The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know.
I wrote the first edition of Lean Production Simplified hoping to share what I’d learned at Toyota. It had been my blind luck to work with patient senseis. I felt that if I could explain things simply, then perhaps I had gained a certain level of understanding.
The past twenty years, I’ve been the sensei, helping companies apply the Toyota system or ‘Lean’. My practice has taken me far from the Toyota shop floor – into hospitals, power plants, container terminals, and research laboratories.
I’m certain that I learn as much as I teach. And the more I learn, the more I think of Socrates.
Why did I write the 3rd edition?
We need to learn the Toyota system – and not just in manufacturing. Hospitals, banks, universities, software developers, government agencies and other service providers are also hungry for Lean thinking and methods. Customers will no longer accept substandard safety, quality, delivery or cost performance.
Who is the book written for?
Leaders and learners at all levels in manufacturing, and in the ‘undiscovered country’ – health-care, financial services, the process industries, software development, construction, universities and the public service.
What’s different about the 3rd edition?
I’ve added many more examples from outside the factory (e.g. design, engineering, administration etc.) and from the industry sectors mentioned above.
I’ve also included study questions at the end of each chapter. My hope is that Lean Simplified 3rd Edition will be a working book and that I’ll continue to find in the gemba, filled with highlights and notes in the margin.
My study of aikido had prepared me for the Toyota “way”. I understood that it was a ‘do’ or path, and that the Toyota shop floor was a dojo, a place where you practiced a profound art, working on your technique, and on yourself. Indeed, before stepping on to the shop floor, I felt like bowing, a sign of respect for my team, organization, and the art of management.
I still feel that way.