2019 Lean Summit
The Lean Summit, formerly known as the Lean Transformation Summit, has become the event for lean thinkers and innovators to get together, learn, and share. Countless partnerships have formed, professional relationships started, and lean initiatives have been energized.
Meet some past attendees and hear what lean means to them.
Our focus is to deliver the absolute best, most diverse, learning experience possible. We curate and vet each speaker to ensure that they deliver unique actionable insights with high energy. We also provide the best networking opportunities even for those who are not as comfortable in traditional networking environments. Plus, we always have creative, one-of-a-kind, hands-on learning experiences that only LEI can provide.
Below are just a few of the great speakers, presentations, and activities planned for 2019! We will be announcing more over the next few months.
The Lean Summit sells out year after year. Please register as soon as possible to ensure your seat!
Plenary & Breakout Sessions
An Audacious Goal: The Start of the Journey to Transformation
The birthplace of innovation is in an audacious goal. JFK challenged us to send a man to the moon. At Google, my team set out to build a billion dollar mobile business from nothing. At USAID, we aimed to end extreme poverty around the world. If we can even come close to achieving our objectives with business as usual, why take big risks?
With a clear north star, we know how far we must stretch as we envision solutions and design experiments. Making something 10x better will require an entirely different approach than making it 10% better. Your goal serves as a benchmark against which success metrics can be set, MVPs can be measured, and teams can be galvanized. This session will reveal the critical elements of a compelling goal and how it can lead organizations down unexpected and profoundly transformative paths.
Ann Mei Chang brings a rare perspective from extensive experience across the private, public, and social sectors, including as a Senior Engineering Director at Google and the Chief Innovation Officer at both USAID and Mercy Corps. She is the author of Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good (Wiley, 2018).
Ann Mei Chang
“Drive out fear.” W. Edwards Deming’s famous 8th point recognizes the essential role of human ingenuity in achieving quality. In today’s organizations, more than ever before, people must collaborate to solve problems and accomplish work that’s perpetually changing. While it’s not news that knowledge and innovation are vital sources of competitive advantage in nearly every industry, how often do managers truly recognize the implications of this new reality – particularly when it comes to what it means for the kind of work environment that would help employees thrive and organizations succeed?
This session focuses on the interpersonal climate needed to help knowledge-intensive organizations work better. For knowledge work to flourish, hiring smart, motivated people is not enough. They must feel able to share their concerns, questions, mistakes, and half-formed ideas.
In Amy Edmondson's research over the past 20 years, she's shown that a factor she calls psychological safety helps explain performance in workplaces that include hospitals, factories, schools, and government agencies. Psychological safety matters for groups as disparate as those in the C-suite of a financial institution and on the front lines of the intensive care unit. In a psychologically safe workplace, people feel willing and able to take the inherent interpersonal risks of candor. They fear holding back their full participation more than they fear sharing a potentially sensitive, threatening, or wrong idea. The fearless organization is one in which interpersonal fear is minimized so that team and organizational performance can be maximized in a knowledge intensive world. It is not one devoid of anxiety about the future.
Amy C. Edmondson
Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity (VUCA) increasingly reflect the conditions of our time. The key differentiator of those enterprises that thrive in these conditions is the ability to rapidly learn with, and from, customers, in a highly collaborative environment in which all disciplines come together to create amazing customer experiences and value. How do you achieve this state of learning and collaboration?
In this session, one of the world’s leading thinkers in continuous development and integration of software-enabled customer experience and value, Jez Humble, along with Steve Bell and Karen Whitley Bell, Advisors for LEI in Digital Transformation, come together to share their learning about what creates enterprise high-performance, drawing on the new book, Accelerate.
The focus of this session will be to help lean thinkers better understand how to lead and coach people to integrate, improve, and leverage technology capabilities in a holistic, cross-discipline approach across a variety of industries, including manufacturing, service, and others.
