Japan Lean Experience – Tokai-Shin-ei Electronics

Back in 2009 I  kept a diary of my Japan Lean Experience and I recall that on our 4th day on the road, and after another great lunch at the Gozarase restaurant we travelled for about an hour to Ena-shi Gifuken, the home of Tokai-Shin-ei Electronics.

Tokai-Shin-ei design and manufacture printed circuit boards their factory is located in a small town in the foothills of the central ranges around Nagoya. Tokai-Shin-ei ‘s long standing President,  Yoshihito Takanaka, gave the initial presentation; he informed  us of his corporate philosophy, based on self discipline, employee involvement through Kaizen and a focus on customer value through Total Quality Management primciples.


During the Gemba tour it was fascinating, to see the high levels of workplace organisation and cleanliness. The 5S program was adopted in the early nineties, as part of Takanaka’s unique philosophy of developing self discipline across the entire work force which encouraged and sustained a highly clean and organized workplace.

TSK’s market is extremely competitive, and due to its remote location, they had focused on minimizing operating costs, by carefully maintaining and even improving the plant and equipment, to maximize the investment. The adoption of Autonomous Maintenance (TPM) has enabled machinery to last well beyond the normal expectations, hence maximizing the assets and return on capital.

One particular example highlighted during the tour was of a 19 year old machine, which has a normal life expectancy of 5 years!

The overwhelming impression of TSK is that of a dedication to Kaizen, they truly believe that everyone has a part to play in improving the operation for their customers on a daily basis. It is also important to remember that employing just over 100 people in this small town is a significant factor, they seemed proud of being able to withstand the years of fierce competition with one of the best reputations for quality and reliability.


5S is certainly a major contributing factor, and without doubt some of the best examples that you will ever see. This must see factory is an absolute highlight, and we are hoping to include a visit in our 2018 Japan Lean Experience tour!

S A Partners will be running a one week study tour to Japan next April.


Welcome – Tenison Maingay

It is with great pleasure to introduce our latest team member at SA Partners NZ.

Tenison is a recent Massey University Graduate who studied a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons), Majoring in Product Development and minoring in Mechatronics.

Over the past 15 months he has been working for S A Partners New Zealand on a number of business improvement projects. The practical and technical skills learned at varsity have been the foundation for assisting CI specialist teams and client projects with data analysis outlining key opportunities with mathematical reasoning.

Tenison’s specialties are in Total Productive Maintenance and Sustainability.

Tenison began lean education in 2015 and is developing skills through as a Lean Coach the Lean Competency System and practical improvement projects working alongside Richard Steel.

Hold the Date – 3rd Annual NZ CI Conference – 30th August 2017

Join us on the 30th August for the third annual Continuous Improvement Conference hosted at Massey University in Albany.

Building on the success of the past two events we are looking to bring you a great event, and a chance to network and learn from others

Our event also features the NZ book launch of 4 + 1: Embedding a Culture of Continuous Improvement in Financial Services by Dr Morgan L. Jones, Chris Butterworth & Brenton Harder

We are in the early stages of lining up a great selection of key note speakers and stream activities including additional speakers and workshop activities to make the day informative, engaging and fun. Our current line up includes:

Dr Morgan Jones – Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Paul Salmon – Lean IT

Chris Till – HR Institute NZ

Farah Palmer – Former Captain, Black Ferms

Adam Bentley – Countdown Supermarkets

Rob McGee – Auckland Leisure

We are finalising the full programme this month and aim to have the full details ready in early March.

So mark the diary and join us on the 30th August to join the throng!

Hunter Lovins Writes about Reinventing our Economy:

A corporate commitment to behaving more sustainably is ever more important. As news from the scientists gets grimmer – September was the hottest month ever on record; New Scientist’s recent report showed that the world is warming faster than previously believed, and the new IPCC report will say much the same – people need somewhere to turn for hope. From the recent Dark Mountain article in the Guardian to advocates of “Near-term human extinction” claiming that global warming will end human history by 2050, people are giving up. If they do, the catastrophists will get to be right.

Corporate leaders are needed now more than ever to implement what we know: we have all of the technology that we need to solve all of the challenges facing humankind, and do so at a profit. Books like Peter Diamondis’ book Abundance, Jigar Shah’s Creating Climate Wealth and my book, The Way Out: Kickstarting Capitalism To Save Our Economic Ass all show that moving smartly to solve the climate crisis will deliver better returns than business as usual.

