The Shingo Academy

By: Ken Snyder

At our conference a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of inducting Andrew P. (“Drew”) Dillon into the Shingo Academy. Drew translated seven of Shigeo Shingo’s books into English, served as Dr. Shingo’s personal translator and apprentice, and was so influenced by Dr. Shingo’s teachings that he abandoned his position on the faculty at a major university to pursue furthering the work of helping organizations get better by adopting Lean practices.

Drew is the 70th person to be inducted into the Shingo Academy. He joins an extremely distinguished group of individuals who have dedicated their lives and careers to operational excellence and to furthering the mission of the Shingo Institute. For a full list of people inducted into the Shingo Academy, please visit our website at:

The official Academy description states: “The Shingo Academy consists of individuals who are actively involved in and have distinguished themselves in the area of operational excellence. Members of the Academy serve as promotional ambassadors for the Shingo Institute and its activities.” As far as we know, the Shingo Academy is the closest thing the Lean community has to a Hall of Fame, or a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In the past, the nomination of individuals to the Shingo Academy has been done entirely by the Shingo Executive Advisory Board and the staff at the Shingo Institute. Although the inductees are all very deserving of the honor, I confess we did not have very good standard work. Recently, a team from the Shingo Executive Advisory Board created a more robust process. The new process included opening up the nominations to the broad community. A member of our board, Helen Zak of Catalysis, has volunteered to lead the process with the help of other board members. If you are interested in nominating someone to be inducted into the Shingo Academy, please contact Helen at

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