Home > Education> Workshops> Change Agent Skills for Lean Implementation Leaders

Change Agent Skills for Lean Implementation Leaders (2 Day Class)


This workshop will provide you with:

  • Basic knowledge of Toyota change management practices and tools and a sense of how and why they are used
  • Better understanding of the ways we try to influence the decisions and behaviors of others and some proven techniques for increasing your impact
  • Perspective and some techniques to help you respond to resistance more effectively

As a result, you will be able to:

  • Use the PDCA learning cycle to present and engage others in proposed improvements and changes as experiments
  • Create effective business cases for lean projects or overall initiatives through the use of the PDCA story and A3 proposal format
  • Understand how nemawashi works as an effective tool for managing change and use a similar approach to create alignment and agreement to your proposed improvements
  • Understand the nature of influence, identify your preferred influence style and recognize the preferences of others
  • Apply six basic principles of influence
  • Practice three techniques for responding to resistance and preventing conflicts 


The nature of lean implementation is changing. Previously the focus was on implementing lean tools and practices in a manufacturing value stream or small portion of it. Now companies increasingly are trying to create integrated lean operating systems and to implement lean throughout the entire enterprise.

Two new roles are emerging in response to these changes. The first is that of the manager or specialist with experience in lean manufacturing who is now expected to be the leader or change agent for lean implementation across the company. The second is the individual who either has done some lean implementation in manufacturing or has done process improvement work but has no lean experience who is assigned to role of lean change agent on the office or administrative side.

The demands on the individuals in these new roles are huge. They are given the responsibility for bringing about and sustaining change in their organizations without the position or power to drive it. They have to lead others to and through implementation of lean change activities by persuasion, influence, demonstration, negotiation, and teaching. And while most have or can get knowledge of the technical aspects of lean, few are prepared to take on organization-level leadership effectively.

Change Agent Skills for Lean Implementation Leaders is designed to introduce skills and practices in four critical areas where lean change agents must be effective:

  • Creating persuasive business cases for improvements and changes
  • Gaining agreement, commitment, cooperation and support
  • Influencing without power and position
  • Responding to resistance productively

The tools and techniques for the first two areas are based on processes and best practices for change management developed at Toyota. The skills for personal influence and responding to resistance are based on best practices used by successful leaders and change agents in North America. The emphasis throughout the workshop is on presenting a few fundamental guidelines and behaviors for each set of skills and providing numerous opportunities for exploration and hands-on practice. 

Course Outline:
Day 1: Creating Persuasive Business Cases

  • The PDCA cycle – the basis for an effective change management process at Toyota – as a way to focus implementations efforts, keep them moving on track and on target, and to “learn” the method for improving performance and results
  • PDCA thinking and the scientific method as a technique for proposing lean initiatives and improvements, gaining approval and building people's commitment to them
  • The nemawashi process, as practiced in Toyota as an effective tool for managing change because it prepares the organization for a change and helps align it with the rest of the system
  • The A3 report (or storyboard) as a way to present a logical business case for proposed changes, decisions, countermeasures, and improvements

Day 2: Personal Influence and Change Leadership

  • The basic nature of influence including the three ways we typically try to appeal to others and the personal styles we commonly employ in our efforts to get what we need or want from others
  • Techniques for recognizing your preferred styles of influence and ways to adapt your approaches to the preferences of others, so you become a more effective leader
  • Three ways to respond to resistance productively and how to use them to keep resistance from growing into conflict
  • Six proven principles of personal influence and when and how to use them appropriately for leadership

Who Should Attend:
Those who would benefit from attending this workshop include:

  • Lean project leaders, lean coordinators, lean change agents, continuous improvement executives, six sigma black belts, staff experts
  • Leaders and change agents who have faced the challenges of project completion and implementation of changes and improvements
  • Leaders, change agents, managers, executives who have experience with lean in manufacturing, service operations, healthcare, or not-for-profit organizations

Workshop Suggestion:
To maximize your learning experience we recommend that prior to attending this program you take following workshop or have a good understanding of the concepts presented within it.
Locations and Dates for Change Agent Skills for Lean Implementation Leaders

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

Price: $1,600.00 ($1,400.00 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.