Lean Summit 2019
Next Gen Learning and the Challenge of Sustainability
March 27-28, 2019  |  Houston, TX
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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.

A Quick Look with Jean Cunningham.

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.

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The Lean Summit sells out year after year. Please register as soon as possible to ensure your seat!

Plenary & Breakout Sessions | Learning Sessions | Networking Opportunities | Fees | Workshops

Lean Thinking: The Long View

I started thinking about what we now call “lean” in 1979 when MIT decided to perform a global analysis of manufacturing performance, focused on the auto industry. Forty years is a long time! I’m now heading toward retirement (but not quite yet!) and have been asking myself three simple questions: Where have we been? Where are we now? Where are we going?

In this presentation I will look at the world of 1979, the world of 2019, and the world of the future that I hope we will create together. My objective is to gain agreement on our common origin, to shine a realistic light on our current state of thinking and practice, and to think creatively about the path ahead, a journey which can be rapid or slow depending on our willingness to perform rigorous experiments on a wide range of challenges, some just emerging, and to share our results across the Lean Community.

Next Gen Capability Development

All industries have been influenced by evolving technology and evolving workforce capabilities.  All companies must meet the challenges of ongoing learning for their organizations.  In this talk, lean thought leader, Jean Cunningham, will explore the topic of deep learning along with the challenges and opportunities we face in developing capability in the 21st century. She will share the experiments, the barriers, and successes which allows us to adapt to meet these needs. You may ask yourself, “what activities help my organization create deep learning and how could we improve?”

Realtime - Attendees' Choice

Each year John Shook, wraps up the Lean Summit with a keynote that highlights the key learnings at the event and challenges you to think differently. This year John will that and more. In fact he will deliver the keynote you are asking for, literally. Click this link tell LEI’s Chairman, and author of Managing to Learn and Learning to See what you want him to talk about. 

We will then narrow the topics down to 5 and the attendees at the event will vote on what they’d like John’s keynote to explore. 

This is a one of a kind presentation, driven by you.

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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
Ann Mei Chang

Build Lean Capability and Application Across Cleveland Clinic: Lean transformation with discipline, authenticity, and respect

Starting with an A3 in 2013, Cleveland Clinic has created, iterated and improved on their “culture of improvement” to ensure ongoing effectiveness and sustainability. Through a series of model area experiments, this large health care organization has developed, tested and refined an approach that is now applied broadly across clinical and nonclinical areas at all locations.

A key component of this culture is a problem solving system largely anchored on a board - not an “ideas” board, but a kaizen board that supports the behaviors of engaging all caregivers in identifying problems (including waste) as opportunities, prioritizing them, and applying the coaching kata to build the capability to solve those problems in a disciplined way. Teams and leaders typically huddle weekly around their kaizen boards to prioritize, check progress and eliminate barriers to solving the problems they’ve identified. And in doing so, grow capability and become increasingly engaged in making things better for patients AND caregivers.

Today over 14,000 caregivers across clinical and nonclinical teams are now using this and other systems (alignment, visual management, standardization, (www.clevelandclinic.org/improve)), applying the tools, and practicing the behaviors to foster a Lean culture of improvement and make things better – every caregiver, every day.

Lisa Yerian, M.D.

Creating a Highly-Adaptive Learning Organization

“We don’t invent new products, but make experiences better,” says Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING Group. “We differentiate ourselves on how we do things, not what.” A key enabler of innovation and customer experience is digitization. “None of these innovations would have been possible without digital technology, of course, but,” Hamers adds, “it is as much marketplace context as a delivery tool for ING.”

To achieve this vision of exceptional experiences, ING has undergone significant shifts in the way it operates, transforming to value-stream alignment supported by well-honed—and continuously improving—management system practices, and a generative leader mindset. Jannes Smit, a key player in digital enablement technology, also plays a leading role in development of the management system and generative leadership approach. Tasked with enabling exceptional customer experiences in a rapidly changing environment with rising customer expectations, Smit, head of Digital Channels at ING Netherlands and Belgium, recognized that the key to thriving in an environment of VUCA (variation, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) is to leverage capabilities through continuous learning and collaboration.

Over the past few years Jannes and his team have experimented together toward a way-of-work that yields rapid results by optimizing engagement and shared learning at all levels, and among all disciplines, across the enterprise. This transformational mindset and way-of-work draws on the principles and practices of Lean, as well as other communities of practice, including Agile, DevOps, Scrum, Kata, and others.

Drawing on the talents of Jannes’ coaching team, this way-of-work is being scaled across ING globally. Jannes Smit, along with Senior Lean-Agile Coach David Bogaerts, will share their experience in a plenary session, followed by a learning session on their approach to creating, sustaining, and scaling a learning culture and practices.


David Bogaerts
David Bogaerts
Jannes Smit
Jannes Smit

Designing the Future Podcast LIVE!

