Does Jim Womack Regret Calling it “Lean”?

By Ron Pereira Updated on December 7th, 2017

If they had to do it over again… would Jim Womack & Dan Jones still support calling it lean?  And what did John Shook originally think about the book title “Learning to See?”  Finally, what is the “Great Stagnation” and what does it have to do with lean thinking?

These questions, and much more, are answered in an incredible 70-minute interview of  the original thought leaders who coined the term “lean” 25 years ago.

Gemba Academy, in collaboration with the Lean Enterprise Institute, created and produced this 70-minute discussion and have made the first video (where Jim Womack and Dan Jones talk about their thoughts on calling it lean) freely accessible.

Simply click the video thumbnail image below to watch it.

Click To Watch First Video Free of Charge

Reflections on 25 Years of Lean

Here’s the list of videos included in Reflections on 25 Years of Lean:

  1. Calling it Lean: If they had to do it over again, would they still call it “lean”?
  2. Learning to See: The group continues the discussion on their concerns with the word “lean” and especially their hesitation with introducing new tools such as value stream mapping.
  3. Lean Management Behaviors: The group discusses their early struggles with finding the correct balance between management systems and tools – the humanists and the technocrats – and realizing the fundamental importance of practice.
  4. Starting with Purpose: The importance of being able to state a purpose for an organization, and then creating alignment to support that purpose.
  5. Lean Healthcare: Why lean is resonating so well within the healthcare community, and how it has the potential to radically change the entire industry.
  6. Lean Government: Lean seems to develop and thrive within a crisis, and therefore government may be ripe for lean thinking.
  7. The Great Stagnation: The impact of the recession, and what Jim Womack calls “the great stagnation,” on lean thinking. We need to shift out of left-right thinking into a process of running experiments to improve value and outcomes.
  8. Lean Startups: The group gives their thoughts on the lean startup movement – is it real or just a new flavor?
  9. Lean NGOs: The opportunity and rapid growth of lean in NGOs – non-government organizations – especially with operations providing aid to Africa. This directly demonstrates the potential of lean to change people’s lives.
  10. Lean Shoring: How lean is impacting offshore outsourcing and creating the opportunity for reshoring – or “lean shoring.”
  11. Final Thoughts: Where lean is headed over the next 25 years, and why it is important for organizations to look at an entire holistic approach instead of considering lean to be a basket of tools.

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