1st Edition

Engaging the Team at Zingerman’s Mail Order A Toyota Kata Comic

    66 Pages 50 Color Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    66 Pages 50 Color Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    66 Pages 50 Color Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

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    After decades of implementing Lean tools, organizations are getting serious about the heart and soul of Lean management. They are developing people to continuously improve. Most of the Lean tools, such as kanban, andon, and visual management, are designed to surface problems so you know what to work on to achieve your goal. Engaged, scientific-thinking team members solve them one by one.

    Toyota’s underlying assumption is that the world is complex and uncertain, and we never have the perfect solution, so whatever is implemented needs continual refinement as we learn and as the marketplace changes. If we can’t predict what is around the corner, then a key skill is being able to learn and to adapt to what appears. Where do we want to go? How can we ensure that everyone contributes to our journey?

    This book builds on Lean in a High-Variability Business. It is a shorter, focused introduction to developing scientific thinking through deliberate practice with Toyota Kata (TK). TK has practice routines (‘Starter Kata’) for both the learner trying to change how they approach problems to a more systematic, scientific approach, and the coach trying to teach them by helping them work toward actual goals. The focus is on the HOW of developing engaged managers and supervisors who in turn can develop an engaged workforce. There are many books about why engagement is important and descriptions of best practices, but few provide practical guidance on how to actually achieve it. And there are none in an easy-to-understand comic or graphic form.

    It is only through deliberate practice that we can develop a new, habitual way of thinking to avoid jumping to conclusions and let the facts and evidence guide us. Here's how one organization does it. You can too.

    Lean journey begins. Intro to ZMO First Time At The Line Improve Flow-Layout First reflection Second-year reflection ZMO continues alone Improvement systems are not equal


    Dr. Eduardo Lander received his doctorate in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (Advisor: Dr Liker). He then went to work for Toyota’s R&D center in Brussels, Belgium. He has since left Toyota and is working as an independent consultant with Zingerman’s Mail Order as one of his clients.

    Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker is Professor Emeritus of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan and President of Liker Lean Advisors. He is author of the international best-seller, The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer (2004 -- published in 26 languages, over 950,000 copies sold), and has coauthored nine other books about Toyota including Toyota Culture, The Toyota Product Development System, The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership (2011) and Developing Lean Leaders at all Levels: A Practical Guide (2014). In 2016, he published The Toyota Way to Service Excellence and coauthored a lean transformation business novel called Trenches. His articles and books have won thirteen Shingo Prizes for Research Excellence. In 2012 he was inducted into the Association of Manufacturing Excellence Hall of Fame and in 2016 inducted into the Shingo Academy.

    Tom Root is an entrepreneur who originally envisioned Zingeman’s Mail Order and started it up as a co-partner and then founded the Maker Works as his second business.

    In 2002, Zingerman's Mail Order and Zingermans.com merged and Tom took on the role of Chief Financial Officer of the resulting business (known simply as Zingerman’s Mail Order). As CFO, Tom has championed open book management and taken the lead on educating staff about the financial ins and outs of the business.

    In 2004, Tom was introduced to the concepts of Lean Manufacturing popularized by Toyota. Building on his experience with open-book finance, Tom worked to bring the philosophy of continuous improvement and waste elimination to Mail Order. For many years, Tom has been practicing Lean thinking through process improvement, class development and teaching.

    In 2008, Tom was inspired by the financial crisis to start Maker Works. Maker Works is 11,000 sq ft manufacturing facility that is operated like a health club. Individuals or businesses purchase memberships to have access to high-tech tools like laser cutters, 3D printers and CNC plasma cutters. The mission of Maker Works is to democratize the tools of manufacturing to foster job creation, community and self-sustainability.

    In September of 2014, Maker Works celebrated its 3-year anniversary. It has attracted more than 700 members, added 16,000 sq ft of tenant space and played a role in a handful of start-ups including Sight Machine, a venture funded computer vision start-up.