Executive Briefings

Why Is It Called Lean Manufacturing? We Need a Better Name.

Lean manufacturing? Oh, you know... Less Employees Are Needed. Lean and mean. Doing more with less. All the sorts of things managers, supervisors and operators are eager to have inflicted upon them by their senior leadership and some know-it-all consultant, right?

What could the developers of lean concepts possibly have been thinking? It's difficult to say, but they certainly weren't thinking anything like, "The culture change necessary for a truly effective implementation of these concepts and tools will be difficult enough, so we need to pay close attention to how we label this thing we've created."

The label is not just inconvenient; there are at least two reasons why it's harmful.

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Lean manufacturing? Oh, you know... Less Employees Are Needed. Lean and mean. Doing more with less. All the sorts of things managers, supervisors and operators are eager to have inflicted upon them by their senior leadership and some know-it-all consultant, right?

What could the developers of lean concepts possibly have been thinking? It's difficult to say, but they certainly weren't thinking anything like, "The culture change necessary for a truly effective implementation of these concepts and tools will be difficult enough, so we need to pay close attention to how we label this thing we've created."

The label is not just inconvenient; there are at least two reasons why it's harmful.

Read Full Article