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Tag Archives: Lean

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Quality Circles: The U.S. False Start to Lean

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(This is the fifth in a 12-part series on the origins of Lean in the U.S. and my role as one of its pioneers.) It was clear that employees in Japan were engaged. Toyota was famous for andon, a manufacturing term used to describe a system whereby employees could “pull the cord” and alert management » Read More

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Lean Blossoms: The U.S. Pioneer of Lean Spreads the Knowledge

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(This is the fourth in a 12-part series on the origins of Lean in the U.S. and my role as one of its pioneers.) By 1984 Omark was gaining wide recognition as one of the best companies in America. The company was featured in what I believe was the first book written in the U.S. » Read More

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Lean Germinates: The U.S. Pioneer of Lean Spreads the Knowledge

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(This is the third in a 12-part Series on the Origins of Lean in the U.S.) To get the Omark revolution underway, in early 1982 we bought the first 500 copies of Shigeo Shingo’s A Study of the Toyota Production System that were imported into the U.S. Because it was the first edition, it was » Read More

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Lean’s U.S. Origins: The Seed of Change is Planted

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(This is the second in a 12-part Series on the Origins of Lean in the U.S.) “Go find the best management practices in the world!” That was the challenge that Omark Industries’ president gave the task force I was assigned to in late 1981. It was a broad and exciting charter, one that would significantly » Read More

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The Tour That Inspired the Lean Movement in the United States

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(This is the first in a 12-part Series on the Origins of Lean in the U.S. and my role as one of its pioneers.) Those who have read my book, Business at the Speed of Now, and who work with the great team at Mass Ingenuity, rarely hear us talk about Lean. Even though the » Read More

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Lessons from 30 years of implementing lean

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Recent conversations with the Lean team in one of our great states reminded me of the passion with which organizations embark on their Lean journey. It also reminded me of the lessons I have learned from leading its application in many organizations over the past 30 years. Lean includes a wonderful and powerful methodology for » Read More

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Crux Hoax: Hope

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Recently I had the pleasure of speaking at the Washington State Lean Transformation Conference held in Tacoma. The event was an amazing testimony to hope. There were about 2,200 people in attendance, up from 400 who attended the year before. Washington State government completed 95 lean projects in the past year. Lean brings the promise » Read More

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Employee Engagement By Tools and Techniques

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Employee engagement is the Holy Grail because when it improves so does the customer experience, productivity and revenue. Also when it moves up, costs, absenteeism, turnover, theft, accidents, and defects go down. In the search to drive up employee engagement there have been many alluring paths to explore. Over the years most organizations have jumped » Read More

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