First Global Learning Lean Summit

With the school exam results season out of the way, it’s timely to remind our community of our annual event that we’ve organised with the Chester Learning Trust.

Why a Summit focussing on capability and learning? 
Organisations trying to use lean thinking typically go through a number of phases. Most start with tools and techniques, looking primarily at processes. The approach has some success, but often sustaining improvements is difficult. In searching for a better way, the next phase sees organisations attempt to address and understand lean management. Those that have done this know it is also challenging – particularly if both customer and organisational purpose are poorly defined, processes are ill defined to the purpose and people are not aligned across the organisation.

As experiments have taken place that have led to each of these stages it has become clear that lean thinking is a learning system. So, perhaps it’s time to explore and make the processes that are designed to develop capability as visible as the tools and techiques many lean thinkers use in their process improvement efforts?

What’s On?
To do this we’ve put together one of the best line-ups we’ve ever had at our Summits. Highlights include world renown expert John Shook, our own Dan Jones as well as Oriol Cuatrecasas who has been doing amazing work in both traditional environments for lean and a diverse range of environments such as retail coffee shops, hospitals and hotels. We’ve also decided to go outside the lean community too – Planet Lean readers will have been introduced to Priya Lakhani, Founder and CEO of Century Tech and we have a host of talks and workshops from the Chester Learning Trust, the first lean school in the UK, who have been applying Lean Thinking and Practice in secondary schools for the last 5 years. This is, after all a Summit about learning and capability development!

We’ve also been learning a lot in our research at LEA. I will share some of that learning and we’ve asked Mike Moore to explain more about lean apps and low code/no code – interestingly we had lots of our community ask us questions about its relevance in lean thinking, but those that heard the Halfway case and Mike’s explanation at our 2018 event were left in no doubt that this research is at the cutting edge of lean thinking. We’ve also been trying to find great cases that fit with the theme. Dan and I visited Bentley back in May and were so impressed with what we saw, we’ve asked Chris Perry to share their story with you.

How will you take part?
For 2019, we’ve changed the event format. We know how much lean thinkers like to “go and see” so we’ve developed two Experiential Sessions where you can go to the workplace and an experiential session (with live skype links.) The first of these is at Toyota’s Deeside engine facility. However this isn’t a standard tour. Instead, we’ve asked the folks at Toyota’s Lean Management Centre to share the secret of how they develop capability! I’m delighted Toyota has agreed to do this for us. It’s not to be missed if you are interested in developing your own lean capability. The second gemba is a visit to The Chester Learning Trust. Here you’ll see how they have been applying lean thinking to education. Staff will explain what it means for the organisation and them professionally, but (probably most importantly) you’ll hear from the pupils about the impact lean thinking has had on them.

In addition to the experiential workplace sessions you can choose between 10 ninety-five minute workshops on a diverse range of topics and attend 5 keynote presentations.

Each year customers tell us that our Summit is the not to be missed Lean event of the year for any leader, senior manager or lean practitioner wanting to transform and or sustain the gains from their lean efforts. This year, our partners in the conference – The Chester Learning Trust – have developed a microsite for the event. You can find out more about the programme and reserve your place at and you can book a place on our website: We look forward to seeing you in October.

P.S. On Wednesday October 23rd there are 3 great Pre-Summit Masterclasses for you to attend.

P.P.S. Be sure to book early for the gemba tours – they will be done on a first come, first served basis and are limited. I expect both the Toyota tour and The Chester School tour to sell out.