Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Must Read!! Check out the Press Release on- Gemba Walks by Jim Womack

Hello everyone, I would like to share with you an exciting book that was just released by the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI - called Gemba Walks by Jim Womack. I am currently reading this book and have been so engaged with Jim's experiences and messages based on his "Gemba Walks" over the past few decades. I would highly recommend this book no matter what your level of experience may be with Lean. It's a MUST READ!! Im attaching the press release below from LEI. Get your copy today!!


New Lean Management Book, Gemba Walks, by James Womack Challenges the Prevailing By-the-Numbers Management System

On sale today, the latest book from the researcher who led the team that coined “lean production” explores why lean management is better than the currently dominant management system.

Cambridge, Mass., March 14, 2011 -- In the ground-breaking book Gemba Walks, leading business thinker Jim Womack shares a simple approach to business that will help every business leader, policy maker, and anyone working earnestly in any organization re-think how they go about creating value, delivering service, and fulfilling purpose.

Drawing on 30 years of experience as the pioneer in explaining and popularizing the Lean Management System, Womack illustrates the power of rooting improvement efforts in the “gemba,” a Japanese word referring to the place where work takes place, and where value is created.

“How do we understand the gemba?,” asks Womack. “And more important, how do we make it a better place—one where we can create more value with less waste, variation, and overburden?”

Womack provides answers based on trips to countless companies where he keenly observed how people worked together to create value, while applying the critical lean management practice of: go see, ask why, and show respect.

Value-Stream Walking
For the past ten years Womack has shared his thoughts and discoveries from these trips through a monthly letter to the Lean Community. Now, in Gemba Walks, Womack has selected and re-organized his key letters, as well as written new material providing additional context.

His book contains a wealth of insights derived from the seemingly simple process of visiting the gemba, asking questions, and showing respect. Gemba Walks shares:

• a broader historical view of the recent events of the automobile industry, sharing fresh insight into the ascendancy and recent troubles of Toyota, the bankruptcy of General Motors, and the events since.
• a new essay titled “Hopeful Hansei “on the steady forward march forward of lean thinking.
• a deeper understanding of the practice of lean as the most important advance in management thinking of the past 50 years, one that is fundamentally different—and fundamentally superior to the currently dominant management system.
• a methodology for walking value streams from beginning to end to learn the current condition and the most promising areas for improvement.

Among the gems in this book:
• why companies need fewer heroes and more farmers—the types of managers who “work daily to improve the processes and systems needed for perfect work and who take the time and effort to produce long-term improvement.” In other words, “to provide the “steady- paced continuity at the core of every lean enterprise.”
• how “good” people who work in “bad” processes become as “bad” as the process itself.
• why the real practice of showing respect comes down to helping workers frame and solve their own problems. He sheds insight into the way that lean managers and workers solve problems as the essential activity.
• why the lean manager has a “restless desire to continually rethink the organization’s problems, probe their root causes, and lead experiments to test the best currently known countermeasures.”

Gemba Walks also shares Womack’s insights on topics ranging from the application of specific lean tools, to the role of management in sustaining lean, to stories that will challenge and encourage lean managers to press ahead in a new and important way of working.

LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook notes, “Simply seeing—and communicating—lean practice is but one way that Jim Womack has inspired others. Jim gives encouragement in the real sense of the term: courage to try new things. Or to try old things in different ways. I don’t know if there’s a stronger embodiment of showing respect than offering others the courage to try.”

Gemba Walks
- By Jim Womack
- Published, March 14, 2011, Lean Enterprise Institute
- 348 pages
- ISBN: 978-1-934109-15-1
- $25.00 (paperback)
- $9.99 (e-book)

Until next time,
Tracey Richardson