Home > Education> Workshops> Improvement Kata / Coaching Kata

Improvement Kata / Coaching Kata (3 Day Class)

Learning Objectives

How will the participants be able to apply the knowledge they'll get in class?

We see the attendees of this program as the "Scouts" and as an "Advance Group" in their organizations. By learning from the original TK researchers and key practitioners attendees will be better equipped to plan, monitor and fine-tune their organization's TK teaching/coaching approach.

What is a Kata?

A kata is a pattern you practice to learn a skill and mindset. Through practice the pattern of a kata becomes second nature - done with little conscious attention - and readily available. Examples are riding a bicycle, driving a car, typing. People who have learned to drive don't think much about using the car's controls. They focus on navigating the road ahead.

What is the Improvement Kata?

Ask yourself: What patterns of thought and action do we practice and reinforce every day in our organization?

Improvement Kata

The pattern of the improvement kata is a fundamental pattern for improving, adapting and innovating. The improvement kata is scientific, goal-directed working, not random hunting for opportunities or disconnected reaction to problems. Practicing it helps us get better at meeting challenges in business and in many other endeavors. Think of the improvement kata as a "meta-habit" that aims to change our mental operating system so our human capabilities come to greater fruition.

The improvement kata is the context within which lean tools are intended to be applied. Without it you won't get continuous improvement. In the lean environment, the improvement kata pattern is reinforced in daily management, daily problem solving, quality circles, improvement events & A3s. A version of the improvement-kata pattern is embedded in each of these activities.

The overall goal, as with any kata, is to make the pattern and mindset of the improvement kata an autonomic habit. This happens through deliberate, coached practice in daily work.

This program introduces the concepts of the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata in an engaging hands-on format helping attendees learn how to apply them in their organizations to create the culture of continuous improvement and learning.


What can I expect to learn?

The Improvement Kata impacts your organization by:

• Providing a systematic, scientific routine that can be applied to any goal.
• Commonizing how the members of an organization navigate uncertainty and develop solutions.
• Migrating managers toward a role of coach and mentor, by teaching them to conduct coaching cycles.
• Actualizing PDCA in a way that has people learning from small steps every day.

Program Outline:

The program is offered over the course of 3 consecutive days:

• Days 1-2: Practice with the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata
• Day 3:
Practitioner Day - Exclusive

Days 1 and 2: Practice with the Improvement Kata & Coaching Kata 

Days 1-2 of the Improvement Kata Workshop use an iterative combination of "Presentation > Experiential Exercise > Discussion" to provide you with initial first-hand experience with the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata. Participants will better understand what is involved in deploying lean-style improvement-skill development and how to do it every day in their organizations.


You will:

  • Recognize two different mindsets that drive behaviors and form the foundation of an organization's culture... one continuously improving, one only occasionally improving.
  • Understand hands-on coaching and practice routines that create greater improvement skills and an exploratory mindset -- foundation of continuous improvement, adaptation and innovation.
  • Recognize the role of leaders and, especially, line managers in creating a deliberate culture of continuous improvement.

Learning Blocks:

  • PART I: The Improvement Kata Mindset.
    A deep look at the thought and behavior patterns lean organizations practice as they go about their daily routines, and how they shape their organizations' culture and the ability to adapt and continuously improve.
  • PART II: Hands-On Practice with the Improvement Kata (A).
    Focus = Grasp the Current Condition and establish the Next Target Condition
  • PART III: Hands-On Practice with the Improvement Kata (B).
    Focus = PDCA and the Coaching Kata / 5 Questions
  • PART IV: Deploying the Improvement Kata in Your Organization

Day 3: Practitioner Day

BillThere is now enough experience with the Improvement Kata in the field that we can bring practitioners to share lessons learned with you. The Practitioner Day dovetails with the previous two-day session by providing Improvement Kata deployment methodologies and practical experiences from the field in a structured and facilitated question-and-answer format. Three business leaders will share their successes and failures with the Improvement Kata/Coaching Kata approach. They will present information about the unforeseen obstacles encountered and how they overcame the challenges in their organization's development of the Improvement Kata skill, mindset and culture. The session includes built-in time to address the attendees' specific questions.

You will:

  • Learn the shortfalls of many current Kaizen and waste elimination efforts.
  • Learn what the role of coaching and the management practice of a Coaching Kata looks like.
  • Find out about the paradigm shifts learners go through as they gain Kata skills.
  • Hear how Improvement Kata/Coaching Kata behaviors are being applied to create true Continuous Improvement.

Learning blocks:

Teaching KataExperienced Improvement Kata / Coaching Kata practitioners present and discuss their experiences on the following topics. This session is moderated to ensure structured learning.

  • PART I: The Four Routines of the Improvement Kata
  • PART II: Skill Acquisition & Assessment
  • PART III: Learner, Coach and 2nd Coach Roles
  • PART IV: Vision and Challenge
  • PART V: Changing Culture - Mindset & Behavior

Who should attend?

  • Managers who want to lead and manage more effectively in today's environment.
  • Lean specialists and consultants who want to acquire new skills and learn what their role will be.
  • HR and OD professionals charged with Leadership Development and involving more of their organization's people in improvement, adaptation and innovation.
  • Leaders who want more clarity about what their management teams should be doing in order to achieve competitive advantage in today's markets.
  • Value Stream Mappers who want a systematic way of really achieving their future-state designs.

For culture-change through skill development, it's managers and leaders who should develop familiarity with the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata -- via practice -- ahead of others in the organization!

Toyota Kata BookRecommended pre work:

Suggested Reading for this Workshop:
Locations and Dates for Improvement Kata / Coaching Kata

No offerings of this workshop are scheduled at this time. Please check back again soon.

Price: $2,400.00 ($2,100.00 if the participant is taking 2 or more workshops at one location)
Price includes all participant materials, breakfast, lunch and snacks each day

Sign up to be notified about future offerings of this workshop

Bring this workshop to your company with On-Site Training Learn more »

Cancelation Policy
Our workshops are designed to cater to a limited number of participants.  If you must cancel a workshop registration, you will be given a full refund up to four weeks before the workshop.  A cancelation occuring within four weeks of the workshop will be subjected to a $350 cancelation fee.  If cancellation is required to comply with coronavirus guidelines from federal, state, or local authorities, no cancellation fee will apply.  LEI will not be held personally responsible for any incidental cost incurred (hotel, airfare, change fee, etc).  To cancel a workshop registration, please call LEI at (617) 871-2900.