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The Lean CEO by Jacob Stoller

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CHAPTER 3Image

WEST MEETS EAST AND THE UNBELIEVABLE

The quality revolution in Japan resulted in a complete change of direction for Masaaki Imai.

 As a recent graduate in international relations at the University of Tokyo, Imai had begun his career in the late 1950s at the Japan Productivity Center, arranging tours of American factories for Japanese executives. He was keenly interested in helping Japanese companies and, like many of his compatriots, felt that the United States was the role model to aspire to.

 By the 1980s, the roles had reversed: American manufacturers were struggling, and Japan had become the shining model. Imai, who was by then widely ...

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