Dr. Mark Jacobson, the Stanford Professor who showed that the world can meet its needs for energy solely through renewable energy, has created the Solutions Project to detail how every state in the US can achieve energy sufficiency, while moving off fossil fuels.

Agriculturalists from Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, to Allan Savory, are showing that properly done, farming and ranching can increase profits and pull carbon from the air, returning it to the soil where it nourishes life.

Walter Stahel’s approach of the Circular Economy is now being shown to be dramatically more profitable for business, create jobs and save at least $1 trillion per year.

Time grows short. Are you part of the problem or part of the solution? Our book Creating a Lean and Green Business System can show you how you can grow your profits while solving the challenges. Join us….

S A Partners Awarded Dwr Cymru Lean Contract

We are pleased to announce that Dwr Cymru have appointed S A Partners to join them as their Lean consultants and help build Dwr Cymru’s Lean model and deploy it throughout their business.

With our extensive global experience of introducing Lean into many industries and sectors through a cultural driven approach. S A Partners will help Dwr Cymru build on the successes of their Lean reliability centred maintenance (RCM) deployment, and improve Lean ways of working across the business.

Over the next couple of months, we will be working with Dwr Cymru to develop the Lean programme. This will have a stronger emphasis on engagement and culture change than the previous work undertaken at Dwr Cymru, and will focus on deploying Lean principals, tools, and ways of working into their day to day business.

The programme will continue to focus on Water Production and Wastewater Treatment, but will also start to deploy Lean practices into support functions including Finance and Procurement.

Quote from Mat Jackson, Lean Programme Manager;

This appointment is great news for us as we start to broaden our deployment across the business, and deepen our approach in Waste and Water. S A Partners bring with them a wealth of understanding and knowledge, and we are looking forward to working with them.

This broader approach will build on the success of the Lean RCM work, which will continue to form a key part of the overall programme. The Lean RCM teams are doing some great work, and we will ensure this continues to be delivered well across Water and Wastewater and this will form a key part of the programme going forward.

This broader approach will build on the success of the Lean RCM work, which will continue to form a key part of the overall programme. The Lean RCM teams are doing some great work, and we will ensure this continues to be delivered well across Water and Wastewater. The RCM element of Lean Deployment will form a key part of the wider programme.

Read the full news announcement from Dwr Cymru.

New Lean and Green Qualification

Lean & Green Production Systems have become the new paradigm for excellence in value generation and delivery for the most competitive companies in the world.

A Lean & Green Production System can be defined as a system designed for improving operational efficiency and sustainability simultaneously in order to enhance radically the ability of either an organisation or a supply chain for generating and delivering value to its customers and to the society as a whole.

The Master in Lean & Green Supply Chains (https://leanandgreenmaster.com/en/) of the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) is a joint initiative of a UPM team, led by Prof. Joaquín Fuentes-Pila, and Dr. Keivan Zokaei (of S A Partners and Enterprize Excellence who is also a visiting professor at UPM). The Masters degree, which is delivered in both English and Spanish, is attracting leading-edge companies which desire to train their next generation lean and green thinker executives.

On 14th July, Joaquin and Keivan delivered an interactive workshop involving graduate students, industry experts and professors at UPM. This was an opportunity to openly discuss the most critical lean & green opportunities across different industries. UPM are currently accepting applications for this Masters degree (delivered in both English and Spanish).

S A Partners are running a 2 day workshop and free webinar on going Lean and Green, both run by Keivan Zokaei.

Keivan Zokaei writes about Lean & Green for the Lean Management Journal

Keivan Zokaei has recently completed a book on Lean and Green together with Hunter Lovins, Andy Wood and our own Peter Hines. As a result of this I had the pleasure of writing a third article on Lean and Green yet, there are still too many companies out there that delay the integration of green into their lean operations, arguing that investment in green will disadvantage them against the competition.

If you are a manager and you still don’t have a solid plan for going green or, even worse, if you are in doubt whether going green pays off, have a look at companies like Toyota, WalMart, DuPont, Tesco, Unilever, Marks and Spencer and General Electric, all of whom have invested heavily in greening their products and processes over the past few years.

