Lean: From Principles to Transformation and the Toyota Way

Lean is simply doing more with less or “creating more value for customers with less resources”. Lean focuses on optimizing the creation of products & services and it applies to every business and every process. While Lean’s roots are in the Toyota Production System (TPS), “a popular misconception is that lean is suited only for manufacturing”.

The Principles of Lean may be summarized and mapped to a Transformation perspective (which involves three fundamental business issues) and mapped to the Toyota Way.


(click figure to enlarge)

The Principles of Lean focus on Value (between a Customer and Enterprise), the Value Creation process, the Flow of Value toward the Customer (and throughout the Value Creation process), the Pull of Value by the Customer (and throughout the Value Creation process), and further Perfection of that Value and Value Creation process.

The Transformation perspective focuses on a Purpose that joins a Customer’s problem and Enterprise’s prosperity, the Process of achieving that Purpose, and the People engaged in the Process of of achieving that Purpose.

The Toyota Way offers insight into the Culture/DNA of Toyota (The Toyota Way 2001; also see here, here, and here), with its two main pillars of Continuous Improvement and Respect for People:

Continuous Improvement

  • Challenge: We form a long-term vision, meeting challenges with courage and creativity to realize our dreams.
  • Kaizen: We improve our business operations continuously, always driving for innovation and evolution.
  • Genchi Genbutsu: We practice Genchi Genbutsu… go to the source to find the facts to make correct decisions, build consensus and achieve goals at our best speed.

Respect for People

  • Respect: We respect others, make every effort to understand each other, take responsibility and do our best to build mutual trust.
  • Teamwork: We stimulate personal and professional growth, share the opportunities of development and maximize individual and team performance.

The mapping across the Principles of Lean, a Transformation perspective, and the Toyota Way offers insight into the Purposeful Enterprise.


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