lean management

What happens in our people’s minds as lean takes root

COLUMN - What does lean do for people in your organization? This column explores how their way of thinking changes as a culture of continuous improvement and problem solving takes root.
womack gemba lean thinking outsourcing

The end of outsourcing: produce where it makes sense

ARTICLE - In this essay, one of the 12 new essays written for the second edition of Gemba Walks, Jim Womack encourages firms to "do the lean math" and move production where it makes most sense.

Washington State: using lean management in government

INTERVIEW - Thanks to strong leadership support and an effective system to partner with private sector firms, Washington State is proving how successful lean production principles can be in a government setting.
balle smalley spirit lean

Smalley and Ballé discuss the spirit of lean thinking

FEATURE - Two weeks ago, the authors shared their thoughts on mindset. In part 2, they discuss how to grasp the true spirit of lean.
smalley balle lean management

Smalley and Ballé discuss the true spirit of lean thinking

FEATURE - We talk about “changing our mindset” all the time, but do we really understand what this means in the context of our lean transformation? This two-part article tries to understand what the spirit of lean really is.

Michael Ballé on rewards and recognition in a lean company

FEATURE - The author addresses the ongoing debate on rewards and recognition, explaining how an optimal relationship between team members, team leaders and group leaders will influence motivation.

Why national traits do not matter when it comes to lean

OPINION - How often have you heard the sentence, “Lean can’t work here – this isn’t Japan”? Probably more than you can remember. Here’s why national traits are simply another excuse for a failed attempt to change.

The role of leadership in a lean journey

INTERVIEW - What does "leading through incompetence" mean? Peter Willats discusses the role of leadership in a lean management system and the evolution of lean thinking.

What do acupuncture and lean thinking have in common?

ARTICLE - Lean thinking draws inspiration from a variety of sources, sometimes the most unexpected. Ever wondered what acupuncture and lean have in common? Marcus Chao tells us.

Michael Ballé on why lean thinking makes cost-cutting smart

FEATURE - What is the relationship between lean thinking and cost-cutting? Here's why you should focus on improvements as opposed to slashing a budget.

Lean management: how to transform a business

INTERVIEW - To really change, an organization must use lean management as a strategic asset rather than just a set of tools. In this interview, Art Byrne talks about rewarding people and the process of transforming companies.

Can a company be considered lean if improvements result in layoffs?

ARTICLE - Can a company be considered lean if its improvement efforts result in layoffs? The author answers this frequently asked question drawing from his own experience dealing with organizations.