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Leadership & Hoshin Kanri

Lean/TPM Knowledge

Productivity, Inc. is out and about, sharing our message of Operational Excellence, Innovation, and Leadership Development throughout the Lean community. Productivity’s Catherine Converset, Senior Partner and Lean Master, joined forces with Bill Maxwell, President of Bill Maxwell and Associates, to present on the topic of “Lean into Leading: How to integrate Leadership with the Best of Lean”

Lean Strategy

Catherine’s deep understanding and practical experience guiding executive leadership teams to build Lean strategy and execute Lean transformation in the manufacturing as well as the service sector, coupled with Bill’s experience as a highly successful assessment coach and author on Servant Leadership, made them the ideal team for this talk on change and leadership.

The Lean Leader

The idea behind Catherine and Bill’s presentation was simply – leaders need a new perspective on lean! The presentation focused on what the role of an influential Lean Leader looks like, and was structured to help leaders see the power of Lean transformation and how it allows them to significantly benefit not only their organizations, but their personal and professional development as well.

Lean is often associated with various CI project-based initiatives/activities; Catherine and Bill talked from the perspective that Lean is a way of doing things and of behaving every day, and it’s Leadership’s role to be engaged with those doing the work by:

  1. uniting the elements of Lean to facilitate culture change and the CI mindset shift
  2. creating conditions for empowerment so people become engaged and are motivated to share ideas and feedback
  3. making activities, flows, and performance visible, so all of these, in turn, can be improved


Key objectives for Leaders included learning how:

  1. the value stream improvement process goes beyond building maps
  2. to lead teams by creating an understanding of the current state and a shared vision of the ideal future state
  3. to effectively connect organizational objectives to Lean efforts to achieve the best practical results
  4. to establish leader standard work routines at all organization levels

In addition to the Lean into Leading session, Catherine Converset also delivered a 75 minute presentation entitled, “Hoshin Kanri (Policy or Strategy Deployment), Key Pillar of a Lean Management System. This talk was designed for leaders in organizations interested in creating a culture that embraces continuous improvement, provides a sense of purpose, and builds alignment between all functions. Learning points included:

  1. How to monitor progress using the PDCA Cycle: a process improvement cycle that ensures strategic plans are standardized and continuously monitored and improved (using KPI’s and Visual Controls)
  2. Creating the Plan Using the X-Matrix: a structured way to help managers at each level make the link between cause and effect / results and actions
  3. The Catchball Process: as plans are deployed to the next level the Catchball process allows communication to ensure the best possible alignment

Interested in learning how you can develop lean leaders? Take advantage of these options! Bring us on-site for a more customized solution. Call (800.966.5423) or email us ( for details.