1st Edition

The Four Philosophies of Lean Maintaining a Customer-Focused Culture Every Day at Work

By Robert Corbitt, Cory Bronger Copyright 2022
    106 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    106 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    106 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    This book provides a comprehensive look at four driving philosophies of lean methodology that many companies struggle to understand. Companies often adopt lean methodologies and work hard to perfect the use of those methods while never understanding the true intent of the method. Ultimately, knowledge does not equal understanding.

    "Customer First" is about each manufacturing process sending the next manufacturing process a high-quality defect-free product every time. When people hear the word "customer," their mindset is thinking about the end user, but when a company understands that every process has a customer, a high-quality product is produced at each stage of the manufacturing process.

    As kids, most of us grew up hearing the phrase "respect your elders," and while this still applies, respect for people has additional and stronger connotations. In business, the work content must fit the capacity – in lay terms, a fair day’s work for a fair wage. Setting up our colleagues for failure by giving them more work content than can be completed is not showing them respect, and in essence, it is simply disrespectful. In addition, respect is how we develop and engage our colleagues in their daily work.

    The idea "Go and See" is often overlooked because we know the process in which the problem exists, but if we evaluate what is actually happening, we generally find that what "should be" happening isn’t. As people view what is happening, questions will come to mind: how does the operator know to do that? Does the standard work give that knowledge? These questions lead to giving clarity about the problem and will drive the thinking to a solution. Business in general is dynamic and ever changing. Companies must be able to adapt, overcome, and improvise to remain competitive. The challenge is identifying where to target or how to develop a continuous improvement culture in the workforce to drive improvement. Companies get stuck in the mindset of "this is how we have always done it" and this mindset can be a very limiting or even crippling situation.

    The Four Philosophies of Lean: Maintaining a Customer-Focused Culture Every Day at Work helps readers change mindsets and solve difficult situations.

    Table of Contents:

    • Chapter 1
      • Lean Thinking Philosophy
        • Customer First
        • Respect for People
        • Go and See
        • Continuous Improvement

    • Chapter 2
      • A 3 Thinking
        • Problem Solving A3
        • Strategy A3
        • Proposal A3
        • A3 Coaching for problem solving

    • Chapter 3
      • Creative Thinking
        • The Team
        • Out of the Box
        • Back-Office Ideas
        • Enterprise (VSM)
        • Supply Chain Support

    • Chapter 4
      • Standards/ Standardized Work
        • Standardized Work
        • Standards
        • Leader Standard Work

    • Chapter 5
      • Communication
        • Hour x Hour
        • Andon
        • Alignment / Buy-in

    • Chapter 6
      • Leadership
        • Team Leaders
        • Group Leaders
        • All of us as Leaders

    • Chapter 7
      • The Why
        • The Understanding
        • The Key Points for Why
        • Buy-In

    • Chapter 8
      • Reflection
      • Conclusion/ Reflection


    Robert Corbitt has 26 years’ experience in Continuous Improvement in manufacturing. Sixteen of those years were at Toyota Motors Manufacturing in Georgetown, KY. Certified A3 trainer and lean coach. He attained a bachelor’s degree from Northwood University in Manufacturing Management later in his career, never too late to learn. Several President’s awards for Operational Excellence from Ingersoll Rand. He has had roles from a team member on the line assembling cars to a role as a Global CI manager supporting many plants across the globe in their lean journey. Was able to launch AGCOs Production System in its new business unit Grain Systems Incorporated. He has also worked with numerous departments in the efforts of continuous improvement, such as purchasing, sales, operations, materials, accounting, engineering, and so on. He has worked with a diverse customer base related to (Automotive, Agriculture, Industrial, and Tear 1 Automotive). He has also worked in many different countries with different cultures and beliefs. He has also owned and operated his own lean consulting business. He is a teacher and student at heart for the philosophies of lean and people development. Always sharing and learning day by day.

    Cory Bronger is a Senior Lean Practitioner at The Boeing Company and the owner and operator of CDB Consulting. His life story is one of constant improvement. Quitting high school at 16, he obtained a GED and a welding certification. His first job as a welder/fabricator for United Industries, a railcar company, often required him to design and fabricate tools in order to complete his work. This is where his enthusiasm for problem solving first began. Changing direction in 1998, he began a 17 yearlong development journey with Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown, Ky. Starting as a team member in assembly, he worked in many roles and on several different project teams, assisted in the startup of the Toyota Mississippi factory, and holds a US patent for automated dolly assemblies. After leaving Toyota, he worked as an Operational Excellence Change Agent with Ingersoll Rand where he was awarded 2 President’s awards and a Chairman’s award for his role as the lead site trainer in the deployment of a Leadership Development Program across the US and China. He started CDB Consulting in 2017 consulting for companies in the US, Mexico, and Belgium on their lean systems. He is the epitome of lean, overcoming problems and challenges in his own life while constantly improving. Combining his professional and personal life to mentor others is his passion.