Pete's Posts Blog

The Lean Manager: A Novel

I just started reading a new book titled "The Lean Manager, A Novel of Lean Transformation," and I’m already hooked. The authors, Michael and Freddy Balle, have taken what some would consider a pretty dry topic — the Toyota Production System — and brought it to life through a character by the name of Jenkinson, a new CEO at a fictional manufacturing plant.

A quick excerpt:

"Jenkinson stopped in front of a press, watching the robot hand slide in and out of the mold, picking up the finished part and dropping it on the conveyor, where an operator would deburr the part and place it in the customer packaging.

"Weekend shifts?"

"At the moment, we’ve had some press breakdowns so we need to catch up, and we’ve still got the parts that were supposed to be transferred to Romania. We’re running seven days a week on those."

"Come on!" the CEO had exclaimed irritably, with an outstretched hand encompassing the press area. "Look around you, a third of your presses are standing idle!"

Ward kept his expression carefully blank, and said nothing. What was there to say?"

I never thought I’d read a novel that casually incorporates EPITDA and injection molding, but so far, so good. Now, how to apply it to the publishing business?


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