1st Edition

The Sensei Way at Work
The Five Keys to a Lean Business Transformation

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 14, 2021
ISBN 9780367370701
May 14, 2021 Forthcoming by Productivity Press
176 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations

USD $39.95

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Book Description

The Sensei Way follows in the wake of dozens of successful business books on The Toyota Way, the Toyota Production System (TPS), and Lean enterprise, yet it is unique. The book aims to identify the keys to sustaining Toyota’s production system in Western enterprises -- a challenge that has stymied business leaders, consultants and authors for decades. Part One begins by citing numerous professional sports performers who "play in the zone." It contends that leading change to a Lean enterprise requires leaders who can play in the zone, that is, lead with presence in the moment, that is, with a Zen mind.

The confusion is the result of the fact that the Toyota value of "kaizen mind" has never been properly understood in the West. It is often misrepresented as a  "hunger" for continuous business improvement. In fact, understanding the kaizen mind requires a Buddhist perspective, as it is a union of "presence" joined with a fitting "purpose" in a situation and a "flow" of leader engagement in which action and awareness are one. Thus, the key to success with a Toyota-style production system in the West isn’t the tools and methods of "Lean" -- it's developing change leaders with kaizen minds. The Sensei Way is the mentoring process that uses immersion and coaching to evoke kaizen mind in aspiring change leaders.

Table of Contents


List of Figures



Foreword: John Shook



1. Lost in Translation

2. Ackoff’s Mess

3. Western Business Goes East

4. The First Key is Kaizen Mind

5. The Second Key is Lean Thinking

6. The Third Key is Lean Coaching

7. The Fourth Key is Change Leadership

8. The Fifth Key is The Sensei Way

9. Be the Change


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Dan Prock, President of Sensei Way LLC, is a strategic change consultant with a degree in engineering, advanced degrees in psychology, and 28 years of experience in consulting on lean implementation and manufacturing, and organizational initiatives. During his graduate program Dan worked at AT&T and did his first value stream map by hand for a work redesign workshop. Since the days of working at Cummins Engine, he has coached lean leaders in both value stream transformations and the coaching skills of Toyota kata. Dan also developed a method of tying Kaizen to the American concept of self-directed teams, and worked with the Kaizen institute of America implementing continuous improvement in companies such as Robert Bosch, Ford, and numerous OEM suppliers. Please visit: http://www.senseiway.com/