Lean Blog Interviews — 324: Art Smalley, “Four Types of Problems”

My guest for Episode #324 of the podcast is Art Smalley. Art was one of the first Americans to work for Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan and, since then, has been helping other organizations with the Toyota Production System (a.k.a. “Lean”) methods and approaches. You can also visit his website to learn more, www.ArtOfLean.com.

Art is a fellow faculty member at the Lean Enterprise Institute. He has written two Shingo Publication Award-winning books: Creating Level Pull and (co-authored with Durward Sobek) Understanding A3 Thinking. Art later wrote Toyota’s Kaizen Methods: Six Steps to Improvement with Isao Kato.

I own all of these books and have only met Art briefly in the past, so I’m happy to finally have him here as a guest. Today, we’ll talk about Art’s career and his most recent book, Four Types of Problems, published by the Lean Enterprise Institute (note: LEI provided me a free electronic copy of the book).

I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.