In a review of Powering the Lean Enterprise: Fundamentals of Lean for Super-Charging Your Company & Your Life, by Bill Artzberger, Beth Wonson, CEO of Beth Wonson Consulting and an author herself of a book on self-management, Wonson writes:
Bill Artzberger captures and harnesses what is missing in so many faltering corporate improvement initiatives: 1) the importance of structured reflection on what is actually happening, and 2) using this reflection to learn and relearn how to proceed for sustainable, long term improvement.
Powering the Lean Enterprise is an easy and enjoyable must read for the leadership of any enterprise that is stuck and can’t quite figure out why strategic planning, goal setting and top down mandates for improved outcomes won’t yield success. This book will quickly become a dog-eared resource on the desk of successful business leaders.
In the book, Artzberger points out when discussing systematic problem solving, or lean’s Principle Number Four, that this principle refers to the manner in which organizations think about and look at problems.
Reflection as well as perception and attitude play critical roles in the lean process of problem solving.
“In general, problems are viewed as a negative thing,” one of the lean coaches (Warren) says to his client (Vicki), “but actually, problems are opportunities to learn and grow. Also, companies should value finding and resolving small problems as well as large ones. It’s not that small problems are as significant as larger ones. A part being late, the equipment being down, or a person not following standard work instructions, do not seem as valuable to work on as a defect that affects a customer, or a budget shortfall. But the overall impact of thousands of ignored small problems outweighs the impact of just a handful of large problems.”
Citing the value of learning from reflection, Vicki responds: “That is a piece of folk wisdom. Lumps in the carpet will trip you up. It’s easy to sweep small problems under the carpet, but eventually when enough small problems collect under that carpet, we all know what happens. The secret is to deal with issues as they come up.”
When delving into lean strategies and the lean approach to managing a company and its operations, one quickly learns that folk wisdom or common sense form the backbone of each of its rules and principles. Out of necessity, for example, a thrifty household or family on a strict budget learns how to eliminate waste.
In the early part of the 20th century, before lean concepts were formalized or systematized, Henry Ford practiced lean on the factory floor in Detroit when the first Model T Fords rolled off the assembly line. Ford also understood the importance of value in any business operation. Artzberger points out that Ford successfully provided “the highest quality automobiles of the time at affordable prices while also providing the highest wages in the industry.”
In Powering the Lean Enterprise, Artzberger emphasizes that structured reflection that is repurposed as part of the lean learning forms the basis for a lean mindset. Both serve as the foundation for a lean culture and lean environment, whether in the workplace, at home or in the community at large.
In this book you will learn about:
- Lean Thinking
- Lean Mindset
- Lean Culture
- The 4 Lean Rules & 5 Lean Principles
- Choosing Lean
- Lean Transformation Roadmap
- Lean Leadership
- Five Common Lean Pitfalls & How to Avoid Them
- Kaizen Workshops
- Daily Improvements – Kata
by Bill Artzberger
Powering the Lean Enterprise: Fundamentals of Lean for Super-Charging Your Company & Your Life , published by Dandelion Books, is available globally in hard copy and eBook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all other major online bookstores. Distributed by Ingram Content Group, it is available by special order in all brick & mortar bookstores.