A Japan Tour "Boondoggle"


    Got Boondoggle?: Japan Day 1 – Toyota Motor Kyushu

    Boondoggle indeed, Mike! I am really looking forward to reading more of Mike's posts from Japan. He is traveling with a Gemba Research “Kaikaku” Tour of Japanese lean factories. Notice, you have to specify “Japanese” and “lean” separately, because not all Japanese factories are lean. Gemba Research also does the “Gemba Pantarei” blog that I often link to.

    The first link above was from his Toyota visit. This is a link to his second visit to a non-Toyota factory.

    It's really very thrilling that Mike is sharing his experiences with us.

    I would love to take one of their tours someday. I do have to challenge one thing though — do we really have to go all the way to Japan to see great lean factories anymore? Is there still a mystique that lean is “Japanese?” Has anyone put together an American lean tour, including the Toyota Georgetown plant, Johnson Controls, Danaher, other good lean companies? What other companies would you include in that “American lean” tour?

    Please check out my main blog page at www.leanblog.org

    The RSS feed content you are reading is copyrighted by the author, Mark Graban.

    , , , on the author's copyright.

    What do you think? Please scroll down (or click) to post a comment. Or please share the post with your thoughts on LinkedIn – and follow me or connect with me there.

    Did you like this post? Make sure you don't miss a post or podcast — Subscribe to get notified about posts via email daily or weekly.

    Check out my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation:

    Get New Posts Sent To You

    Select list(s):
    Previous articleA Factory on a "Diet"?
    Next articleReducing Waste and Improving Efficiency in Manufacturing: Insights from Jamie Flinchbaugh
    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. After visiting the Toyota Georgetown plant where my brother works, I can say nothing less than astonishing. As a graduate student in information science with a concentration in info policy and management, I am awed that corporations (i.e., learning organizations) do, indeed, exist… in America. Certainly, Toyota’s concepts have caught on elsewhere within the manufactuting community, and to ignore this domestic component is a shame. Afterall, Deming originated his ideas here, in the US. What a round-about route Deming’s ideas have taken for the Japanese to garner all the credit.

    2. I’ll be touring a Raytheon facility in Andover Mass. in October. Raytheon is very active with MIT’s Lean Aerospace Initiative – I’m really looking forward to the tour and will be sure to post some notes and observations on the blog.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.