Words of Taiichi Ohno: Build a System that Loses Money

At one level, a lean transformation means improving existing systems and building new systems where required. People and organizations cannot avoid systems. We all work within systems, be they regulatory, financial, logistical, political or eco. These systems influence each other to varying degrees and at different rates. Some systems are

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Not All Costs Exist To Be Reduced

Taiichi Ohno declared, “Costs don’t exist to be calculated, costs exist to be reduced.” His point was that traditional accounting can fool us into justifying inefficient operations, building up inventory or acquiring assets because the numbers look good. Instead of being creative with accounting, Ohno advocated reducing cost by being

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Teaching Thinking

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few. – Shunryu Suzuki A couple of recent Harvard Business Review articles have discussed how higher education isn’t preparing graduates for the workforce and how engineers need experience in nonlinear thinking. There’s an interesting relationship between

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GA 253 | Building a Strong Lean Foundation with Mohamed Saleh

This week’s guest is Mohamed Saleh of Hartford HealthCare. Mohamed shared the details of their lean journey, including the dynamic approach they use and how their department is organized.  An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here. In this episode you’ll learn: The quotes that inspire Mohamed

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The Life-Affirming Science of Tidying Up

When book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was published a few years ago, I read it with interest. It describes an unintentional application of 2S principles in the home (sort & straightening / set in order). Author and consultant Marie Kondo has reportedly been obsessed with tidiness since childhood. As

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GA 252 | Standard Work in the Office with Steve Ansuini

This week’s guest is Steve Ansuini. Steve discussed his time at Toyota, including how he implemented Standard Work and Job Instruction Breakdowns in the office. An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here. In this episode you’ll learn: A quote that inspires Steve (1:51) Steve’s background (2:34)

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How Wrong Should We Be?

A Scientific American article titled How Wrong Should You Be? offered an answer to a question that has been in the back of my mind for a long time. Like many answers, this one raises further questions. Taiichi Ohno’s wrote in Workplace Management that even the best of us are

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