I finished Shigeo Shingo’s Kaizen and the Art of Creative Thinking a long time ago. This post is my short review of his book.
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In general, I thought the book was very good. The lessons contained therein are timeless and, while at the time they were revolutionary, for most lean practitioners today they might seem very obvious. But, still, while they might seem obvious, to many companies and organizations just starting on their lean journey, Shigeo Shingo’s ideas will be refreshing and revolutionary.
From the publisher:
Dr. Shingo explains the ethos of Toyota’s production system, with examples of how other companies benefited and struggled with these principles. Kaizen and The Art of Creative Thinking is the genesis guide to the foundations of the Toyota Production System.
- How to create an innovative company and culture
- How to manage a creative environment
- How to focus your resources for successful growth
- How to create an internal engine of idea generation
- How to harness the true value of improvement, and
- How to unlock human potential
Dr. Shingo’s Scientific Thinking Mechanism was born in the 1950’s and has never been fully revealed to the West. This is Toyota’s secret weapon. From this day forward you will now have the power and knowledge to start the process of implementing your own Lean system.
And, a few reviews from Amazon.com:
“Dr. Shingo was a master of Kaizen, he had the scientific training and innovative genius to deeply understand processes and the humility to realize that he needed the operators to take ownership. We are fortunate to have this new opportunity to gaze deeply into the thinking of one of the true geniuses behind TPS —Dr. Shigeo Shingo.”
From the foreword by Jeffrey K. Liker, Ph. D., New York Times best–selling author, The Toyota Way
“This book contains a myriad of case studies taken from office examples as well as the shop floor. It is a gold mine of improvement ideas that cumulatively must have saved millions, and could still do so today!”
Don Dewar, President & Founder, Quality Digest Magazine
“Kaizen and the Art of Creative Thinking is a revealing book and is the genesis manuscript to the Lean Manufacturing mindset. It captures the fundamental thought process to structure problem solving activities and is the foundation to all essential aspects of the Kaizen philosophy. Truly a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and frameworks to embolden you to change existing practices!”, Michel Mestre, Ph.D. Professor, Northwest University
“For those of us who have revered the work of Dr. Shingo, this is an exciting work. More so than any other of his books.”, Bill Kluck, President, Northwest Lean Network
“Practicing Kaizen (the habit of making small improvements) eludes many people. Dr. Shingo’s Scientific Thinking Mechanism replaces the hope for a flash of creativity with a reliable and learnable habit-building approach. Thanks for making this Rosetta Stone for Kaizen available to the world.”, Hal Macomber, Principal, Lean Project Consulting, Inc.
I’d say the biggest and most positive element for me was the simplicity of the book. There is a sense of profound simplicity – but the simplicity is also very deceptive, because the principles that underlie them are quite complex and rigorous. Yet, Shingo is able to share them in a way that is accessible to everybody.
I highly recommend this book.