lean

lean thinking and Jidoka at Amazon and GE

Marc Onetto on his experience with Jidoka at GE and Amazon

INTERVIEW – Catherine Chabiron sits down with Marc Onetto, a former executive with GE and Amazon, to discuss Jidoka and its profound effects on the way people work and think.
Katie Anderson Japanese culture

Japanese culture and lean culture: not always the same

FEATURE – How many times do we hear people say lean is not for them because “it’s a Japanese thing”? After spending 18 months in Japan, the author explains why the country’s culture is not necessarily "lean by nature".
levelled production eliminate the blues

Eliminate complexity in raw and packaging materials

FEATURE – There is a form of waste – complexity in raw and packaging materials – that adds costs to manufacturing without creating value, but it is often overlooked. The author explains what it is and how to banish it.
SNCF train maintenance

Follow the gemba walk in a SNCF train maintenance center

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA - We follow the author on a visit to a train maintenance center in France. Through practical examples and pictures from the gemba, she explains how the center is transforming itself.
Wells Fargo scandal lean culture

The Wells Fargo scandal teaches us lean must be nurtured

OPINION – The latest banking scandal had us all wonder whether Wells Fargo has lost its way. But how does a pioneering bank that once had lean at its heart betray its core values so profoundly?
end of work womack

Work as we know it is disappearing; how can lean adapt?

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – The rise of the robots may still belong in sci-fi books, but there is no doubt that work as we know it is fading away. What is the role of lean thinking in this world of drones and driverless taxis?
most satisfying moment lean journey

Five lean practitioners answer the same question #6

ONE QUESTION, FIVE ANSWERS – Change might be scary but, when things do work out, it also brings us incredible pride and sense of accomplishment. We asked five practitioners to tell us what the most satisfying moment in their lean journey was.
lean Siena hospital

The fantastic lean transformation of an Italian hospital

CASE STUDY – There is more to Siena than the Palio: the Tuscan city boasts of one of the most advanced examples of lean healthcare in Italy. We asked the team at the University Hospital how they are doing it.
Unilever scandal cereal israel

The importance of transparency: lessons from a food scandal

OPINION – When do our mistake become an ominous sign that we are giving up on our customers and people? Following the salmonella contamination in cereals in Israel, the author reflects on business purpose and the importance of transparency.
levelled production low sale products

To be leaner discontinue high-volume low-sale products

FEATURE – We often think that making every product customers might want – no matter how little they sell or how much complexity they add to our schedule – is inherently lean. As Toyota understands quite well, however, it is quite the opposite.
lean accounting orry fiume

Lean accounting: a few key lessons from Wiremold

INTERVIEW – In this interview, the former CFO of uber-lean company Wiremold explains why our finance people hold the key to our transformation and gives us the lowdown on lean accounting.

Ballé, Jones and Chaize on reusable learning in lean

FEATURE - Effectively dealing with a problem means learning to solve it in a variety of scenarios, not perfecting a point solution. For too long in lean we have only focused on gaining reusable knowledge... but what about reusable learning?

Womack – sustaining gains must become a focus of management

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – In our lean journeys we spend so much time on improvement (kaizen) and innovation (kaikaku) that we often forget to address the issue of how to maintain our gains. Do you know iji? Perhaps you should.
teaching lean in universities

Teaching lean management: current and future state

INTERVIEW – Making lean thinking a bigger part of our university programs and education is the only way to ensure the methodology really comes to permeate our societies. But how can we ensure lean is taught in a way that makes sense?
Lean cities interview

Can lean thinking transform our cities?

SEEN FROM OTHERS – Another interview in our series on how lean is perceived from the outside. This month we talk to an urban strategist to see if and how lean can contribute to transforming our cities.

Jim Womack shares insights on how to help lean spread faster

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – How it is that some ideas and innovations spread like wildfire while others are slower to take roots? It is clear that lean thinking belongs to the latter category, but how can we speed up its diffusion?
One question five answers #3

Five lean practitioners answer the same question 3

1 QUESTION, 5 ANSWERS – Lean management causes a huge shift in the mind of leaders, one that dramatically changes the way they think of themselves and the way they behave. We asked five leaders to tell us how lean changed them.

Closer to your customers is where you’ll find success

OPINION – Look at today's disruptive companies and you'll see how all of them have understood that real innovation calls for close proximity to the customer, rather than for stubbornly taking cover in the comfort of the upstream.