Lean Frontiers Virtual Lean Leadership Week - Lean Frontiers - Be Bold. Be Better.

Inspiring Keynotes: Live September 14

Join us LIVE for inspirational keynote presentations to kick off more than a week of Lean Leadership Week sessions. You’ll be given the opportunity to ask probing questions of our experienced lean leaders. Tune in on Monday, September 14 at 12:00-4:00PM EDT for inspiration and direction.

Our panel of Keynoters…

Leading a Lean Culture across Generations
Mike & Ben Hoseus

Most everyone in the 21st century has heard the debate about the challenge of engaging their workforce – especially millennials. Organizations embarking on a Lean journey can become frustrated with the challenges of developing their people to make impactful and sustainable improvements.  Team members, especially millennials, are searching for more – having a clearly articulated purpose, working as part of a team, being fully engaged, seeing a clear development path, and feeling fulfilled through their job experience rather than solely financial incentives. The answer to this problem is simple, yet not easy. It is found by fostering a culture of continuous improvement with the purpose, people, and processes aligned to cultivate continuous problem-solving.

About the Facilitators:

Mike Hoseus is Executive Director for the Center for Quality People & Organizations (CQPO). Mike Hoseus brings both manufacturing operations and specialization in Human Resource experience to CQPO. CQPO is an organization developed in 1999 as a vision of Toyota Motor Manufacturing to share Lean Quality philosophy and human resource practices with education, business, and community organizations. Mike is co-author with Dr. Jeffery Liker (Author of the Toyota Way) of Toyota Culture.

Prior to CQPO, Mike was a corporate leader for 13 years at Toyota Motor Manufacturing’s Georgetown, Kentucky, plant both in Human Resources and Manufacturing.

Mike currently supports organizations with Lean Culture transformations focusing on the roles of Executive Management and Human Resources and how the Quality People Value Stream integrates with the Operations Value Stream.

Ben Hoseus partners with businesses and organizations as a consultant and advisor on the journey of continuous improvement. He is currently engaged with several manufacturing companies through his role with Process Capability Partners and Celerant Capital, based in the United States.

As a consultant and advisor, Ben has worked with multi-national corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises, and non-profit organizations across Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. In addition to expertise in Business Analysis and Finance, he has experience in Operations and Supply Chain across a variety of sectors including food production, manufacturing, transportation, textiles, military apparel, tourism, and professional services.

Ben is currently pursuing a Masters in Global Supply Chain Management from the University of Southern California. Previously, he graduated with Bachelors of Arts in Accounting and Business Administration from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. He has earned his CPA, CSCP, PBA, and PMP qualifications in the United States, and he holds a Graduate Certificate in Competitive (Lean) Systems & Practices from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

Learning to Lead and Leading to Learn: Weaving A Leadership Tapestry
Katie Anderson, Author | Leadership Coach | Japan Study Trip Leader | Lean Consultant | Speaker

Today, leaders are managing in a time of unprecedented uncertainty. As we work to move from crisis to a new normal, the fundamental leadership practices of setting direction, providing support, and developing oneself are more critical than ever. As leaders, in order to guide our organizations forward to create for a new future, paradoxically, what we need to do is reflect on where we’ve been and what we’ve learned on our journey so far, and how these experiences weave together on our journey to fulfill our life’s purpose.


In this keynote, Katie Anderson will explore the concept of “leadership fabric” – the “warp” and “weft” – and how these two “threads” weave together to create your life and leadership tapestry. Informed by her work and inspired by her book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn: Lessons from Toyota Leader Isao Yoshino on a Lifetime of Continuous Learning, Katie will share examples and practices that will help you reveal your warp and weft, and reflect on the leadership tapestry you have woven.

About the Facilitator:

Katie Anderson is an internationally recognized leadership coach, consultant, and professional speaker, best known for inspiring individuals and organizations to lead with intention. She founded her consulting practice in 2013 to work with leaders at all levels and organizations of all sizes to achieve higher levels of performance. She helps leaders to connect purpose, process, and practice to achieve higher levels of performance.

Katie is a lifelong learner whose career has traversed through roles in academia, consulting, and healthcare operations and process improvement. Prior to establishing her consulting practice, Katie held leadership roles at two prominent California-based healthcare systems, was a consultant for PwC Australia, and held academic research positions at the University of California San Francisco and the University of Sydney. She has deep expertise and experience leading and coaching change in a variety of industries, including healthcare, biotech, manufacturing, education, government, and information technology, and is highly regarded among experts in the lean leadership space.

A California native, Katie has lived in five countries outside the United States — including the UK, Australia, and Japan. In 2015, she and her husband moved with their children to Tokyo for an 18-month experience in Japan, where Katie developed a professional relationship with 40-year Toyota leader Isao Yoshino. What began as a connection filled with deep conversations evolved into a one-of-a-kind leadership book entitled “Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn: Lessons from Toyota Leader Isao Yoshino

Leading Lean as President of CITY Furniture
Andrew Koenig, President of CITY Furniture

Dive Deep into the CITY Furniture’s Lean Operating System (CFOS) – A detailed overview of the Journey to build a Lean Operating System within a Home Furnishings Retailer. CITY has had it’s CFOS in place for over 10+ years and it’s helped the company survive and thrive through the Great Recession as well as COVID-19 with greater sales and profits while keeping its focus on its people. CFOS has taken hold into all departments of the organization – Operations, Sales, Marketing, Human Resources, IT, Digital, Admin, C-Suite, etc. Lean can apply to any department and any team and CITY has proven that with it’s CFOS implementation.

