About the Book
Indie Book Reviews Verdict (4.7/5): In LEANISM, Benjamin Snipes works to build an intellectual paradigm for using Lean business management principles as the basis for a life philosophy. The resulting treatise is not for beginners, but fellow Lean adherents will find a home in its pages.
LEANISM: Productive Philosophy for Life and Business by Benjamin Snipes builds a theoretical grounding and an expansive paradigm for devotees of Lean business management. Rather than explain the tools of Lean management or provide a précis of Lean transformation, however (work that Snipes leaves to the many other books on the subject), Snipes works to underpin Lean--its precepts, its doctrine, and the reverberations of its implementation-- into an exploration of Lean's theoretical underpinnings, which crosses many disciplines.
What is Lean? Since at least the 1980s, when Toyota began to dominate the car manufacturing industry, businesses have sought to emulate what has become known as the "lean management" style Toyota implemented through Toyota Production System. This management style depended on a systemic and fully integrated customer-oriented re-visioning of a business's purpose, process, and its people. In that sense, it's neither simply a model nor a set of methods. It's a business's transformation toward what is called "true-north value": the maximalization of customer value and minimization of any-/everything extraneous to that value.
In LEANISM, Benjamin Snipes builds out the normative undergirding Lean, including and especially what it is that constitutes true-north value. Snipes therefore organizes the book by value streams, a schema that allows for a paradoxically rigid but relatively free-form examination of what defines a value stream, what determines its particular power, and how it can contribute to Lean business.
For example, "Value Stream 2: Money & Economics," discusses money's "existential and physical value" through lessons in economics, a series of loose case studies, and several market-based examples depicting the ways that value shifts or becomes relative (particularly vis-à-vis consumer perspectives). Ultimately, the value stream-based discussion considers the ways that Lean valuation both accommodates and exploits the limitations of price (for example) to more efficiently denote customer-perceived value and to therefore contribute to a business's true-north value.
Due in part to Leanism's ontological aspirations--it imagines an all-encompassing way-of-being for life and business--a Japanese-inflected lexicon communicates much of Lean's doctrine. While many practitioners eschew this usage, Snipes embraces it, offering a Lean Lexicon in the book's first pages. This is the perhaps clearest tell that this book is not for beginners. In fact, it's not even for intermediate practitioners. LEANISM is for advanced and perhaps impassioned devotees. Readers who are not only familiar with Lean principles but who are comfortable speaking Lean language will find much to mull over here.
~Molly Gage for IndieReader
LeanIsm, describes how you can lean forward to identify what is most valuable and apply that knowledge in your life and business. It explains how you may understand people's motives from the deepest perspective so you can solve their greatest problems for the most money possible.
Leanism is a hybrid of Western and Eastern philosophies applied to life and business that will lead you to true-north value. Leanism extends the business concept of Lean to the furthest horizon of what is known so you can reach the greatest profit. This is a stretch assignment about business so you will better think though, identify and produce what delights people most.
In short, it:
- Explains what "true-north value" in Lean is
- Explains how true-north value is created by exchanging money for well designed goods and services
- Explains "who" and "why" people are in the grandest scheme of things to think though, identify and produce what will delight people most
- Helps you as a leader meaningfully differentiate your products by most efficiently testing them against people's highest values
- It does the above through a structured method of inquiry, by first empathizing with people, determining their problems and motives, best fitting a product or service to those problems and motives, and then testing the solution against people's willingness to pay for it
- Helps you develop a core ideology and purpose that will give you the confidence to lead even in tough times
- Facilitates innovation through abstract, Lean thinking that crosses all disciplines
- Helps you ask the right questions to improve your analysis by better identifying what needs to be answered
Ben Snipes (JD/MBA/LLM) is based in New York City. He wrote this book to discover what value truly means and how that knowledge is used to make a profit.
About the Author
I am a Product Director with a large company where I am responsible for gathering and analyzing market information and designing effective market strategies for current and new information products. I have also worked at as a commercial and tax attorney in private practice and in-house at a large corporation.
Qualifications: I earned an LL.M. in taxation from the Georgetown Law Center, and an M.B.A. with a concentration in international taxation at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business in 2011. I earned a J.D. with International Law Certification from the Florida State University College of Law in 2003. Prior to earning my law degree, I earned a B.A. in Political Science and Business Administration from the University of Florida in 2000.