Karen GaudetDirector of Learning, Lean Enterprise Institute
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.