Shingo Winners "Control Their Destiny"??


News: 14 Companies Earn Shingo Recognition

I could believe it more if the Shingo people merely claimed that the prize rewarded local examples of some good lean practices, but they claim much more. Company competitiveness depends on factors less easily measured by a prize committee and metrics, including culture, leadership, and many business processes beyond the factory (such as product development and customer service). Are these things measured by the Shingo committee? Can they be measured in any way other than long-term profit and employment security?

Ross Robson, of the Shingo Prize committee, claims:

” “The 2006 Recipients have demonstrated the aim to control their destiny though lean manufacturing and business processes, says Shingo Prize executive director, Ross Robson. The 2006 [Shingo Conference] and award ceremony will highlight how lean delivers global competitiveness and will control a company' ’s destiny to be cost competitive.”

My research tends to suggest there is a correlation between Shingo Prizes and stock price, if you believe in stock price as a measure of a company's overall success. Lean CAN help deliver global competitiveness, but it's not a guarantee, unfortunately.

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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.


  1. Mark, great blog on Lean!

    About your observation that Lean can help on competitiveness, you are absolutely right. I like to think of Lean as part of “green engineering”.

    Some few years ago, nobody was very interested in reducing from the start environmental impact of processes and products on the environment (“waste”), use concepts such as “cradle to cradle” design, or on energy efficiencies. But this is becoming critical to manufacturing…I think Lean is part of the larger picture and overall economy of processes, people and product, and yes, also part of “green manufacturing”.


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