Planet Lean: The Official online magazine of the Lean Global Network
Lean around the clock

Lean around the clock

John Shook
November 25, 2021

FEATURE – With one of the biggest lean events of the year just four days away, John Shook tells you why you should participate and what you can expect.

Words: John Shook, Senior Advisor, Lean Global Network

You may know that for quite some time I have been Chair of the Lean Global Network. You probably do not know that, each autumn, participants from the 32 nations of the Lean Global Network gather somewhere in the world to share what we’ve tried and learned over the past year and what we’d like to try and learn in the year ahead. Each autumn, that is, until 2020 when the pandemic hit.

So, some months ago, as we anticipated missing yet another gathering of fun and learning, we asked, “Isn’t there something we can do this year?“ An obvious if audacious answer emerged: let’s use the skills we’ve acquired working virtually to conduct a global summit. And then two not-so-obvious ideas followed: let’s follow the sun and conduct it over 24 hours (yikes!), and let’s open it up to anyone free of charge. Sure, why not?

Join us next week (starting Monday November 29, 2:00PM GMT) for an around the world, around the clock event. You’ll find presenters/discussants from almost 30 countries and be joined by over 5,000 colleagues from almost 100 (yep, that’s right) countries. Here are some of the topics:

  • Healthcare – as the sector in the middle of the pandemic transforms itself.
  • Hospitality, services, and the food industry find themselves transformed.
  • Digital Transformation, where Agile meets Lean Thinking.
  • Product and Process Development – the discipline that can make such a difference when infused with lean thinking.
  • Supply Chain – no, JIT isn’t the problem!
  • Sustainability – yes, lean does equal green, or it should.
  • Novel approaches to applying Lean Thinking & Practice in construction, agriculture, mining, processing, and others.
  • Organization transformation, including strategy and culture change.
  • The questions and thinking of an effective Lean Transformation Framework.
  • Book discussions.
  • Quizzes and prizes, including books and (believe it or not) an all local-expenses paid vacation at DREAMPLACE, the lean thinking luxury hotel in the Canary Islands! (Thank you, friends at DREAMPLACE!)

Go to to read more about the event and to register. You’ll find a “stage” (kind of a main track) and multiple “sessions” (parallel sessions).  Join the fun whenever and as much or as little as you wish. And think about how you can contribute to help us make it better next year!

Here is my (incomplete) summary of what you can expect:

