Monday, October 8, 2012

Lean Transformation Know-How For Business Leaders


Few business leaders in the world have applied Lean strategy as successfully as Art Byrne has - and none has the ability to explain how to do it with succinctness and clarity. Art has successfully implemented Lean strategies in more than 30 companies in 14 different countries. Famous for turning around Wiremold which has been written about by Jim Womack in Lean Thinking and Masaaki Imai in Gemba Kaizen.  Now Art has written his own story in The Lean Turnaround. This book is a business leaders guide to succeeding with a Lean strategy to create value and transform their company.

The beginning of The Lean Turnaround Art describes journey to learning Lean from more traditional management at General Electric to his introduction to Lean at Danaher Corporation to his Lean transformation at Wiremold to his leadership transforming businesses and J.W. Childs. In the last part you will hear a simple method for transforming any organization in any industry. The core of Byrne's method is to configure your company to be responsive to the customers not the other way around.

Art doesn't dwell on the theory rather he shares from his experience what Lean does. He outlines the two main barriers to successfully implementing lean (lack of understand of lean and lean strategy and a lack of leadership to achieve turnaround) for all to learn. Byrne forcefully stresses the importance of the CEOs personal engagement in the daily application of Lean principles and practices. Art explains CEOs must understand three key management principles:

  • Lean is a strategy. (Don't just do Lean, be Lean.)
  • Lead from the top. (Lead by example with kaizen at the gemba)
  • Transform the people. (Get Lean knowledge)
Art even cautions leaders about the changes to your business that converting to Lean causes.  He strongly suggests adopting Lean accounting methods as soon as possible in the transformation.

This book is written for executive leaders of organizations wishing to know how to use Lean to transform their company but anyone interested in continuous improvement will learn valuable lessons. He is very skilled at simplifying Lean thinking so that it can easily be understood. Art shares real world examples of how he learned, applied, and improved work practices at all levels of the organization. You'll be able to feel Art's passion for Lean as you learn from his experiences.


I thoroughly enjoyed The Lean Turnaround and recommend it to anyone wanting to learn a better management system to create lasting value for people and customers.




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