- Paperback: 459 pages
- Publisher: Lean Enterprises Inst Inc; 1 edition (July 29, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1934109258
- ISBN-13: 978-1934109250
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Lean Manager: A Novel of Lean Transformation 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The format of a business novel has been popular for several years with some done well and others not so well. In general, I am not especially fond of the novel format due to poor story lines, poor dialogue, extra noise in the story line, and poor pace that drags the story along or slaps together the ending. If done well, I love the novel format.
In the case of The Lean Manager, it is hands down the best business novel on lean transformation that has been written yet and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Michael and Freddy did an outstanding job on all accounts providing a strong story with outstanding dialogue and many, many powerful insights into the lean transformation.
I started highlighting and taking notes of many of the best points which ended up being too numerous to list but I will share just a couple with you. I will not reveal all the golden nuggets found in the book so you can explore it on your own.
"People are natural problem solvers. Once we understand the problem, our mind will follow seamlessly to adopting a solution."
"When a solution is forced onto us where we do not see a problem, chance are we will fight tooth and nail against it, no matter how clever the new approach."
"There are very few operational experiments which cannot be reversed quickly, and hence, a bias to action is perfectly reasonable in routine process."
"Requires radical transformation of managerial behavior."
1.Read more ›
The Lean Manager stands out from this crowd.
While the critical role of leaders in the TPS has been covered in a technical sense, Michael and Freddy Ballé have captured the very human aspect of what really makes "lean manufacturing" different.
The book is written in the "business novel" genre and tells the story of a complacent factory manager, Andy, who convinces his new CEO to give him at least a chance to make the plant competitive rather than just closing it. The twist from the classic formula is that the CEO is not only Andy's nemesis, he is also his mentor.
Thus, the reader is brought through Andy's steep, and sometimes rocky, learning curve as he tries to apply the tools while struggling to discover the principles of leadership behind them. In the end, the reader has a much better perspective on what is actually meant by "making problems visible" and "engaging the workforce," and the critical relationship between the classic tools and the people who do the work every day.
I say "read this book first" because it goes beyond filling a gap left by other all of those other books. Instead, it sets out the framework for subsequent reading to fit into. Read this book first and you will have a different perspective for the other coverage you find elsewhere.
I attempted to re-read "Toyota Culture" after finishing "The Lean Manager" to pick up things I've lost or forgotten, but I find I can't commit myself to a second read. It is too 'text-written' to follow "The Lean Manager" -- too much like being back in school. That's not to say it isn't a great book, well worth the money and a required read for Lean, but it's just not as easy to read and be engulfed in as "The Lean Manager" or "The Gold Mine". I only have two regrets - 1) I don't have an autographed copy of the books and 2) the books are 'company-owned' so I couldn't highlight and note pages for future reference!
The book does a great job of discussing common challenges in the business world, such as IT systems, automation, and outsourcing, and how everything is interlinked. I enjoyed how the book focuses on developing knowledge and experience in the people doing the work through leadership--not just a core set of expert-types that have no deep understanding of the problems that are trying to be addressed.
Very enjoyable and valuable reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I received the suggestion from a former boss, and I liked the book for its romanticized way of describing cultural wars and the pitfalls of change management. Read morePublished 4 months ago by SG
The writing isn't as good as The Gold Mine, but lots of lessons can still be learned from this book.Published 5 months ago by Chris
Not an easy to follow book. Actually it is very difficult to read. Lots of names and stories that makes you lose words and forget things during reading. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
Only having read about lean manufacturing in trade magazines this was an easy read but very informative.Published 12 months ago by Mark Howell
This is an excellent resource to use to get a better understanding of using Lean principles in the workplace. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Jecynta O.
The information is very good and the way it is written makes it very interesting, even when you're not a manager. Read morePublished 22 months ago by JJK