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
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.
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.
“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.
Ask anyone who has ever been a leader in the private or public sector, and they will tell you it’s complex, demanding, and stressful work. According to the Marlin Company’s Attitudes in the American Workplace VII Annual Labor Day Survey, 82% of workers report that they are at least a little stressed, and nearly 73% of workers say they would NOT want their boss’s job!
Why is work so stressful? Certainly there are many reasons, but most organizations have one or more of these culprits festering at the root of work stress: a lack of organizational identity, dysfunctional waste-laden processes, untapped worker capability, completely missing methods to tell if teams or the whole organization is winning or losing, and something other than humans being at the center of the organization’s mindset and culture.
The purpose of this session is to help leaders see how they can use the 5 components of the Framework for Human-Centered Business as a strategy for running your whole business system and move from stressed out to creating a way of working that will deliver value to customers over the long-term.
The 5 components of the Framework for Human-Centered Business are:
- Purpose: Know the value your organization is expected to deliver to customers. Understand what your customers need and want so you can deliver the highest levels of customer and stakeholder satisfaction. Set strategic direction and create the vision, mission, values, goals that will guide your organization toward the desired future.
- Process: Clarify the work to be done at every level (from the individual job level, to the cross-functional team and process level, as well as value stream and system level). Design new process and improve existing processes to increase the value you deliver to customers.
- Capability: Onboard new leaders and team members with the knowledge and skill they need. Whether it’s classroom training, self-study or a conference setting learning experience, connect the knowledge & skill building activities of team members with on-the-job coaching to guide improvements in job performance
- Management System: Create process and outcome metrics that matter, visual management that helps leaders and team members quickly see where performance is on track or off, and tiered reporting that connects individuals, teams and leaders in a way that helps everyone make good decisions about running the business.
- Human-Centered Mindset & Culture: Put people (team members and customers) at the center of your organization. This means holding people in high regard by creating a physically and psychologically safe workplace. Then team members bring their best and deliver value to customers. A human-centered mindset is the essence of a Lean culture and motivates your choice of the methods and tools you use to improve.
In this workshop, participants will be able to:
- State 4 characteristics of the Framework for Human-Centered Business that make it valuable for organizations in any industry.
- List the 5 components of the Framework for Human-Centered Business and describe how each component applies to your responsibilities as a leader.
- Identify at least one opportunity to improve your organization in each of the 5 components of the Framework for Human-Centered Business.
- Learn repeatable methods for uncovering hidden risks, pioneered by LUXr.co Lean Startup Accelerator
- Differentiate between a high-risk leap of faith assumption and a less critical assumption
- Practice techniques for making durable decisions without lengthy debate or by HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion)
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
Waste of talent is considered the 8th waste of Lean. In this talk Kristian Lindwall will share his perspective on what that means in practice and more importantly, what you can do to minimize this waste.
In more hierarchical organizations, innovation and decision-making is something that traditionally happens at the top of the hierarchy and the lower levels of the org is focused on execution. There are however other ways.
You will learn about useful models for decision making, what levels of decisions should sit with different parts of the organization and specific processes. Kristian will use several real life examples from Spotify and before that. From how to run a several hundred people reorg to effectively drive strategy and effective execution at scale.
By attending this session you will better understand several mental models and principles that will help you structure your organization and processes. You will also learn how to more fully leverage the full capacity of your people.
Some areas covered:
- How to enable strategic discussions at scale
- Consent-based decision making in practice
- A model for categorizing decisions and deciding which ones needs broader anchoring
- How to run a 150+ person reorg based on self-selection
As a result of dissatisfaction with the material available for learning about daily management systems and how to go about it implementing and supporting, Stanford Children’s Health created a learning lab to describe the practices within a Daily Management System and how they work together to create a more proactive (less reactive) work environment where consistent reliable processes and services are delivered to customers.
This learning session is designed for Lean leaders and practitioners who would like to design, implement or improve their lean based Daily Management / Operating System to accelerate and sustain continuous improvement efforts.
As part of this session participants will reflect and assess their own organization / department against the model determining where they have strengths and where there are opportunities for development.