Unilever plans to double its revenue over the next 10 years while halving the environmental impact of its products. GE aims to reduce the energy intensity of its operations by 50% by 2015. Tesco has announced that it will reduce emissions from stores and distribution centres by half by 2020 and that it will to become a zero-carbon business by 2050. WalMart’s Zero Waste initiative claims that more than 80% of waste generated in its U.S. operations has been diverted from landfill while the company’s goal is to generate zero waste in the first place. In 2010, WalMart announced that it will cut total carbon emissions by 20 million metric tons by 2015. Toyota, in its Fifth Environmental Action Plan, announced that it will improve the average fuel efficiency of its vehicles by 25% in all regions by 2015 compared to that of 2005. In production, Toyota has already reduced emissions per vehicle by 37% between 2001 and 2012.

All these companies have elaborate environmental plans and invest significant time and resources in ‘green continuous improvement’. None of them, however, have joined the Greenpeace. So why bother? There are three simple reasons. First of all, cutting environmental waste and cutting cost are almost always aligned. Secondly, investing in green continuous improvement (CI) unlocks great amounts of innovation and vigour across the organisation which in turn underpins future success. Finally, with most industries there is a substantial and growing market for sustainable products.

But ironically, today economic and environmental CI are separate organisational silos that sometimes come into conflict with each other. This is one of the biggest opportunities missed across industries. There is a window of opportunity for lean managers to take on more responsibility in greening their firms. Green managers, at least so far, seem to be more concerned with technical fixes and top-down implementation of end of pipe solutions which hardly leave a lasting cultural change. Lean thinkers can provide valuable experiences, techniques and methodologies for engaging with the workforce, bringing about sustainable cultural changes and deploy proven tools for systematic lean and green improvements.

View this article as a PDF document.



My predictions for 2015

I start off writing these predictions for 2015 with more than a little apprehension. My first prediction last year would be that the resource crunch would shoot up the political agenda, but I, like every other observer, failed to predict the collapse in oil prices in the second half of 2014. The reasons for the collapse are complex – countries raising production while demand slumps – and it remains to be seen how long low oil prices will continue. So I think I’ll steer clear of making another bold pronouncement on that one!

So, here are my predictions for the year ahead:

1. Sustainability will not feature much in the UK general election

The green agenda seems to have become strangely depoliticised in the UK of late. At the end of 2014, the UN rated the UK as the third best country when it comes to tackling climate change, yet the Government and media remained surprisingly muted about it.

The election battle lines have already been drawn: the Conservatives will fight on the economy, Labour on the NHS, Lib Dems on their moderating influence in coalition and UKIP on immigration. The Greens will see a surge in votes from those disillusioned with the other parties, but whether this translates into seats is debatable. In fact their sole MP, Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion, faces a fight to keep her seat given the implosion of her local party after taking charge of Brighton Council.

So my prediction for 2015 is that sustainability progress will continue in the background without clear political leadership.

2. International agreement in Paris will be fudged, but this may be a good thing.

As with Lima this year, the big UNFCCC shindig in Paris at the end of 2015 will come to an agreement, but it will be a loose one. The current approach – individual nations signing up to individual carbon reduction plans – is a strong one in my opinion as it ends the endless unicorn hunt for a set of robust agreements that everybody can sign up to, from Bogota to Beijing and Washington to Warsaw.

Giving nations ownership of their own plans makes implementation much more likely – unlike, say, Kyoto, which the US agreed to but never ratified. The plans may fall short of what is required, but at least some forward momentum will be created.

3. Clean energy will scale new heights

An interesting trend has been the continued installation of large scale renewables while investment peaked in 2012. In the UK, renewable energy provided 9.3% of electricity in 2014, up from 7.8% the previous year, yet investment appeared to stall.

This demonstrates the plummeting price of renewables technology as economies of scale and technological advances start to kick in. In fact, one thinktank has predicted that solar will have ‘grid parity’ with fossil fuels in the UK by 2020.

So my prediction is many more records will be broken on renewables around the world, leading pressure on the grid, which in turn will see more developments in the smart grid.

4. The Smart Grid will continue to emerge

I predicted last year that we would start to see the elements of the smart grid starting to emerge. In early 2014, the UK Smart Grid Forum was established by the Government, a route map published and a £500m low carbon network fund made available. Already in 2015 the Government has let a contract to connect energy companies to the ‘smart meter infrastructure’ – another important stepping stone. However doubts have emerged over whether the 2020 target for an active smart grid will be met.

But this centralised effort may be overtaken again by people and organisations forging their own routes to develop technology. Tesla’s successful model of selling repackaged car batteries to householders with solar panels will spread creating mini-smart grids in homes and industries across the world. The question is when will the first ‘eco-smart fridge’ – one which will delay starting its compressor during periods of high demand – come on the market?

