATURE – In May, the author told us how the IT department at Fuji Xerox Australia used book clubs to engage people in lean. In this update, he explains how the efforts were brought over to a different area of the business.
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.
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.
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.
Mirette Kangas lean thinking profile

Thinking lean is like playing music: meet the lean fiddler

PROFILE – Persevering, letting people inspire you and committing to continuous learning. These are the things you need to do to successfully embrace lean thinking and, it turns out, learn to play the violin.
lean management human nature

The relationship between lean change and human nature

RESEARCH – Human behavior tends to make change even harder to attain than it already is. This brilliant research paper looks at change from a psychological, technical and leadership point of view.