Book Review: The Remedy


The Remedy

There are few business concepts which are applicable across any company in any industry. From solopreneurs to multi-national conglomerates, the principles of Lean Management are a tool to improve the culture of a company.

I recently got the chance to read “The Remedy” by Pascal Dennis, which is a real life story about how lean was applied across a large car manufacturer.

Lean is predominantly known to be a process to decrease waste within manufacturing processes. Through the travels of Tom and his sensei Andy, stories are told on how Lean Management is applied within non-manufacturing settings.  The reader is taken through a journey where common obstacles of dealing with a company that is heavily placed into silos, non-communitive, and insular culture are dealt with. You get the opportunity to see how Lean Management can be applied in the non-manufacturing departments of Human Resources, Marketing, Product Development, and Accounting.

The reader is introduced to many of the basic concepts and terminology of Lean Management (for example the 8 types of waste) in the style where Tom, the plant manager of the shining star of Taylor Motors, is taken from his current role to lead the development and launch of a new car, originally known as the Defiant.

If you want to learn more about Lean Management, this would be an ‘average’ book to pick up. The Japanese terminology is used throughout the book which can make things confusing at time. There are great animations throughout the book, but at times, too many. It gave the feeling that you were reading a Pictionary book at times.

I personally don’t see this book as being a good starting point if you are a novice to Lean Management. Lean is best learnt within a manufacturing setting since the subject matter can be visibly seen. The author previously wrote “Andy & Me” which details the journey of transforming a manufacturing plant towards being Lean. This book would be a good starting point.

Do you have any books about Lean and Lean Management that you recommend?

Have an awesome week.


Kevin MacDonald is a Business Consultant at L6S Business Consulting Inc ( L6S offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin has his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for the South Edmonton Business Association, the Fringe Festival, Goodwill Industries of Alberta and donates blood at the Canadian Blood Services.


In Life as In Sport as In Business

ray rice

Growing up, I was told that playing sports will give you skills and lessons that you can use in everyday life. As a matter of fact, I like to giggle at ‘reality TV’ since I don’t consider it to be very real at all. I personally consider watching sports to be the closest thing to reality TV.

In playing sports, you can learn:

1.      Team Work: Your coach and team mates are there to guide, support and mentor you. Family, friends, work colleagues and your boss (hopefully) do the same for you in life.

2.      Self-Discipline: To improve at a sport, to improve as a person or as a colleague, practice and repetition helps. Don’t be scared to be placed in a sticky situation. It will happen more than once and when it does; you will be prepared.

3.      Perseverance: Obstacles are something that you will meet everywhere. Opponents on the field, a friend who doesn’t want to travel or a co-worker who thinks your idea is faulty. Everything can be worked through as long as you try.

4.      Focus: It is very hard to attain something if you don’t make it a goal. That focus can be used to fuel your perseverance and get things done.

5.      Accountability: You are accountable to your team mates, coaches, and fans when you play sports. The team that you have developed around yourself will help to keep you true to your focus and your end goal.

Last Monday, a video surfaced showing Ray Rice punching his then fiancé Janay Palmer in the face, knocking her out cold. I guess that Ray Rice forgot the sport lessons of Team Work, Self-Discipline, Perseverance, and Focus. He is, I am very happy to say, learning now about Accountability.

Now, with the multi-billion dollar brand of the National Football League (NFL) tarnished, will Roger Goodelll follow suit and become accountable to the team owners? Only time will tell.

What did you learn from playing sports? If you didn’t play sports as a kid, where do you think you got many of your life’s learning?


(Photo credits from Left: Rob Carr/Getty Images, Andrew Burton/Getty Images)