Lean Houses for Dragons

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Discount: 20% on 10+ copies

Lean Houses for Dragons: Using Lean Thinking to harness the energy of your team, even in the fiercest of environments.


ISBN: 978-0-578-99271-6

Published: November 2021

Author: Sharon Visser

Pages: 214


Lean Houses for Dragons

Lean Houses for Dragons by Sharon Visser. When Halfway Toyota acquired the Ngami dealership and repair centre in 2013, there were mistrust and fear among staff. The new owners wanted to introduce Lean Thinking but Dealer Principal Sharon Visser met fierce resistance at first. Through her humble leadership and determination to make respect for people a key element of life in the organization, she eventually won over naysayers and kickstarted an incredibly successful lean transformation.

To put it in her words, Sharon successfully managed to “harness the dragon”. The results achieved at Ngami – which included doubling profit in just two years – are testament to the potential of Lean to improve outcomes in any environment. The fact that this turnaround happened in a place as unique and challenging as rural Botswana makes this story all the more impressive.

“ This is one of the most unexpected and inspiring lean stories I have come across. Not only did lean help employees to dramatically improve their performance but it also transformed their lives. Everyone can learn from this example.” – Daniel T. Jones, Lean Enterprise Academy

About the Author

Sharon VisserSharon Visser was born to British parents in Uganda in 1961. She made Botswana her home in 1979, where she married her husband Hennie. The first years of her married life were spent on a vast cattle ranch in the Kalahari desert. In 1983 she moved to Maun, where she spent much of her working life in management positions. During this period, she gained experience within the luxury tourism industry, the logistics industry and a Toyota dealership.

From 2013, Sharon led the lean transformation of the Toyota dealership that served the vast areas of Ngamiland and Chobe regions, a very remote and challenging environment. It was during this time of great learning that she developed her passion for Lean Thinking. In 2018, she became a member of the Lean Global Network and started to coach organizations both in Botswana and South Africa. Her ultimate goal is to help people to have “better days at work”.