Lean people development

Enhancing your gemba skills

FEATURE – Michael Ballé shares a few tricks he uses to escape his default thinking and ensure he makes the most of every gemba walk he goes on.

The Crab Method

FEATURE – We hear it time and time again: in a lean transformation, middle management is the biggest hindrance to change. The author explains his strategy to win them over.

Learning to be lean chameleons

FEATURE – In this candid, personal account, the author shares her experience as a lean coach, her challenges and success, and how she adapts to different situations.

Predictable vs unpredictable work

FEATURE – It is a common misconception that our work is too unpredictable to fit into a standardized approach. The author debunks this myth. 

Grievances first

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – How do you kick off a lean journey? This French company has chosen to begin by analyzing and tackling each customer complaint.

What does a lean sensei bring to the party?

FEATURE – Lean coaching is all the rage these days, but to what end? The author reframes the role of a sensei as an expert in achieving productivity by engaging everyone in kaizen.

Bringing lean to the people

CASE STUDY – This article briefly outlines the different stages of the lean transformation at Mercedes Benz Brazil, as the company looked for the best approach to engage everyone in continuous improvement.

Change management from the inside out

FEATURE – The author discusses how the daily practice of lean thinking develops perseverance and the grit a leader needs to improve an organization.

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.

Lean transformation: eight tips from Philips

FEATURE – A few weeks ago, we learned how Philips is leading their lean transformation. In this follow-up article, the authors provide some great tips based on the company’s experience.

Kaizen all around

FEATURE – Two coaches from Italian company FPZ reflect on their role helping lean thinking spread across the company and its newly-acquired businesses.

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?

A journey of mind-blowing improvement

CASE STUDY – Seven years ago, this Italian manufacturer ran an experiment to reduce inventory in its warehouse. Today, lean thinking permeates every aspect of life at FPZ.

What does learning look like at Toyota?

INTERVIEW – Toyota’s approach to developing capabilities and its focus on life-long learning are inspirational. But how do people at Toyota actually learn?

Leadership development at Volvo Cars

CASE STUDY – What is the approach to people development used at Volvo Cars? The authors explain how the organization has created a production system fully owned by operators and managers.

What is lean learning?

FEATURE – How does lean apply to learning? The author reflects on the lean transformation his schools are undergoing and on its practical implications on students, staff and leaders.

Turn the beat around

FEATURE – One year ago, the author started coaching organizations in her town of Maun, Botswana. Here she reflects on her experience and draws an interesting parallel between lean management and dancing.

Leading large-scale lean change

INTERVIEW – Rose Keanly discusses the role of lean in a strategic business transformation in the financial services sector and the dos and don’ts of bringing lean to a large organization.