As someone who has studied Lean leadership for 20 years, I have sought to answer the most important research questions. I would love to know what you think the remaining unanswered research questions are. This will help identify what needs to be studied or further studied to advance our understanding and practice of Lean leadership.

The goal is to generate new, practical information that will help managers at all levels become more capable and effective Lean leaders, and also move Lean from a niche management practice to the mainstream. Here is a summary of books I have written on the topic of Lean leadership and the research question(s) that each book answered.

  • Better Thinking, Better Results answers the question: How do you lead a Lean transformation across the entire enterprise?
  • Practical Lean Leadership answers the question: How do you lead a Lean organization? What are the beliefs, behaviors, and competencies of Lean leaders? How do they differ from conventional leaders?
  • Lean Is Not Mean answers numerous questions on the theme: What do managers need to know and do to become better, more capable Lean leaders?
  • REAL LEAN (Six Volumes) answers numerous questions on the theme: Why is Fake Lean so prevalent? What is it that leaders do not understand about Lean management? What do leaders need to know to achieve REAL Lean?
  • Moving Forward Faster answers the questions: What are the economic, social, political, and historical factors that prevent leaders from understanding Lean management? How must leaders think and what do they need to do to accelerate Lean transformations?
  • Speed Leadership: A New Way to lead for Rapidly Changing Times answers the questions: What are leadership processes? What kinds of common leadership process errors do executives make? How can leadership processes be improved?

What do you think are the remaining unanswered research questions?

2 Responses to Lean Leadership Research: What Next?

  1. Greg Hildebrand says:

    Bob,
    Responding to your question about what the big unanswered questions are, one that comes to my mind frequently is how do the leaders of REAL Lean get to the point where they are interested in REAL Lean instead of FAKE Lean? What is their thought process or growth process, and how does it correlate to their professional position? In other words, do they get to the top first, and then discover Lean, or do they somehow manage to rise up through an organization practicing REAL Lean when it is unpopular with traditional managers?

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