Lean Misconceptions: Why Many Lean Initiatives Fail and How You Can Avoid the Mistakes

Cordell Hensley

© 2017 - Productivity Press
Published September 11, 2017
Reference - 163 Pages - 11 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138217454 - CAT# Y291190

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  • An insiders view to what is wrong with Lean – as opposed to being from someone who has had it done to them or experienced it once or twice.
  • Provides the underlying principles to many of the common tools within Lean – why they exist rather than how to use them.
  • Stories and anecdotes from various industries; manufacturing, aerospace maintenance, pharmaceutical quality control, and investment banking
  • Clearly NOT a silver bullet for CI (as there is no such thing) but a different view on how to build organizational capability to improve, not just to improve.
  • Provides an examination of various other CI techniques and supports Lean as the preferred method/ideology


It has been reported that about 70% of performance-improvement initiatives fail to achieve desired results. The primary causes are unrealistic expectations regarding effort and results and too much focus on short-term improvements instead of long-term capability building. Too many consultants and organizations stress the tools and the results they can achieve without considering the long-term implications. Success relies on focusing on both short-term gains and long-term culture change – That is, using the tools as the mechanism for change versus the objective of the change.

Lean Misconceptions: Why Many Lean Initiatives Fail and How You Can Avoid the Mistakes focuses on continuous improvement as well as the tools organizations can use to achieve long-term growth. Readers will gain new knowledge while also challenging their peers, seniors, subordinates, and their own thinking on Lean.