Hearing the Voice of the Shingo Principles : Creating Sustainable Cultures of Enterprise Excellence book cover
1st Edition

Hearing the Voice of the Shingo Principles
Creating Sustainable Cultures of Enterprise Excellence

ISBN 9780815387046
Published June 18, 2018 by Productivity Press
187 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

For more than 50 years, organizations of all types have struggled to achieve lasting benefits from the many tools and programs associated with various continuous-improvement initiatives. In fact, the notion of "continuous" improvement is largely a misnomer -- for many organizations, continuous improvement has been anything but continuous. Responding to this challenge, Hearing the Voice of the Shingo Principles chronicles key insights that went into development of the Shingo Model for Operational Excellence at Utah State University.

While responsible for the Shingo Prize at USU, the author observed that even recipients -- theoretically, the best of the best -- were experiencing this same up-and-down phenomenon. It was as though many of these organizations were reviewed on their very best days but then started declining from that point forward.

To build long-term credibility of the Shingo Prize, the author and his team had to understand what was causing such wide variation in results and make certain they were only recognizing those organizations that could demonstrate sustainability of improvements over the long term. They found that sustainability depended less on application of the tools for improvement than on embedding principles deep into the culture of the organization from top to bottom and side to side.

This book helps leaders understand their role in building sustainable cultures of enterprise excellence – That is, how to keep the entire enterprise focused on guiding principles that will change beliefs, behaviors, and the overall mindset. In addition, managers will learn how to align systems with principles so that they drive ideal, principle-based behaviors – the goal is for every leader to realign their values with the voice of principles and become an example so that every associate becomes self-motivated to continuously improve every aspect for which they are accountable.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Culture and Its Impact on Results.

Chapter 2: Ideal Behavior.

Chapter 3: How Behavior and Values are Formed.

Chapter 4: Principles - Personal vs. Universal.

Chapter 5: The 10 Principles of Enterprise Excellence.

Chapter 6: Tthe Shingo Model and the Relationship Among Principles, System, Tools, and Results. Chapter 7: Foundational Truths.

Chapter 8: Cultural Enablers, Respect for Every Individual, and Leading with Humility.

Chapter 9: Continuous Improvement.

Chapter 10: Creating Alignment in an Enterprise; Thinking Systemically, and Creating Constancy of Purpose.

Chapter 11: Creating Value for Customers.

Chapter 12: Creating Sustainable Cultures of Excellence.

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Having served for 8 years as the Executive Director for the Shingo Institute located at Utah State University, Robert D. Miller recognized the need for and guided development of the Shingo model, as it is now constituted. Additionally, as the Executive Director and the seasoned line executive on the Shingo staff, he oversaw the development and learning pedagogy of all Shingo courses. During these years, he was responsible for the development and certification of many of the growing affiliate instructors. Under his leadership, the criteria and process for effective and honest organizational assessment evolved significantly.

His greatest interest and capability lies in working with the leaders of some of the best US and global companies to assist them in understanding the Shingo model, the principles and their application, and in building sustainable cultures of excellence. Upon taking my retirement from Utah State University, he created Arches Leadership -- a fully certified Shingo affiliate organization.

Miller is the principal advisor and owner or Arches Leadership LLC. The goal of Arches Leadership is always to build competence in the people and organizations that we serve, such that they become independently capable of executing and sustaining themselves over the long term at a much higher level of performance.


One huge strength of Bob Miller’s book is that it strikes at the heart of leadership by drawing upon the truths that underpin the principles. I believe these will resonate with many leaders who are getting sub-par results as they are focusing on the tools and outcomes without challenging their basic approach to leadership. Being principle based and largely tool neutral keeps the focus on what really matters in a book with the purpose of building sustainable high-performance culture.

  • Rob Galloway, President, US Synthetic, An Apergy Company

Even with some years of experience in the Shingo Model, the book expanded my understanding of the principles like no other training or book before. It has been a "north star" guide in aligning my thinking in the direction of the Shingo Principles and how the focus on the Shingo Principles impact the cultural transformation.

  • Jose Luis Ordorica, Continental Corporation

Reading Robert D. Miller's book helped me refresh the understanding I acquired after participating in the Shingo Model Training Program. I consider this book the best starting point for any person or organization that is truly committed in aligning and creating their culture of excellence. This book also helps refresh our thoughts and understanding of the Shingo Model.  There is no doubt in my mind that positive outcomes will result if everyone in the organization understands and applies with discipline these Guiding Principles and the Shingo Model.

  • Jose Luis Garza, Deacero, Monterrey, Mexico