Blog Library

Leadership Lessons from Toyota

Leadership Lessons from Toyota

Lesson
This is part of an ongoing series of organizational and personal improvement book reviews. If you have read the book already use this as a reminder of key lessons. If you have not read the book and are looking to learn and grow as a leader, this summary will share some of our favorite quotes. Lean East recently read How Toyota Became #1: Leadership Lessons from the World’s Greatest Car Company, a book by journalist David Magee published in 2008. The book was written to review the history of Toyota’s growth from a Japanese start-up to the largest automobile manufacturer in the world. Magee interviewed many of Toyota’s senior executives to write the book and became amazed at the differences between Toyota and other auto companies. During his research, he realized…
Read More
SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis

Summary
Brainstorming to assess organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats The Lean East team was recently hired to facilitate several meetings for mid-large size organizations seeking managerial input to their strategic planning process. We conducted SWOT analysis sessions with these teams to discover how the leaders perceived the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. We will share the process and agenda we used for this informative brainstorming technique to help you plan your own session. SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and can be used to study a person, product, service, team or organization. SWOT analysis considers both internal and external factors; strengths and weaknesses consider the factors inside of the organization, while opportunities and threats focus on business and market factors external to the organization. The…
Read More
Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Lesson
This is part of an ongoing series of organizational and personal improvement book reviews. If you have read the book already use this as a reminder of key lessons. If you have not read the book and are looking to learn and grow as a leader, this summary will share the basics. Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work is a book by Chip and Dan Heath published in 2013. Lean East has previously reviewed their book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard and also enjoyed Made to Stick. This book presents a fairly simple process for decision making (click here for a one-page PDF of this process prepared by the authors). The content of the book focuses on the 4-step WRAP process and…
Read More
Is this the most important success habit?

Is this the most important success habit?

Summary
Anyone who has been learning and applying personal productivity tools and techniques for many years will have developed some positive habits for success. Many of these habits are probably already habits you are practicing (or trying to follow) in your life but I’ve recently established a new habit I don’t typically see mentioned. This habit is one that will multiply all the others – so I wonder; does this make it the most important? I’ll begin by reviewing several of the common productivity/success habits typically practiced before discussing the multiplier. These are often discussed and recommended, and if you aren’t practicing some of these you may be better to start with these basics: 1.     Exude a positive attitude: It all begins with acting like you are the person you want…
Read More
The Speed of Trust

The Speed of Trust

Lesson
This is part of an ongoing series of organizational and personal improvement book reviews. If you have read the book already use this as a reminder of key lessons. If you have not read the book and are looking to learn and grow as a leader, this summary will share the basics. The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything is a book by Stephen M. R. Covey . . . but not the well-known author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People who died after a biking accident in 2012, rather his oldest son. The Speed of Trust is now ten years old and I have referred to the book numerous times while training and coaching leaders. I wanted to cover the key topics of the…
Read More
Is Donald Trump a Lean Leader?

Is Donald Trump a Lean Leader?

Summary
The rise in the polls Donald Trump experienced this summer left many people wondering about this business leader. What kind of a leader is Donald Trump? Does his business success translate well to politics, and especially to holding a job like the President of the United States (POTUS)? If Trump is elected the POTUS he will be in charge of an executive branch with its 2.6 Million employees, and Commander-in-Chief of the US Military and its 1.5 Million uniformed personnel. As President of Lean East and a longtime expert in Lean thinking, I teach and coach executives on leadership practices that will bring out the best in their organization. This post will rate Donald Trump on some traits I look for in effective “Lean” leaders.   Trait 1: Focus first…
Read More
Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive

Lesson
This is part of an ongoing series of organizational and personal improvement book reviews. If you have read the book already use this as a reminder of key lessons. If you have not read the book and are looking to learn and grow as a leader, this summary will share the basics. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business is a 2016 book (and already a bestseller) written by Charles Duhigg, author of the 2012 bestselling book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Duhigg is a storyteller with a style similar to Malcolm Gladwell and Atul Gawande. The book is broken into eight topics, each with their own chapter. Those looking for a quick synopsis can always read…
Read More
Five Thoughts on Lean Transformation Models

Five Thoughts on Lean Transformation Models

Summary
Various models have been created to share key steps in a successful Lean transformation, whether in healthcare or other industries. In my career, and as President of Lean East, I have been a leader in multiple transformations but am always searching for ways to continually improve my coaching and teaching. In this post I will provide an overview of two transformation models I have researched and provide five thoughts based on the models and my personal experience.   The Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) has created a very nice framework or model describing the required steps for a Lean transformation within an organization. Their graphic is below and you can click this link to see further details about their model.   LEI’s model was developed for any Lean transformation, be it…
Read More
The Achievement Habit

The Achievement Habit

Lesson
This is part of an ongoing series of organizational and personal improvement book reviews. If you have read the book already use this as a reminder of key lessons. If you have not read the book and are looking to learn and grow as a leader, this summary will share the basics. The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life is a 2015 book written by Bernie Roth, one of the founders of the Institute of Design at Stanford, AKA the “d.school.” Design thinking has many similarities to Lean thinking and the A3 improvement process coached by our team at Lean East. The Stanford d.school steps to design thinking are: Empathize: think about the user (customer) and their issues Define the problem: narrow down which user…
Read More
Ready…Fire!…Aim

Ready…Fire!…Aim

Summary
In the 21st century it is necessary for continuous improvement to become a habit ingrained within organizations. Change today occurs so quickly, that, you either improve or you fall behind your peers. How can organizations and teams establish continuous improvement practices and habits? Michael Masterson's book 'Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat' teaches us that a key step in continuous improvement is usually the first one – taking action. Begin by realizing that no change effort is ever going to achieve perfection. Over-planning a change loses momentum and interest from the team; another problem will soon develop that pushes the current issue aside. Perfection can be the enemy of “good enough.” "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great." ~…
Read More

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on current ideas in Lean Thinking, Leadership & Business Book Reviews, and more