What is the Real Innovation of Lean Thinking?

Workplace Gamification
Corporate Entrepreneurship Manifesto
April 25, 2015
“Innovation Is Strategy”
October 6, 2015
Show all

What is the Real Innovation of Lean Thinking?

By offering an alternative approach to management, lean thinking has disrupted the business world in the past three decades. But in what way has it really innovated?

In the two decades following the publication of Lean Thinking we have worked with senior executives determined to adopt the full lean system to transform their companies and invent genuine lean enterprises. We have continued to study Toyota’s evolution, as well as given a fresh look at the early findings of The Machine That Changed The World study. This led us to revisit slightly the original principles of lean thinking but also to place the methodology in a much broader context. Takahiro Fujimoto has long argued that the Toyota system is the result of an organic evolution more than the mechanistic application of fixed rules. Hirotaka Takeuchi has pointed out that continuous knowledge creation was a distinctive feature of Toyota’s success and Jeff Liker has captured Toyota’s focus on systematic leadership development. More broadly, Nobel Prize economist Joseph Stiglitz has taken just-in-time as a sign of the emergence of a new form of economy in a learning society.

Read more
By: Michael Ballé , Dan Jones & Jacques Chaize