The "Leaders Production System"??


Random thought for the week: You always hear “we're not Toyota, we don't build cars, etc. etc.” in context of making excuses for not implementing Lean, since:

  1. Lean comes from Toyota (which earlier inspiration from Ford, TWI, etc.)
  2. It's obviously in the name “Toyota Production System

“We're not Toyota” becomes a ready excuse for Lean failure. Since some of us are fond of saying, “Lean does not implement itself, Leaders do,” what if it was called:

Leaders Production System

That way, if the effort failed, you couldn't only say, “We're not Leaders!”

p.s. I'm not seriously suggesting a name change. Just food for thought.

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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. It also has another meaning I like: a system to produce leaders. Producing leaders is something lean does. A system that focuses on making numbers looks good produces managers that try to make numbers look good. Management systems that aim to improve the system produce managers that lead improvement efforts.

    As with any system, interactions between components are important. The people effect the system and the system effects the people.


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