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The Lean Turnaround: How Business Leaders Use Lean Principles to Create Value and Transform Their Company Hardcover – August 28, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Art Byrne has been implementing Lean strategy in various U.S.-based manufacturing and service companies, such as Danaher Corporation, for more than 30 years, including The Wiremold Company, which he ran for 11 years. He now serves as Operating Partner at the private equity fi rm J. W. Childs Associates L.P.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071800670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071800679
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
While most business books read like a 10-page article diluted over 200+ pages, Art Byrne's, instead, reads like 600-pages condensed to 200. This is the right length to be read by business people on airplanes. A longer book could have given more details, but at the cost of losing the audience. As it is, behind every sentence, you sense that there is personal experience you would like to dig further into.

In the Acknowledgments, Byrne claims not to be a good writer. Either it is false modesty or his editor indeed did a great job. The book has a visible structure, the sequence of topics makes sense, and the sentences are clear and free of jargon.
This book is a must-read because of the author's credentials. Art Byrne has been Theodore Roosevelt's "man in the arena," directly leading A to Z Lean transformations as company CEO. His advice to other CEOs, in the same words, would not carry the same weight if they had been written by anyone without his experience.

The book starts with Art Byrne's personal history, from his first steps at implementing Lean at Danaher, through his experience as CEO of Wiremold, and his work in private equity, using Lean in his firm's portfolio companies.

Byrne devotes several chapters to the strategic nature of Lean, the need for top management to get personally involved, and the differences between Lean leadership and the management style he experienced at the beginning of his career. And this leads into recommendations for CEOs on starting and leading their own Lean transformation, including pointers on compensation policies.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Top five reasons why I give five stars to this book:
- It comes from a manager with close to 30 years of experience applying Lean in American companies.
- It lists the most common obstacles that kill 93-95% of lean turnarounds, along with solutions to avoid/reduce them.
- It explains Lean in very simple terms, with many supporting examples. It even provides checklists to follow!
- It describes the virtues of improving processes, rather than managing the numbers at the end of each month.
- It insists on the strategic nature of Lean, which reduces costs but also raises the top line.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many people remain skeptical of Lean management or think that it is nothing more than a passing fad. Art Byrne, a serial Lean turnaround executive, decisively shows how wrong those views are. Byrne shares with us his proven method for turning around businesses that have long used conventional management. The results that Art and his management teams achieved far surpassed what the former leaders of the businesses sought to achieve using conventional management.

Developed over many decades, Lean has evolved into a comprehensive system of management for any business or organization. Byrne gives numerous manufacturing and service business examples that describe how Lean works in each environment. The same method can be applied to non-profit and non-governmental organizations as well. Importantly, Byrne shows Lean is a human-centered management system that, done right, yields great outcomes for all key stakeholders: employees, customers, suppliers, investors, and communities. Byrne makes clear the importance of employees in Lean management and their role as enablers of time-based competitiveness.

Art presents facts on what Lean does, not theory on what Lean can do, and carefully outlines the common pitfalls for all to learn. Byrne forcefully stresses the importance of the CEOs personal engagement in the daily application of Lean principles and practices, and offers comprehensive supporting arguments. Byrne exhorts CEOs to understand the value-creating processes in their organizations. To do that, they must learn to think and do things differently, including:

* Learn Lean principles and practices to gain proficiency vs. watch others do it.
* Get personally involved vs. delegate.
* Think and do vs. only do.
* Work with lower-level people vs.
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Format: Hardcover
This book has the hallmarks of excellence. It is authoritative because it is written by someone who really knows what he is talking about. It is fresh thinking. In a clear and succinct way Mr. Byrne has provided the essentially radical framework of management thinking required for a company to make lean thinking work successfully. It is comprehensive because it does not look narrowly at the methods of lean, the author shows us how executive leadership teams need to think and act. And it is short. It is a compelling and easy read on this vital aspect of 21st century business. I hope - within the clamor of the political and economic issues of our day - that this book will be found on every executive's desk.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the most exciting lean books of recent years. Byrne's book reveals the fundamental insights of how lean as a business method. I have the good fortune of knowing the CFO of one of the cases mentioned in the book and he attests that, in his tenure as CEO, the author increased the value of a company from 30 million to 770 million dollars in ten years. That's the kind of success lean can lead to, if, as the book describes, one succeeds at linking the hands-on lean tools to the overall strategic vision of the company.

This is essential reading for all entrepreneurs, and if you've never heard of lean, a great introduction to how to get into it the right way. Byrne has been practicing lean from before lean was even called lean, and one of the few CEOs to bring the original lean consultants from Japan and try to figure this stuff out. In the process, he formulated a strong and original vision of how to make a bundle whilst developing people and sharing success with all involved.

As a lean writer myself, I try to read as many lean books as I can as they come out, and have to confess that many fall out of my hands, but I could not put this one down. It's clearly written, full of engaging cases, and you can't pass a paragraph without wanting to underline some great insight. An absolute must read: it will completely change your thinking about what lean is really about, and, more deeply what business is really about as well. Success from the hands-on leader who made it happen.
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