School of Lean


First a disclaimer: I have absolutely no relationship with the Gemba Academy. I know most of the guys there and get along pretty well with most of them, but I do not, have never, nor to anticipate ever having any sort of business relationship with them. In fact, I am something of a competitor but in a pretty remote way. Further, they did not ask me to write this – in fact they will know I am writing it like you will – when they read it.

With all of that said and, hopefully clearly understood, I can unequivocally state that any company pursuing lean that has not bought their School of Lean package is missing the boat in a major way. “303 videos, 90 quizzes, 170 downloads” … these guys cover the fundamentals of lean completely, clearly and accurately in a way that is not only more effective but light years more economical than anything else out there. Why on earth anyone would want to hire someone – including (perhaps especially) someone like me to come in and teach them the fundamentals of kanban, 5S or anything else when they can get all of that from the Gemba Academy is beyond me.

The entire School of Lean package costs about what I would charge for a day – and I work cheap. To paraphrase that great philosopher, Forest Gump, Value if what value does. There is no way I can preach and teach focus on customer value and the elimination of waste without recommending – strongly recommending – that my clients and any potential clients get their basic training from the Gemba Academy.

The content is created by guys like Jon Miller who has lean thinking more deeply ingrained in his DNA than most of the Toyota people, my old partner in obnoxious blogging Kevin Meyer and Ron Pereira who is a lean technician without equal … nobody knows this stuff better than they do. They are all in that category of people who have forgotten more about lean than most people will ever know. There is nothing anyone can teach you about the building blocks of lean that these guys don’t know.

I love the MEP’s, and I am very heartened by the strong rise in the community colleges when it comes to supporting local lean manufacturing. I don’t view the legions of other lean consultants as enemies; in fact I want more of them because they all contribute to the growth of lean knowledge and pursuit which is good for everyone, including me. But none of them (us) can hold a candle to the knowledge per hour and knowledge per dollar you can get from the Gemba Academy. And no one can explain it in terms as easy to understand.

Fifteen hundred bucks or so and your whole company gets unlimited access to everything everyone needs or wants to know about all of the basics. You can’t do better than that anywhere … in fact, you will do worse than that everywhere but at Gemba.

I don’t endorse lean products for reward. Period. Never have, never will because my credibility when it comes to lean is all I have to sell and I can’t afford to compromise that. But I do tell it like I see it – good or bad – when it comes to lean products. The Gemba Academy School of Lean is the best.

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