Speakers at the UK Lean Summit 2008

Below you will find biographies for the speakers of the Lean Summit 2008 in order of appearance.


Daniel Jones - Chairman, Lean Enterprise Academy Limited

Dan Jones

Daniel Jones is a management thought leader and advisor on applying lean, process thinking pioneered by Toyota to every type of business across the world. He is the founding Chairman of the Lean Enterprise Academy www.leanuk.org in the UK, dedicated to pushing forward the frontiers of lean thinking and helping others with its implementation. His work has inspired the very successful implementation of lean by Tesco and many other companies.

He is the author with James P Womack of the influential, best-selling management books - The Machine that Changed the World, and Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Organisation - which describe the principles and practice of lean thinking in production. Their latest book Lean Solutions: How Companies and Customers can Create Value and Wealth Together extends these ideas to consumption, provision and service delivery.

These books have triggered a worldwide movement of lean practitioners and the establishment of the Lean Global Network of Lean Institutes (including the Lean Enterprise Academy) which teach lean locally and have organised over 25 Lean Summits in the USA, UK, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, France, Holland, Denmark, Poland, Turkey, Israel, South Africa, India, China and Australia.

Frits Nygaard - Senior Advisor, DI Confederation of Danish Industries, Denmark

Frits Nygaard
Previously Director of Production at Radiometer when it was taken over by the Danaher Corporation

After the acquisition of Radiometer by Danaher in 2004, I implemented the Danaher Business System in operation; which is implementing and stabilizing a lean platform. It was completed in 2 years. From 2006 we worked on developing a lean culture controlling and managing all operation activities at daily board meetings at the shop floor. I left Radiometer in 2007, 3½ years in the lean journey of the company.

Jim Womack - Founder and Senior Advisor, Lean Enterprise Institute

Jim Womack

Management expert James P. Womack, Ph.D., is the founder and senior advisor to the Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc., a nonprofit training, publishing, conference, and management research company chartered in August 1997 to advance a set of ideas known as lean production and lean thinking, based initially on Toyota’s business system and now being extended to an entire lean management system.

The intellectual basis for the Cambridge, MA-based Institute is described in a series of books and articles co-authored by Womack and Daniel Jones over the past 20 years. The most widely known books are: The Machine That Changed the World(Macmillan/Rawson Associates, 1990), Lean Thinking (Simon & Schuster, 1996), Lean Solutions (Simon & Schuster, 2005), andSeeing The Whole Value Stream (Lean Enterprise Institute, 2011). Articles include: "From Lean Production to the Lean Enterprise" (Harvard Business Review, March-April, 1994), "Beyond Toyota: How to Root Out Waste and Pursue Perfection" (Harvard Business Review, September-October, 1996), “Lean Consumption” (Harvard Business Review, March-April, 2005).

Womack received a B.A. in political science from the University of Chicago in 1970, a master's degree in transportation systems from Harvard in 1975, and a Ph.D. in political science from MIT in 1982 (for a dissertation on comparative industrial policy in the U.S., Germany, and Japan). During the period 1975-1991, he was a full-time research scientist at MIT directing a series of comparative studies of world manufacturing practices. As research director of MIT’s International Motor Vehicle Program, Womack led the research team that coined the term “lean production” to describe Toyota’s business system.

Womack served as the Institute's chairman and CEO from 1997 until 2010 when he was succeeded by John Shook.

Takashi Tanaka - Senior Business Consultant, QV System

Takashi Tanaka

Takashi Tanaka helped develop the visual-based product development process at Toyota Motor Company at 1990’s while dramatically shortening their development time. This process is now the standard inside Toyota. Takashi went on to implement it in Europe and North America in over 35 installations including automotive, construction, electronics, fashion, chemical, and consumer product industries.

Takashi formed QV System in 2004 and is its Founder and Principle Consultant (QV-System.com). He currently works with clients in the US and Europe. His experience and deep ties within Toyota allow him to help his clients understand and apply the latest thinking and innovations.

John Shook - CEO, Lean Enterprise Institute

John Shook

John Shook is recognized as a true sensei who enthusiastically shares his knowledge and insights within the Lean Community and with those who have not yet made the lean leap.

Shook learned about lean management while working for Toyota for nearly 11 years in Japan and the U.S., helping it transfer production, engineering, and management systems from Japan to NUMMI and subsequently to 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 Toyota’s North American engineering, research and development center in Ann Arbor, MI, as general manager of administration and planning. His last position with Toyota was as senior American manager with the Toyota Supplier Support Center in Lexington, KY, assisting North American companies implement the Toyota Production System. As co-author of Learning to See John helped introduce the world to value-stream mapping. John also co-authored Kaizen Express, a bi-lingual manual of the essential concepts and tools of the Toyota Production System. In his latest book Managing to Learn, he describes the A3 management process at the heart of lean management and leadership.

Shook is an industrial anthropologist with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii, and is a graduate of the Japan-America Institute of Management Science. He is the former director of the University of Michigan, Japan Technological Management Program, and faculty of the university’s Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering.

He is the author of “Toyota’s Secret: The A3 Report”; Sloan Management Review, July 2010; “How to Change a Culture: Lessons from NUMMI”; Sloan Management Review, January 2010. Shook is a sought-after conference keynoter who has been interviewed on lean management by National Public Radio, Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous trade publications.

Pascal Dennis - Principal, Lean Productivity Systems, USA

Pascal Dennis
Previously worked at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada and author of Andy and Me and Getting the Right Things Done

Pascal Dennis has a background in Health, Safety & Environmental management, Quality, Finance, Human Resources, and Strategic Planning. He currently works as Manager of Health & Safety, Manager HR at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, has supported several model launches & continuous plant expansion, and worked with lean masters in North America and Japan.

