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2014 Transformation Summit

Customers are the reasons our companies exist. And customers have never, as Jim Womack has noted, offered to pay more for a product or service because we've put more management in it.

But continuously improving management systems – from product development to problem solving, from capability development to leader development, – allow our companies to provide better value to customers in the form of better quality, more reliable delivery, better service, and lower cost. Precisely the things customers will pay more for.

Plenary Sessions | Learning Sessions | Pre-Summit Workshops | Streaming | Discounts



Join us on March 5-6, 2014, to learn from a variety of organizations that are delivering more value to customers by actively improving their lean management systems, including:

  • How the Food Bank for New York City, inspired by kaizen, is using small improvements to create big advances in service to customers at a soup kitchen, a food pantry, and a warehouse distribution system serving victims of Hurricane Sandy
  • How product development is shaping GE's lean transformation
  • How lean leadership development at Cardinal Health is solving real business problems while developing leaders

A Better Lean Conference Experience
The unique design of the Summit provides you with relevant, real-world learning — in-depth and in a variety of ways:

  • In Plenary Sessions hear about the lean journeys of Food Bank for NYC, GE, and Cardinal Health
  • In Breakout Sessions, other organization leaders will follow up on the plenary sessions by providing details about how they've focused their efforts to pursue lean conversions, their challenges, and what results have been achieved.
  • And LEI's policy of Limited Attendance means you'll have ample time for post-presentation discussions or follow-up questions.

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Plenary & Breakout Sessions

At Plenary Sessions speakers from each company tell their lean story, share their challenges, and give unique insites on how they got where they are and where they are going.

In the following Breakout Sessions, take a deeper dive, get the details from the people who did the work, a true first hand account of the ups and downs. At both sessions you will have the oportunity to ask questions.

GE plenary sessionGE

Continuing our journey: lean and product development

GE Appliances began implementing lean tools and practices in 2005. In 2009, that activity accelerated when GE announced the first of what would amount to a $1 billion investment to revitalize GE Appliance's products and U.S. factories.  Kevin Nolan and other GE Appliances leaders recounted at the 2013 Lean Transformation Summit why GE chose to invest and the role that lean is playing to make that investment pay off.  In the last four years the business has been transforming everything it does, from the way it makes products, designs factories, trains and engages people, solves problems and builds capabilities. They've also embraced the lessons learned through their journey to continue to change – and improve -- all aspects of their business. More about this presentation

Kevin NolanSpeaker: Kevin Nolan

GE plenary sessionCardinal Health

The benefits of a lean transformation are well-known: better quality, safety, and productivity, shorter lead times, greater customer satisfaction, freed capacity, faster product development, higher profits, etc. How to sustain them is a bit of a mystery.

Cardinal Health has an answer – develop internal lean leaders. Fortunately, they've been working on how to develop them. In a comprehensive program, Cardinal has identified such factors as: 12 capabilities lean leaders must have; how much experience implementing lean principles they need; what's the right mix of book learning, classroom instruction, gemba training, and mentoring; critical development milestones; what role does top leadership play and much more.

Kevin NolanSpeaker: William (Bill) Owad

NYC Food BankFood Bank For New York City

Clients, Capability and Kaizen

You're probably not in the business of providing food and services to 1.5 million New Yorkers annually, but Food Bank For New York City, the largest Food Bank in the U.S., can teach everyone practical – and inspiring – lessons about continuous improvement and converting better work processes into better development processes for staff and volunteers.

Guided by Toyota's kaizen approach, Food Bank is making constant incremental improvements at soup kitchens and food pantries to serve clients better, faster and with respect. At a warehouse, the distribution process serves as a "kaizen lab" or model line training for staff and volunteers in kaizen philosophy and action -- as they repack food boxes for distribution to 1,000 charities and schools citywide. More about this presentation

Margarette PurvisSpeaker: Margarette Purvis

thedacareIngersoll Rand

When Ingersoll Rand began their lean transformation in 2010, the leadership team benchmarked its performance against seventeen other diversified industrial companies on such metrics as revenue growth, operating margins, return on invested capital, and working capital as a percent of revenue. Surprisingly, Ingersoll Rand was the bottom quartile on many of them. With several leading brands in Ingersoll Rand's portfolio, leaders questioned their results. Mike Lamach, the new CEO at the time, made it clear the company needed to build a winning culture and set a vision to achieve premier performance by attaining top quartile performance on a few key metrics against the same seventeen peers and competitors. More about this presentation

Michael LamachSpeaker: Michael Lamach


Todd WymanSpeaker: Todd Wyman

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Learning Sessions

In small interactive sessions you'll learn, discuss, and reflect on applications and methodologies on the leading edge of lean thinking.