In this session attendees will learn:
- Practices that correlate to high performance, identified through a multi-year research endeavor
- Results from recent surveys conducted by LEI on Digital Lean Enterprise issues, and reflections on these results
- The building blocks of enterprise digitization, creating greater customer experience and value
- The common principles and practices of Lean, Agile, Continuous Delivery, Scrum, and DevOps, enabling Lean leaders and coaches to better engage with these communities of practice
- Guidance on how to integrate technology development and delivery holistically within the enterprise
Ultimately, thriving in conditions of VUCA requires inspiring and enabling people across ALL disciplines to share their talents, capabilities, and insights toward the shared True North purpose of great customer experience and value.
Many organizations discuss with how to best engage the workforce to an aligned direction that ensures business viability.
The session helps upper and middle level management understand that it has the responsibility of connecting the company's people to the purpose/true north of the organization. So how to do this effectively? How can managers build the culture of an organization into one in which management is purposeful in its approach?
Hoshin Kanri is a directional management system that aligns people to their process an organization's functions and activities with its strategic objectives/tactics. If differentiates strategic A3’s as they relate to problem solving A3’s making connections that cascade through level/scope. Hoshin alignment/thinking encourages SDCA (Standardize-Do-Check-Act) before PDCA can effectively be done. Standardization is the foundation to see abnormality at a glance in order ensure the internal and external customer needs are being met.
Lastly this thinking/planning encourages creativity in each team member at each level as goals are developed in a dynamic, catch-ball process that involves a dialogue between each level of management about annual corporate objectives. This engaged dialogue promotes the capability of the organization to manage based on purpose.
Attendees of this Learning Session will:
- Better understand what Hoshin Karni is and the purpose behind it
- Learn to develop top level goals of the organization and cascade them vertically and horizontally throughout the organization
- Develop measures to know when the needle is moving in the areas of focus
- Grasp the importance of true north development as the guiding beacon for all levels
- Leave with several example given from our Toyota days of creating Hoshin from a top level to department level along with a case study to help guide them after the session
Improving work on the shop floor is the name of the game at GE Appliances, a Haier Company. They have more than a half dozen plants and thousands of frontline workers making a lot of appliances (one every 1.6 seconds) and the product variety is constantly changing.
The scale of their business requires a strong problem-solving culture in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. In order to meet these challenges, GE Appliances needs managers that can coach their teams to continuously improve. To do that successfully, managers needed to learn how to improve the work themselves.
Rich Calvaruso, Senior Director Lean, learned that lesson firsthand when a former Toyota coach showed up to inspect GEA’s attempt at standardized work. “You call that standardized work?!?” he asked pointedly. This was followed by a challenging learning experience where Rich was required to improve one job significantly enough to satisfy a very demanding coach.
In this session, you will hear more about Rich’s experience but also how Rich is creating this experience for all managers across GE Appliances.
There is much talk about ‘why lean fails?’ In most of these debates, lack of leadership is to blame. As with any root cause analysis process, this learning session will challenge the general perception around lack of leadership engagement, as well as who you may consider to be a leader. If we were to stop for a moment to really reflect, what organization or leader would intentionally set out to fail, right?
Many leaders truly believe a problem solving and continuous improvement culture can help to achieve the business objectives, yet they may not fully understand how to lead the organization on the lean journey to engage at all levels. So how can those of us who hold the true principles near and dear to our hearts do something to course correct? LEAD Lean just might be a good start.
LEAD Lean is a movement! It is NOT about the noun leader. It is about the verb; the action of leading! LEAD Lean is about understanding and leading people, which also includes understanding YOURSELF!
In this interactive learning session, you will engage in real case studies that place you in the driver seat of the leader to determine how you might’ve reacted to the situation. This process will facilitate learning by doing, while assessing how you LEAD Lean.
You will learn:
- Why connecting to the business objectives is simply not enough to drive sustainability.
