This paper describes the current situation and background of lean initiatives in Sweden based on the Japanese author's five years of personal observations. In Sweden, lean initiatives have been adopted across a variety of industries. Such initiatives are based on the assumption that lean is a general approach to creating value flow. Besides, they appear to be driven and underpinned by the Swedish way of working characterized by rationalism and pragmatism as well as democratic and human values. The paper concludes with the suggestion that, just as what has been observed in Sweden, Japanese industries will be able to benefit from developing communities of practice where inter-industry learning takes place with respect to creating value flow.