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Alice Lee

Alice Lee

Senior Lean Coach, Lean Enterprise Institute

Continuous improvement leader and coach. Her responsibilities include collaborating with universities and other research communities, developing educational content in traditional and new media, and coaching executives in creating continuous improvement cultures.

Lee served as vice president and special assistant to the president for business transformation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a major teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, from 2004 to 2014. During that time, she approached problems holistically, collaborating with senior leaders, doctors, nurses, and staff, to design care systems that flowed at the needs of patients. Lee is a strategic advisor for the Center for Lean Engagement & Research in Healthcare and was a strategic advisor to the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, the Healthcare Delivery Institute at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and a faculty coach at the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University.

She writes for The Lean Post, Planet Lean, the Lean Management Journal, and is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences on lean management and lean healthcare. Lee teaches lean management and coaches executives and physicians in the U.S., Australia, England, Egypt and Finland. Previously, Lee worked as a management consultant for Ernst & Young. 

Articles by Alice Lee
How Stalwart Lean Leadership and Classic Lean Practices Yield Operational and Clinical Excellence
Organizations can achieve the seemingly impossible when they have steadfast lean leadership, a sharp focus on purpose, and experience applying "classic" lean thinking and practice. Here's an example. More »
5 Guiding Principles to Accelerate Your Lean Transformation
Chief architects for lean transformation have been seeking effective ways of realizing tangible gains for years, says Senior Coach Alice Lee. She shares how a global team of Lean Coaches came to see themselves as "tailors" offering guidelines for Chief Architects in any organization to adapt to their situation. More »
5 Guiding Principles for Tailoring a Path to Lean Transformation--downloadable transcript
Transcript of Alice Lee podcast on the 5 guiding principles for lean transformation shared in the new Lean Healthcare Initiative white paper.    More »
Using Lean Thinking to Create an “Emergency Management System”
The Lynn Community Health Center (LCHC) demonstrates how one organization with scarce resources can respond to a problem as daunting as a global pandemic using the same know-how and thinking -- lean thinking -- they have used to solve many problems over the years. More »
How Lean Can Help Deliver Social Justice While Boosting Quality Health Care
In this podcast, developed from a talk at the 2018 Lean Transformation Summit learn how the Lynn Community Health Center is building successors by turning a recent leadership transition into a catalyst for improvement. More »
Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn
Hear how a personal lean transformation supported a crucial organizational transformation following a financial crisis at a large medical center. In this unique Lean Talk, Alice Lee and Eric Buehrens revisit Eric’s lean journey to discuss its challenges and successes. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Top Mistakes Lean Leaders Make I
Making mistakes is a natural part of lean thinking and practice. Here, three LEI faculty members share some common, yet easily avoidable mistakes made by lean leaders, as well as the countermeasures that can help resolve them. More »
The Cure for Bad Meeting Syndrome
"Anyone who leads a group needs the ability to design and plan a meeting," writes Alice Lee. "This isn’t just something that happens; it’s a skill we must develop if we are to meet team objectives.  " More »
Communicating With Respect
Effective communication is key when it comes to lean learning. Give people too much information, too soon and you lose them, Alice Lee says. Give them too little, too late and they'll get bored. In both cases, you run the risk of people not feeling respected by you. Read what Lee suggests doing instead. More »
Alice Lee on the Challenges and Rewards of Applying Lean to Healthcare
Alice Lee, VP of Business Transformation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, discusses BIDMC's unique application of lean thinking and practice to healthcare. "This is critical treatment, life saving treatment, so flow is very important," Lee says. "It’s important in every industry, but in this case it was very meaningful. We were able to get flow in such simple ways that I’m still astounded.  " Why translate lean for hospitals? Where do lean change agents in healthcare even begin? Lee shares her thoughts in response to these questions and more. More »
Workshops Taught by Alice Lee
Facilitation Skills for Leading Successful Teams Good meeting and facilitation skills are essential for any collaborative effort and they enable teams to make decisions efficiently and effectively. This workshop will share the core meeting process to follow for running successful meetings that are shorter, more focused and yield desired outcomes. More »
Value-Stream Mapping: Gemba Based Workshop This workshop, now offered live for the first time, shows you how to create and apply this fundamental and critical tool, based on Lean Enterprise Institute's groundbreaking VSM workbook, Learning to See, which has introduced the mapping tool to thousands around the world. More »