Had the pleasure to accompany Ben and clients on the 2007 Lean Japan Tour. I had worked with many Japanese, ASEAN, UK and US firms and as such have participated in benchmarking assignments and tours of their operations. Some involved attending and presenting at various strategy, productivity and quality management conferences. In that context, I was so taken away with Shinka Management’s tour. The productivity best practice survey lessons learned and lectures from our Japanese hosts followed by excellent Tokyo and Nagoya plant tours were breathtaking and one of the most enjoyable learning experiences. The re-enforcement of the little continual improvement activities, coordination and collaboration of all the companies and their suppliers was “in-your-face” so to speak. There was little need for explanation in some ways as the plants were “visual” and Ben’s clarifications were timely – every time. He filled the gaps in our understanding and what Ben’s clients had achieved by their productivity, quality and lean interventions. As for the personal time, the co-tour attendees and Ben’s hosting were memorable. During the in-bus post plant tour de-briefs it was interesting to hear what each of us got out of the visit and what we learned from what we saw – different eyes, experience and perspectives. Brilliant!