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The term “Lean” was coined by researchers at MIT in the 1980s to describe the methods developed by Toyota in post-war Japan to first survive, then thrive, and ultimately dominate the global automotive industry. Beyond shop floor techniques for setup reduction or just-in-time inventory control, Lean evolved into a management system with principles that apply in any context. This paper presents the foundational principles of Lean and explores their striking similarities with biblical teachings. These similarities are both noteworthy and surprising, since Lean was developed in a non-Christian cultural and religious context. We contend that Christian leaders can learn from Lean and suggest ways of applying Lean principles that will strengthen their work, be it in business, ministry or church.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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