- How to assess your leadership level as compared to that of a pinnacle leader
- How to observe the behaviors that might indicate an improvement opportunities with your people management systems
- To understand how to manage up in the organization to address the lean disconnects that often lead to organizations ‘failing’ at lean
- How to develop leaders at every level in the organization
What does it take to create a Lean culture and management system in a government organization? It takes creating a truly human-centered workplace that decreases fear and increases love in the workplace. Love? Yes love? In government? Yes, in government.
This session explores insights from more than 50 research interviews that demonstrate the high cost when employees are afraid and the immense benefits when they feel loved. Hear real world examples of how that workplace safety translates to love in action by leaders and teams. Engage in reflection and practice to gain insight into how you can apply these concepts in your organization. Walk away from this session feeling challenged and equipped to cultivate a more human workplace and create a people-focused foundation for a lean management system.
After this session attendees will:
- Understand the cultural and relational prerequisites for an effective Lean management system
- Understand other approaches beside being human-centered and their implications
- Identify opportunities and practical strategies for actively increasing love when facing common workplace challenges
- Understand the difference between accountability and responsibility and why the latter is desirable
- Feel challenged and inspired to cultivate a human-centered workplace based on less fear and more love
When faced with a problem many leaders or teams tend to reach repeatedly for the same tool – A3, 5 Whys, value-stream mapping -- creating unnecessary struggle, frustration, and ineffectiveness in solving the problem – if it is solved at all.
The reason is that in problem solving one tool does not fit all. Problems fall into four broad categories, each requiring different improvement methods, thought processes, and management cadence, according to Toyota veteran Art Smalley, author of the new book The Four Types of Problem Solving. The four principle types are:
- Troubleshooting: Fixing problems rapidly, often with temporary measures.
- Gap-from-standard: Solving problems in relation to existing standards or conditions.
- Target-State Oriented: Achieving new, better standards or conditions.
- Innovation: Pursuing a vision, such as new products, processes, services, or systems.
In this session, you’ll learn:
- How mastering the nuances and differences between each problem type helps you improve as a leader and deliver superior results in your lean transformation.
- How to truly engage everyone in problem solving and continuous improvement and how these practices align with Toyota’s shop-floor management development system and team leadership.
- What is the critical relation between daily management and team leadership that most lean organizations are failing to decipher and model correctly.
- How to apply a problem-solving framework that is easy for beginners to grasp yet useful even for advanced practitioners.
- How to use the framework
The Good Jobs Strategy, based on research by MIT Sloan operations management professor Zeynep Ton, creates superior value for employees, customers, and investor/owners by combining investment in people with four operational choices that increase employee productivity, contribution, and motivation.
The four operational choices—Focus and Simplify, Standardize and Empower, Cross-Train and Operate with Slack—drive performance and continuous improvement. At the same time, these operational choices work best with a capable and motivated workforce and hence require investment in people. In this way, the Good Jobs Strategy creates a virtuous cycle where investment in people and operational excellence reinforce each other to drive value.
- Outline the Good Jobs Strategy
- Introduce tools companies can use to make the business case (financial, competitive,moral) for good jobs and then diagnose opportunities for action
- Highlight good jobs success stories and how any company can combine the Good Jobs
- Strategy with Lean principles and practices to transform their organization
You will learn to:
- Diagnose your organization on your good jobs journey and assess strengths and gaps
- How investment in people combined with operational choices can help organizations improve employee and customer experience and operational performance
- Build a business case for good jobs
The summit is designed to be the best networking venue in the Lean Community by providing formal and informal ways for you to connect with counterparts facing the same challenges as you:
- March 26: Welcome Happy Hour (get to know fellow attendees prior to the start of the Summit)
- March 27: Networking Reception (continue conversations and compare notes after the first day)
- Networking Breaks (30 minutes to allow time for a phone call, cup of coffee, and conversation)
- Lunch Roundtables (attendee-led discussions on topics you've told us are important to you)