Each month new articles, book reviews, and other content are added to the Superfactory website. The new content is featured in the monthly e-newsletter which goes out to 50,000 subscribers worldwide, and we will also post a monthly heads-up on this blog.
Believe it or not, the Lean community could actually use some help from economists, the very same people who largely failed to notice asset bubbles that led to the Great Recession (2007-2009) and who now seem incapable of determining their root causes. As a result, we watched Nobel Prize winning economists guess at cause-and-effect. Wouldn't it be wonderful to instead see economists apply Toyota’s scientific problem-solving process to economic crises and identify practical countermeasures to reduce the frequency and severity of economic problems in the future?
Despite their spotty record as social scientists, economists remain very influential. Executives in companies large and small have long formulated many important views based on the work of economists, and these views play a prominent role in management decision-making.
Lean management has always been at a disadvantage compared to conventional management in part because economists have never truly understood flow; not for almost 100 years, since the time of Henry Ford's Model T. That is a long time to have your head in the sand. It seems that few economists have actually had front-line operations experience, and fewer still, if any, have had experiences designing flow production (processing) systems or operating one as a cell leader, for example. That is how they would really learn the technical and economic benefits of flow.
How might Lean management prosper if more economists knew about flow in detail? Economists could inform executives that Lean is safe for them to fully embrace (both "Continuous Improvement" and "Respect for People"), not some crazy thing to avoid or adopt half-heartedly. They likely would be more convincing to more executives than even the most accomplished Lean CEOs.
Encouraging a long overdue shift in thinking, this book gives managers and executives the means to maximize employee potential by first showing them how to increase the improvement power of their HR departments. Cheryl M. Jekiel, who has been implementing Lean initiatives out of HR offices for 20 years, defines the people-related approaches and practices needed to alter any cultural dynamic that keeps employees from leveraging their peak abilities. She looks at why so many companies allow this sort of waste to exist, how traditional HR departments have not been especially effective in combating waste, and why today’s HR department should be seen differently, as a partner delivering exceptional customer service to employees.
In other news we have recently launched two new companion websites:
- Superfactory TV: A categorized listing of hundreds of lean-oriented videos.
- Lean Pics: a photo blog showing examples of lean manufacturing concepts and ideas
Our partner Gemba Academy released the first modules of a new course titled The Kaizen Way. Gemba Academy now offers over 112 HD-quality video modules on lean manufacturing topics.
We continually update the other major sections of the website, including:
- PowerPoint Presentations: Over 115 downloadable PowerPoint presentations on lean manufacturing, lean leadership, lean industries, quality, lean enterprise, and safety concepts.
- Factory Toolbox: Almost 300 downloadable forms, procedure templates, assessments, and tools to help you not reinvent the wheel.
- Events Calendar: a listing of lean excellence seminars, workshops, training, and conferences worldwide
- Topic Information: Summaries and resources on over 40 enterprise excellence topics.
- Virtual Factory Tours: Web and streaming video tours of over 100 factories.
For all you LinkedIn junkies, we have created a LinkedIn group for Superfactory, which now has over 5,000 members. Join the group to network with other Superfactory enthusiasts and to show our logo on your profile. If you haven't explored LinkedIn, check it out to see why over 17 million professionals use it for networking.
We are always looking for new articles and other content. Contact us via the Superfactory website if you would like to contribute to our knowledge base.