My Book Recommendations

These books have been selected because they have been written by people with real credibility in Lean Transformations and they have significantly helped me in my own Deployments.

Leading with Lean

As you might expect, I recommend my own book, Leading with Lean, as an excellent way to develop your Lean Leadership approach.

After many years of practising and studying Lean Thinking, I developed a model of Lean Leadership that brings together its 4 core elements. In my new book "Leading with Lean", I describe how anyone, wherever they might be in the organisation, can apply Lean Thinking and become a Lean Leader in their own right.

The book is a practical explanation, bringing together my knowledge and experience into one place and will teach the reader how simple, yet effective, behavioural changes in their ways of working can be massively effective and impactful for the organisation that they work for and for their own personal development and career, answering the "What's in if for me?" question.

I am confident that this book will provide you with the inspiration that you need to develop your Leadership to one that benefits you, your organisation and your people.

Lean Thinking

Considered the 'Bible' of Lean Thinking, this Book will take you through the 5 Steps of Lean Thinking: 

  1. Specify Value from the Customer's Standpoint
  2. Identify the Value Stream and remove the Waste (Muda)
  3. Create Flow
  4. So that the Customer can pull the Value
  5. Continuously Improve toward Perfection

Why read this Book?: 

Written by James Womack and Daniel Jones, co-authors of "The Machine that Changed the World", this book provides all Lean Practitioners with the knowledge needed to apply Lean in their organisation. It helps move you from applying Lean Tools to applying Lean Thinking, an important difference if you want to be successful. 

This is one of the 'must read' books for a Lean Leader.

The Lean Turnaround

The Lean Turnaround is a compelling insight into how Lean Thinking is Lean Strategy and how it should be used not as a Toolkit but as the Strategic Driver of an Enterprise. It delivers practical examples of how hands-on, at the 'Gemba' Lean Leadership, will transform any Business and create Wealth for the Business, its Employees, Customers and Community.

What resonates most about this book is its total devotion to utilising Lean in the right way, throughout an organisation, with discipline in adherence to the Toyota Way. The Author doesn't try to 'reinvent the wheel' or utilise his own terminology but sticks to the language of lean developed by the innovators of Lean (Kaizen, Gemba, etc.). 

Why Read this Book?: It is written by Art Byrne, who not only helped to introduce Lean into Danaher but also used Lean to Transform Wiremold over an 11 Year period and now serves as an Operating Partner for J.W. Childs Associates. By reading this book you will understand what it truly means to lead a Lean Transformation. Should be Compulsory reading for all Senior Leaders in an Organisation.

The Lean Startup

I was surprised when reading this book, expecting that it would be a 'fad' book and that it was using the term Lean to sell this latest approach.

However, Lean Thinking really does reside in the ideas of the Author and despite its roots in IT / Internet business startups, the ideas are readily transferable to startups in other areas. Most importantly though is the way that the Author translates the concept of Entrepreneurship to large, established organisations and how the Lean Startup model can be utilised by all of us.

Why Read this Book?: The Author, Eric Ries, is an Entrepreneur with significant experience in Startup ventures. The book has been well written and breaks the concept into 3 top level steps (Vision, Steer and Accelerate) and, within each of these sub-sections, walks you through in a way that doesn't patronise but makes it easy to understand. It will make you realise that entrepreneurship is possible in any organisation if the right culture is created.

Gemba Kaizen

Two of the Fundamentals of Lean Thinking are 'going to the Gemba' and Kaizen and this now classic book provides the reader with all that they need to do both effectively. Don't confuse the 'Gemba' with the Manufacturing shop-floor; it is the place where the value is added, whether this be a Manufacturing area, a Laboratory or a Sales Office, and the Author provides ample examples of how understanding what is actually happening there and then removing the waste is fundamental to a Lean Enterprise.

Why Read this Book?: Quite simply, it is written by Masaaki Imai, one of the innovators of the Toyota Way and a true Sensei. You really can't call yourself a Lean Practitioner if you haven't read and understood the concepts in this book.

The Office that Grows your Business

Applying Lean in the Office environment is still one of the biggest challenges for most organisations. How do we get it to work in the virtual world of Transactional Processes, where employees are individuals, behave more individualistically, are shared resources and are less inclined to follow standard processes. In the Office that grows your Business, Duggan provides clear guidance on how to achieve this, with real life examples of how it's been done and what the results were. 

Why Read this Book?: If you want to make Lean something that is not just for your manufacturing shop-floor, read this book and use it to embed Lean in the Office: If you follow the principles in this book, you will be successful.