Managing To Create Problem-solvers
Each year lean thinkers from dozens of industries, at every stage of their journey, gather the Lean Transformation Summit to learn, share, and network.
Our goal is to improve our summit every year. We do this by listening to attendees, and the lean community at large. The two biggest requests from last year were more time for networking and more focus on Management and Creating a Culture of Problem Solvers. So this year we've designed a summit with just that, we’re bringing you some of the best and most innovative Management Systems, and showing how problem solvers are created.
The 2017 Lean Transformation Summit is taking place on March 7-8 at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa. This beautiful location in sunny Carlsbad, California is ideal to meet other lean thinkers, learn, enjoy the calm and quiet without all the noise and distraction from the city.
What can you expect from the 2017 Lean Transformation Summit?
- Learning you can apply when you return to work Monday morning.
- Unbeatable networking opportunities
- Motivation to improve/charge your battery
We intentionally limit the size of our summit to maintain an intimate feel and allow for unique network opportunities. We do not want you to feel like a huge group, we want you to have a personalized experience, and we make every effort to accomplish this.
New! Special Sessions
This year join us early on Sunday March 5th, for one-of-a-kind learning and networking opportunities before the summit. Space for these Special Sessions are very limited.
- Take a behind the scenes tour
at the San Diego Safari Park
- Network and Golf outing with TaylorMade
- Join John Shook for a series of Lean Talks
Last year we sold out in record time and we expect this year will sell out even faster. So please register while we still have space.
This year we are taking a deep dive into Management Systems that develop Problem Solvers. It is very hard to have one without the other. But how do we make them stronger? It’s easy to say “Innovation” is the way, but “Innovation” is very difficult to achieve.
Lean thinking itself was an innovation (new and valuable) and an improvement over what preceded it (and what still exists in so many places) that contains within itself the means of further innovation and improvement. Innovation is also adaptation, iteration, and disruptive.
Join LEI’s CEO and Chairman, John Shook as he shares his unique views of what true innovation is and how it drives management systems that create problem solvers.
20 years ago Jim Womack founded LEI with the goal of spreading lean thinking around the world. Now lean thinking is being practiced across the globe by millions of people in tens of thousands of companies. But with what results?
In this special keynote presentation Jim will share his unique understanding of the past 20 years and his hopes for the next 20. He will focus in particular on the role of daily management, when properly understood, in stabilizing every value stream. This creates the essential foundation for sustainable results through kaizen (guided by A3 thinking) and for bold innovations (guided by hoshin planning) to achieve dramatic and enduring gains in every organization.
Plenary & Breakout Sessions
A New Addition! Turner Construction Company
Imagine a business where every year requires you to set up and run over 1,000 new temporary factories located around the world. Each operates anywhere from several months to several years or more with a temporary local workforce that could number in the thousands. These temporary factories have a supply chain stretching around the globe in order to fabricate, assemble, and deliver just one unit of a unique bespoke product that has never been produced before and never will again that could range in cost from hundreds of thousands to hundreds of millions of dollars.
This is the world of Turner Construction Company, a North America-based, international construction services company founded in 1902. With nearly 1,500 active projects each year and an annual construction volume of $11 billion, Turner is the largest builder in the United States and a leader across all major segments of building including healthcare, education, commercial, industrial, and sports.
Join James P. Barrett, vice president and chief innovation officer, of Turner as he discusses how they are adapting the principles, methods and tools of lean to the unique challenges of construction and the lessons learned so far in their journey to transform their organization and the industry.
Twenty-two years ago, the three Ci&T founders chose the company’s name to represent its core principles: Collaborate, Innovate, and Transform. Today, Ci&T is a global company with 2,500+ employees, providing digital technology services that enable customers like Coca-Cola, Google, Johnson & Johnson, and Walmart to take advantage of continuous waves of technology-based transformations. In order to navigate a rapidly changing environment while maintaining a high growth rate (over 35% YoY), Ci&T started on a lean journey in 2007, embracing lean as its core management system, covering the work of 100% of the company’s employees.
In this session, Ci&T co-founders Cesar Gon, global CEO, and Bruno Guicardi, president of North America, will show you how the transformation began at the senior level with hoshin kanri and evolved to encompass all employees worldwide across delivery teams and support areas. Ci&T is again drawing on the principles of collaboration, innovation, and transformation by helping its customers to incorporate lean principles into their own management cultures and operational models. For Ci&T, lean is the foundation of a consistent and sustainable digital transformation.
