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5 books on Transforming an Organisation

Piyush 2015-10-28

Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.

–Henry David Thoreau

I quite agree with Thoreau as I never miss a chance to read a good book. But I must also agree to the fact that there is so little time and yet there are so many books to read. Mind it, books too are expensive and can burn a hole in your pocket too. I’ve suffered the burns! I bought a few books earlier this year and I still think that they not so useful. It is not that I read books because they might be useful, but it at times they do prove to be so. Only a book lover can tell the difference!

Often at our workplace we find ourselves in such situation where the organisation is innovating and a lot happens that needs to be understood every day. An important task then is selecting a reading material to understand the implementation part. Well, I rely on my friends and colleagues for recommendations before going out to buying a book. So, today I’m writing about the Top 5 books that helped me and you too can read to enhance your learning on Lean-Kaizen Practices:

Be it manufacturing or Services, these books will guide you with the secrets to out-perform your competition and improve your bottom line in your journey towards Business Excellence. You’ll be enabled in creating more value for your customers, identifying and eliminating crippling wastes from your processes.

Let’s begin by revisiting Dr Deming 14 Points. Dr. Deming, fondly known as the father of Quality revolution, articulated 14 critical theories for implementing Total Quality Management (TQM). Starting with implementing the practices Quality and Productivity will improve dramatically. You can read the 14 points here…

The following books will certainly help you understand Lean – Kaizen principles and techniques:

Gemba Kaizen by Masaaki Imai – The book is a sequel to the path breaking book, Kaizen by Imaisan, He’s the crusading proponent of Continual Improvement aka Kaizen. Gemba in Japanese means the real place; the factory floor, the place where action or value addition takes place. This book invokes crucial understanding to anyone who wishes to see improvements in business practices. You’ll find here examples from most of the industries. 

The Toyota Way by Jeff Liker – It is most powerful book on Lean concepts. It outlines 14 management principles and application of these principles. The two fundamental principles highlighted in the book are continuous improvement and respect for people. The book delves into Toyota production system, their philosophy, values and explains how they have been able to drive inefficiencies from their processes.

 Lean Thinking by Womack & Jones – The book introduces the philosophy of the five Lean principles that are key to understanding the value from the customer’s point of view. It’ll help you achieve benefit by eliminating waste from non-value adding activities, processes and improving the use of resources.

 The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt – It is a fiction novel about a production plant!  [The Goal] Who would read that! Well, everyone from the clerk to the CEO, should read this book. Without ruining your anticipation, let me tell you that using Theory of Constraint principles like throughput, bottlenecks, Alex Rogo, the central character did become successful in transforming his business. After you finish reading the Goal, go for Theory of Constraints.

Learning to See by Mike Rother & John Shook – Think of value and you can’t escape this book. It is perhaps the most referred book on Value Stream Mapping. It gives you theory blended with examples and practical application of Lean management concepts. The authors have used a standard symbolic language and framework that will enable you follow along and apply them in reality.


I believe you’ll spare time and make a habit to read books. Write to us with your feedback and keep reading, after all, books are a man’s best friend!


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