Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation

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Organized in the chronological sequence that a leader embarking on a lean journey would experience, this work:

  • Features direction from one of the world’s most respected experts in lean transformation
  • Provides organizational leaders with the tools needed to initiate change and the insight needed to lead with confidence
  • Describes the metrics employed so efficiently by Toyota

  • Puts the tools of value stream management in the hands of organizational leaders
  • Details proven methods for sustaining dramatic improvements
  • Explores ways to develop a culture in support of lean


At The Danaher Corporation, George Koenigsaecker led the lean transformations of both the automotive and tool groups. He also led The Hon Company’s successful lean conversion, which doubled productivity and tripled revenues, leading Industry Week to recognize HON on their list of the "World’s 100 Best Managed Firms." Written to help executives in determining right from wrong during a lean initiative, Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation shows that lean is more about an approach than it is about tools. It presents the successful strategies and case histories of several key American leaders who have been instrumental in bringing lean to the forefront of various industries.

Organized in the chronological sequence that a leader embarking on a lean journey would experience, this lively work:

  • Describes the simple, yet powerful, True North metrics used by Toyota and describes how they drive every line item in the good direction
  • Explains the use of value stream analysis at the leadership level
  • Shows how to structure successful kaizen events that improve the value stream
  • Presents tactical organizational steps necessary to sustain double-digit improvements
  • Explores the development of a corporate assessment and review structure in support of a lean transformation
  • Introduces leadership tools such as strategy deployment, transformation value stream analysis, and transformation plan of care

Lastly, the book discusses what may well be the least understood and most critical aspect of a lean transformation: the building of a lean culture. That ability is what separates the tactician from the technician. While many books exist that detail all the tools needed for a lean implementation, this book explains those tools needed at the enterprise level by executives, but more importantly it provides potential change agents with the skills to define, develop, and communicate a vision. It helps cultivate the willingness to innovate and learn by doing. Such a course is not for everyone, just leaders.

Table of Contents

My Journey of Lean Learning: Eleven Corporate Transformations

 Deere & Company

 Rockwell International

 Jake Brake (Danaher)

 HON Company


What Is Lean?

 What Toyota Does

 Two Pillars

 Identifying and Removing Waste

 A Problem-Identifying and Problem-Solving System



Chapter  Measurement Can Be Easy

Understanding Financial Measures: Personal Examples

 Toyota’s True North Metrics

 How High Is High?

 The Four True North Metrics in Detail

 Quality Improvement

 Delivery/Lead Time/Flow Improvement

 Cost/Productivity Improvement

 Outside Purchases


 Human Development

Linking the True North Metrics with Financial Measures



Value Stream Analysis Provides the Improvement

Plan—And Kaizen Events Make It Happen

 Taking a Walk to Create an Initial-State VSA

 Initial-State VSA and the True North Metrics

 Helping You See the Waste

 Brainstorming to Create an Ideal-State Value Stream

 Creating a Future-State Value Stream

 Improvement Goals

 Work Plan and Responsibilities

 The Rule of X

 A Model Value Stream

 The Power of Weeklong Kaizen Events



Tactical Organizational Practices

 The n/ Rule

 Designing Improvement Teams

 Key Event Failure Mode

 The  Percent Guideline

 Administrative Teams


 Other Lean Training


Strategic Organizational Practices

 Understanding Governance


 Guiding Coalition


 Lean Simulation

 Strategy Deployment


 Lean Year by Year

 Year One

 Year Two

 Year Three

 Year Four


Building a Lean Culture

 Defining Culture

 The Building Blocks of Lean/Toyota Culture

 Serve the Customer

 Seek What’s Right, Regardless

 Decide Carefully, Implement Quickly

 Candidly Admit Imperfections

 Speak Honestly and with Deep Respect

 Go See and Listen to Learn (Genchi Gembutsu)

 Deliver on Meaningful Challenges

 Be a Mentor and a Role Model

 The Action Plan

Giving Your Leadership Team Personal Experience

 Daily Improvement

 Challenging Your Team to Build Knowledge


 Author’s Note

Author Bio(s)

President, Lean Investments, LLC

Editorial Reviews

"Any senior executive serious about leading a lean transformation should start here. Koenigsaecker captures well the essence of sustained lean success, not just the feel-good kaizen event."

— Larry Culp, president and CEO, Danaher Corporation

"Koenigsaecker has spent more time transforming more organizations into lean enterprises than any other CEO. In this brief volume, he summarizes his 30 years of experimentation by describing lean, showing how to measure it, explaining the role of value stream analysis and kaizen, and providing a tactical and a strategic action plan for lean transformation."

— Jim Womack, chairman and founder, Lean Enterprise Institute

"This truly worked for us, and continues to make our Air Force better. The message comes with great stories and legendary examples to make Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation readable for all."

— Michael W. Wynne, 21st Secretary, United States Air Force

"Koenigsaecker has been one of the most important mentors for me on our lean journey. His willingness to share his knowledge and experience with the ThedaCare team has been invaluable."

— John Toussaint, CEO, ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value