Washington State Government's Lean Transformation Journey

Presenter: Darrell Damron

Washington state government has long been a national leader in adapting proven private-sector methods and tools to measure and improve state government performance. Since 2005, initiatives such as the Government Management Accountability and Performance (GMAP) program and Lean process improvement tools and management systems have been used to improve individual state agency performance.

In September 2013, Governor Jay Inslee launched Results Washington, a new strategic framework that combines the best aspects of GMAP with a significantly expanded Lean initiative that involves all state agencies.

Washington's businesses and health care industries discovered the value of Lean as a way of doing business and have achieved tremendous results over the past three decades. These industries recognized that the key to Lean as a management system is that it encourages employee creativity and problem solving. Recognizing that similar positive results could be realized in the public sector as well, industry leaders have been willing to share their Lean knowledge to help coach, advise and train public employees, with the clear expectation that this would result in a more effective state government. Over the past two years, through the Lean Expert Partnership Program, Washington state government has received over 2,200 hours of no-cost advice, training, coaching and tours (gemba visits) from 149 Lean experts from 58 organizations.

Washington state government officials have applied Lean thinking at all levels of their organizations. They are reviewing policies and procedures from a customer's point of view and considering what adds value and what can be eliminated. As part of Results Washington, the Governor has also created a new Lean fellowship program. In this program, select leaders will work in a time limited development assignment side-by-side with agencies to improve performance and focus on key state government goals. Lean efforts will help state agencies deliver efficiency, effectiveness and transparency to Washingtonians.

In this learning session, Darrell Damron and Hollie Jensen, Enterprise Lean Consultants with the Results Washington team, will share key strategies that have proven effective in the first two years of Washington State's Lean journey, including:

1) Establishing a Lean Expert Partnership Program

2) Creating a Leadership Development Program

3) Fostering Communities of Practice

4) Involving employees in improving their work and processes by eliminating waste

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Networking Opportunities

The summit is designed to be the best networking venue in the Lean Community by providing formal and informal ways for you to connect with counterparts facing the same challenges as you:

  • March 4th - Welcome Reception (get to know fellow attendees prior to the start of the Summit)
  • March 5th - Networking Reception (continue conversations and compare notes after the first day)
  • Networking Breaks (30 minutes to allow time for a phone call, cup of coffee, and conversation)
  • Lunch Roundtables (attendee-led discussions on topics you told us were important to you)


Back by Popular Demand … Summit Streaming

Bring The Summit to Your Gemba With Live Streaming!

LEI will be broadcasting the summit online. Now you and your team can attend this year's summit virtually.



Pre-Summit Workshops

In-depth sessions help you build practical skills for addressing fundamental issues as well as new ones you will encounter during a lean transformation. For more information on Pre-Summit Workshops click here.

This year's Pre-Summit Workshops are:

Due to popular demand, our Pre-Summit Workshops are being offered to those not attending the summit. Summit attendees who choose to attend Pre-Summit Workshops will receive a discounted rate.

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Register for the Summit online by clicking the button above or call 617-871-2900 between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.



$2,500 USD
The registration fee includes participation in the Summit, participant materials, and food for both days. If you need to be invoiced please call 617.871.2900.

Pre-Summit Workshops are available to Summit attendees on March 3rd and 4th for an additional fee. Breakfast and lunch are included.



If you register before February 11, 2014, you will receive $300 off. No code needed - the discount will automatically be applied to your registration.


Team Discount

For groups from the same company, every 5th person's summit registration is free! (Pre-Summit Workshops are not included.) Please call 617-871-2900 to register your group and receive this discount.



Confirmation, Cancellations, and Substitutions

Once registered for the Summit or for Pre-Summit Workshops, you will receive a confirmation email. To receive a full refund, notice of cancellation must be received by February 13, 2014. After this date, cancellations will be subject to a non-refundable $350 cancellation fee. Substitutions may be made at any time before March 5, 2014.

If you have any further questions please contact the Lean Enterprise Institute at 617-871-2900 or summits@lean.org.

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