"Real Lean," Volumes 1 and 2

I’ve had the opportunity to read Bob Emiliani’s two collections of essays on “Real Lean” and I’m long overdue on posting about them. I’m especially late considering since Volume Three is coming out in June. These books are particularly recommended for those who already have a basic Lean education and some experience (or struggles) with implementing Lean.

Real Lean: Understanding the Lean Management System (Volume One)

In this book, Emiliani introduces the “Real Lean” concept, by which he means the real approach that focuses on both pillars of the Toyota Way:

  1. Continuous Improvement
  2. Respect for People

As Emiliani points out, far too many only focus on the first part — the tools, improvement, and methods, without focusing on people. When people are implementing Lean with just a short-term focus — focusing only on numbers or (even worse) slashing headcount, he calls this “Fake Lean.” It’s pretty similar to my “Lean vs LAME” construct.

Here is Bob’s page about the book, with the list of essays and reader reviews.

Real Lean: Critical Issues and Opportunities in Lean Management (Volume Two)

This second volume covers more issues for those who are deep into their Lean journey. For example, chapter 6 is called “We’re Beyond That.” This is pretty common when a company is a few years into their Lean journey. A company has had success or maybe the executives are bored (or have moved on) and it’s time to move “beyond Lean” (if I only had a dollar for each article or webinar that promised what’s next “beyond Lean.”). Bob emphasizes that Real Lean is a constant mindset and a constant way of managing a business.

Here’s Bob’s page on Volume Two.

Check out the “Emiliani” link below for discussion about his earlier books and his podcast episodes that we did together.

I’m going to spend some time re-reading some of these essays over the weekend and I might comment more on the ones that were most useful to me in my current Lean efforts. Definitely recommended reading.


Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please scroll down to post a comment. Click here to receive posts via email.


Now Available – The updated, expanded, and revised 3rd Edition of Mark Graban’s Shingo Research Award-Winning Book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement. You can buy the book today, including signed copies from the author.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Please consider leaving a comment or sharing this post via social media.

Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an eBook titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

Post a Comment

CommentLuv badge