In the early 1990s Lantech was a poster child for the power of high-speed kaizen and continuous improvement, as described in Chapter 6 of Lean Thinking. But, once the dramatic conversion from process villages to single-piece-flow was completed, Lantech found it hard to sustain its gains and to improve further. In this presentation CEO Jim Lancaster will describe his experience overcoming this huge lean hurdle with a management process that sustains gains in each value stream allowing the improvement process to accumulate competitive advantage and facilitates bold leaps in strategy.
Jim pursued the simple idea that if the daily performance of every value creating process is visible in real time by the right people, and if any deterioration in performance is counter-measured immediately, a stable foundation can be created for further improvement. (This in contrast to the familiar phenomenon of kaizen on top of chaos.)
In addition, if daily and weekly walk around reviews (WAR) involving every level of management put a steady cadence into improvement activities and strategic initiatives they are much more likely to succeed. Jim will share the success and traps he experienced implementing and maintaining this management system along with the results to date. We now know that every organization must find its own way, through experimentation, to the best lean management system for its circumstances. This presentation will be both provocative and helpful to managers currently engaged in their own search.
Since its founding in 2006, SBP has grown from a three-person volunteer team into a nationally recognized leader in disaster recovery. By developing a unique construction model based on the Toyota Production System (TPS), vertical integration, and volunteerism, SBP has rebuilt high-quality homes faster and cheaper than market rates for more than 1,200 families after natural disasters in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, LA; Staten Island and Rockaway, NY; Joplin, MO; Monmouth/Ocean Counties, NJ; San Marcos, TX; Columbia, SC; and White Sulphur Springs, WV.
But to apply TPS principles successfully to rebuilding homes, SBP had to rebuild its culture from traditional top-down management to one where questions at every level are encouraged and discussed. The transformation began with the senior management team developing “core ethos” of what SBP was. The end result was a new way of working and behaving known as “constructive discontent.”
In this session and the following 90-minute breakout, you’ll learn: How a culture of constructive discontent positions people to succeed by establishing high expectations with clear accountability and support that encourages everyone at every level to discuss and solve problems; why people make decisions based on identity rather than rational choice and how this can help your TPS transformation efforts; how to use a framework for culture change that goes hand-in-hand with implementing TPS’s technical elements; how to coach for problem solving. And in the breakout, you’ll form small groups to actually practice coaching skills.
In this unique presentation, you’ll learn how Scripps Health has adapted and evolved lean management system tools and practices (also known as Value by Design) across its five campuses to anchor improvement efforts. These are all very different hospitals with different challenges, which meant the one-size-fits-all approach would be a disaster. Adaptation was crucial to success.
Cindy Steckel, VP, chief nursing and operations executive, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, and Alexie Nguyen, MD, medical director, Hospitalist Program, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, will share
“A Tale of Two Hospitals: Reflections from a Nurse and a Doc on the Challenges of Leading System-Wide Change.” Learn from the perspectives of two executives who have led and participated in lean transformation efforts over the last three years.
The Four Types of Problems
When faced with a problem many leaders or teams tend to reach repeatedly for the same tool – A3, 5 Whys, value-stream mapping -- creating unnecessary struggle, frustration, and ineffectiveness in solving the problem – if it is solved at all.
The reason is that in problem solving one tool does not fit all. Problems fall into four broad categories, each requiring different improvement methods, thought processes, and management cadence, according to Toyota veteran Art Smalley, author of the new book The Four Types of Problem Solving. The four principle types are:
- Troubleshooting: Fixing problems rapidly, often with temporary measures.
- Gap-from-standard: Solving problems in relation to existing standards or conditions.
- Target-State Oriented: Achieving new, better standards or conditions.
- Innovation: Pursuing a vision, such as new products, processes, services, or systems.
In this session, you’ll learn:
- How mastering the nuances and differences between each problem type helps you improve as a leader and deliver superior results in your lean transformation.
- How to truly engage everyone in problem solving and continuous improvement and how these practices align with Toyota’s shop-floor management development system and team leadership.
- What is the critical relation between daily management and team leadership that most lean organizations are failing to decipher and model correctly.
- How to apply a problem-solving framework that is easy for beginners to grasp yet useful even for advanced practitioners.
- How to use the framework at the office or shop floor.
Ask uninformed managers about the benefit of lean management and they will say cutting costs and inventory reduction. Ask deeply engaged lean managers, and they will say culture and value. They’re both right! In this workshop, Jean Cunningham, a recognized pioneer in lean accounting, will show you the connection between lean management principles and 5 critical improvements in financial performance.
Jean will share examples from each of the 5 areas and show you how to use “the profit model,” a visual template for describing to colleagues, team members, and senior leaders how specific lean efforts positively affect bottom-line drivers.
