Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc.

Lean_org_who_we_are”The Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc. founded by James P. Womack in 1997, is a nonprofit education, publishing, research, and conference organization with an action plan. Compared with traditional “think” tanks, we are a “do” tank. We carefully develop hypotheses about lean thinking and experiment to see which approaches work best in the real world. We then write up and teach what we discover, providing new methods for organizational transformation. We strive to answer the simple question of every manager, “What can I do on Monday morning to make a difference in my organization?” And, by creating a strong Lean Community through our website and public events we try to give managers the courage to become lean change agents.

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We carry out our mission through Value Streams: Lean Education, Lean Learning Materials, the Lean Summit conferences, and our website lean.org. In addition, we exchange information across the world through the Lean Global Network, consisting of more than a dozen nonprofit organizations similar to LEI, sharing a common mission in different countries.

Any company, executive, or organization and any manager wishing to join the transformation to a lean way of creating value is welcome in our Lean Community. We exist to support everyone who is starting or continuing the lean journey.

James P. Womack


Founder and Senior Advisor
Lean Enterprise Institute

James P. Womack

Management expert James P. Womack, Ph.D., is the founder and senior advisor to the Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc., a nonprofit training, publishing, conference, and management research company chartered in August 1997 to advance a set of ideas known as lean production and lean thinking, based initially on Toyota’s business system and now being extended to an entire lean management system.

The intellectual basis for the Cambridge, MA-based Institute is described in a series of books and articles co-authored by Womack and Daniel Jones over the past 20 years. The most widely known books are: The Machine That Changed the World (Macmillan/Rawson Associates, 1990), Lean Thinking/Lean szemlélet (Simon & Schuster, 1996), Lean Solutions (Simon & Schuster, 2005), and Seeing The Whole Value Stream (Lean Enterprise Institute, 2011). Articles include: “From Lean Production to the Lean Enterprise” (Harvard Business Review, March-April, 1994), “Beyond Toyota: How to Root Out Waste and Pursue Perfection” (Harvard Business Review, September-October, 1996), “Lean Consumption” (Harvard Business Review, March-April, 2005).

Womack received a B.A. in political science from the University of Chicago in 1970, a master’s degree in transportation systems from Harvard in 1975, and a Ph.D. in political science from MIT in 1982 (for a dissertation on comparative industrial policy in the U.S., Germany, and Japan). During the period 1975-1991, he was a full-time research scientist at MIT directing a series of comparative studies of world manufacturing practices. As research director of MIT’s International Motor Vehicle Program, Womack led the research team that coined the term “lean production” to describe Toyota’s business system.

Womack served as the Institute’s chairman and CEO from 1997 until 2010 when he was succeeded by John Shook.

John Shook


Chairman and CEO
Lean Enterprise Institute

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John Shook is recognized as a true sensei who enthusiastically shares his knowledge and insights within the Lean Community and with those who have not yet made the lean leap.

Shook learned about lean management while working for Toyota for nearly 11 years in Japan and the U.S., helping it transfer production, engineering, and management systems from Japan to NUMMI and subsequently to other operations around the world. While at Toyota’s headquarters, he became the company’s first American kacho (manager) in Japan. In the U.S., Shook joined Toyota’s North American engineering, research and development center in Ann Arbor, MI, as general manager of administration and planning. His last position with Toyota was as senior American manager with the Toyota Supplier Support Center in Lexington, KY, assisting North American companies implement the Toyota Production System. As co-author of Learning to See (Tanulj meg látni) John helped introduce the world to value-stream mapping. John also co-authored Kaizen Express (Kaizen Expressz), a bi-lingual manual of the essential concepts and tools of the Toyota Production System. In his latest book Managing to Learn (Vezesd a tanulást), he describes the A3 management process at the heart of lean management and leadership.

Shook is an industrial anthropologist with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii, and is a graduate of the Japan-America Institute of Management Science. He is the former director of the University of Michigan, Japan Technological Management Program, and faculty of the university’s Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering.

He is the author of “Toyota’s Secret: The A3 Report”; Sloan Management Review, July 2010; “How to Change a Culture: Lessons from NUMMI”; Sloan Management Review, January 2010. Shook is a sought-after conference keynoter who has been interviewed on lean management by National Public Radio, Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous trade publications.

Daniel T. Jones


Founder and Chairman
Lean Enterprise Academy

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Founder and Chairman of the Lean Enterprise Academy in the U.K., Daniel T. Jones is a senior advisor to the Lean Enterprise Institute, management thought leader, and mentor on applying lean process thinking to every type of business.

He is the author with James P. Womack of the influential and popular management books that describe the principles and practice of lean thinking in production, The Machine that Changed the World, and Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Organization, and the workbookbook Seeing the Whole Value Stream. Their book Lean Solutions: How Companies and Customers Can Create Value and Wealth Together extends these ideas to consumption, provision, and service delivery. He is the publisher of Breaking Through to Flow, Creating Lean Dealers, and Making Hospitals Work. A sought-after keynoter, Jones also has organized Lean Summit conferences in Europe, including the Frontiers of Lean Summit, First Global Lean Healthcare Summit, and Lean Transformation Summit.

Jones advises organizations in different sectors on their lean transformations, helped establish the first company University in the UK at Unipart, wrote the UK Government’s Rethinking Construction report and Lean Thinking for the NHS. He organized the first Global Healthcare Summit, mentors a dozen hospitals in the UK, Italy and the USA and published Making Hospitals Work. Jones was the European Director of MIT’s Future of the Automobile and International Motor Vehicle Programs. He is advisor to the European Efficient Consumer Response movement and editor of the International Commerce Review. Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Sussex.

Source: www.lean.org