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Read These 7 Lean Books Now

by [user not found] | Sep 18, 2014

You've heard about Lean. You're curious. You've even talked to a couple of consultants who seemed knowledgeable.

But you're not sure. You don't really know enough to know whether it's a strategy that makes sense for your business.

We understand. So here's a perfect reading list to help you figure it out.

Read these first, then come to VIBCO for a tour, then call in professional help.

7 Fantastic Lean Books to Read Right Now

creating a kaizen culture

Creating a Kaizen Culture
 Jon Miller, Mike Wrobleski and Jaime Villafuerte

Creating a Kaizen Culture
is a fantastic book that features the combined experiences and insights from experts who have successfully used
kaizen - continuous improvement.

In addition to providing actionable insights about how to create a kaizen culture, the book provides a detailed look into how kaizen is implemented, maintained and encouraged in a number of well-known organizations including Toyota, Zappos, and Wiremold

 The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell's first book, The Tipping Point, is a research-based look into the power of ideas. Filled with case studies and academic research, the book documents how ideas, movements and trends brake through into our mainstream consciousness.

A snippet of the book from Gladwell's site summarizes the premise of the book best:

"Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate."

When developing a Lean culture in the workplace, ideas and understanding the weight that they carry is key. Gladwell provides tremendous insight into the 'DNA of ideas' and gives the reader a firm stepping stone on how ideas morph, change and catch on.

the toyota way front cover

The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer
Jeffrey Liker

There are loads of books about the Toyota Production System... but few capture the true essence as well as Jeff Liker.

The Toyota Way is the first book for a general audience that explains the management principles and business philosophy behind Toyota's reputation for quality and reliability. It captures insights of senior management in a very concise way.  

The book also explains to managers of just about every industry how to build sustainable processes through: elimination and identification of waste; producing small quantities of goods and eliminating over production; and empowering all employees to be active participants in sustaining systems, identifying waste and improving quality.

Lean for Dummies
Natalie J. Sayer and Bruce Williams

Are you new to Lean and have absolutely no idea where to start? Start here.

Lean for Dummies is a go-to quick reference on all things Lean. In simple terms, the book explains lean terms, concepts and ideas in a way that the Lean Newbie can understand.

Real Lean Volume 1
Bob Emiliani

Now here's a book for managers!

In Real Lean Volume 1, author Bob Emiliani provides an analysis into lean management and the role managers play in developing a Lean culture.

Emiliani explains the purposes, advantages, myths, and misinformation surrounding Lean management - the application of Lean principles to those management and leadership positions. In a lively and engaging style, he answers the key questions that leaders of organizations have about Lean management.

At just over 150 pages long - a perfect read for the executive on the go - Real Lean is a practical guide to Lean management, complete with interesting and informative linkages to historical events and long-forgotten perspectives in Lean.

Readers will learn how the two principles of Lean management, Continuous Improvement and Respect for People, work in tandem, with emphasis on Respect for People the principle that is often missing from the practice of Lean management.

Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate MUDA
Mike Rother, John Shook, Jim Womack and Dan Jones

The art of identifying and eliminating waste is a cornerstone of Lean. Waste is defined as any activity does not directly produce value to the customer. With the right training and set of eyes, managers and workers alike will quickly realize how much waste is staring them in the face with this book.

Learning to See is a equal parts How-To book and detailed analysis. The book walks the reader through the concept of value stream mapping - actually drawing out the steps that take place during a process. The goal of value stream mapping into a comprehensive visual in order to identify waste and areas of improvement.

Ideas are Free: How the Idea Revolution is Liberating People and Transforming Organizations
Alan G. Robinson and Dean M. Schroeder

The art of identifying and eliminating waste is a cornerstone of Lean.

ideas are free front cover dean schroederBecause they're doing the day-to-day work, front-line employees see many problems and opportunities their managers don't. But most organizations fail to realize this potentially extraordinary source of revenue-enhancing ideas. 

The authors of Ideas Are Free use real-world examples from their work with hundreds of organizations to show how to exploit the virtually free, perpetually renewable resource of employee ideas. 

The book explains how sustainable competitive advantages in areas ranging from productivity and responsiveness to cost reduction and quality assurance are only possible with the attention to detail that comes from getting and implementing large numbers of ideas from employees. 

Subjects include how to make ideas part of everyone's job, how to set up and run an effective process for handling ideas, how to help people come up with more and better ideas, and how a strong flow of ideas can have a profound impact on an organization's culture.


Want even more? We have loads of recommendations in the VIBCO bookstore

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