Lean Leadership

The purpose of this one-day workshop is to:-

Articulate and engage leaders in the fundamentals of lean thinking and practice and their roles in taking the organisation to the next level;

Engage leaders in thinking about their main business problems and their roles in addressing them.


In his book ‘Gemba Walks’ (Chapter ‘From Lean Tools to Lean Management’), Jim Womack noted that the lean transformation, when it is applied to all elements of an enterprise, is a multi-dimensional undertaking of great magnitude. Hence “it’s understandable that in many organisations, lean tools came to the foreground. The attraction of tools,” continues Jim, “is that they can be employed at many points within an organisation, often by staff improvement teams or external consultants. Even better, they can be applied in isolation without tackling the difficult task of changing the organisation and its fundamental approach to management. I often say that managers will try anything easy that doesn’t work before they will try anything hard that does, and this may be a fair summary of what happened in the Tool Age”

As the Lean Global Network is leading the lean community out of the Tool Age and into the Era of Lean Thinking and Management, we invite leaders to share experiences, discuss their current organizational challenges, and explore alternatives for engaging the entire organization in building a new operating model in order to create the culture of problem solving and collaborative learning.

The objective of this workshop is to help leaders understand conceptual differences between applying lean to their organization and integrating it into the business system with the expectation of creating a new problem solving culture, and what changes in their own thinking and behaviors are required so they can effectively support their organizational transformation.

In the course of the workshop, we will facilitate reflection sessions to help you clarify the current state of your organisation and define the gap between where you are today and where you need to be. As you complete this organisational problem solving loop, we’ll engage you into thinking about your personal leadership habits and practices, what you have done as the leader to help your organisation make business improvements, and what your individual “gaps” are that need to be closed.

Topics to cover:-

Lean – current state vs. desired state
The key elements of the lean transformation
Aligning Purpose-Process-People and the scientific method of PDCA to build the culture of continuous improvement
The leadership role in initiating, implementing and sustaining the organisational change
The creation of value
Fostering organisational change through manager-employee dialogue
Collaborative learning through continuous problem solving

Course Outline

Overview of the company culture, structure and management system in participants’ organisations
What is your organisation’s purpose? How is strategy developed around it? What is the process for communicating the strategy to ensure alignment across all organisational levels?
What are the key processes in your organisation? How do they function?
How do you develop people to ensure they can solve problems, improve processes and drive business results?

  • Develop Target Condition for the lean organisation – one that aligns Purpose, Process and People to create the environment of continuous improvements and effective problem solving
  • Define a Gap to begin organisational problem solving
  • The Role of the Leader in the lean transformation Reflect on what you, the leader, have done to support your organization and ensure your business is successful?
  • Develop the Target Condition for lean leadership – knowledge, skills and behavior that are necessary to build and sustain the culture of continuous improvement.
  • Define a Gap for further practice

Next Steps – developing a plan to close the organisational and leadership gaps

Who Should Attend?

Those who should attend this workshop include: Senior leaders and line managers with some experience in lean transformations who are ready to move from the Tool Age to the development of a problem solving culture.