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Karen Gaudet

Karen Gaudet

Director of Learning, Lean Enterprise Institute
kgaudet@lean.org

Karen has over 20 years’ experience leading, training, and coaching high-performance teams of staff and executives in rapid-growth environments. Most recently, as regional director of licensed operations at Starbucks Coffee Company, she built a consistent track record of growing the number of retail stores along with the continuous improvement capabilities of people.

As director of learning at LEI, Karen’s responsibilities include:

  • Supporting Co-Learning Partners, a small group of select companies with a passion for collaborative learning and a willingness to share results with the global lean community.
  • Managing and continue to strengthen LEI’s education curriculum.
  • Delivering training at customer sites and public venues.
  • Managing relationships with 40-plus faculty members, lean management practitioners who have years of hands-on experience implementing what they teach.

At Starbucks, Karen made recommendations on the creation of an operating system model line, then led the first application in a working store and provided feedback necessary for a broad, global implementation. She also led a team of coaches responsible for teaching problem solving and mentoring skills to regional executives, directors, and district managers responsible for implementing the lean operating system. Karen led the growth of Starbucks’ New England market, adding 20 new stores annually for five years while hitting profit and return-on-investment goals.

Previously, she held management and executive posts in operations, marketing, and training at large restaurant chains, a retail consulting company, and a technology startup preparing for an initial public offering.

Articles by Karen Gaudet
Advice from the Gemba: Standardizing Work for Leaders with Varied Tasks
How, many people ask LEI, can you possibly standardize a leader's work when even they can't predict what their work will look like on a given day? The answer: by adopting the right approach. Three LEI faculty members weigh in. More »
Advice from the Gemba: How Do People Accidentally Make Change Unsustainable?
The only thing tougher than change is SUSTAINING change, we often hear. But does sustaining change need to be SO hard? Is it naturally and universally borderline impossible? Or is it possible that we, as humans, accidentally make sustainability harder than it has to be? Four LEI faculty members weigh in with their thoughts. More »
Advice from the Gemba: TPS Mythbusting
Despite its fundamental role in a lean transformation, the Toyota Production System is not an easy thing for many to grasp. In this special installment of Advice from the Gemba, three of LEI's accomplished faculty discuss the most common misconceptions they hear about TPS from their workshop participants. More »
Lean Expansion: Spreading Lean from One Store to a Region at Starbucks
Scaling up is a challenge often talked about in lean circles. How can we best leverage our individual or small-scale wins to spread lean throughout the organization? LEI faculty and Director of Learning Karen Gaudet tackled this problem head-on during her tenure working at Starbucks. Here's her story of what she experienced and learned as she spread lean throughout her region of responsibility. More »
Workshops Taught by Karen Gaudet
Building a Lean Operating & Management System A hands-on, mind engaging simulation-based workshop that will help you achieve a deeper understanding of lean principles and tools by developing your problem solving skills to meet critical business challenges at your workplace. More »
NEW! Building a Lean Operating and Management System (at the 2019 Lean Summit) This is not your typical classroom-based workshop. It is a hands-on, mind-engaging, simulation-based workshop that will help you achieve a deeper understanding of lean principles and tools by developing your problem solving skills to meet critical business challenges at your workplace.  You will experience ways to improve on-time delivery, product quality, and operational flexibility through the development of a lean operating and management system, increasing your understanding of each lean principle, one principle at a time.   This will enable you to design an operating system that will provide more value to both your customers and organization.  Learning Objectives:Gain a deeper understanding of More »
Strategy Deployment and Alignment through Hoshin This workshop will help leaders understand Policy Deployment as a process for "de-selecting" initiatives down to the ones the organization can really achieve while aligning them with company strategic objectives and deploying them down through the organizational ranks. More »
Understanding Lean Transformation Come explore the components of the Lean Transformation Model, see examples of what others are doing and reflect upon some potential gaps to close within your own organization. More »
Using Training Within Industry (TWI) Techniques for Rapid and Sustainable Problem Solving Join us for a workshop based on scientifically-proven Training Within Industry (TWI) techniques designed to help you and your team (and the organization) learn faster. More »