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Getting to Lean - Transformational Change Management Paperback – April 24, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Miller Management Press, LLC (April 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0578121816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0578121819
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,162,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For the past thirty-five years, Lawrence M. Miller has worked to improve the performance of organizations. He began in our prisons. He redesigned a prison system by establishing the first free-economy behind prison walls in which inmates learned by earning.

His consulting focuses on implementing lean management and culture within his client organizations. He helps his clients with "whole-system" redesign of both work processes and the enabling social systems of the organization. Lean culture plus lean processes equal competitive success and customer satisfaction. He coaches senior teams and executives in their leadership of change and lean organization.

He was the founder of the Miller-Howard Consulting Group, which he sold to Towers Perrin in 1998 when he became a principal in that firm. He and his firm were one of the early proponents of team-based management and implemented team management from the senior executive team to include every level and every employee in the organization. Among his consulting clients have been 3M, Corning, Shell Oil Company, Merck, Metropolitan Life, Chick-fil-A, and Landmark Communications.

Mr. Miller has authored eight previous books, among them American Spirit: Visions of A New Corporate Culture, and Barbarians to Bureaucrats: Corporate Life Cycle Strategies. He has appeared on the Today Show, CNN, and CNBC, has written for The New York Times and has been the subject of a feature story in Industry Week magazine. Mr. Miller now lives in Annapolis, MD.

Mr. Miller is a frequent and popular speaker at management conferences.

His website is and he can be reached at

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
It is very easy to read and comprehensive.
So will your employees, your existing customers and the new ones you will attract.
J. Boyett
Miller's work is scholarly and well referenced.
James M. Schear, Ph.D.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy Marcic on May 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
I've read hundreds of management books in my decades as a professor (currently Columbia Univ) and a management consultant. Over the last 30 years the trend has been to write a breezy, short book, maybe a fable with a big font and few pages. Larry Miller's book, GETTING TO LEAN brings us back to solid content with vivid and fascinating examples from his many years as a management consultant. Miller goes through the entire process of how to create a high-functioning organization. This is no mean feat, as thorough as Miller is, because it requires great skills as a writer and thinker, as well as heavy doses of wisdom.

Thomas Edison said, "Vision without execution is hallucination." There are plenty of books out there with wonderful ideas, great concepts and imperative principles. But what do you do after reading them? Well, figure out on your own how to implement. Miller has taken the time and energy to lay out not just vision but also the execution. What are the actual steps an organization and its leaders need to take to achieve their desired goals? Miller has it right there in GETTING TO LEAN.

Miller has written several other books, all of them excellent. My favorite is perhaps FROM BARBARIANS TO BUREAUCRATS, which is something like Toynbee's work on the rise and fall of civilizations, but in this case on organizations. It is fascinating. Miller's got the unique ability to weave together management principles with sociology, anthropology and history and make it all fun and interesting. Not many people can do that.

Read GETTING TO LEAN if you truly want to understand how to make organizations more effective. If you are looking for a short management fable you can read in 15 minutes, go elsewhere. This is a book that is purposeful and important.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Goodwin on May 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
Larry Miller's approach to whole system change, using the principles of Lean and the best of management and change theory in a practical, action learning approach was transformational for my health care organization. The service referral system that took five hours on average to process was reduced to five minutes and productivity increased 20% since full implementation. A field nurse told me last week that she worked in the system prior to the change and it was very stressful, on return from a year's absence in the new system she said, she can provide better service, she is happier and so are her colleagues and she is more efficient. Change can be challenging but engaging staff in the design of the work system increases ownership, accountability and the success of the change. Using Larry's approach to Lean works, I highly recommend this book if you want to execute meaningful organizational change.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James M. Schear, Ph.D. on August 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Getting to Lean by Lawrence Miller offers yet another contribution by the author to those of us in business and consulting. The book strikes an important balance between practicality and application and the current state of knowledge. Miller's work is scholarly and well referenced. I particularly liked how the author is able to weave concepts into real life by citing experiences he has had. It makes for real life applications and a deeper appreciation for concepts that work. For those interested in understanding how to make organizations more effective, this book is an important read. The author's long time advocacy for instilling principles into our work and lives is an important contribution. The worksheets and outlines for tasks to engage in are a bonus for the reader who will be eager to practice what he or she has learned from reading the book. I highly recommend Getting to Lean to both those early and late in their careers. There something to be gained from reading this book across a wide spectrum of organizational environments.
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