Thought Leaders

Our Lean Leaders

The latest information and insights from the Lean Community’s foremost coaches and practitioners.

Michael Balle

Michael Ballé

Michael Ballé is co-author of The Gold Mine, a best-selling business novel of lean turnaround, and recently The Lean Manager, a novel of lean transformation, both published by the Lean Enterprise Institute. For the past 25 years, he has studied lean transformation and helped companies develop a lean culture. He is an engaging and colorful public […]

Josh Howell Headshot

Josh Howell

President and Executive Team Leader
Lean Enterprise Institute

Joshua Howell is president and executive team leader at the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI). For over a decade, he has supported individuals and organizations with lean transformations for improved business performance. As a coach, he helps people become lean thinkers and practitioners through experiential learning, believing such an approach can lead to enterprise-wide improvement. Regular e-letters […]

Karen Gaudet Headshot

Karen Gaudet

Senior Coach, Lean Enterprise Institute

Karen has over 30 years of experience leading, training, and developing the capability of team members and executives in rapid-growth environments. Most recently, she’s coached clients in various industries as they adopt lean thinking and practices. They include Microsoft (data center construction), Legal Seafood (hospitality); TriMark (distribution); Abiomed (medical research and device manufacturing), and the […]

Daniel Jones

Dan Jones

Founder and Chairman of the Lean Enterprise Academy in the U.K., Daniel T. Jones is a senior advisor to the Lean Enterprise Institute, management thought leader, and mentor on applying lean process thinking to every type of business. He is the author with James P. Womack of the influential and popular management books that describe […]

Alice Lee Headshot

Alice Lee

Senior Lean Coach

Continuous improvement leader and coach. Her responsibilities include:​ Lee served as vice president and special assistant to the president for business transformation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a major teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, from 2004 to 2014. During that time, she approached problems holistically, collaborating with senior leaders, doctors, nurses, and staff, to design care […]

Jim Morgan

Jim Morgan

Senior Advisor
Lean Enterprise Institute

Jim is a senior advisor at Lean Enterprise Institute and a board member at Adrian Steel. He has a unique blend of industry leadership experience and rigorous scholarship, which he draws upon to improve organizational performance at a select group of companies.  Jim’s most recent industry experience was as Chief Operating Officer at Rivian, an electric […]

Mark Reich Headshot

Mark Reich

Senior Coach and Chief Engineer, Strategy
Lean Enterprise Institute

During his extensive career, Mark has led lean transformations and coached executives in various companies and business sectors. Clients include GE Appliances and Ingersoll Rand (manufacturers); Michigan Medicine and Mt. Sinai (healthcare systems); Turner Construction; Kroger (retail); Legal Seafood (hospitality); and Microsoft (software).   As LEI’s chief engineer, strategy, Mark leads the development of new learning […]

John Shook

John Shook

Senior Advisor, Lean Enterprise Institute

John Shook learned about lean management while working for Toyota for 11 years in Japan and the U.S., helping it transfer production, engineering, and management systems from Japan to NUMMI and other operations around the world. While at Toyota’s headquarters, he became the company’s first American kacho (manager) in Japan. In the U.S., Shook joined […]

James Womak Headshot

James (Jim) Womack, PhD

Founder and Senior Advisor
Lean Enterprise Institute

Widely considered the father of the lean movement, Womack has been talking and publishing about creating value through continuous innovation around deep customer understanding for many years. In the late eighties, he and Dan Jones led MIT’s International Motor Vehicle Research Program (IMVP), which introduced the term “lean” to describe Toyota’s revolutionary management system. Based […]

Lex Schroeder

Lex Schroeder

Lex Schroeder is a strategy and operations leader/writer breaking open new conversations about the future of work. A longtime editor in the systems thinking community, she has led strategic initiatives at The Lean Enterprise Institute and The Berkana Institute. In 2015, she served as Founding Editor and Co-Lead of The Lean Post at She also […]

Lynn Kelley

Lynn Kelley

Senior Advisor, BBH Capital Partners
Retired Senior Vice President, Supply Chain and Continuous Improvement, Union Pacific Railroad

Following a career highlighted by leadership roles in engineering, supply chain, continuous improvement, and quality in various industries, including healthcare, academia, and manufacturing, Kelley retired from Union Pacific Railroad in 2018. Now serving as a senior advisor to BBH Capital Partners, she assists in sourcing, investment evaluation, transaction execution, and providing post-investment value-added oversight to […]

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