1st Edition

The Expanded and Annotated My Life and Work Henry Ford's Universal Code for World-Class Success

    320 Pages
    by Productivity Press

    Henry Ford's industrial innovations were directly responsible for the transformation of the United States into the most productive, affluent, and powerful nation on Earth. My Life and Work describes exactly how Ford did this in terms of not only manufacturing science, but also economics and organizational behavior. This holistic approach, and its validation by world-class results, make Ford's original work the best business leadership book ever written. The Expanded and Annotated My Life and Work: Henry Ford's Universal Code for World-Class Success updates this original with modern perspectives that explain and organize Ford’s thought process explicitly.

    My Life and Work
    is not a mechanistic or industry-specific formula that practitioners can follow like work instructions in a factory, but rather a holistic synergy of impartial laws of economics, science, and human behavior—a synergy that Ford called the universal code. This universal code simultaneously delivered high profits, high wages, and low prices in every industry to which Ford applied it. It also realized unprecedented improvements in industries ranging from coal mines to railroads, and even healthcare as practiced in the Henry and Clara Ford Hospital.

    This annotated edition introduces Ford’s universal code along with vital economic, behavioral, Lean manufacturing, and customer service principles. It contains almost all the material of the original, plus more than 30 percent new content that reinforces Ford’s timeless principles.

    Readers who understand and internalize Ford’s universal code can easily overcome the self-limiting paradigms that afflict today’s organizations. These include, for example, the belief that healthcare is a zero-sum game in which escalating costs are the price of quality. The book illustrates the basic elements of what is now called the Toyota Production System as well as the organizational and human relations principles needed to gain buy-in and engagement from all participants.

    Beginning of Business
    Ford’s Inspiration: The Steam-Powered Road Engine
    Clocks: The Inspiration for the Synchronized Moving Assembly Line
    Horses as a Wasteful Source of Transportation
    Ford on Nyet Engineers and Other Wet Blankets
    How Reciprocating Motion Eliminates Waste
    Material Selection in Design for Manufacturing

    What I Learned about Business
    Overcome Paradigms to Achieve Results
    Customer Satisfaction Is a Key Selling Point
    Stocks and Bonds Are Dangerous Business Illusions
         Pay Attention to the Work, and Money Will Take Care of Itself
    The Role of Reliability in Customer Satisfaction
    Continuous Improvement (Kaizen)
         Overcome Ingrained Habits to Achieve Continuous Improvement
         Preconceived Ideas and Paradigms Are Obstacles to Success
         Reduce Costs and Improve Quality to Expand a Market
    A Cost Accounting System Is Not a Suicide Pact
         Managerial or Engineering Economics

    Starting the Real Business
    Charge the Lowest Price Possible, and Not What the Market Will Bear
    Ford and Auto Racing
    Role of Supply Chain Management
         Transportation Is a Major Source of Waste
    Recognition of Customer Requirements
         Quality and Reliability Are Key Selling Points
         Do Not Add Unnecessary Middlemen

    Secret of Manufacturing and Serving
    Material Selection and Design for Reliability (DFR)
    Standardization Holds Down Costs
    Work for Continuous Cost Reduction
         Improve the Productivity of the Individual Worker
         The Importance of Reliability

    Getting into Production
    The Birth of the Assembly Line
         Basic Job Design Principles
         Subdivision of Labor
         Ergonomics and the Adjustable Height Skillet
         How to Run a Balanced Factory at (Almost) 100% Capacity
    The Introduction of Cellular Manufacturing
    Ignore the Nyet Engineers
    Keep the Work in Continuous Motion, Avoid Batch Operations
    Subdivide the Job to Eliminate Waste Motion
    Automate Jobs and Reduce Material Transfer Distances
    Ford’s Keynotes of Production

    Machines and Men
    Break Down Organizational Barriers
         Authority Is Not Leadership
         The Law of the Situation
    Ford’s Hiring Practices
    Do Not Allow the Cost Accounting System to Run the Factory
    Frontline Workers Are the Best Guardians against Waste (Muda)
         Visual Controls and Error-Proofing

