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Learn from the original Improvement Kata researchers, Oct. 16–18, 2012, at Lean Enterprise Institute
(LEI: Cambridge, MA) -- As you know, it’s difficult to achieve continuous improvement. Lean efforts generate many successes, but not so many sustained ones. Lean projects tend to rely on dedicated lean experts, and when they turn their attention to the next improvement project, the one just completed degrades. Overall improvement progress is slow, the cultural change to continuous improvement doesn’t happen, and we fail to tap the creative capability of the wider workforce.
The program, “Improvement Kata/Coaching Kata,” which is based on research by Mike Rother and his book, Toyota Kata (McGraw-Hill, 2010), shows you how to make improvement more sustainable and continuous. A key to creating a lean culture—where improvement occurs on a daily basis—involves moving away from a project approach led by lean staff, to an everyday activity coached by line managers. The Improvement Kata/Coaching Kata program focuses specifically on what leaders and managers need to do to make that happen.
Lean tools are valid and necessary, but the kata approach provides the context for how these tools are applied, and is what generates more scientific and systematic improvement involving more associates. By practicing the pattern of the Improvement Kata, many people learn and become engaged in the process of improvement, adaptation, and innovation. This is a particularly good source of sustained competitive advantage.
Although the seminal ideas in this course were uncovered through research in manufacturing settings, the applications are applicable to all domains of human endeavor.
We see the attendees of this program as the “scouts” or “advance group” in their organizations. By learning from the original Improvement Kata researchers and key practitioners, attendees will be better equipped to plan, monitor, and fine-tune their organization’s improvement kata teaching/coaching approach.
The workshop will be held at the Lean Enterprise Institute, on Oct. 16–18, 2012, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The price, $2,400, includes all participant materials, breakfast, lunch, and snacks each day. Register here. For more information on the program, click here.
Mike Rother is co-author of two groundbreaking Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) workbooks, Learning to See: Value-Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate Muda (LEI, 1999), which received a Shingo Research Award in 1999; and Creating Continuous Flow (LEI, 2001), which received a Shingo Award in 2003. He co-developed the accompanying Training to See kit that teaches facilitators how to run value-stream mapping workshops. His latest book is Toyota Kata (McGraw-Hill, 2010). Rother is an engineer, researcher, teacher, consultant, and speaker on the subjects of management, leadership, improvement, adaptability, and change in human organizations. His affiliations have included the Industrial Technology Institute, the University of Michigan College of Engineering, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation, and the Technical University Dortmund. Rother began his career in the manufacturing division of Thyssen AG in Germany. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Cologne, Germany.
Elizabeth Carrington is an independent consultant who works with client advance groups on their Toyota kata management-routine learning, practice, and deployment. Since 1999, Carrington has been leading organizations in lean implementation, and has helped a diverse group of clients. Carrington has more than 20 years’ experience in leadership roles in the personal care, furniture, and automotive industries. She is an instructor of Toyota kata at the University of Michigan and at LEI.
William Costantino was one of the first employees at Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky, auto plant, where he worked as a group leader for seven years. He has subsequently worked for the last 17 years as an independent consultant, supporting companies making the transition to more lean ways of operating. He has consulted extensively across a wide range of clients in diverse industries. For the last two years, he has been collaborating closely with Mike Rother; together they have developed and now co-lead the three-day professional development workshop with the University of Michigan, teaching the underlying philosophy and critical routines of the Toyota kata approach to management. Constantino is also an LEI Toyota Kata instructor.