The Godfather of Lean in the U.S. on Respect for People
After many trips to the library in the early 1980s studying what drives productivity, Norm Bodek began taking American Executives on study missions to Japan. Now, 50 years and more than 80 study missions later, his fascination with Japanese management focused on quality and lean continues even at 87 years of age. In Japan, Norm met then translated and published in English the books of over 100 top Japanese management thinkers including Taiichi Ohno and Dr. Shigeo Shingo, made famous by their creation of the Toyota Production System. Norm’s study missions, books and conferences he ran for years under Productivity, Inc. earned him the title of the Godfather of Lean in America as he popularized such methods as Kaizen. With a passion deeply rooted in “respect for people”, one of the teachings American Professor Dr. W. Edwards Deming brought to the Japanese after World War II, Norm believes organizations still have a long way to go in fulfilling the promise that people are the most valuable asset of every organization.