Britta Wallgren

Managing Director, Capio S:t Görans Hospital

“This Is Lean is a very good introduction to lean thinking and a great help in creating a common picture and language throughout the organi- sation. First, top management read the book and had a workshop with one of the authors. After that we decided to buy every manager a copy. Now everyone understands our two main principles of ‘flow efficiency’ and ‘securing quality in every step’.”

Birgir Jakobsson

Chief Executive Officer, Karolinska University Hospital

“The best book I have read on lean. It is well written, easy to read, and pedagogical. It is mandatory reading for anyone interested in improv- ing healthcare. Karolinska University Hospital has used the book to train 600 managers.”

Dan Eliasson

Director-General, The Swedish Social Insurance Agency

“The Swedish Social Insurance Agency, which is responsible for the administration of nearly half of Sweden’s annual budget, is gradually introducing lean into its operations. Parts of the organisation are in the introductory phases of that process, and other parts are well underway. Regardless of where they are in the process, the book This Is Lean plays an important role in guiding our collaborators in understanding lean. In so doing, the book greatly influences one of the major players in the Swedish social welfare system.”

Anders Leckne

General Manager, Kronoberg Remand Centre

“The book highlights a phenomenon that is prevalent within the Swedish justice system today. Each area in the justice system is efficient in its own right, but they act independently of each other without coordination, which makes the total system inefficient. An increased focus on flow efficiency within the justice process would create a more humanitarian and faster throughput. The costs for the state would naturally decrease as a consequence.”

Dr Matthias Holweg

Director, Centre for Process Excellence and Innovation Judge Business School, University of Cambridg

“We often turn to the few well-publicised success stories to learn about lean. The truth, however, is that lean continuously evolves as it adapts to any new context it is applied to, so simply copying someone else’s recipe rarely leads to a sustainable implementation of lean. In This Is Lean, Niklas Modig and Pär Åhlström make an important step forward in transcending past the ‘buzz’ by illustrating the fundamental mecha- nisms that are actually at play. It is a truly insightful book that will be of great help to service and manufacturing firms alike in defining and guiding their own lean journey.”

Christian Levin

Executive Vice President, Sales and Services Management, Scania

“It is a huge challenge to create a common understanding of lean in a global organisation with operations at 1,600 locations. The book will be of great help in our continuous effort to improve delivered customer value.”

Hanna Brandt González

Permanent Secretary, Unionen (largest union in Sweden)

“This Is Lean gives an easily accessible, structured, and inspiring account and description of lean. Most important perhaps is the value and effect of the joint development of the whole organisation, and the structured way of working from co-workers to executives. Here are enormous ben- efits to gain — both for co-workers, for the company and organisation, and not the least for the customer!”

Hans Karlsson

Director General, Värmland County Council

“An easily accessible book that provides the curious with a basic understanding of lean, creates order among concepts for the slightly more initiated and challenges those who think they ‘are lean’. This is wonderful reading that I warmly recommend to co-workers, managers, board members, politically elected officials, and all others who want to create more value in what they do.”

Hans Narfström

Senior Vice President, Corporate IT, Scania

“The authors have created a simple and logical structure for understanding lean. The book has helped our organisation to focus on the right questions.”

Johan Wibergh

Executive Vice President and Head of Business Unit Networks, Ericsson

“When I read This Is Lean, I was very positively surprised. It describes lean in a clear and easy to understand way. We use it extensively in Ericsson and I recommend it to anyone who needs a fast introduction to lean and its benefits.”

John Lagerling

Senior Director, Android Global Partnerships, Google

“This Is Lean is highly applicable reading for executives within all types of industries. It shows that operational excellence is not a static affair but constantly has a need to be reinvented and optimised. High-performing businesses can best sustain their competitive advantage by always forcing a return to a perspective of putting the customer in focus. With too many stakeholders in an organisation pulling in different directions, returning to the essence of the customer experience can be a relief! Lean is a mindset that helps lead the way in these critical iterations. I have not found a book that better teaches the concept and application of lean than this one!”

Lars Wrebo

Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, Volvo Car Corporation

“I have read several books that attempt to explain the true essence of lean throughout my 25 years in automotive business. This is by far the best one. The way it describes lean will be an eye-opener for many people who have not captured the potential of this complex issue. For everyone managing a value chain today, this book is a must.”

Magdalena Forsberg

Biathlon Legend, Inspirational Speaker, Advisor

“For me, lean is about continuous learning! Regardless of whether I have won or lost, I have always tried to learn something new. This Is Lean describes why Toyota has become one of the world’s most success- ful organisations. Toyota has always had a constant focus on learning. The ability to learn is the thing that creates sustainable success.”

Mikael Schiller

Executive Chairman, ACNE Studios

“Fashion is about self-expression, evoking desirability, and making people dream. Fashion is also, by definition, changing; therefore, flex- ibility, responsiveness, and rapid time-to-market are core traits of the successful fashion houses of today. This Is Lean encapsulates the essence of how well-managed companies create flow throughout the whole value chain and develop a learning capability about what makes their end consumers really happy. Lean is simple, but not easy – for any business leader on a quest of reaching further, while using fewer resources, I can warmly recommend this book.”

