Mere Mortal Managers


TPS – Lean Manufacturing and Process Improvements: Lean Articles

An intriguing set of articles about being effective lean leaders, especially when you've been managing for years in a non-lean system. The article starts with the blunt assessment: “Whatever your company looks like right now it is very likely your fault.”

Another line says: “If you have bullied your staff into obedience you are in trouble. Lean empowers people and with management's blessing, enables them to do what needs doing.”

When I was at GM, our Plant Superintendent (at an Engine plant) said (I remember this vividly): “You need to beat down, beat down, beat down on people until they do exactly what they are told.”

Needless to say, that set up the new NUMMI-trained Plant Manager for quite a challenge. I still don't understand why the new PM let that “concrete head” stay around. Anyway, check out the article and chime in with your comments if you like.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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