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February 2012

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« What JPMorgan Can Learn From the Airlines & Hans Christian Andersen | Main | Jamie Dimon, Bernie Madoff and the public safety »

February 04, 2011


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Dear Steve,

Thanks for your enlightening post. Is it oke if I add some additional reading & thinking material to the list?

Here's a good post by Tom Johnson on the cause of Toyota's recent crisis, and about why 'Lean' doesn't work:

And John Seddon - together with Owen Buckwell, he won the M-prize on Reinventing Leadership (issued by a.o. Gary Hamel, Vineet Nayar, John Mackey) - has explained for quite some time now that a) Toyota / Taiichi Ohno didn't do what we call 'Lean' and b) why Lean doesn't work for service organisations anyway.

Here are some of his articles:

And here you can download Simon Caulkin's reflections on a recent summit by Seddon, with leaders of public and private companies that have actually changed the way they work. Amazing read, concrete and inspiring:

Best, Mireille


Why Lean Programs Fail—Where Toyota Succeeds: A New Culture of Learning

Steve Denning


Thanks for these links.

I've highlighted the Simon Caulkin pdf in a separate post here:

On the issue of lean: in the US, it was generally seen as a set of tools to eliminate waste to be implemented within the existing management values. As such, it had little impact. They were treating people like things to be manipulated.

Firms that adopt the people-centered values of lean, as well as the tools, like Toyota, are the ones that get the real value.


Cristal Mcmeans

I don't see how Lean would fail. After all, the evidence is right there - Toyota became the world's top automobile manufacturer in only 50 years; and you definitely can't argue with a presentation of success! SMED has been applied at our firm for a year now - and there's significant change in our production rate!


I've learned so much from you! steve! thanks!


Yah, Lean will not fail if they are being implemented well by the companies across the globe. It is also applied in a lot of companies today, proving that they can also stand out with better workforce. Employees have also found the joy of having Lean in their offices. It makes their lives easier.

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