    Terror of the Machine
    Characteristics of the Ideal Industrial Leader
    Repetitive Motion Injury and Job Rotation
    Employment of Disabled Workers
    Rules and Regulations
         Skills Inventory
    Reduce Material Transportation Distances
    Key Safety Principles

    Capital and Labor Are Partners, Not Adversaries
    The Business Must Create the Wages
    Low Wages Stem from Waste
    The Role of Wages in National Prosperity
    The Five Dollar Work Day

    Why Not Always Have Good Business?
    Seasonal Industries
    Economic Depressions
    Wage Cuts: Proof of Managerial Incompetence
         Opportunity Cost of Not Doing Business
    What Is the "Industrial Idea"?

    How Cheaply Can Things Be Made?
    Speculation and Bubbles
    How to Achieve Zero Inventory
    Use Lower Prices to Drive Lower Costs
    Fancy Office Buildings Are Evidence of Waste
    Standardization and Cost Reduction
    Maintainability and Reliability as Selling Points
    Identify and Eliminate Waste
    Find a Use for Everything
    How to Lose the Luddites
    Take Profits Out of Waste, Not Employees or Customers

    Money and Goods
    Finance Begins in the Shop and Not the Bank
         Borrowing (and Government Subsidies) Cannot Cure Bad Business
    Beware of Complacency
    Dysfunctional Effects of a Focus on Dividends
    Wages Come before Dividends
         Waste Includes the Cost of Idleness
         Inventory: "Everything Has to Move In and Move Out"

    Money: Master or Servant?
    "Housecleaning" Does Not Mean Layoffs
    Transportation and Cycle Time
    Borrowing Cures the Symptoms But Not the Disease
    The Role of the National Financial System
         Finance Should Serve Industry
         Money Is Not Wealth

    Why Be Poor?
    Put the Job First and Money Second
    Waste Is the Primary Barrier to Production and Service
    Hoarding as a Form of Waste
    Seasonal Work and Cyclical Industries
    The Obsolescence of the City
    The Role of Energy in Wealth Creation
    The Proper Role of Capital

    Tractor and Power Farming
    The Mechanization of Agriculture
    Wasteful Transportation in Agriculture

    Why Charity?
    Industry Can Make Charity Unnecessary
    Industry Removes the Need for Charity
    The Henry Ford Trade School
    The Henry and Clara Ford Hospital
    No Free Lunch
    The Role of Self-Reliance

    How Ford Turned DT&I Around
         A Lesson in Waste Recognition
         Avoid Wasteful Transportation

    Things in General
    Manufacturing an End to War
    The Danger of Propaganda
    Education Must Be Practical

    Democracy and Industry
    The Fallacies of Class Warfare
    Labor Unrest and Strikes Should Be Unnecessary
         Productivity Creates High-Wage Jobs
         Strikes Always Fail
         The Employer’s Duty to Address Root Causes of Labor Dissatisfaction
         Sloganeering Is Not Leadership
    The Employer and the Mandate of Heaven
    The Right Leader Is the One Who Can Do the Job

    What We May Expect
    Prosperity Should Be within Everybody’s Reach
         Focus on Service, and Profits Will Take Care of Themselves
         A Restatement of Ford’s Basic Principles
    Look for Multiple Product Uses
    The Role of the Individual in the Advancement of Industry
    Standardization as the Servant and Not the Master
    The Need for Sustainable Manufacturing


    William A. Levinson (Author) , Henry Ford (Author) , Samuel Crowther (Author)

    Any history lover would truly appreciate Henry Ford’s value to the automotive and industrial revolution. There are very valuable lessons from Ford’s experiences in improving productivity in manufacturing and health care industries. ... an excellent view of Henry Ford’s life and contributions during the industrial revolution. ... provides insight into business practices and a deeper understanding of his universal code for world-class success which was very applicable during that period. There are also useful guidelines as to how these principles can be applied to modern-time challenges.
    —Nazanin Mehrooz, in PMI World Journal, Vol. II, Issue XI