LEGO has been a household name all of my life and I was aware that they had a strong people-focused culture and adopted Lean methods. This book, written with LEGO insiders, is a stunning example of the discipline and commitment needed to develop people as masters of their crafts through the only way people learn—repetitive, deliberate practice.
—Jeffrey K. Liker, Professor, University of Michigan; and Shingo Prize-winning author of The Toyota Way
Few books, if any in the Lean area since the NUMMI era, have gone into such depth on what it takes to integrate and unify across cultures. The book will become a standard guide not only to TWI implementation, but to the wider challenge of cross-functional and cross-cultural integration.
—John Bicheno, Founder of MSc in Lean Enterprise at The University of Buckingham
While TWI has made a significant comeback in recent years as the underpinning of the Toyota Production System’s foundation for continuous improvement and standard work, the ability to make it an integrated and sustainable system of developing people with a highly productive capability to solve problems while continually learning has remained elusive to most organizations. The book describes in detail how LEGO achieve this culture through a strategic and deliberate plan to develop and deploy a global system of organizational training using TWI as its foundation.
—Jim Huntzinger, President/Founder, Lean Frontiers
About the Author
Patrick Graupp began his training career at the SANYO Electric Corporate Training Center in Japan after graduating with highest honors from Drexel University in 1980. There he learned to deliver Training Within Industry (TWI) and other training programs for SANYO employees inside and outside of Japan. He was transferred to a compact disc manufacturing facility in Indiana where he gained manufacturing experience before returning to Japan to lead SANYO’s global training effort. During this time, Graupp earned an MBA from Boston University and was later promoted to head up human resources for SANYO North America Corp. in San Diego, California where he settled. Graupp partnered with Bob Wrona in 2001 to conduct TWI pilot projects in Syracuse, New York that became the foundation for the TWI Institute which has since trained a vast network of certified trainers who are now delivering TWI training in the manufacturing, health care, construction, energy, and service industries around the globe. These efforts are outlined in their book The TWI Workbook: Essential Skills for Supervisors (Productivity Press, 2006) a Shingo Research and Professional Publication Prize Recipient for 2007. Graupp also authored Implementing TWI: Creating and Managing a Skills-Based Culture published by Productivity Press in 2010, and Getting to Standard Work in Health Care: Using TWI to Create a Foundation for Quality Care published by Productivity Press in 2012.
Gitte Jakobsen has been involved in organizational development and knowledge management in the LEGO Group since 1997 with roles as both staff manager and project manager in the LEGO marketing arena and later within LEGO Operations. She has extensive experience in the development of complex marketing and production processes based on her experience setting up a LEGO marketing development and production function in the Czech Republic and her activities creating Learning Centers in LEGO production sites in Denmark, Mexico, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
In 2009, Jakobsen completed a master’s degree in educational psychology at the University of Aarhus and has since been working as a learning specialist in her position as HR senior manager in the LEGO Learning Center, providing both deep practical and theoretical perspectives. Her core responsibilities lie in leading global activities while building up training organizations and knowledge management activities across LEGO production and engineering functions including a new LEGO factory in China. Additionally, she is developing global LEGO programs like World Class Craftsmanship, with the objective of building up LEGO toolmakers, and Technology Leaders of Tomorrow, both initiatives focused on developing standardized capabilities across cultures and LEGO sites.
John Vellema started his career as a toolmaker in injection molding. This deeply rooted experience working with and understanding life on the shop floor provided him with invaluable experiences that cannot be learned in a classroom. He also served in the Danish Army where his last position was first class sergeant for a recon unit stationed in Kosovo. After leaving the Army, Vellema earned an engineering degree in manufacturing and management from the University of Southern Denmark. He then joined the LEGO Group in 2007 participating in the Supply Chain Graduate Program. In combination with years of coaching teams under the Danish Association of Rowing, this positioned him to become project leader and concept developer over the next three years, beginning in 2009, in the development and implementation of the Global Job Training Organization at LEGO. Through these experiences he has gained a strong understanding of the link between production, leadership, and engineering.
In 2012, John left the LEGO Group to start an advisory and training firm, business through people. The firm’s primary objective is to help companies create and maintain a highly skilled and motivated workforce. Business through people has since become a recognized company supporting businesses and corporations across Europe.