5 Books Win Shingo Prize

Five books published by Productivity Press have won the 2007 Shingo Research Prize.

            We’re proud of this, of course. I usually don’t use the blog to sing the praises of our company or products, but I would like to devote a little space to talking about these books.

            The books are:

            We understand that a majority of the authors of these five books will be attending at least part of the Shingo Prize conference March 26-29 in Jacksonville, Florida.

            Note that these books do not focus on tools or tactics. Three of them – Hoshin Kanri, Inside the Mind of Toyota, and The Toyota Product Development System – are clearly focused on a more enterprise view of lean. And even the two other books are more strategic than tactical, focusing on broad approaches rather than limited techniques.

            We also publish books devoted to tools and tactics. But the Shingo organization, rightly, is focusing more on strategies and key principles in selecting prize winners. Our website includes a page devoted to all the books we publish that have won the prize.

            A research prize was also awarded this year to an unpublished article (which had nothing to do with us). Its title is “Lean Dilemma: Choose System Principles or Management Controls – Not Both,” by H. Johnson. According to the Shingo news release, this article “explains that despite enormous attention paid to Toyota’s ‘Lean’ practices in recent years, no business has achieved Toyota’s long-term business results. This paper traces that failure to a difference between how managers believe a business produces its results and how businesses actually do achieve those results. The author challenges conventional cost accounting thinking, including activity based costing, and causes the reader to think deeply.”

            Perhaps a journal or magazine will now publish that article. I’d like to read it.

            The purpose of the Research Prize is to recognize and promote outstanding research and writing regarding new knowledge and understanding of manufacturing consistent with the philosophy of the Shingo Prize. The Research Prize had 21 applicants this year, including workbooks, papers, websites and DVDs.

            The greatest wisdom comes by accumulating knowledge from a wide range of sources – not just our books. But I hope you’ll include at least some of the books in your lean library.



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