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Newt Gingrich Wants to Kaizen the U.S.A.

By Jon Miller Published on August 10th, 2007

Newt Gingrich wants to kaizen the U.S.A. He talks of “a world that works, and a world that doesn’t” using the example of FedEx versus the U.S. Federal Government in this video clip on Youtube.
In an August 7, 2007 speech at the National Press Club (you can find the entire speech here) he expands on this idea. There are a number of good ideas in this speech, and a mention of the Toyota Production System under a section called UPS and FedEx Superior to Federal Bureaucracy:
And it’s very straightforward. How many of you have gone online to check a package at UPS or FedEx? Just raise your hand. Look around the room. This is not — and I want to drive this home for the news media — this is not a theory, this is not Gingrich having interesting, unrealistic ideas.
It is an objective fact in the world that works that if you invest in technology, you reward competence — there are consequences for incompetence — you focus on the customer, you have market signals, you have the Toyota production system, Six Sigma, Lee Manufacturing, the writing of Drucker, Deming, Juran and Womack — it works, right?
Now, UPS tracks 15 million packages a day.
A UPS truck has more computing power than Apollo 13. (Laughter)
FedEx tracks 8 million packages a day. That’s the world that works. Here’s the world that failed — the federal government. The United States government today cannot find between 12 and 20 million illegal immigrants when they’re sitting still. (Light laughter.)
So just take those two comparisons. My answer, frankly, as a policy proposal, is that we spend a couple hundred million dollars, send a package to every illegal immigrant. (Laughter) (Applause)
When they deliver it, we’ll know where they are. (Laughter)

As part of a think tank Newt Gingrich gets to think big thoughts, possibly including how to get the U.S. government to operate more like the Toyota Production System. He sounds like he may be the Lean presidential candidate, though it’s not clear that he’s running.

  1. John Hunter

    August 10, 2007 - 5:04 am

    Newt Gingrich really does understand management ideas at a high level. He spent a great deal of time on Deming’s ideas even back when he was the Speaker of the House. He spoke to the Washington DC Deming Study group back then and knew his stuff. And he has continued to speak on good management practices.

  2. Ron Pereira

    August 10, 2007 - 6:33 am

    I agree with you both. I really hope he decides to run.

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