How to Succeed with Continuous Improvement: A Primer for Becoming the Best in the World

How to Succeed with Continuous Improvement: A Primer for Becoming the Best in the World

Joakim Ahlstrom

Language: English

Pages: 128

ISBN: 0071835237

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Your organizational transformation begins here!

Comprehensive, detailed, and easy to read and understand, How to Succeed with Continuous Improvement takes you through a real-life case study of one organization’s journey to a world-class continuous improvement process.

Joakim Ahlstrom―one of the world’s most respected continuous improvement experts―serves as your coach. He first helps you decide whether you want to embark on the continuous improvement journey and takes you through the entire process step by step, all the way through generating remarkable business results with his unique methods.

In each chapter, Ahlstrom describes a specific stage of the transformation story and provides a clear analysis of each one to help you apply his methods in your own company. In no time you’ll grasp all the concepts you need to know. How to Succeed with Continuous Improvement covers it all, including:

  • How to shift mindsets and behaviors using the often neglected practice of coaching
  • Common pitfalls to help you plan out how you will apply the principles and practices
  • Using “six-legged spiders” and “fishy” diagrams to achieve measurable results
  • Ways to avoid “Watermelon” key performance indicators that often mask the truth

Ahlstrom explains rational behind all the methods in the book―the results they produce, and why―and offers practical advice on how to get full input from everyone involved. Ahlstrom concludes the book with a chapter offering a current-state analysis tool and a simple template to apply in your company.

If you’re seeking to design and launch a continuous improvement program, How to Succeed with Continuous Improvement is the first book you should turn to―and it’s the last one you’ll ever need!

Praise for How to Succeed with Continuous Improvement

“Using a story he lived through, Joakim vividly brings to life for us the transformation from a mediocre top-down organization depending on a few internal experts for its survival to a high performance organization of empowered employees engaged in continuous improvement.”
–Jeffrey Liker, bestselling author of The Toyota Way

“This succinct book packs an enormous amount of wisdom and experience into an entertaining fast read. It gives a clear roadmap for any leader to implement a strong continuous improvement program in his or her unit. Highly recommended!”
–Alan G. Robinson, Professor of Management, University of Massachusetts and author of Corporate Creativity and Ideas are Free

“The most valuable and lean book I have read about lean.”
–Göran Martinsson, Continuous improvement Manager, IKEA

“Well written, easy to read, filled with excellent examples . . . If you only plan to read one change management book this year, this is the book you should read.”
–Dag Näslund, Professor of Management, University of North Florida

“An amazing guide in lean principles, with simple tools for simplifications.”
–Susanne Schipper, Continuous Improvement Coach, AstraZeneca

“Simplicity is the essence of this great book. Ahlstrom delivers a straightforward and simple approach to support your work with continuous improvement.”
–Ronny Ålund, Productivity Management, Volvo CE

“This book is a little gem with large content! Unlike many other books on the subject, you only have to read it once because it sticks.”
–Johan Valett, Vice President Haldex Way, Haldex

“I recommend How to Succeed with Continuous Improvement to anyone who needs a fast and inspiring introduction to continuous improvement.”
–Janne Lundberg, Global Lean Innovation Manager, Assa Abloy














improvement work, and according to him the diagram illustrates the core of all improvement work. This diagram confirmed that we had used the right approach at the IT company. The “improvement loop” from the book Getting the Right Things Done by Pascal Dennis Success Breeds Success Factors Do you think it is more fun when things are going well than when they are going badly? That is what we thought at the IT company. When we started to visualize the good examples of improvements that we had

Success Factors From the very first “board meeting” with sales support, every department asked four questions at their meetings. First they asked where they were and measured their current state. They then asked where they were going and set a target. After this they asked how they were going to get there and broke down the problem and identified concrete improvement activities. And finally they asked how they were going to stay motivated and decided how they were going to celebrate their

the big change. Everything had gone smoothly because a large number of small improvements supported the major change. Roger said that one of the company’s main competitors had also been convinced by the marketing and bought the same kind of servers. However, the project had ended in total disaster for the competitor. My telephone conversation with Roger made me understand another aspect of effective improvement work where everyone is involved. Not only does this lead to small problems being

interested in starting projects than completing them; Nadia, a positive and very chatty person, who was responsible for sales support; the company’s finance manager, Lena, a competent but cautious woman who could sometimes be heard saying, “Surely we can’t do that, can we?”; Peter, the company’s purchasing manager, who loved technology and the opportunities it brought; and finally, Roger, my manager and the company’s quality manager, a practical humanist, who was a firm believer in people’s

ask the three orienteering questions. But things rarely turn out the way you want them to. Current State: Where Are We? Roger and I had decided to be present at the first two “board meetings” of every department. We would hold the first meeting, and we would be there at the second meeting to offer any support that the department members needed. Sales support was the first department to hold a “board meeting.” The meeting was based on the type of hassle that had received the most votes from the

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