5. The Circular Economy will become the new normal

At the end of 2014, the EU withdrew its ‘circular economy package’ for a revamp. The trigger was the realisation that the measures focussed at the wrong end of the loop – trying to divert as much waste material into the recycling industry as possible. Wiser heads have pointed out that the only way to develop a mature circular economy is to create pull through demand ie at the new product stage.

While the Eurocrats beaver away on their new set of measures, industry will get on with their own efforts, driven in the main by large retailers such as Marks & Spencer and B&Q. More of what you buy will have been ‘pre-loved’, but you mightn’t notice!

Gareth Kane is a sustainability consultant, author and speaker. You can follow him on Twitter @GarethKane.

Creating new ways for profitable sustainability

Creating new ways for profitable sustainability requires participation from the best. For the first time a number of leading edge companies and thought leaders have come together to share their knowledge and best practice across different industry sectors. The Lean and Sustainable Industry Consortium, is now established with participation from companies such as Nike, Adnams, Mars, Vale, Accolade Wines, Toyota, Sakab and several other industry leaders.

On 8th October the group met in Southwold, UK to learn from Adnams. Adnams CEO, Dr. Andy Wood, OBE explained company’s journey and how principles of lean and sustainable thinking have boosted company’s profitability for decades. Since this was the consortium’s first ever Gemba Exchange, participants spent some time discussing about the consortium’s structure, vision and activities over the next 12 months. There will be four Gemba Exchanges per year, development of a bespoke lean & sustainable roadmap for each member, on-site Gemba coaching and an ongoing online forum as well as a number of other membership benefits.

To join this new exciting network, or to find out more you can download the brochure, visit the consortium webpage and contact info@enterprizeexcellence.com. The lean and green consortium is governed a by its board of directors, currently consisting of Dr. Wood of Adnams PLC (Chairman of the board), Dr. Zokaei and Prof Hines from S A Partners, and Hunter Lovins from Natural Capitalism Solutions.

Deployment Goes on and on…

Deployment takes our strategy and pushes it down into the organisation so everyone knows what part they have to play in delivering strategy…..correct?

I have seen so many strategies that exist with the senior team and go nowhere near the business, where they do leak out of the boardroom they are too complex and generally run out of steam at mid management.

Deployment is also seen as a mathematical process where we set up the dreaded kpi’s and measure the business to death.

Deployment is alignment yes, but its also engagement, teams need to consider if we are driving a new strategy, do we have the capability to solve the problems it will throw up and are we prepared to manage differently as the strategy may necessitate us to do so.

Deployment for me needs to be become a key business function, the senior team needs to commit to it and recognise in order to change a business we all have to work at it.

Functional deployment is a great place to start, yes it will drive silos but we need to start somewhere. I would recommend that we add behaviour coaching into our thinking and look at audit in the first instance to develop a standard methodology.

Once we embedded a behaviour lets turn it on its head and start having departments working together-look at SIPOC for improved KPI alignment, action learning groups, suggestion schemes, and escalation processes.

As we mature we need to go on and on! Involve our people more and perhaps involve them in the creation of strategy itself. Move from ‘plan and do’ to ‘check and act’ within our activities.

Deployment should be a key business function and be owned at the highest level.

Operational Excellence (Lets just go to the doctors)

Too many companies read a book, go to Toyota or get bullied by their customers into “doing lean”. Invariably these companies fail as they copy another organisations approach. We all know our people are different and cultures individual –so why copy?

We have developed the S A Partners improvement journey and coupled this with Peter Hines’s lean business model to help us understand where an organisation is on its change journey. We have defined the maturity conditions from reactive to way of life to enable us to correctly diagnose the organisation and what needs to be done to improve it.

Often, mature solutions are copied without the management rigor and commitment behind them, they thus lack the robust foundations to make them stick. In addition, we see companies doing too much too soon, throwing everything at the organisation instead of focusing on the key issues. Finally the worst disease of all is the Company that is “doing lean” because it has to. For me we need to commit or stop, Lean can be fantastic, but don’t play with it.

Would you take a headache tablet to fix a broken leg?