  • Digital Revolution: Nigel Thurlow and Nigel Dalton (the “two lean and agile Nigels”, from the United States and Australia respectively) will dissect the intersections of Lean and Agile. Marie-Pia Ignace, Flavio Picchi, and Prof Tomasz Koch, among others, will bring case studies and practical examples from France (including Fabrice Bernhard, co-founder and CTO of Theodo), Poland, Brazil (Cesar Gon founder/CEO of CI&T), and other countries.
  • The Machine That’s Changing the World…Again: Jim Womack, Dan Jones, Jim Morgan and José Ferro explore the wild world of mobility in the 2020s.
  • Healthcare Transformed: How countries around the globe are coping, learning, and improving in a permanently changed world: practitioners from healthcare organizations from around the world – including Argentina (Dr. Javier Sala, Vice CMO and COO of Instituto Modelo in Córdoba), Brazil (Dr. Fred Pinto, CEO of Instituto de Oncologia do Vale), the United States (Kiame Mahaniah CEO, Kimberly Eng COO and Alice Lee of Lynn Community Health Center; Joe Mari of Mt. Sinai in NYC), Australia (Jane Evans of St. Vincent’s Health, David Plunkett, CEO of Eastern Health), Spain (Olga Farré, Consorci Sanitari Alt Penedes i Garraf), South Africa (Samantha Allen), Susan Moffatt-Bruce CEO, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and others.
  • Exiting the pandemic with better jobs with Sarah Kallach of the Good Jobs Institute.
  • Reducing clinical trial lead-time to tackle the pandemic at Roche, with Andrea Flores and others.
  • Social and technical system integration for more effective transformation – a case study of improvement from Stanford Children’s Health presented Dr. Dan Murphy, Jonaelle Lucas, Denise Bennett and Dr. Terry Platchek, with commentary by Prof Edgar Schein and myself.
  • Making sense of the supply chain mess and the relevance of Just-In-Time – a discussion with Michael Ballé, Christoph Roser and Dave Brunt.
  • Supply chain risk mediation at Novo Nordisk with Livia Santos Oliveria Morais.
  • Food and Hospitality – How Lean Thinking is being used to revolutionize hospitality industries, with Rich Vellante (former Executive Chef of Legal Sea Foods), senior leaders from Spain-based Dreamplace Hotels, and LGNers Oriol Cuatrecasas and Josh Howell.
  • Toyota ForkLift Italy will share their "Dantotsu” radical quality improvement process.
  • Culture change will be a topic of many discussions, both implicitly as well as explicitly by Mike Hoseus
  • Live from Japan: join me and Waku as we explore the cultural context of the birth of Lean Thinking.
  • Using Lean Product and Process Development to invent radically better futures with Politecnico di Milano Professor Monica Rossi, Ph.D., and LPPD coaches Katrina Appell PhD. and John Drogosz, Ph.D.
  • How Lean Product Development is being taught and used via university and industry partnership in Taiwan, with Professor Yu-Hsiu Hung (Josh), Botrista CEO Sea Hsu, and myself.
  • Building problem solving culture at Nestle in Columbia with Strategy manager Maria Fernanda Avellaneda Prieto.
  • Target State Thinking at an auto aftermarket supplier with Jean Claude Duthe, Robert Bruce and Tuff Tonneaus in Melbourne.
  • Kata for call center improvement in Colombia, with Jacqueline Mora of Schneider.
  • Human Resources Management in the lean enterprise – the Jaguar Land Rover case study, presented by Meryem Inan.
  • Lifelong learning – connecting university to workplace, with Arthur Poh and Dr. Angelina Tan of the Singapore Institute of Technology.
  • Lean applied to a Charity, with COO Michael Duggan of Orange Sky Laundry in Australia.
  • Lean and sustainability, with Kelly Singer and others.
  • Transformation examples in mining (Efem Cukuru Gold Mine Turkey), manufacturing (Coloplast in Hungary), laboratory services (Eurofins in France), call centers (Schneider in Chile), restaurants (in Vladivostok, Russia), and data center construction (Microsoft in the USA).
  • Groundbreaking research: Professor Arnaldo Camuffo of Bocconi University in Milan will share his in-depth analysis of the impact of applying PDCA rigorously on over 500 startups, while Dr. Boaz Tamir of Israel will take the audience through his immersive action research with startups.
  • A variety of new books will be discussed, including: Welcome Problems, Find Success (Nate Furuta), The Toyota Way of Dantotsu Radical Quality Improvement (Sadao Nomura), Lean Houses for Dragons (Sharon Visser), The Sensei Way at Work (Dan Prock), Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn (Katie Anderson), The Flow System (Nigel Thurlow), The Power of Process (Zayko and Ethington), All About Pull (Chris Roser), Steady Work (Karen Gaudet), Upgrade (forthcoming by Oriol Cuatrecasas and others).
  • Not to forget, Oriol Cuatrecasas will teach you the standardized work to make the best mojito you’ve ever had!
  • And much more…

A special side-track will share the thinking and process of a Lean Transformation Framework – a situational approach to apply lean thinking and practice to address any problem, advance to any target condition, do any job. This detailed learning session – led by the Lean Enterprise Academy of the United Kingdom – will explore enterprise and personal transformation via structured, yet flexible LTF questions, the result of FMEA analysis of transformation efforts over 25 years.

The LGC 2021 is an experiment. We will use the most critical element of lean thinking and practice – PDCA – to reflect on what happened, what we learned, and what we can do together with the community to make the experience even more enriching in 2022.”

Join us and thousands of practitioners at the Lean Global Connection next week and be part of one of the biggest lean events of the year! Register for free here.


John Shook photo
John Shook is Chairman of the Lean Global Network

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