- How to apply the profit model to your specific situation.
- How to explain the ways that lean management actually accelerates improved financial performance.
- On a deeper level, how lean is not just about cost cutting and savings, but about growth.
- What short and long-term financial outcomes to expect from the changes being made.
- How to more effectively describe lean management’s positive financial impact whether you are a manager, financial professional, executive, or lean leader at any level.
When you make sub-sea remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) that install and maintain underwater oil wells and infrastructure, you have to contend with ocean turbulence. But you don’t have to put up with process turbulence in new product development.
So when FMC Technologies Schilling Robotics began applying lean principles to product development a year ago, it didn’t aim for goals like lower costs or less time. It wanted less rework, less warranty issues, less nonproductive time on the job site – in other words – less turbulence -- a smoother, more predictable launch schedule.
At this session Dave and Schilling engineers will give you a mid-project update on how the effort is progressing as they approach the key milestone of a prototype hardware test. You’ll also learn:
- How the “turbulence” in this new product launch compares to past ones.
- What experiments the launch team ran – and what happened.
- How team members use an obeya room and a weekly meeting to drive alignment through the enterprise – and why this is superior to the “whiteboard meetings” of the past.
- How team members use a plan-do-check-adjust loop to continually improve the flow of the obeya meeting.
- The product launch roles of key tools such as set-based design, user experience interviews, A3 thinking, kaizen, and process flow mapping.
- How engineering is involved with manufacturing floor kaizen.
- How LEI’s Lean Product and Process Development group is helping.
Big company systems and structures were developed in and optimized for the Industrial Age. But, we’re no longer in the Industrial Age. Markets are volatile, customers more agile, and companies face increased uncertainty. To survive, we must understand customers better and move faster. This is true from the frontlines to the C-suite and from product innovation to internal processes. Lean Innovation provides a new way of working to reduce uncertainty and develop deep customer insights.
In this session, Brant will cover the basics of Lean Innovation, what acting like a startup really means, and how to protect your core business, while discovering how to create new value for customers. You’ll learn:
- What is “entrepreneurial spirit”
- Why are startup skills necessary in established companies now; what’s different about today.
- What are the particular challenges big companies face.
- How to overcome the challenges.
- How to balance learning with execution throughout the enterprise.
You’ll understand how to develop empathy and design purpose-built experiments to gain deep customer insights and reduce risk in developing new value for customers. You’ll also cover specific, actionable steps to spread this new way of working.
Designed for people who are looking for new paths of growth and who believe in innovating the business itself, this session will benefit senior leaders, product professionals, operational specialists, and innovators.
You have to have a compelling reason to get people to change. Regardless of industry; relationship building, message delivery, and connecting with the process are critical to success and are key factors in establishing trust and credibility. This is especially true in a nonprofit like the San Diego Zoo Global. And while you may not hear the word lean in any of their facilities, you can certainly see it in the culture.
When you are the lone continuous improvement person in your organization, you don’t want to be thought of as ‘the problem solver,’ you want to create problem solvers. Creating problem solvers makes change sustainable as you cannot be everywhere at the same time. Jeff Foster, director of performance improvement at the San Diego Zoo Global has developed a simple system for spreading the trust, credibility, and learning generated from solving problems together with other departments, by breaking through silos and cross utilization.
And it all starts with communication. Jeff has developed 8 ways to approach people about making change, from appealing to their passions with animal care givers, to fueling the data need for the data-driven executives.
You will learn:
- The importance of soft skills, trust, and getting your hands dirty
- The power and leverage of credible influence
- 8 ways to engage with different personality types
- How to introduce lean tools to people who have not heard of lean
- How to spread the benefits of a successful project across any functional departments
- How to maintain gains through continued follow up, communication, and staying focused on true north
Effective leadership requires a dual focus: achieve great results through great behavior. Fostering the right behavior in others requires solid relationships built on trust, respect, transparency, and consistency. The results you need to achieve can only be reached through the efforts of your people. As people learn new skills and build with leaders a workplace that supports the courage and vulnerability required to learn, practice, and master the core practices of leading with respect, results and healthy relationships with workers, customers, and suppliers are natural outcomes.
Leading with respect involves awareness of our focus and intention, and how well we are connecting with people to create an environment of mutual trust and sustained high levels of performance. If you are a lean champion, CI professional, organizational development practioner, manager, or senior leader, check out this fast-paced, experiential session, with lean practitioner Mike Orzen, to discover:
- The 7 core practices of how to lead with respect, introduced in the book, Lead with Respect, a novel of lean practice -
- Go and See for Yourself
- Create Meaningful Challenge
- Effective Listening
- Teaching and Coaching
- Supporting Others
- Fostering Teamwork
- Learning as a Leader
- Why leading with respect is essential to a successful transformation.
