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Recommended Reading List

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

We are often asked for recommendations on books and articles.

With the extra time we all have during the lock down, we thought we'd start a discussion of best reads for Lean practitioners. Here are some of our favorites ...

  • The High-Velocity Edge: How Market Leaders Leverage Operational Excellence to Beat the Competition by Steven J. Spear

  • Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System - Harvard Business Review by Steven Spear and H. Kent Bowen

  • Toyota Production System, Beyond Large-Scale Production by Taiichi Ohno

  • Toyota Kata, Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness, and Superior Results by Mike Rother

  • Competing Against Luck, The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice by Clayton Christensen. Daddy Hall, Karen Dillon and David Duncan

  • Why Do We Undervalue Competent Management? - Harvard Business Review by Sadun, Bloom, and Reeen

Add your ideas or great reads to build the list.

Other suggested readings:

  • Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation by Daniel T. Jones and James P. Womack

  • The Machine That Changed the World by and Daniel T. Jones and James P. Womack and Danial Roos

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Lean Quest
Lean Quest

DM, Thanks for the suggestion and feedback. I'd suggest you dig a little deeper into the DNA of Toyota (and High Velocity Edge). This is the thinking that was teased out of the Toyota leaders after spending 2 years interviewing and studying Toyota. It is this DNA that underlies of all the great tools and methods described by other books like Womack and Jones' work. The 4 capabilities are at the foundation of TPS:

1) Design and operate work to reveal problems

2) Contain and solve problems close in person, place and time

3) Accumulate and share knowledge

4) Leaders that coach and develop capabilities 1-3

These capabilities provide purpose and a way to link together Lean Principles, Tools and…



Good list.

I'd like to add 'Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation' by Daniel T. Jones and James P. Womack. This was the book after the infamous 'The Machine That Changed the World'. In the forward the authors apologize for writing TMTCW as it generated a whole industry of bench-marking.

In Lean Thinking they track transformations in several industries and cultures. One is the Pratt & Whitney case study. While following the story they unintentionally highlighted the key points of the successful lean transformation. First, they established a compelling reason - PW would run out of money in 10 months and go bankrupt without changing the way operate. Second, they committed to success by laying off…

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