He has been in the business of consulting and training lean concepts for four years and is an expert in Policy Deployment, A3 Thinking, Visual Management; Kaizen & Problem Solving; Lean Transformation; Lean System Development, Human Resources.

Pascal has hands on experience through work with The Ford Motor Company, Eastman Kodak, and Delphi Automotive and has received recognitions for his work - ASQ Quality Golden Quill 1997, OSH Award for Professional Achievement 1998, Nominated for Shingo Award 2003.

His books include Andy & Me, Lean Production Simplified – a plain language guide to the world’s most powerful production system, Quality, Safety & Environment – Synergy in the 21st Century

Stephen Parry - Thought Leader in Lean Enterprise Architect., See Business Differently

Stephen Parry - See Business Differently
Author "Sense and Respond"

Stephen Parry’s career in service centre operations spans over 15 years, during which time he has been responsible for building and operating large scale international call centres in various sectors; IT Services, Retail Direct-Marketing and Financial Services.

He has extensive experience in the areas of customer service strategy, proposition development, organisational development, business process alignment, technology introduction, change and turnaround management.

Most recent role was Head of European Strategy and Operational Development for Fujitsu. In 2001 he was awarded both the European Call Centre of the Year award for Innovation and Creativity, and the European Call Centre of the Year award for best people development program.

In 2002 he took Fujitsu to the finals of the UK National Business awards for Customer Focus and they became winners of the 2003 National Business Awards for the Best Customer Service Strategy.

René Aernoudts - Chairman, Lean Management Instituut

LMI1 Rene Liggendblauwlogo

Drs. René Aernoudts heads the Dutch Lean Management Instituut in Zeist, The Netherlands, which he founded in February 2004. The Dutch Intitute spreads Lean Thinking in all Dutch speaking countries.

Before founding the Lean Management Instituut René Aernoudts was one of the managing directors of a consulting firm for almost 8 years, specialising in Lean. After graduating at Erasmus University in Rotterdam he became a lecturer at two Business Schools. He then worked in Logistics at the Flower Acution before starting his consulting career.

René Aernoudts assisted over 120 companies in their Lean journey, both in manufacturing, process and service organisations, and together with his team at LMI he published books on Lean in Dutch and he runs Lean summits, workshops and projects for Dutch and international organisations all over the world. René is one of the four members of the Executive Committee of the Lean Global Network, European Regional leader and leads several international projects. He is the founder of http://www.planet-lean.com. Planet Lean is the official online publication of Lean Global Network, launched in February 2014 with the aim to share the knowledge on lean thinking and practice gained by LGN’s 17 institutes around the world, their partners and customers.

Dave Brunt - Chief Executive, Lean Enterprise Academy Limited

Photo David Brunt

David Brunt is Chief Executive at the Lean Enterprise Academy. The academy is dedicated to pushing forward the frontiers of lean thinking and helping others with its implementation. He is the co-author of “Creating Lean Dealers – The lean route to satisfied customers, productive employees and profitable retailers.”

David helps firms making a lean transformation. He conducts public workshops at the Lean Enterprise Academy and develops and delivers bespoke in-house workshops for firms. In addition David mentors firms making a lean transformation. He has walked and mapped over 300 value streams in both manufacturing and service sectors in businesses such as steel production, vehicle and component assembly, FMCG, retailing and banking and financial services.

David has been both applying and researching lean since 1990. He spent over three and a half years as the Porsche Verbessrungs Process (PVP – Porsche Improvement Process) Manager at Porsche Cars Great Britain and carried out work to develop lean in after sales, used car processing and parts operations as well as conducting a number of other business process improvement projects at dealer and national sales company level. His work on lean dealer operations formed the basis for several chapters in James P. Womack and Daniel Jones’ book, Lean Solutions, and his work has been implemented successfully by GFS, the “lean dealer” example in the book.

Prior to his work at Porsche, David was Senior Research Associate working for Daniel Jones at the Lean Enterprise Research Centre at Cardiff University Business School. There he was involved in a number of research projects:

  • The Lean Processing Programme (LEAP), a three-year initiative focused on mapping steel to component value streams to identify significant gains in competitive advantage for the UK upstream automotive industry.
  • Lean projects with individual firms to research and apply Lean Thinking outside the automotive industry in areas such as FMCG and non-automotive based manufacturing.
  • The International Car Distribution Programme (ICDP), the world’s leading co-operative research programme into the future of car distribution and retailing. Research focussed on the application of Lean Thinking to car distribution and car dealerships.

David has written a number of reports and publications including “Supply Chain Management And The British Metals Industry” for The Metals Industry Competitive Enterprise (MICE) and the books “Manufacturing Operations and Supply Chain Management – The Lean Approach” with David Taylor (2001) and “Creating Lean Dealers – the lean route to satisfied customers, productive employees and profitable retailers” with John Kiff (2007.)

David’s career started in the automotive industry at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars where he held a number of roles in the fields of Purchasing, Supplier Development, Quality and Customer Service.

He holds a Masters in Business Administration specialising in Supply Chain Management from Cardiff Business School.

Alan Mitchell - Co Founder, Mydex and Ctrl-Shift

Alan Mitchell (1)

Alan Mitchell is founder of the Buyer Centric Commerce Forum (www.rightsideup.net) and the infomediary service Mydex (www.Mydex.org). Alan is author of Right Side Up and The New Bottom Line. He writes regularly for the Financial Times and other publications such as Marketing Week and is Managing Editor of the International Commerce Review.

Alex Cheatle - CEO, Ten, UK

Alex Cheatle

An entrepreneur who turned a concierge service into a problem solving business