Practices covered include daily problem solving, every day improvement ideas, visual practice, tiered huddles, recognition, protected time, front line leader standard work, senior leader daily habits and local level improvement. None of these practices stand-alone but work as a system to bring structure and rhythm to the work environment.
Goal of this session is to help you better understand:
- The practices of Daily Management System that make up the whole to work as a system
- The role of both supervisory and senior leaders in implementing and sustaining a Daily Operating System
- The sequencing of activities to establish a Daily Operating System
For those with no or little DMS in place – it will give them the knowledge and the courage to start small in their areas, with insight as to which practices must be in place first and how to build a DMS over time. Where they start will depend on whether they are front-line leaders or senior leaders, but the concept of a model cell will be advocated.
For those with some DMS in place it will provide the opportunity to reflect of their own system, how well it works and why? There will be some simple things they might choose to adjust / try, based on what they have learned. These can be done at a local level, maximizing the opportunity to just try.
Daktronics started its lean journey in 2006. After nearly a decade of steady gains in productivity, our results began to plateau. Like many organizations, our early lean efforts were focused on process. We reorganized our factories into value streams, created one-piece flow across the production floor, and enjoyed the huge gains in productivity associated with these efforts. We lacked a corresponding focus on our people, however. We had high turnover among our production employees. Surveys and exit interviews revealed major gaps in employee satisfaction.
This session focusses on a series of division-wide initiatives Daktronics implemented over several years to standardize, stabilize, and improve our methods for engaging our production workforce.
- Standardize – Development of work performance standards
- Stabilize then improve – Implementing a management standard to reinforce needed behaviors that drive us toward company goals
- Continuously improve - Engaging employees by leaning into their personalities
- Look toward a future state – Positive reinforcement around problem solving
You will learn:
- The value of balance between people and process focus
- The need for a common vocabulary for development of people
- The importance of a performance standard
- Steps you can take to define your current state of “Respect for People.”
- Key concepts and partners Daktronics engaged along the way
- Our “High Performance Workplace” – Korn Ferry and FYI: For Your Improvement
- “Precision Leadership” – Aubrey Daniels International
- “Personality Profiles” – Insights Discovery
- How these concepts can bring process to the people pillar
- How the concepts fit together into a cohesive approach
This session will also highlight the step-by-step approach outlined by Jim Womack in his 2007 eLetter “Respect for People”.
- Ask employees what the problem is with the way their work is currently being done
- Engage in dialog about the real problem and its root causes
- Ask what should be done about the problem
- Ask how they will know when the problem has been solved
- After agreement, empower the employees to implement the solution
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
Even with the best tools and techniques implemented, lean can fail if leadership doesn’t incorporate key habits.
In this pictorial session, you will see how leaders at Toyota Japan and in its Western affiliates instill lean habits within their circle of influence. You will learn what traditional and typical habits to avoid and what new habits to incorporate into your leadership role. Desired habits and behaviors must be driven by a structure. You will see how Toyota creates the needs (or problems), prepares its associates to handle them, and make this cycle a habit in every leader. The cycle behind a powerful culture of continuous improvement.
You will learn:
- What leadership behaviors that can foster lean thinking or defeat it
- The key habits that leadership must acquire and practice when coaching others through the lean journey
- How to practice the Kata in coaching and problem solving
Join Solar Turbine’s (a Caterpillar Company) Howard Kinkade as he shares his learning managing transactional work through the entire engineering value stream. Converting the traditional ‘push and chase’ (firefighting) to a ‘pull and flow’ system.
The discussion will contrast the typical work life of an engineer in a ‘push’ culture (firefighter) vs. a lean ‘pull’ culture. This is an interactive discussion between the presenter and session attendees.
Howard will also walk you through a case study of applying lean workflow management to an entire engineering organization. The attendees will learn the process of prioritizing work, managing a pull system in transactional work, and the enabling attributes to be successful.
Applying these principals can transform an organization from a hectic, firefighting, priority circus to an organization which has clarity and alignment of priorities with leveled workload resulting in significant velocity gains, improved engagement and an empowered work group.
The attendees will come away with enough knowledge to be begin applying these principals in their organizations to improve the velocity and productiveness of their transactional value streams.
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)