The Lean Management System

Date: Monday, October 23rd
Time: 8AM-4PM
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Fee: $925*

Presented By:

Kathi Hanley

Session Abstract:

Often in a Lean transformation there is a focus on the processes and artifacts that we have come to associate with Lean. Strategy Deployment, Value Stream Mapping, Standardized Work, TWI, Visual Management, Flow, Waste Identification, etc.  are all critical. However, on their own we have observed that they do not constitute a sustainable continuously improving environment. More recently there has been increasing awareness and an influx of information on the coaching methodologies of Lean thinking leaders. While this represents a core element of a Lean thinking culture, the coaching and problem solving methods that Lean leaders utilize are difficult to sustain and propagate in an environment where the management system encourages a different behavior. There may be dedicated leaders coaching continual improvement in an exceptional manner through hard work, passion, and skill. However traditional organizations are structurally designed in a manner that imposes a head wind that will ultimately erode sustainability and continual improvement. Utilizing the elements of the Lean Management System to identify and close gaps will remove those opposing forces and encourage the adoption and growth of a broad based collaborative problem solving culture. This is the precursor to transforming an organization where individual learning exists into one where organizational learning capturing the minds of the many is predominant mode.


There are six elements to the Lean Management System that interact with one another to create the context within which everyone every day can come together to identify and solve problems. This all-inclusive collaborative problem solving model is the key characteristic that separates Lean from all other process improvement methodologies.  It simply can’t exist for long in the wrong management environment for very long.

We have learned since the early days of Lean adoption in the United States the simple model of repetitive Kaizen does not work to transform a culture.   We have surveyed thousands of people who have actively tried this approach and almost universally found it to be costly and ineffective. Through those years we have learned the steps to transformation that provides the framework for understanding what has to be considered in developing an effective transformation plan that is specifically targeted to the unique attributes of your organization. While no two transformations are alike they all have to consider the same components in their planning or risk backsliding along the way.

Learning Objectives:

“In this session you will learn…”

  • What is the construct for characterizing and contrasting various management systems?
  • What are the elements of a Lean Management System?
  • How do the elements build upon one another and ultimately create a synergy that encourages sustainability and continual improvement?
  • What are the key elements to consider in designing a transformation plan?

About the Facilitator:

Kathi Hanley is the unique people-centered Lean expert that has actually “been there” and understands the depth of change that must happen in an organization to successfully drive improvement. Kathi combines her knowledge of Lean gleaned from thirteen years at Toyota, consulting experience with Fortune 500 companies, and executive officer experience at Carpenter Technology Corporation. This combination of experience means that Kathi has actually done it, not just talked about it.
Kathi began her career as a social worker with a BS from the University of Kentucky. She brings this knowledge of social systems and basic human motivation to the development of effective culture change strategies. Kathi arrived on the scene at Toyota Motoring Manufacturing in Georgetown, KY during their start-up of operations in North America. Her responsibilities at Toyota included Quality Control, Human Resource Development, Organization Development, and Strategic Planning. Kathi also worked closely with the most senior levels of management in the creation of a curriculum for incoming leaders who were not yet experienced in Toyota’s management system and its requisite Lean leadership methods and behaviors.
Serving in her role as Senior Vice President of Organization Effectiveness for Carpenter Technology Corp. (NYSE:CRS), she had global functional responsibility for Human Resources, Safety, Information Technology, Lean, and Asset Protection for this $1.8 Billion company. Her efforts at Carpenter contributed to a 12% reduction of SG&A costs as well as a $20 million reduction in inventory.
Kathi subsequently began consulting in order to share her experience and insight with top executives and help them formulate and deploy effective strategies that leverage Lean, human resource systems, and corporate best practices.
As a senior advisor to the executive group, Kathi was instrumental in the development of a quality effectiveness improvement strategy for Ford Motor Company in 2006 entitled The Way Forward.
Currently, Kathi is a Murli Group Senior People Systems Coach. Her practice encompasses HR systems, lean leadership behaviors, and problem solving for every level. In her role, Kathi conducts research in order to maintain the organization’s curriculum at the leading edge of thought in the field and helps ensure consistent execution across the organization.


*NOTE: This workshop is run in affiliation with the Lean Leadership Week, which includes the Lean People Development Summit and Lean Accounting/Management Summit. You are not required to attend the Summit to participate in this workshop. Simply select only the workshop, and not the Summit, when registering.