Lean Frontiers: Are they differences in getting middle management on board from getting executive management support?
Are there differences in getting middle management from executive management on board for 1) developing the lean enterprise and 2) direct engagement on their part? What are the differences, if any?
Posted on May 9, 2015
Archives by Tag 'Tom'
Sandrine Olivencia

Tom Ehrenfeld: Don’t cherry pick lean principles, lean is a complete business system

By Sandrine Olivencia, - Last updated: Friday, June 28, 2013
There’s a massive amount of energy behind the lean startup “movement” today, which I find both exciting and a bit worrisome. Today I still see a gap between the loud buzz of the Lean Startup “movement” and broader cultural and widespread acceptance. N.B. when I say Lean Startup, for the time being I see this as the Lean (Software-based-Venture-chasing-Home-run-seeking) Startup. A subset of the overall startup world, to be sure, and not an unimportant one. Yet I’d like to see the learning from the Lean Startups gain broader traction. Has this community been able to codify the key principles in ...

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Sandrine Olivencia

Tom Ehrenfeld: How do we convince others to be lean?

By Sandrine Olivencia, - Last updated: Monday, May 31, 2010
How can we convince decision makers that lean is not a program to justify, but a way of doing business to achieve superior performance?
Sandrine Olivencia

Tom Ehrenfeld: How do Six Sigma and Lean fit together?

By Sandrine Olivencia, - Last updated: Sunday, April 4, 2010
How do Six Sigma and Lean fit together? Is one part of the other? Does one program cover more than the other? Or should the two not be compared in the first place? Please help define each of these programs, and explain how to think about both of them in the most productive way. Finally, elaborate on how whether other programs conflict or complement lean, and how to think about those as well.

Tom Johnson: Financial results such as revenue, cost, and profit are by-products of well-run human-focused processes

By , - Last updated: Thursday, February 18, 2010
Dear “Lean Edge” Colleagues: The cause of Toyota’s current crisis is found, in my opinion, in its very recent surrender to Wall Street pressure to grow continuously, as virtually all large publicly-traded American businesses, including those that pursue “lean” practices, have attempted to do for the past 30 years or more.  Steady growth in size and scale presumably improves profitability by conferring increased control over market prices and decreased costs. Unfortunately, as Toyota has discovered, the strategy never works. The flaw in this finance-oriented growth strategy is the belief that profitability improves by taking steps aimed at increasing revenue and cutting costs.  ...

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Sandrine Olivencia

Tom Ehrenfeld: What is to be learned from Toyota now?

By Sandrine Olivencia, - Last updated: Friday, January 29, 2010
Toyota is making news for its product recalls and for suspending production on the bulk of its models to work out its problems. Naturally most public accounts focus on the question of what Toyota did wrong. I think this is a very challenging question, and perhaps not the most important moving forward. I would prefer to ask that you reflect on what remains to be learned. Given the news, could one conclude that the company has reached the limits of its potential? Has the full promise of its true practice been sufficiently uncovered and shared yet? Most of all, what ...

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Tom Johnson: Reduce cost by nurturing relationships, not by cutting costs

By , - Last updated: Thursday, January 7, 2010
Since my first encounter with the company over 20 years ago, what has always impressed me about Toyota is a deep commitment to the idea that financial results emerge from managements' careful attention to nurturing process, not from their taking steps to achieve financial targets.   For decades, no other company has been as focused as Toyota is on reducing costs.  But no other company seems to understand as well as Toyota that lower cost is not achieved by cutting costs; instead, they lower cost is reached by cultivating patterns of relationships that are designed to continuously reduce the resources (including time) and effort required to serve customers better ...

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Tom Johnson: Lean as a shared vision

By , - Last updated: Wednesday, January 6, 2010
If people resist overtures to adopt lean, the first thing to do is ask "why?"  Ask them to define what lean means to them. Get them to specify the purpose that they think lean fulfills.  Then ask them to define what they now do and the purpose it fulfills.  If they believe that the purposes of lean and of what they now do are different, why?  If the purposes are the same, which approach do they think is the better one to achieve that purpose?  Why?  If they think lean might be a better approach, what keeps them from adopting ...

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Sandrine Olivencia

Tom Ehrenfeld: Can you teach the lean ideal of respecting people without actually bullying them?

By Sandrine Olivencia, - Last updated: Wednesday, December 23, 2009
From a distance, lean looks like such a nice, humanistic improvement approach—one that treats people with respect and generates knowledge from the ground up. That’s all well and good, but the practice of teaching, and doing, lean invariably involves conflict, frustration, and, to be honest, what seems like a fair amount of bullying from superiors to prod their employees to “get it.” Isn’t the reality of doing lean far more frustrating and conflicted than one would think? How do you get people on board in a meaningful way? How do you teach the gospel of respecting people without bullying them ...

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