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Lean Transformation Summit


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Frontiers and Fundamentals

This year's Lean Transformation Summit explores lean practice from two angles.

From a Fundamental perspective, you'll see how both large and small companies in a variety of industries launched and sustained lean transformations. The same companies also will reveal New Frontiers of lean thinking where they are developing new practices and creating new knowledge. You'll learn from:

  • Ford Motor Co, the company that invented flow production, is taking lean to product development and engineering.
  • Coca Cola, the iconic worldwide brand, is applying lean thinking to the distribution channel.
  • Acme Alliance, a small young company in a traditional manufacturing industry, is applying lean concepts to its extended enterprise even while working internally on lean fundamentals.
  • Starbucks, a young company that already is redefining itself, is applying fundamental lean principles in new ways to core front-line, value-creating work.

The unique design of the Summit provides you with relevant, real-world learning - in-depth and in a variety of ways.



Summit Program

Keynote Speaker

John Shook - Chairman and CEO, Lean Enterprise Institute

The newly appointed CEO of LEI and author of Learning to See and Managing to Learn, will be the Summit host and closing keynote speaker.





Special Keynote

Jim Womack - Founder and Senior Advisor, Lean Enterprise Institute

Author of Machine That Changed the World, Lean Thinking, and Lean Solutions.




Plenary Sessions

Hear executives describe the essential business cases for launching lean transformations at both small and large companies. Following up the Plenary Sessions, change agents will conduct deep dive Breakout Sessions into one aspect of their lean journeys: about how and why particular methodologies were used, what challenges remain, and what results have been achieved.

Ford and Coke - Giant, traditional, iconic companies extending lean practice to frontiers beyond the factory:

Ford Motors Ford Motors - taking lean to product development and engineering in the company that invented flow.
James Morgan
Director, Global Body Exterior and Stamping Business Unit Engineering About the Presentation »
Coca-Cola Coca-Cola - taking lean to the distribution channel of the world's most widely recognized commercial product.
Stacy Pugh
Vice-President Equipment Services, Coca-Cola Refreshments About the Presentation »
Acme and Starbucks - Young "small" companies discovering frontier applications of lean fundamentals:
Acme Alliance Acme Alliance - a young small business in a traditional industry, working internally on lean fundamentals while extending lean thinking throughout the enterprise.
Matt Lovejoy
President About the Presentation »
Starbucks Starbucks - a company that is young but already redefining itself, applying fundamental lean principles in new ways to core front line value creating work; hear what they've done since their 2007 Summit participation.
Scott Heydon
Vice-President of Global Strategy About the Presentation »





Panel Discussion

At the end of the Summit, John Shook will lead a conversation with all four plenary organizations and Jim Womack as they pull together their thoughts from the Summit, including what they learned, and how they'll move forward.

Learning Sessions

Personalize your Summit experience by exploring topics that you told us were important. In small interactive sessions where you can learn, discuss, and reflect, you'll discover applications and methodologies on the Frontier of lean thinking. These sessions will be offered three times during the Summit so you will have the opportunity to participate in multiple sessions.


Lean Metrics Story
Joe Murli
Jim Mutschler

In a traditional management environment, metrics are analyzed, synthesized, and pondered at the end of each month or quarter as managers determine what just happened and what should happen next. This has sometimes been characterized as steering a boat by looking at the wake.

Companies on a lean journey manage their businesses differently. They want metrics for managing processes in real time at the place of actual work (gemba). The result is that people react to process information in real time. The end-of-the-month becomes much less frenzied. It becomes essentially a non-event.

In this interactive session, you'll learn how insurer Liberty Mutual evolved the metrics for managing its business as its lean journey evolved. You'll discover:

  • The attributes of successful lean metrics.
  • What measures Liberty Mututal uses to measure processes in real time.
  • What can happen if the wrong metrics are used.
  • How and why some of Liberty's metrics changed over time.
  • How do management capabilities and organization culture impact the introduction and use metrics.
  • Best practices for implementing metrics into the gemba.

The Role of Leadership in Creating a Sustainable Lean Culture
Mike Hoseus

Moving beyond kaizen events and isolated improvement projects is difficult, especially when these activities have yielded short-term gains. But creating sustainable change requires moving beyond isolated activities to building a new culture based on problem solving and continuous improvement. Getting there is the hard part.

In this session, Toyota veteran and Shingo Award winner Mike Hoseus will give you some practical help for the journey. He'll explain how to create management systems and an infrastructure that make problems visible and engage team members in a rigorous problem solving and continuous improvement process. You'll also walk away knowing what you and your team will have to change about your current roles and behaviors to successfully lead a self-sustaining lean transformation. Learn:

  • How to complete an assessment of your organization, revealing the leadership, technical, and human systems gaps that must be addressed to build a lean culture.
  • Why "delegating lean" to others doesn't work and may actually hurt your bottom line.
  • How to attract, select, develop, and engage competent, able, and committed team members.
  • Why simply focusing on "cost cutting" in these challenging times is the wrong approach.
  • How to develop leaders who sustain and improve lean transformation systems.


