It is easy to understand why Graban is upset. Frederick Taylor, an early 20th century industrial engineer, is the father of scientific management. At the dawn of the mass production era, industrialists like Henry Ford used his time-study techniques to break up industrial processes into their constituent parts. Each worker in the first assembly lines was given a small and repetitive role, whose demeaning nature was best portrayed by Charlie Chaplin in his 1937 movie "Modern Times."
Toyota's Lean manufacturing system, on the other hand, was invented in Japan after World War II with the help of an Iowan, W. Edward Deming, who believed improved productivity and quality came from working in teams, breaking down silos of activity, and applying tools like measurement and statistics to foster steady, small improvements in work processes. "Lean manufacturing and Deming focused on the importance of treating employees with respect and creating systems that allow employees to think and drive improvement," a blogger on the Deming Institute website wrote a few years ago.