- Why true leading with respect is often misunderstood.
- What respect looks like in practice at work.
- How respect positively impacts people to drive lasting change.
- Vivid examples and experiences that bring lean leadership from intellectual understanding to daily behaviors.
Due to its stable growth, Toys “R” Us was facing challenges with its supply chain performance, including:
- Market pressure to be fast, innovative, and flexible (especially during the holiday rush).
- A reactive culture.
- Increasing customer expectations such as free shipping, smaller lead times, greater SKU selection, and better quality.
- Unsustained corporate tools and initiatives.
Learn how this retailer engaged it’s supply chain organization in lean thinking, applied problem solving, and end-to-end supply chain collaboration with 1,800+ managers and frontline team members, resulting in:
- A road map to continuous culture transformation with purpose clarity, proactive leadership, lean learning, cross-functional collaboration, and supply chain-wide problem solving
- A reduction in total supply chain cost.
- The foundation to build the right management systems and continue its fast-paced growth while improving satisfaction, margins, efficiency, and competitive advantage
By attending this learning session, you’ll start to see your organization and teams differently, while having a deeper understanding of lean thinking and the power of people.
Whether it’s your email inbox bursting at the seams or the need to make decisions against a backdrop of increasing complexity and uncertainty, leadership in 2017 requires focus and clarity, flexibility, and creativity. Yet 66% of employees report difficulty focusing on tasks at work because of stress, which has been called the “health epidemic of the 21st century” by the World Health Organization and is estimated to cost American businesses some $300 billion a year.
There’s been an explosion of research showing how mindfulness meditation, the practice of cultivating deliberate, focused attention on the present moment, improves focus, attention, and other skills necessary for high performance, while reducing stress and anxiety. It’s no surprise that from sports teams to corporate boardrooms, manufacturing floors to operating rooms, organizations and individuals around the world are joining the mindfulness movement to optimize performance at work and happiness in life.
In this experiential and interactive workshop, you’ll learn:
- What mindfulness is - and isn’t.
- The hard science and research supporting the business and health benefits of mindfulness, including how it contributes to brain health.
- How mindfulness supports coaching and problem-solving helping you step back and explore if your team has identified a workable solution – and then go even further – were the right questions asked in the first place?
- How mindfulness naturally leads to greater respect for people, a pillar of successful lean transformations.
- How Amy and Mark have benefitted professionally and personally from practicing mindfulness.
You’ll return to work able to:
- Increase your focus, flexibility, concentration, and clarity by practicing attention training exercises.
- Better manage difficult emotions, triggers, and stress, to improve your decision-making.
- Improve team communication by applying tools like mindful listening and thoughtful inquiry.
Whether we're in business, government, or healthcare, we tend to seek to optimize our processes, but no team can be optimized while the individual team members remain in a state of chaos. Unclear direction, overwork, lack of collaboration, and process fatigue can weigh down individuals and teams, causing sluggish performance, increased defects, and low morale.
This 90-minute class will introduce lean principles and tools to better manage personal and project work so it circumvents chaos, communication breakdowns, and low morale. Creator of Personal Kanban, Jim Benson, author for of the Shingo Award-winning book Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life, will introduce this lean tool to understand, plan, and act on the options available to us, our teams, and our organizations.
The course will discuss:
- The System of Profound Knowledge
- Understand systems thinking, variation, and psychology as they apply to knowledge work.
- Personal Kanban as a Personal Framework
- Discover Personal Kanban as a framework for understanding value-stream maps, work-in-process limits, and cognitive theories such as single-loop and double-loop learning.
- Visualizing Work
- Learn the benefits of using a visual system for work completion, quality, reporting, collaboration, and peace of mind. We cover value-stream mapping and the identification of work item types resulting in the creation of your own Personal Kanban.
- Limiting Work-in-Process
- Learn how to visualize the impacts of overwork, multitasking, context switching, and repetitive tasks. We discuss the Lean concept of flow, valuing completion with quality over simply starting tasks.
- The Psychology of Work
- Recognize the impacts of overwork, multitasking, context switching, and repetition on knowledge workers, as well as cognitive biases that impact effectiveness and planning.
Surfers tend to take a loose, relaxed attitude toward work so imagine the reaction when lean practitioner Sammy Obara introduced surfing school instructors near San Diego to the idea of having curriculum standards with precise specifications, outcomes, and timing. They were skeptical to say the least.
