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Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation [Kindle Edition]

George , Koenigsaecker
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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  • Print ISBN-10: 1563273829
  • Print ISBN-13: 978-1563273827
  • Edition: 1
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Book Description

At The Danaher Corporation, George Koenigsaecker led the lean transformations of both the automotive and tool groups. He also led The Hon Company’s successful lean conversion, which doubled productivity and tripled revenues, leading Industry Week to recognize HON on their list of the "World’s 100 Best Managed Firms." Written to help executives in determining right from wrong during a lean initiative, Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation shows that lean is more about an approach than it is about tools. It presents the successful strategies and case histories of several key American leaders who have been instrumental in bringing lean to the forefront of various industries.

Organized in the chronological sequence that a leader embarking on a lean journey would experience, this lively work:

  • Describes the simple, yet powerful, True North metrics used by Toyota and describes how they drive every line item in the good direction
  • Explains the use of value stream analysis at the leadership level
  • Shows how to structure successful kaizen events that improve the value stream
  • Presents tactical organizational steps necessary to sustain double-digit improvements
  • Explores the development of a corporate assessment and review structure in support of a lean transformation
  • Introduces leadership tools such as strategy deployment, transformation value stream analysis, and transformation plan of care

Lastly, the book discusses what may well be the least understood and most critical aspect of a lean transformation: the building of a lean culture. That ability is what separates the tactician from the technician. While many books exist that detail all the tools needed for a lean implementation, this book explains those tools needed at the enterprise level by executives, but more importantly it provides potential change agents with the skills to define, develop, and communicate a vision. It helps cultivate the willingness to innovate and learn by doing. Such a course is not for everyone, just leaders.

Editorial Reviews


"Any senior executive serious about leading a lean transformation should start here. Koenigsaecker captures well the essence of sustained lean success, not just the feel-good kaizen event."

— Larry Culp, president and CEO, Danaher Corporation

"Koenigsaecker has spent more time transforming more organizations into lean enterprises than any other CEO. In this brief volume, he summarizes his 30 years of experimentation by describing lean, showing how to measure it, explaining the role of value stream analysis and kaizen, and providing a tactical and a strategic action plan for lean transformation."

— Jim Womack, chairman and founder, Lean Enterprise Institute

"This truly worked for us, and continues to make our Air Force better. The message comes with great stories and legendary examples to make Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation readable for all."

— Michael W. Wynne, 21st Secretary, United States Air Force

"Koenigsaecker has been one of the most important mentors for me on our lean journey. His willingness to share his knowledge and experience with the ThedaCare team has been invaluable."

— John Toussaint, CEO, ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value

About the Author

President, Lean Investments, LLC

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
David Hogg
Chair, 24th International AME Lean Conference

Here is the nugget that stands out among the many pebbles on Lean. It is for those who cannot afford false starts or risk untried abstract theory. Few alive have the extensive experience of George Koenigsaecker from Lean's early light to now. His leadership at the fabled Danaher, Jake Brake, and the HON Corporations are still studied and the the companies are still thriving today. This practical book is based on his experience. It is a book written for the practitioners by a practitioner - and written in a language practitioners understand and have needed. It's clear, straight-to-the-point and filled with experienced insight as those who employ it will know as they put it to work. What is powerful about this book is its ring of reality as he knows, and shares, what will work and what does not work. This book is timely and needed now.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical guide for senior leaders May 17, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's a well-documented fact that the majority -some studies put the figure at 80 to 90% - of lean implementations FAIL and are a drag on company performance. However the minority of firms that get it right produce stunning results and build a formidable competitive advantage. This book is an invaluable guide for senior managers to improve their chances of success. The book is not about the tools of lean but about the higher level considerations in building and supporting a lean transformation.

