Bringing Humility on a Lean Trip to Japan

Lean Trip to Japan - Humility

Hierarchies are ingrained in the western way of thinking. Dating back to ancient civilizations, entire countries were ruled by all-knowing monarchs, with different levels of leadership falling beneath them. Whatever these people in power said was the truth became law. Traditional business structures aren’t much different. Many Western entrepreneurs and business owners take pride in

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Agile Creativity in Lean Product Development

Agile Creativity in Lean Product Development

Adapting to Customer Demand In Lean, we talk a lot about meeting customer demand. Often, the conversation turns to cycle time, takt time, and how to meet demand just-in-time. Yet, there is another factor of customer demand that people often ignore in this process: What does the customer actually want? You may have an established

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5 Process Improvement Pioneers in Their Youth

Process Improvement Pioneers - Young Henry Ford - Featured

The People Who Would Develop Modern Management and Industry We tend to think of famous historical figures frozen in time. Usually, a few portraits come to define them in the public consciousness. Many of the process improvement pioneers who inspired modern management practices are remembered with gray hair and distinguished faces. It’s easy to forget

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A Lean Approach to Collaboration

A Lean Approach to Collaboration

Robert Sheridan is the CEO of Menlo, a software business in Michigan. If you ask him what he fears most from his employees, he would probably say complacency. Sheridan’s solution is a Lean approach to collaboration: constantly shuffling teams and seating arrangements to ensure that everyone in the company works with a variety of colleagues.

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People: Continuously Improving

Continuous Improvement Blog

The key to Lean is continuous improvement, a concept that is often applied to processes and rarely to people. Thomas Crosby, CEO of Pal’s Sudden Service, a fast-food chain in Tennessee, takes employee training very seriously. In an interview with Inc. Magazine (link: http://www.inc.com/audacious-companies/leigh-buchanan/pals-sudden-service.html), he shared his perspective on improvement: “Every single day, everybody has

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Toyota Returns to its Roots: People-Focused Manufacturing

toyota

When many manufacturers are looking for advanced machinery to build their products, Toyota is doing the opposite. Toyota is focusing on training their employees to do things by hand, returning to the craftsmen mentality of the company’s humble beginnings. In their Honsha plant, employees are hammering and forging crankshafts by hand, rather than using the

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Reducing Transportation Costs by Looking Within

Thanks to Lean logistics, some companies are cutting their transportation costs from within their own facilities. With fuel costs continuing to rise and employee time at a premium, manufacturers are examining how products move within their own facilities to look for potential savings. In some companies, raw materials zig-zag their way through the facility, making

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