Respect for People

About the book

Right now, the leadership philosophy, which developed at Toyota after the Second World War, has spread over the whole world and to every type of organization and business, often under the name Lean. Hospitals, schools and companies in all shapes and sizes have their Lean ventures hoping to reach the unbelievable result which Toyota, amongst others, has achieved.

But why are there so few enterprises that succeed? Most do not even come close to the results that this management philosophy evidently has the ability to create. One of the most common reasons is that they have not successfully involved all of the employees in the improvements, which stems from leaders who do not understand or are not capable of living up to the meaning “Respect for People”.

Now you can go behind the scenes at Scania, which has long been regarded as one of the most successful businesses at implementing Lean and involving its workforce. Through true stories you will come to understand what it takes to fully convert to this completely new leadership.

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The authors

Robert Kusén, vice president at SSAB responsible for the lean transformation, earlier management strategist and Lean manager for Södertälje municipality and work shop manager for Scania's engine plant. In 2008, Robert got a scholarship from HM King Carl XVI Gustaf and the "Young Leadership" foundation for his achievements as manager at Scania. There he succeeded, together with his team of 275 employees, in transforming the engine plant, which went under the name of Monkey Mountain, into a role model for the Swedish manufacturing industry. Together, Monkey Mountain succeeded where many were perplexed at the prospect, to create an organization where everybody is on board and drives development fueled by intrinsic motivation. Robert is now one of the most sought after lecturers in the area of leadership with Lean philosophy as a foundation.

Arne Ljung, behavioral scientist, mental trainer and consultant. From the beginning, Arne was a behavioral scientist who knew a great deal about behavior but could not handle his own behavior. After prolonged training, he gained an understanding and humility concerning every human being’s possibility to grow and develop. Arne has worked successfully for many years with relationships and leadership in many organizations. In 2003, Arne wrote the book “The Art of Leading Yourself” which also received a prize in the category of leadership book of the year. The connection to Scania has been strong during the years and Arne has in addition been Robert Kusén’s mentor since 2000. Arne is a much-appreciated lecturer and trainer within the area of leadership and personal development.

VideoRobert Kusén talks about leadership (in swedish)


Magnus Lord

Magnus Lord, qualified doctor, master of economics, master of engineering and specialist within Lean Healthcare.

This is a magnificent book. For many years, we have emphasized Scania’s Lean implementation as Sweden’s most successful example and now we have the final piece of the puzzle that many times is missing. We go behind the scenes and find the important factor that is so difficult to comprehend – the new leadership based on “Respect for People”. In healthcare, doctors and nurses are expected to use their brains when dealing with patients, but when it comes to the development of core activities they are usually not trusted, so they are forced to surrender to unrealistic decisions coming from management. I wish that all decision makers and managers working within healthcare get the chance to read this fantastic book, reflect on it and later go out and practice. This is the future.

Niklas Modig

Niklas Modig, researcher at Stockholm school of economics and author of the book “This is Lean”

“Respect for People” is a very insightful book which distils the essence of new leadership. The authors show what it takes to create a self-improving organization. Find the unique qualities of every employee and let the employees together form an unstoppable engine of improvement. The book shows that leadership is the rocket fuel for creativity and commitment of every individual.

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