Per Hallberg

Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development, Purchasing, Scania

“We apply the thinking described in the book in many functions, including IT and R&D. A common language and methodology facilitates a cross-functional interaction, which is a necessity in a flow- oriented company. The authors have managed to make a complex issue accessible to many people through a logical and clear description.”

Peter “Foppa” Forsberg

Ice Hockey Legend, Investor

“This Is Lean describes how organisations can develop world-class operational excellence. It is about teamwork, respect, challenging yourself and your team, and continuous improvement. It does not matter if it is an organisation or a top-athlete: the keys to success are universal. World-class performance is a matter of always having the right mind-set!”

Petter Stordalen

Investor, Hotel Tycoon, Property Developer, and Environmentalist

“The world is in a severe crisis. We need to find new ways of managing resources and mitigating the risks of scarcity. This Is Lean demonstrates that the current understanding of ‘real efficiency’ is incorrect. Organisations sub-optimise and waste resources without knowing it. The book captures the latest insights regarding how we have to reform and renew our view on operational excellence. It also shows how holistic thinking, integration, and end-user orientation are the cornerstones of creating both economic and social value.”

Professor Bob Emiliani

Central Connecticut State University

“This Is Lean is a wonderful and original book that will do much to help people gain an accurate understanding of lean management. It presents ideas and concepts in unique ways that are easy for anyone to understand and apply. It is a fantastic book. I absolutely love it.”

Professor Keith Goffin

Cranfield School of Management

“This book on Lean Management is a ‘must-read’ for managers and employees, in manufacturing and service organisations. Modig and Åhlström have done a great job in not only selecting the most important concepts from the vast literature on lean management but also in provid- ing crystal clear explanations of each concept. Too often management books are padded with interesting but peripheral information, whereas this book doesn’t waste a sentence. If your aim is to make your business processes more effective, make sure everyone in your organisation reads this book. Firstly, it will inform your employees about lean concepts and, secondly, it will inspire them to quickly apply the concepts.”

Professor Nigel Slack

Emeritus Professor, Warwick Business School

“This Is Lean is just fantastic. Really readable, interesting, relevant, and wise. I love the stories – they bring it to life.”

Professor Paul Coughlan

Trinity College Dublin

“This Is Lean is much more than a catchy title to another book on lean. It is a lean exploration of a particular operations strategy of fundamen- tal importance to organisations who aspire to add value for those who wish to receive value. It captures the values, principles, methods, and tools which shape a dynamic view of the improvement imperative. And, it does so with resource efficiency – in fewer pages than comparable books – and also with flow efficiency – focusing on the needs of the reader to understand. Modig and Åhlström have great respect for their reader, with whom they engage as a fellow team member. They tell stories, use metaphors, and sketch scenarios in order to visualise key concepts and to challenge misconceptions. They have great respect for the history of the Toyota Production System and they demonstrate the value of that respect in realising a lean operations strategy. By the end, they leave the reader in no doubt as to their shared understanding of fishing (how to think about improvement) while, at the same time, leaving sufficient actionable space for the reader to figure out his or her own way to learn to fish.”

Professor Takahiro Fujimoto

University of Tokyo

“Lean is an apparently easy term to remember, but a rather difficult concept to understand accurately. Many executives worldwide still think the real essence of lean production is cost-cutting, which is wrong. This Is Lean is one of the most concise, easy-to-grasp, and fun- to-read books on the topic and it will help you understand the essence of this important management philosophy of the 20th and 21st centuries.”

Professor Terry Hill

Emeritus Fellow, University of Oxford

“I found This Is Lean most enjoyable – punchy opening, use of some examples/illustrations throughout, good writing style and, most importantly, a sound exposé of the concepts. The book is a most worthwhile contribution to our field.”

Professor Zoe Radnor

Cardiff Business School

“This Is Lean reads like a good novel ... it captures you from the first paragraph (the cancer cases), draws you into the characters (the great concept of flow efficiency), unveils the plot and detail slowly (the laws and theories), before giving away the importance of the relationships (creating and developing lean organisations) and making you feel that all will live happily ever after (just embracing with lean). The examples and explanations in the book are first-class and, having researched and applied lean myself within public services, this book crosses the bounda- ries in a seamless and relevant manner through focusing on the concepts. It is an imperative read from the beginner to the expert. As with every good book or novel, you learn something new every time you read it!”

Ulf Näsström

Vice President, Saab AB, Business Area Electronic Defence Systems

“The book is incredibly inspiring and targets both ‘beginners’ and those who already think they know what lean is. My management team and I were so inspired by the book that I decided that all 1,100 employees in my organisation should have their own copy of the book as an inspi- ration and support in our strategy of becoming a lean organisation. This Is Lean has enabled the whole organisation to have a common language around lean, which is a prerequisite for lean to work in a large organisation. The book is easy to read, pedagogically structured, and convincing. I can warmly recommend this book.”

The Authors