Limited Attendance - We set a ceiling on the number of attendees so you'll have ample time for discussions or to ask presenters follow-up questions.

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 8th - Welcome Reception ( get to know fellow attendees prior to the start of the Summit)
  • March 9th - 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)

Pre-Summit Workshops

In-depth one- and two-day sessions help you build practical skills for addressing Fundamentals 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:

The Summit has reached capacity.

If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for this event, please call 617-871-2900. Please note that being added to the waiting list does NOT guarantee entry to the event. An automated waiting list will be on this page momentarily.

Sign up for the waiting list


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.

Early-Registration Discount

If you register by January 28, 2011, the Summit admittance is only $2,100. That's a savings of $400! (Note: Pre-Summit workshops are not included.)


Repeat Attendee Discount

If you attended the Lean Transformation Summit in 2007, 2008, 2009, or 2010, you will receive an additional $100 off registration as a small token of our appreciation for your continued support. No code needed - the discount will automatically be applied to your registration.


Group 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.



$2,500 USD (after January 28, 2011)
The registration fee includes participation in the Summit, participant materials, and food for both days.

Pre-Summit Workshops are available to Summit attendees on March 7st & 8th for an additional fee. Breakfast and lunch are included.


Confirmation, Cancellations, and Substitutions

Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email. To receive a full refund, notice of cancellation must be received by February 7, 2011. Substitutions may be made at any time before March 7, 2011.

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

Starbucks core purpose is to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.  So it’s only natural that a major part of the company’s lean transformation would be to engage its 100,000 partners (employees) in continuous improvement by developing and tapping into their full potential.  As the leader of Starbucks lean transformation Scott Heydon will share his experiences and lessons-learned so far in this continuing endeavor.
Heydon, who keynoted at the 2007 Summit, also will bring you up to date on the ambitious initiative he described then: to help Starbucks progress on its lean journey so that lean becomes the way everyone works and leads.
You’ll get an inside look at:
  • How Starbucks is applying lean principles to improve the customer and partner’s experience at over 13,000 stores
  • How lean principles fit in with Starbucks famous people-oriented culture
  • How lean thinking supports and enhances the corporate growth strategy
  • How Starbucks is managing the complexity of having over 13,000 gembas utilizing Training Within Industry, the highly effective training program developed by the U.S. during WWII that later influenced development of the Toyota Production system
Acme Alliance
On a lean journey since 2002, Matt Lovejoy knows there is a big difference between driving lean and making it stick. The difference is perseverance.  “The Japanese proverb is true,” he says.  “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”
While Lovejoy still enjoys trying to change the entire company, (“Winston Churchill said, ‘Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm,’” he notes), making lean thinking mainstream thinking is a daily struggle.  So, he can’t hand out a checklist of activities that will make your organization lean overnight, but he can share his chief obstacles and countermeasures from the past eight years, including:
  • Why the lean journey is like the journey of the Pacific Salmon
  • Managers do not like to own their faults
  • Humans love batches
  • Humans regress to what they know
  • “Hunchology” is a dangerous science
  • People come to work to get paid and prefer functional tasks (notwithstanding all those surveys)
  • 5S is not natural
  • The myth of Cassandra lives
  • Capitalism thrives on instant gratification, not enduring self-interest
The early stages of a lean transformation can be the most difficult: lean thinking challenges in-grained behaviors and routines; measures (especially traditional accounting metrics) often get worse before getting better; people struggle to change how they do work that they’ve done for years; and in addition to its regular work, management must guide the change process, including transforming company culture and training the workforce.
Many companies quit.  But Coca-Cola Enterprise’s South Business Unit didn’t.  Stacy Pugh will explain what kept the unit going as she examines the highs and lows of the company’s two-and-half-year lean journey.
You’ll learn:
  • Why this top-performing distributor decided to make the lean leap, even though there was no crisis
  • The difference between intellectual and emotional buy-in to a lean transformation
  • How the leadership team dealt with conflicts and trust issues such as finger-pointing, fear, and confusion among team members and managers as lean uncovered long-hidden problems
  • How the team managed resource constraints and the impact it had on the rate of change
  • The results from transformation projects, such as a 46.5% reduction in scrap, an 18% average reduction in inventory, and a roughly 30% reduction in the number of “wet” inventory holding locations
Ford Motors
While the federal government was delivering bailout money to its failed Detroit rivals, Ford Motor Company was delivering an unprecedented string of award-winning new products with best-in-industry quality.  This product-driven revitalization has resulted in steadily increasing market share, higher transaction prices and a dramatic increase in market capitalization.
Critical drivers of Ford’s impressive – and continuing – turnaround were fundamental changes to its product development system.  Jim Morgan, who joined Ford in 2004, will give you an insider’s look at the lean transformation that took place in this key business unit.
You’ll learn:
  • How lean principles were applied to product development processes to achieve dramatic improvements in quality, cost, and lead time
  • How a “systems approach” to product development was used to align processes, technologies, and people to simultaneously improve current performance and build a strong foundation for an ongoing competitive advantage at Ford Motor Company
  • How lean leadership often relies more on “asking” than “telling” to improve learning, fully engage team members and genuinely demonstrate that they and their views are truly valued