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Monday, April 25, 2016

Book Review: The Dark Matter and Dark Energy of Lean Thinking

Lean Thinking promises much, but delivers at best a thirty percent success rate. Author Bob Brown, a certified Lean Thinking leader, attacks this problem the same way astrophysicists understand the workings of the universe. Assuming there is a reason for the abysmal results of change management, especially with Lean Thinking initiatives, he postulated Lean Thinking dark matter and dark energy, identifies what it is, and provides concrete solutions for every organization. The Dark Matter and Dark Energy of Lean Thinking identifies flaws in Lean Thinking and provides a new way of implementing Lean, especially to knowledge workers.

The tools of Lean work fine, it is the people side that contains hidden strengths and weaknesses. Bob Brown explores Lean beyond the classic seven wastes to create a balanced understanding of Toyota's two pillars of success; continuous improvement and respect for people.

He introduces the new Lean "Seven Assets". They are:
  1. Teamwork
  2. Leadership
  3. Communication
  4. Problem solving
  5. Engagement
  6. Reward
  7. Knowledge
The key is to identify how each asset is operating in an organization and continually enhance it. The reader will be able to create a balanced approach to continuous improvement and achieve much better results when focusing on the people side of Lean.

This book is about people. It is designed for people who want satisfied employees and seek better ways to enhance employee impact. It focuses people development and people interactions.

Brown’s book it a very quick read at under 2 hours. It’s strength is in the thought provoking approach to people factors of change. This is deeper dive into the psyche of employees and how if over looked will lead us astray.

Note: The author provided a copy of this book for review.

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