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Mike Orzen

Mike Orzen

LEI Faculty; President,, Mike Orzen & Associates

With a consulting and coaching career spanning more than 20 years, Mike has gathered a unique blend of lean, IT, healthcare, and operations experience that he uses to coach organizations pursuing enterprise excellence. His personable approach and people-first philosophy has inspired leaders and empowered workforces to successfully apply conscious awareness, lean management, and enterprise excellence practices in many complex work environments.

He is the co-author of Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation winner of a Shingo Research Award, and The Lean IT Field Guide. He holds degrees from Stanford University, the University of Oregon, and is certified in management accounting, production and inventory control, project management, Agile, and Lean IT. Mike teaches with LEI, the Shingo Institute, and The Ohio State University Fisher School of Business. He helps companies on lean journeys through Mike Orzen & Associates. Connect with him at mike@mikeorzen.com.

Articles by Mike Orzen
Doing Versus Being – How Mindfulness Supports Better Lean Thinking
Most companies don’t get the expected results from their lean transformations, according to Mike Orzen, lean practitioner and LEI faculty member. The reason is that people get stuck in stages 1, 2 or 3 of awareness, failing to reach level 4, being. Learn how to move from "doing" lean to the more creative and less stressful state of "being.  " More »
7 Things Coaches Need to Get Over
"Over the years, I have noticed some common misperceptions about coaching effective problem solving skills and developing lean thinking," writes Mike Orzen. Read more to learn seven of them to improve your coaching practice. More »
How Do You Know If You’ve Created a Meaningful Challenge?
"Have you ever issued what you thought was an inspiring challenge for your team, only to discover they were underwhelmed and far from motivated?" asks Mike Orzen. If so, you may have missed one of the core practices of leading with respect - creating a meaningful challenge. Read more. More »
Accountability: Not What You Think it is...
"When managers and associates hear the term [accountability], they often flinch!" writes Mike Orzen. "This is a major problem for any organization that is serious about creating and sustaining a lean transformation.  " Read more to hear Mike's tips for tackling the stigma around this key aspect of leadership. More »
Leading with Respect is Not a Soft Skill: An interview with Mike Orzen
By definition, a hard skill is a skill that can be defined, measured, and taught. Does that sound like it describes leadership? Probably not, but Mike Orzen explains why it's time to stop thinking of leadership, specifically leadership employing the lead with respect model, as a soft skill. More »
Bad Data: The Elephant in the Room
"The goal of IT is to enable people to perform their jobs well by providing access to complete and accurate information so they can work as effectively and efficiently as possible," writes Mike Orzen. "We leverage technology to position people to do great work with the least amount of required effort.  " More »
Intentional Respect
"Most organizations fail to intentionally balance the technical tools side with the social side of Lean," writes Mike Orzen. "People say, 'We respect our people. In fact, it's one of our core company values!' I don’t deny that.  .. But there is a big difference in believing in something and acting in a way that aligns with that belief.  " More »
Too Busy to Improve
"The number of people I meet who tell me, 'I don’t have time to make improvements to my work,' amazes me," writes Mike Orzen. But staying under water, always behind on work, doesn’t work either. Learn more about how to think differently about overwhelm and get ahead of the game. More »
Books by Mike Orzen
Lean IT Lean IT
This book shares practical tips, examples, and case studies to help you establish a culture of continuous improvement to deliver IT operational excellence and business value to your organization. More »
Workshops Taught by Mike Orzen
Conscious Coaching: Developing Great Problem Solvers using Mindfulness Practices (at the 2018 Transformation Summit) If you are a lean coach (or any other type of coach) or aspire to become one, there is a skill which can significantly boost your effectiveness to support another person’s personal development. This skill can be learned with practice and is accessible to everyone who is willing to apply themselves.  The workshop will employ hands-on interactive exercises and breakouts to position you to become a more effective problem solver, leader and coach others to develop problem-solving capabilities in others.  Mindfulness is the ability to focus one’s awareness on the present moment. It is about being fully present and grasping More »
Lead with Respect: Practicing Respect for People to Enable Engagement, Teamwork & Accountability Building a great organization requires effective leadership. It turns out that leadership skills can be learned. A key element that is often misunderstood is what it means to lead with respect. This learning session explores why leading with respect is essential in a successful transformation, what respect looks like in practice, and how it impacts your people to drive lasting change for the better. More »