Home > About LEI

About the Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc.

The Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) is a nonprofit research, education, and publishing institute with the goal of making things better through lean thinking and practice throughout the world. Through co-learning partnerships with universities and leading companies and organizations across all sectors, and with an online community of 270,000+, we gather the best in lean learning and share it with you.

We carry out our mission through value streams: Lean Education, Lean Learning Materials, the Lean Summit conferences, and our website lean.org. In addition, we exchange information across the world through the Lean Global Network, consisting of more than a dozen nonprofit organizations similar to LEI, sharing a common mission in different countries.

LEI grew out of the MIT research team that was responsible for coining the term “lean production” to describe the revolutionary production and management system they identified at Toyota, as explained in the groundbreaking book The Machine That Changed the World (Womack, Jones, & Roos). James P. Womack Ph.D., Director of the research initiative, , established LEI in 1997 to share these principles and practices with the world.

In 2010, John Shook, author of Managing to Learn, co-author of Learning to See and Toyota’s first American kacho (manager) in Japan, joined LEI as the Chairman and CEO.

Any company, executive, or organization and any manager wishing to join the transformation to a lean way of creating value is welcome in our Lean Community. We exist to support everyone who is starting or continuing the lean journey.