Jim Morgan, co-author of the book, Designing the Future and host of the Designing the Future podcast welcomes Richard Sheridan, Menlo Innovations CEO and Chief Storyteller, and author of Joy, Inc. to the podcast

Menlo Innovations is software development company that approaches the work differently. Taking the time to deeply understand their customers and their context – and experimenting to close knowledge gaps as an essential first step in developing great products and services.  

The Designing the Future Special Podcast Series on WLEI has received record numbers of downloads. And you will have the opportunity to see it live on stage!

Jim Morgan
Jim Morgan
Richard Sheridan
Richard Sheridan

From Agile to Lean - REA Group's Decade of Organizational Discovery

REA Group own market-leading property portals from India, across Australasia, to the USA - where they are partners with Newscorp in Realtor.com. Always a digital native company, a decade ago the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) coincided with the need for REA Group to urgently replatform its core technologies. Avid adoptees of agile software methodologies, within 3 years they emerged from that moment of truth renowned as one of most agile organizations in the world.

A decade later, hundreds of visitors come to REA Group in Melbourne, Australia every year to view this agile workplace and learn the 'secret sauce' of organizational transformation. They are given a tough and unexpected message - agile is the last thing you need. The focus is now on Lean thinking, organizational health, and productivity - among which the agile toolkit is just one component.

In the battle to remain relevant to their customers (mostly Realtors) and millions of consumers, a strategic leap is underway from Searching for Property to an AI-driven 'Match' world. Building sustainability and a learning culture have emerged as key capabilities to compete with new global competitors like Facebook, Google, Amazon and AirBnB. In this talk, Nigel Dalton, the Chief Inventor at REA Group will explain the REA recipe for success, and how agile turned to lean over 10 years.

Nigel Dalton
Nigel Dalton

Innovating in Historically Tough Times

TechnipFMC is a global leader in energy technologies, designing and manufacturing complex engineered systems that operate in the most demanding environments on the planet.  Among other things the London based company creates subsea production systems that control, transport and comingle oil & gas on the sea floor at depths of up to 10,000 feet and must operate flawlessly for 25 years with virtually no maintenance.

Paulo Couto, VP of Global Development and Engineering tells the story of when oil prices plummeted from $100 per barrel to around $50 and new projects began to evaporate they knew they needed a dramatic change in order to compete in this new environment.

In this session you will hear from Couto, how TechnipFMC leveraged LPPD  principles and practices to create Subsea 2.0; a drastic improvement in design efficiency and better sea floor performance.  Revolutionizing the industry during an historically tough times.

Paulo Couto
Paulo Couto

Psychological Safety

“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
Amy C. Edmondson

SBP - Getting Home with Lean

Started by a teacher and a lawyer, neither of whom had any production, construction or disaster experience, over the last 12 years, SBP has evolved into the highest volume residential rebuilding non-profit in America. SBP was founded in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina because of compelling human needs, the commitment of American citizens who came from across our country to volunteer, and an unwillingness by SBP’s leaders to accept the status quo in disaster recovery. After 5 years, SBP partnered with Toyota’s TSSC, and adopted TPS as ethos and operating system.  Immediate results were clear: SBP reduced construction time by 48 percent.

After applying root cause analysis and a 5 Why questioning, SBP has expanded operations. No longer satisfied by merely rebuilding homes, SBPutilizes 5 interventions, including Yokoten (sharing what works with other NGO’s) and a government advisory practice to achieve its mission of reducing time between disaster and recovery across America.  

Over the last several years, American communities have been decimated by natural disasters that have increased in strength and that strike communities that were previously considered safe. In this presentation, Co-founder and CEO, Zack Rosenburg, will share how SBP utilizes TPS to simultaneously drive system level change and on-the-ground impact. Zack will talk about TPS resonating with diverse audiences, ranging from lay volunteers, AmeriCorps members to Governor and Mayor Appointed disaster recovery leaders.

Zack Rosenburg
Zack Rosenburg

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Learning Sessions

Open All Close All
Continuous Delivery

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.

Develop and Cascade Hoshin Kanri (Directional Management) Thinking/Goals vertically & horizontally
Developing Leader’s Lean IQ – GE Appliances' lessons learned on how to engage and develop leaders
How to Find Your Riskiest Assumptions
LEAD Lean: Improving Engagement
Make Work More Human
Overcoming the Waste of Talent
Polishing a Diamond in the Rough – Capability Development & Respect for People in the Mining Industry
Proactive Production Readiness - integrating leading indicators into development processes
Putting the System into Daily Management at Stanford Children’s Health
Redefining the Field: Coca-Cola's Lean Digital Journey
Respect for People - A Case Study from Daktronics Inc.
The Four Types of Problems
The Good Jobs Strategy: How to drive excellence for customers, employees and investors
The Habits of Lean Leadership
Workflow Management, ‘Pull’ Through the Engineering Value Stream

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Networking Opportunities

Summit Networking

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)

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