A potentially surprising thesis of this book is that even though lean was developed over a 40 year period at Toyota and building a culture takes many years, lean can and should produce quick and dramatic results. Lean should start producing returns immediately on a "pay as you go" basis. I have seen many programs that do not translate in bottom line results and the standard response is that "lean is a long journey and requires patience." It may be a long journey to inculcate the entire organization with a lean mindset BUT the author makes it abundantly clear - the results should come quickly, steadily and within a few years, produce dramatic results. Typically if results do not come quickly the program will die setting the stage for the next" hot" program.

Even though the book is relatively short it packs detailed and pragmatic operating practices on how to deploy and support a culture of continuous improvement. The author certainly has the credibility and background to weigh in on this subject. Koenigsaecker seems to be the real deal. As a former executive at Danaher Corporation he helped to develop the Danaher Business System which has vaulted the industrial conglomerate into the top ranks of high performers, spawning numerous versions of like "business systems".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I highly recommend October 23, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I just finished the book. I think it is great. I thought the chapters on tactics, strategy and culture were particularly insightful.

This book helps you leap frog you lean transformation by presenting useful lessons learned. At the same time, the author clearly communicates that lean is a journey--not a short dash.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for Lean Leadership August 3, 2009
Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation is the roadmap to lead your organization down the road to transforming into a lean enterprise. And it is paved with deep knowledge and experience. There are only a tiny number of executives that have this level knowledge and experience and George Koenigsaecker is one of these elite few. And he has been there learning and leading since the beginning of lean in North America. His experience is from direct hands-on leadership, mentoring, and on the floor making it happen. He reveals his lessons of what worked and gives details on execution. George also discloses the pitfalls leadership must understand and how to deal with them - which is critical to any successful transformation.

Anyone leading a lean transformation in a leadership position should absolutely read and re-read this book if they have intentions of being successful and saving significant missteps and mistakes. George has blazed this trail for you and graciously shares step-by-step guidance for the range of organizational functions you will have to learn, address, mentor and change. Take advantage of it!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Answers for lean leadership December 14, 2009
To fully understand lean transformation, you must learn from a great mentor -- like George Koenigsaecker. He has written a wonderfully practical guide for leadership. There are many fine books about the fundamentals of lean and even more about leadership in general. Many organizations achieve temporary and localized lean successes. This book provides clear guidance regarding the vectoring mechanisms that must be in place for lean to succeed at the macro level. It is concise, but not cursory; clear, but not simplistic; and directive, but not condescending. This is an exceptional read for anyone earnestly committed to embracing lean to transform an organization.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great insights! March 5, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
George is a leader in lean strategy implementation and has the results to prove it! I enjoyed his insights and lessons learned from the ground up and top down. A must read for management wanting to lead rather than manage.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview March 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is very easy to read and give a very good idea and examples on how to implement a lean enterprise trasnformation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Overview of Lean
Good insights into the big picture. Offered another level of understanding to someone learning and applying Lean to my radiology group.
Published 10 months ago by Stephen Holtzman
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for executives
This is by far the most valuable book I have come across on Lean business strategy.
It clearly explains many aspects of Lean with quantified examples of how they impact... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Ryan Cartier, Lean Leader
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction
This is a great quick introduction to the lean principles that went into the creation of the Danaher Business System and his transformation of HON/HNI, as well as some background... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Kipper Lugs
2.0 out of 5 stars Very, very basic
If you know nothing about lean and would like to get a fundamental, non actionable, lightly lean pricipled primer... then this book will satisfy your requirements. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Bob S
4.0 out of 5 stars Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation
On the subject of lean transformation, you can trust George Koenigsaecker. Besides dedicating his career to the exploration and application of lean principles, he writes with the... Read more
Published on December 2, 2011 by Rolf Dobelli
5.0 out of 5 stars Lean Enterprise Transformation
This is THE go to book for an outline on how an organization should go about beginning a lean enterprise transformation. Read more
Published on August 24, 2011 by daveybo
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Gold
This book is expensive for just over 100 pages, so it has to be worth it. It is ! George Koenigsaecker has decades of experience in lean companies and, in this book, he gives us... Read more
Published on September 24, 2009 by Mr. Ross Maynard
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