"The culture was averse to a standardized approach" not only to pre-instruction steps like uniformly processing registrations but to timing the pace of instruction, Obara said. "For example, they didn't want to wear watches because they believed they could manage just as well by watching the sun.
But Sammy was able to get the laid-back culture to accept basic lean concepts that cut wait times, increased student surfing time, expanded class capacity, and ultimately, boosted revenue. Dude, imagine what Sammy can do for you and your team!
- How to apply the 4 elements that constitute lean management’s DNA:
- Standards with precise specifications, establishing content, timing, outcome.
- Connections between processes, must be unambiguous.
- Pathways: Information and material with a direct and clear pathway between processes.
- Root cause analysis of all problems at the lowest possible level.
- How a lean culture helps you to involve associates in a continuous improvement initiative with less effort and more engagement.
- How to prepare your organization’s existing cultural to embrace lean changes with these critical first steps.
- How to make the changes stick, including “behind-the-scenes” examples from Toyota about how it promotes a kaizen culture internally.
- The most common mistakes that will cause your lean effort to wipe out.
If you and your team don’t like fixing the same problems over and over, come learn how TaylorMade-adidas Golf stopped such rework and its frustration by applying the potent A3 problem-solving method.
Chad, Kevin, and a guest A3 user will share their first-hand experiences with this powerful communication and problem-solving process. They’ll detail the A3 approach at TaylorMade-adidas Golf and the positive impact it continues to have on its management system, leadership behaviors, customer engagement, and culture. You’ll learn:
- How concisely identifying, framing, and describing a problem on a single sheet of A3 paper ended a “shotgun” problem-solving approach of jumping to conclusions and implementing solutions that couldn’t be sustained for the long term.
- The positive impact that the A3 process has on all aspects of the Lean Transformation Framework and company culture.
- The benefits of how A3 management creates a common language for kaizen events and a common approach for problem solving.
- Reasons why managers and executives love the approach.
- How the A3 process helps managers and employees ask better questions while encouraging a coaching relationship.
- The implementation approach used and challenges faced along the way.
In this unique Learning Session, the 365 Café team will explain how they have applied lean in a pure service environment. The Barcelona-based 365 Cafe is a chain of little cafés and bakeries with one production center supporting all 78 of them. After applying lean in the bread and pastry factory, Team365 quickly realized that it could apply the same approach to every shop.
Lean techniques have allowed the company to not only grow in a competitive market, but to beat the competition on service, quality, and price, applying such methods as pull systems, supermarket management, standardized work, A3s, and visual management of the entire supply chain.
You will learn:
- How stock in shops and facilities was drastically reduced by 50 to 80%.
- How productivity was increased without working more.
- How leader standard work was implemented.
- How visual management in the shop was established.
- What the team has learned after one year into a formal hoshin process.
- How the unique “zero space for waste” policy works in both facilities and shops.
Learn the secret to replicating the cultural DNA of discipline and accountability used by leadership at Toyota and how to apply it when you return to work. Tracey and Ernie Richardson, both veterans of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky and authors of the new book Toyota’s Engagement Equation, will reveal what they learned from years of working with Toyota trainers and managers.
They'll show you:
- How to apply SDCA (Standardize – Do – Check – Act) to create standards and accountability where they don’t exist in processes. (SDCA is a necessary pre-cursor to PDCA and an indispensable element of true kaizen.)
- How to play your part in creating the cultural DNA of discipline and accountability with a formula for developing leader standardized work.
- How to grasp the importance of E? (Everyday-Everybody-Engaged) in changing and sustaining a continuous improvement culture.
- How to weave an 8-step problem-solving process into PDCA so team members spot abnormalities at a glance.
- What you absolutely must do to prevent a gemba walk from becoming a workplace “tour.”
- How to “grasp the situation” and frame problems correctly in order to do PDCA effectively – and how you and others -- regardless of function -- must measure the success or shortcomings of lean activities.
- How to manage “large scope” (world hunger) type problems with the A3 process.
More Learning Sessions to be announced!
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 6: Welcome Happy Hour (get to know fellow attendees prior to the start of the Summit)
- March 7: 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've told us are important to you)
Thursday, March 9th
Last year LEI and summit attendees had the opportunity to volunteer their time and elbow grease to help a good cause in Las Vegas at Veterans Village. This year we are going to carry-on that tradition.
Join us in assisting I Love A Clean San Diego for a coastal clean-up event at Carlsbad State Beach Park Learn more »
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.
Confirmations, Cancelations, and Substitutions
Workshops: $800 USD
$600 for conference attendees
Special Sessions priced separately