Denise Bennett

CEO and Lead Coach

Denise is an experienced Lean Thinking practitioner and coach with deep experience in healthcare and service industries, particularly local government.

Denise worked as a nurse for more than 25 years, both as a midwife and nephrology nurse. She led services both within the public and private sector.

Her experience with Lean Thinking began in 2004, when she joined the CEO at Flinders Medical Centre to support their transformational effort to improve patient flow, using Lean Thinking.  Their pioneering efforts were one of the first international examples of Lean Thinking in healthcare.

In 2008, as the ‘pull’ for lean thinking increased in healthcare across the globe, Denise went on to teach and support many healthcare organisations in their learning and application of the approach.

In 2009, her coaching role led her to City of Melbourne, where she was later employed as their internal Lean Thinking coach. Again, she translated the approach for the local government sector and closely supported the CEO to learn and lead a transformation effort to make things better, easier, faster and cheaper for customers.  Denise integrated the continuous improvement work with organisational development and planning, bringing purpose, people and process together in one strong and influential team. Through a structured and university accredited training course, dozens of staff were upskilled to lead improvement in their own areas.

In 2015, Denise returned to healthcare as the internal Lean Sensei at Stanford Children’s’ Health (SCH). Six years into their improvement journey, SCH has a strong lean daily management system, providing a great foundation for problem solving, progressing towards goals and learning. After two years of coaching and learning, Denise returned to Australia and continues to support SCH on an external but regular basis, providing executive coaching in continuous improvement and  supporting the ongoing progression of their management system and patient flow improvement work.

Denise has supported the work of Lean Enterprise Australia for many years. She was a founding member of the Australasian Lean Healthcare Network (ALHN) a subsidiary of LEA. Her passion for networking and sharing improvement work is evidenced by her leadership in convening annual summits, for both LEA and ALHN. In 2016 she co-convened the inaugural Lean Healthcare Academic Conference at Stanford and due to its success she will co-convene again in 2017.  On returning to Australia in May 2017, she committed to supporting the growth of Lean Thinking in Australia and neighbouring countries in a diverse collection of industries through her coaching work.

Denise holds an MBA from University of South Australia, a Lean Certificate in Healthcare from University of Michigan and a Level 1 Coaching Certificate. Her passions include visual practice, developing people, improving flow and supporting the design and deployment of daily management systems.