Behavioural Investments in Environmental Sustainability Enable a Culture of Lean Thinking

Dr Andy Wood, CEO of Adnams PLC who is also a Professor of Corporate Leadership at the University of East Anglia and hosted the Lean and Green Consortium’s recent Gemba Exchange visit at Adnams, says: “As a family business with a public listing we are proud of being rooted in our community, sustainability in the widest sense therefore, has always run deep in the DNA of our business.

However, we have had to make tough decisions when investing in future business. For example, when we were planning our state-of-the-art warehousing facility, it required 15 to 20 percent higher investment, at least on the paper. However, we have been delighted with the result both financially and from a brand building point of view. We work hard to create a collective culture of value-based decision making across all levels of the business and the pay back is remarkable. The cultural and behavioural investment in turn has been the key enabler on our lean journey”

Vale celebrate their Business Excellence Award

Following on from the Shingo Medallion award announcement, Vale headquarters have recognised the hard work by all concerned at the Vale site in Swansea and the benefits make impressive reading from a business excellence perspective.

By adopting the Shingo principles implemented with the help of S A Partners, Vale have been able to reach all time production records, had zero lost time through injuries for 2011, 2012 and 2013 and shaved more than 20% off their production costs.

To add to this, S A Partners have now become affiliated to the Shingo Institute and will be delivering Shingo Discover Workshops throughout Europe. Professor Peter Hines, himself a Shingo proze winner, will be taking the workshops supported by our shingo team of Simon Grogan, Gary Griffiths, John Quirke and Chris Butterworth.  The first of these 2 day workshops will be held at the award winning plant in Vale on March the 17th, followed by one held in Ireland on the 20th March.

To find out more about Shingo, and how S A Partners can help your organisation in this area, why not attend one of these Shingo workshops held throughout the year.

You can view the full Vale news story by visiting the Vale website.

group view of the Vale crew




The foodmanufacture.co.uk publishes a podcast by Jeff Williams

During one of S A Partners Learn Share Grow workshops at Aimia foods, Jeff Williams, partner and head of the food and drink sector, was interviewed by Rod Addy of the Food Manufacture website. This interview was recorded and is now available as a podcast on their website.

Jeff Williams podcast:


In the interview Jeff explains the importance of having an ‘end to end’ system in place in order to sustain business excellence in an organisation. In Jeff’s many years of experience, visiting many organisations, the usual approach he’s found is that they only implement snippets of improvement, such as tools and techniques, visual boards and problem solving  etc.

But when he asks the question, ‘show me the end to end system, thats driven by targets, visual management,  boards etc’ that end to end system is usually missing.

Jeff goes on to explain that engaging the shop floor in the continuous improvement process is critical to its long term success.

You can hear the full podcast on the manufacture.co.uk website by following the link below.





S A Partners Client Receives the Shingo Silver Medallion Award

Vale in Clydach, Swansea, have been awarded the coveted Shingo Silver Medallion by The Shingo Institute. The award has been dubbed the “Nobel Prize of Manufacturing” by the North-American magazine Business Week.

Vale are the first UK Company to be awarded the prize in 25 years with just one other European company being previously recognised. Simon Grogan, S A Partners MD for Europe who’s worked closely with the company, said that “it’s a fantastic reward for the hard work Vale and S A Partners, who are official Shingo Affiliates to the Shingo Inst,  have been putting in together over the last few years”.

The Clydach Refinery is one of the largest in Europe and produces high-purity nickel and sub products for specialist areas, such as car components, batteries, nickel plates and nonferrous alloys. In operation since 1902, the factory produces around 40,000 metric tons of nickel products per year and supplies around 280 clients in over 30 countries across the world (in Europe, Asia and the US).

Since S A Partners intervention, Vale have been rewarded with a revenue increase of over 4.85 million and a reduction of finished goods inventory cost by 12 million.

group view of the Vale crewSimon Grogan said “this intervention was all about strong deployment and engagement of people through a journey that served everyone’s interest. We developed a long term vision and built robust systems that could deliver it. It was not about tools or ‘Japanese catchphrases’. Rather it focused on risk mitigation and sustainable continuous improvement.

Read the case study to find out more about the benefits Vale experienced during the improvement journey.

The name of the awards is a tribute to Dr. Shigeo Shingo, who was fundamental in the development of the Toyota Production System. The Shingo Institute recognizes excellence in organizations across the world, and its philosophy is that high-level performance in quality, cost and delivery can be reached through the application of tools for continuous improvement, and by core manufacturing techniques and business procedures.

Follow this link to read Vale’s press release in PDF format.

