May 10 2018
“At its core, lean is not about takt time, throughput, push, pull, A3s, or even Kaizen. These are the tools or byproducts of thoughtful management. Lean, at its heart, is about thoughtful management of the business, of the teams, and of ourselves.”
Sourced from The Lean Post
Michel Baudin‘s comments:
According to this author, any company with “thoughtful management” is lean. He must, therefore, conclude that Alphabet/Google is lean today, and that so were HP under Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in the 1960s and GM under Alfred P. Sloan in the 1920s. Sloan, Hewlett, and Packard all were thoughtful managers who conceived and implemented systems that were regarded as models for decades but I have never heard it claimed that they made Google, HP, or GM “lean.” Taken this broadly, the term loses all meaning.
To anyone who has spent years learning, implementing, and teaching the specifics of TPS in management and technology, breezily dismissing them as “byproducts of thoughtful management” is tantamount to saying that you don’t need to speak Russian in order to master Russian literature. Jim Benson’s LinkedIn profile says that he studied “Russian Lit” at Michigan State and I assume he put in the time to learn the language in order to read the books as written.
My own reading list would stick to the subject. I love Kurt Vonnegut and might include his Player Piano as a meditation on the human impact of automation but I fail to see the relevance of Animal Farm or The Color Purple. They may entertain but are no help to those who dedicate themselves to improving how work is done, in manufacturing and other business activities.
My list would cover not only the current approaches to management and technology but also provide the historical perspective needed to go beyond know-how to know-why. I would include both Frederick Taylor’s own writings and his biography by Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way. And I would include several Japanese books. The only Japanese author in Benson’s list is novelist Haruki Murakami. How about books on manufacturing by Takahiro Fujimoto, Yasuhiro Monden, Taiichi Ohno, or Kenichi Sekine?