About ten years ago I had an idea for a novel.
I envisioned an auto plant manager whose life was in shambles, and a damaged ex-Toyota executive.
A deshi and sensei coming together in an unlikely friendship, and helping to heal one another thereby.
I saw a New Jersey auto plant in a death spiral, full of tension, despair and waste, unable to right itself despite the best of intentions.
These images became Andy & Me, whose characters and factory came to life for me.
Andy & Me was awarded the Shingo Prize and was commercial & critical success.
I was a bit shocked. Didn't think anybody would care for a 'factory novel.'
The characters, Tom & Andy, seemed to strike a chord. I'm been humbled by the personal feedback I've received.
I remember a young engineer who told me she cried when Andy revealed his 'secret' to Tom.
(Was it that bad, I wondered? Then I realized she had been moved in a good way!)
Tom & Andy's adventures continue in The Remedy - Bringing Lean Out of the Factory...
Tom & Andy take on not just a factory, but an entire automotive platform.
I wanted to express what I've learned working upstream & downstream of the factory.
The economic chaos of 2008 and 2009 informs The Remedy.
How could the splendid, historic Detroit auto companies have fallen so far, I wondered?
In fact, Tom & Andy seek the remedy to Big Company Disease.
Again, your response has been very kind. (Thank you.)
Where will Tom & Andy go next?
Not sure -- but they're up to something...