Lydia van den Bogaard (Toyota Lean Academy Manager) is handed the book True Lean by its author Rudy Gort
Toyota Material Handling NL is a big fan of my books. They gave the Dutch version to all their employees and now they it’s possible for them to use the English translation called ‘True Lean’. Here is what Lydia van den Bogaard, Toyota Lean Academy Manager at Toyota Material Handling NL, says about the book:
“The lean philosophy encompasses many concepts and tools. But the most important thing is the human factor. In detail, True Lean describes learning to look at processes differently and the associated cultural change, based on our own Toyota Way.
The book explains exactly what is meant by the various lean concepts such as jidoka, kanban and muda, in an easy to grasp and highly accessible way. In short, an enjoyable book to read that allows you to immerse yourself in the world of lean.”
Therefore I was delighted to hand the first print of the book to Lydia. Here we stand at the entrance stairs at Toyota Material Handling in Ede (photo by Dave Zuuring). Normally I would host a little party to accompany the handover. However, during these Corona-times I kept it low profile (although the book deserves better).
True Lean – connecting purpose, process and people
This title was one of the options the readers of the Dutch version and my translator gave me. They mentioned that the way I describe the lean philosophy is a holistic and sincere way. It goes back to its foundations and core of the system, where people and respect are often neglected by the books that only explain the tools. To me that’s to superficial, as it’s some magic wand while in reality it’s consistent hard work, just as elite athletes would to become and stay at the top.
The Dutch version of the book was in the top 10 at Managementboek.nl and received an average score of 5 stars on 32 reviews given by its readers. The book is based on a much thicker book I wrote earlier, with ins and outs about lean in a complex and dynamic project environment. For many, it is sufficient to learn about the fundamentals of lean first. With True Lean, I would like to meet the needs of those people. It consist of three chapters: the origin, the principles and performance. Where the middle chapter is the biggest, using the lean-house as a metaphor.
To help you understand the lean philosophy, chapter 1 explains the origins and evolution of what we now call ‘lean’. The concept has, unfortunately, been watered down somewhat in the course of its propagation, which is why I am going back to the core, the culture and the values. This approach should help you get a better understanding of the motivation of lean’s top performers and the principles they follow in order to make it a way of life.
In order to visualise the underlying principles, a model of the lean way of thinking was created in the nineteen-seventies; a model currently known as the ‘house of lean’. This house provides the framework for chapter 2. It visualises the relationships between the many lean terms, which you may have heard before (heijunka, jidoka, just-in-time, etc.), and the lean tools that are used. A recurring message in this book is that it is all about coherence. An elite athlete will not improve by doing just one thing better. Improvement requires a holistic approach.
Chapter 3 shows the results of the above: the power of lean. Using lean principles, you can make an organisation faster, better and more cost effective, which is a real paradox according to traditional thinking. More interesting, however, is the fact that your ability to learn grows, which in turn ensures flexibility, agility and innovative ability.
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