Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Kaizen and the Art of Creative Thinking

I just finished reading a truly great “new” book that explores the thinking process of making improvements, “Kaizen and the Art of Creative Thinking” written by Shigeo Shingo, published by Norman Bodek (PCS, Inc) and Collin McLoughlin (Enna Products Corporation). Actually, this is not really a new book since it was first written by Shigeo Shingo in 1958 but has never been translated in English before now. The official release date of this newly published English translation is set for October 15, 2007 and you can pre-order your copy here.

Knowing that the book was written back in 1958 caused me to wonder if any of the information would be relevant to today’s lean journey but after reading this book, I was not disappointed. Unlike the other great Shingo books which were more lean tool driven, “Kaizen and the Art of Creative Thinking” focuses on the thinking portion of problem solving, making improvements and meeting opposition to the guardians of the status quo. There are a great number of improvement examples in this book to clearly explain Shingo’s points which I found extremely helpful and entertaining. Some of the information has been written about before but there are plenty of new insights to make this book a must read for those of us on our lean journey.

The book confirms what I already knew to be true from my early days in lean when Shigeo Shingo taught me the SMED system. Shigeo Shingo is a genius and has a gift for teaching.

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