Executive Forum: Developing Lean Leaders: Start with Yourself with Dr. Jeff Liker

Date:   Wednesday, February 24th

Time:   10:00am – 3:00pm

Loc:     XPO (formerly Con-way Enterprise Services), Ballroom, 2055 NW Savier St., Portland, OR

Cost:    $250 per person

Other: Lunch will be served.  Dress code is business casual.

Session Description:  Companies around the world boast about the results they have achieved from their lean programs. Yet despite all the lean projects that have been implemented over the past two decades, no company in any industry in the world has attained the same level of consistent operational excellence in its field as Toyota. What are these companies missing? The answer is leadership with the right skills and knowledge to teach and coach others to use a disciplined approach to process improvement. The disciplined approach is the scientific mindset based on Plan-Do-Check-Act.

This Executive Forum overview session uses examples from Toyota to illustrate the patient, painstaking growth process of leaders from developing themselves, to developing others, to leading daily kaizen, and finally, maturing to aligning goals from top to bottom and sideways using hoshin kanri (policy deployment). To learn the complex skill set to be a lean leader requires a clear definition of skills and daily practice.

This deeper dive will show how to create leaders that succeed in changing themselves to lead, teach, and coach others on the long-term journey to continuous improvement, as well as how to get employees on point and on mission.


  • Learn the meaning: Understand Lean Leaders as Teachers and Coaches of Continuous Improvement
  • Learn how to do it: Understand what you and your team will need to change in your current roles, and the daily practice routines needed to successfully lead a Lean transformation
  • Learn how to keep it: Understand how to create management systems and infrastructure that engage team members at all levels in a rigorous problem solving and continuous improvement process


Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker is the Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan and President of Liker Lean Advisors. He is author of the international best-seller, The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer, 2004 (26 languages, over 850,000 copies sold), and has coauthored seven other books about Toyota, including Toyota Culture and The Toyota Product Development System. His most recent books are: The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership (2011) and Developing Lean Leaders at all Levels: A Practical Guide (2014). His articles and books have won eleven Shingo Prizes for Research Excellence. In 2012 Dr. Liker was inducted into the Association of Manufacturing Excellence Hall of Fame.

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