Lean books

I was Zoom’ing with a friend from the world of Lean recently and at one point in our conversation I could see he was looking behind me, peering at my bookshelf, the one full of Lean books. I should say here I usually have a very realistic fake brick wall backdrop which screens from view my often un-5S’d office. And I’m not one for using a virtual background unless I have to. And I prefer Zoom to Teams and other video conferencing apps. But hey, I’m allowed to have preferences.

Back to said friend. He knows me well and I didn’t feel to need for fakery this time, virtual or otherwise. Anyway, he asked me what Lean books I had, how many had I actually read, and which ones I would recommend. Hmmm, I thought, one easy and two tough questions.

The list of books was easy enough to provide, and if you want a copy, just send me an email.

Now, how many of the near to 100 books had I actually read? Probably about half of them, as in from front to back. But not a one of them in one sitting, I wasn’t reading for leisure after all. That said, most of the books are very readable, anything to do with the history, the development of Lean, I found hard to put down. I’m a history grad you see.

Every single one of my Lean books has been very useful, from providing specifics about tools, techniques and games, to helping me understand how to approach Lean in differing sectors, through to developing my understanding of the philosophy of Lean. And of course, where Lean came from and how it spread across every sector.

As to which I would recommend. Well, that depends on what you’re looking for. Many concern Lean in higher education. To be expected I guess as that is where I began my Lean journey. And in fact, some of those books, many written by people I know well, refer to work I was involved in when at the University of St Andrews in the UK. If you want some recommendations, feel free to get in touch with me.

I know there’s many more books out there, but they’re not on my list as I don’t have them. If you have a favourite that’s not on the list, or see an obvious gap, let me know.

If you have any comments about this blog, or want a copy of the list, if you are looking for recommendations, or you want to let me know about a ‘missing’ book, or you just want to find out more about what we do, please do get in touch.

Happy reading!


(Image by Mark)