Based on our experience of working with Vale at Clydach in Swansea, who are the first UK organisation to win the Shingo Silver Medallion in 25 years, we are pleased to announce that we will be running Discover Excellence workshops throughout the year with the first workshop having taken place at the award winning facility of Vale.

Hear what Mike Cox, Vale’s general manager, has to say about S A Partners:

Staying Lean: Thriving, Not Just Surviving

Staying Lean: Thriving, not just surviving has just been awarded a Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence 2009, in the Research and Professional Publication category. The book draws on the story of a multi-national company that has successfully implemented Lean in its manufacturing and commercial areas to help turnaround the organisation s financial performance.

The story is based around the Lean Iceberg Model of sustainable change and addresses the often invisible, and hard to copy, enabling elements of successful Lean Management in manufacturing organisations: Strategy and Alignment, Leadership, Behaviour and Engagement as well as the more visible features: Process Management and the application of Lean Technology, Value Stream Tools and Techniques. Staying Lean is designed to be used as a practical workbook to guide practitioners along their own Lean journey so that Lean becomes embedded in the organisation and sustains the performance improvements over the long-term; often enabling them to outperform low-cost economies and thus compete in a global marketplace.

Purchase this book.

Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap, and Others Don’t

The best-selling Built to Last answered the question of what it takes to build an enduring, great company from the ground up. Good to Great answers an even more compelling question: can a good company become a great one and, if so, how?

After a five-year research project, Collins concludes that good to great can and does happen. In this book, he uncovers the underlying variables that enable any type of organization to make the leap from good to great while other organizations remain only good. Rigorously supported by evidence, his findings are surprising – at times even shocking – to the modern mind.

Good to Great achieves a rare distinction: a management book full of vital ideas that reads as well as a fast-paced novel.

Purchase this book.

Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation

This book is aimed at any manager interested in sustaining growth within their industry. They define “lean thinking” as the elimination of unnecessary waste in business, and by outlining the principles and applications of this, they link their theories to value for the customer.

Womack and Jones demonstrate the effectiveness of their approach through their research in both the U.S. and Europe. Citing examples from both simple and complex manufacturing processes, and from traditional technologies to high-tech companies, they show how their theories have been put into action.

Based on the belief that companies should compete against perfection rather than each other, Lean Thinking provides a valuable new insight into methods of production management. And by applying the theories outlined in this book, managers across all sectors of the economy will be able to reduce waste and increase profitability.

Purchase this book.

Practical Lean Leadership: A Strategic Leadership Guide For Executives

His is the first book to present Lean leadership in ways that are specific and actionable for executives to apply at work every day. It links Lean principles and tools directly to leadership beliefs, behaviors, and competencies in new and innovative ways that connect to workplace and marketplace realities.

It goes far beyond the common understanding of leadership and the training methods used for leadership development. The workbook can be used individually or by a leadership team in self-paced group training. Senior managers will be inspired by the proven approaches to improving their understanding and practice of strategic leadership.

Purchase this book.

The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership

Since The Machine that Changed the World (1991) defined lean production (based on the model of the Toyota Production System) as the next new paradigm of management since the mass production revolution, lean has spread from automotive, to the rest of industry globally, to defense, to financial services, to government, to health care, and more. As it expanded globally we have learned to think more deeply about lean as a way of linking a company’s business strategy to operational excellence through a culture of continuous improvement. Lean organizations constantly surface problems, find the root cause (Plan), attempt countermeasures (Do), check what happened, and act on what they learned (PDCA). The role of leadership in a lean organization is to live the values, show the way, and develop others to improve processes using PDCA through daily coaching.

Unfortunately, there is no quick-fix recipe to transform leaders from a short-term focus on quarterly returns to a long-term focus on developing people to achieve operational excellence. The typical leader is almost 180 degrees away from a model of lean leadership. Changing values and leadership behavior is every bit as challenging as trying to convince overweight people to change their lifestyle to healthy eating and regular exercise.

They must want it badly and transform themselves. Leaders that succeed in changing themselves to lead, teach, and coach on the long-term journey to continuous improvement throughout the organization will change the game in their industry. In this book we define a model of lean leadership based on Gary’s 25 years of experience with NUMMI, Toyota, and then as CEO of Dana and Jeff’s 30 years of deep study of Toyota. We explain the model through stories from our collective experiences and give practical advice for the long hard road leaders must commit to in order to truly self develop.

Purchase this book.