Continuous Improvement Improves Lives

by Dominic Bria, Psy.D.

People who work in continuous improvement in any industry tend to love it. It becomes their passion. Many people even end up doing volunteer work in continuous improvement (CI) outside their regular jobs or after retirement.

Consider the Shingo examiners, the people who perform the assessments of organizations that challenge for the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence. Continue reading “Continuous Improvement Improves Lives”

“Operational Excellence” or “Enterprise Excellence”?

by Ken Snyder

A few decades ago, we changed the name of the Shingo Prize to the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence. This was appropriate at the time because the Prize was meant mainly for manufacturers, and applicants for the Prize were mainly the production facilities of manufacturing organizations. At the time, the assessment model we used consisted only of systems, tools, and results. Continue reading ““Operational Excellence” or “Enterprise Excellence”?”

A Study in Principles that Drive Habitual Excellence

by Paul O’Neill – By Geoff Webster, Value Capture, LLC

 “Based on timeless principles, we shape cultures that drive operational excellence.”

Few leaders today embody the purpose of the Shingo Institute better than Paul O’Neill, the 72nd U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. During Paul’s tenure as CEO of Alcoa (1987–2000) and in the decade after, driven by his belief that zero safety incidents was the driving values-based goal for an ethical company, Alcoa’s lost workday incidents dropped from 1.86 to 0.09 per 100 employees per year. Driven to always find a better way (Embrace Scientific Thinking), create better conditions for employees (Respect for Every Individual, Focus on Process, Seek Perfection, Think Systemically, Create Constancy of Purpose), and to improve outcomes (Create Value for the Customer), Paul humbly led Alcoa to a sustainable state of organizational excellence that continued to improve more than a decade after his departure. Continue reading “A Study in Principles that Drive Habitual Excellence”

Why the Shingo Model™?

by Dominic Bria

A few months ago, I had a fellow from a New Hampshire company tell me about a question an employee asked him about the Shingo Model™. He is the business improvement manager at his organization, and they are working toward challenging for the Shingo Prize. An employee asked him why the Shingo Prize is the standard toward which they chose to aspire. Continue reading “Why the Shingo Model™?”

Should We Change the Model?

by Ken Snyder

Over the past several months, I have analyzed and discussed the Shingo Model™ on this blog and in private meetings with thought leaders. This has led to a lot of feedback from various people – both in response to Shingo blog posts, to my personal LinkedIn account, and in one-on-one conversations. I deeply appreciate the passion and commitment of so many people to the Shingo Model™! Continue reading “Should We Change the Model?”

A Look at “Go and Observe”

by Ken Snyder


Soon after publishing the Shingo Model over 10 years ago, we developed workshops to teach the Model. At first, the workshops were classroom-only experiences. We soon tested the idea of “go to gemba[1] as part of the workshop. We quickly realized that including “go to gemba” was a far superior teaching method. Since then, we include a “go to gemba” experience in all workshops and build an experience about each of the 10 Shingo Guiding Principles. Continue reading “A Look at “Go and Observe””

Highlights from the 2019 Shingo Conference

If you weren’t able to make it to this year’s Shingo Conference in the Cincinnati, Ohio area (Covington, Kentucky, to be exact), we certainly hope you’ll make it to next year’s Shingo Conference in Orlando, Florida. In the meantime, here are a few of the highlights of what you missed last week.

At the awards gala, there were five (!) Shingo Prize recipients, including the first ever from Spain. Two of the five Shingo Prize recipients were re-challenges; companies that had received other Shingo awards in past years but progressed to the level of Shingo Prize this year. Continue reading “Highlights from the 2019 Shingo Conference”

A Look at “Create Value for the Customer” and the Results Dimension

by Ken Snyder

“Create Value for the Customer” is one of the Shingo Guiding Principles in the Results dimension of the Shingo Model. In the current Model, it is the only principle in this dimension. Within the Shingo Model, our working definition of this principle is: Continue reading “A Look at “Create Value for the Customer” and the Results Dimension”

Canam Industry Study Tour to Japan

Canam has several facilities in various locations in Canada and the U.S. that process large steel parts for buildings, bridges, and other infrastructure. They wanted to tour companies in Japan because of its reputation as the place where the Lean movement really got started. They requested that we create an industry study tour to take them to companies that face similar challenges to theirs. We began with a few facilities in the Kawada family of companies Continue reading “Canam Industry Study Tour to Japan”

A Look at “Create Constancy of Purpose”

by Ken Snyder

“Create Constancy of Purpose” is a principle in the Enterprise Alignment dimension of the Shingo Model™. When we developed the Shingo Model, we borrowed heavily from the best thinkers who have influenced the operational excellence movement. In the case of this principle, we borrowed the wording from Dr. W. Edwards Deming. This is the first point of Deming’s 14 points, he said:

“Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive, stay in business, and to provide jobs.”[1] Continue reading “A Look at “Create Constancy of Purpose””