About the Facilitator:

Andrew Koenig graduated with degrees in Finance and Accounting from Elon University in 2005 and received his MBA in Entrepreneurship from Nova Southeastern University – Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. Andrew began his full-time career with CITY Furniture in January 2006 in the Receiving Department unloading furniture on containers, and has worked his way up through the company and in almost all divisions of the company. He spent a significant time streamlining the Operations Department in the first 8 years of his career to become one of the industry’s best.  Currently, Andrew is serving as President of CITY Furniture, overseeing all departments of the business.

Shortly before joining CITY Furniture, Andrew studied Lean Philosophy at Toyota’s headquarters in Toyota City, Japan. After learning from Toyota and other Lean companies in the United States and abroad, Andrew introduced Lean Thinking to City Furniture in 2007.  Ever since, CITY Furniture has been on a Lean Journey to create a culture of mutual trust and respect, teamwork and a deep sense of urgency to continuously improve. Since the implementation of Lean, the company has seen many major breakthroughs in turnover reduction, operational process improvement, customer experience, safety, associate satisfaction, strategic planning, financial success and much more. The journey is never over and Andrew & Sr. Team are working very hard to implement Lean Thinking throughout the company which is now been renamed as “The CITY Furniture Operating System (CFOS).”

Andrew is extremely lucky to have 1 amazing wife Deana (who he met during his MBA) and 3 beautiful kids (Aaron 4, Daya 3, & Christian 2). Andrew is the son of Keith Koenig & nephew to Kevin Koenig, the founders of Waterbed City in 1971 which ultimately converted to CITY Furniture in 1994.

The Lean Leader & the Flow of Knowledge: The Most Important Question
Bella Englebach, Lean for Humans


The perfect product in the hands of a delighted customer.  A plant making that perfect product effectively and efficiently. Marketing and Sales completely tuned in to customer needs. Employees deeply engaged in personal development.  One question is the key to all of this.  In this keynote, Bella will share the secret of the most important question a leader can ask – and give you tips on how to get more value from asking this question.

About the Facilitator:

I was trained as a scientist, and still love the search for knowledge, Now I help people to see that the heart of improvement is the scientific method. As children we were all excited to ask why – and we all loved to conduct experiments! Many of us left that type of exploration behind and came to believe that we were not good at problem-solving or creativity. But good news! Everyone can regain their excited inner scientist to drive people-centered improvement for any type of organization.

I previously worked at Johnson & Johnson, where I was a process excellence and business improvement leader, bringing the worlds of lean and creativity together in research and development, regulatory affairs, and IT implementations. I opened my own business, Lean for Humans, Inc, in 2018.

I am a Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Facilitator who blends together creativity with continuous improvement, lean improvement, lean product and process development, and change management.

I was a member of the Board of Directors of the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange for six years.

I love to speak at and facilitate workshops at lean, operational excellence, and continuous improvement conferences. I am the author of “Creatively Lean: How to Get Out of Your Own Way and Drive Innovation throughout Your Organization

Experiential Sessions: Live September 21-22, 12:00-3:30

In these hands-on sessions you’ll be practicing under the guidance of experienced practitioners.

Our panel of Experiential Facilitators…

Building a Box Score

Nick Katko

This is a ½ day learning experience for participants to develop the skills to create a box score and develop a deeper understanding of the relationships between operating performance, capacity performance and financial performance.

Using a simulation based on a BMA case study, you will learn:

  • How to calculate the 3 elements of a value stream box score (measures, capacity and income statement)
  • How to convert a traditional income statement into a value stream income statement
  • How to use a box score to analyze and determine the impact of a business case

This workshop will consist of brief training sessions and Excel-based assignments.

Workshop Agenda

  • Box Score overview & capacity training
  • Complete capacity assignment
  • Training on value stream income statement
  • Complete value stream income statement assignment
  • Training on performance measurements
  • Complete performance measurement assignment
  • Training on decision making
  • Complete decision making assignment
  • Wrap up

About the Facilitator:

Nick Katko has over 20 years experience transforming Accounting into a strategic asset of businesses to provide value-added information and analysis to achieve sustainable growth.

Early pioneer of Lean Accounting, implementing a complete Lean Accounting System as a CFO in the 1990’s in conjunction with company’s lean transformation, resulting in 20% annual productivity gains and record profits.

As both a consultant and contract CFO leveraged this experience, and a technical accounting background, to assist companies in improving their accounting functions resulting in enhanced decision making, revenue growth and cost reduction. Over 10 years of experience improving productivity in accounting and other administrative functions through eliminating waste and creating flow.

Healing Healthcare
Dr Lou Flaspohler, Lance Barrett, Ashley Bacot & Jim Huntzinger

Keynote Abstract:

What’s one of the highest budget line items in your company; yet, the most frequently overlooked as an opportunity for improvement?  Why should we continue to be victims of a broken system?

Your company’s approach to healthcare can be the difference between extinction and survival in times of global pandemic and economic stress.  This is particularly powerful in times such as these.  How can a company make big financial gains to help them ride out the storm of COVID? How do you best position your company for survival if and when a global pandemic and economic shutdown happens again?  

Taking control of healthcare, and the associated costs, can not only allow you to positively impact your employees and their families; but, also lift the lives of those in your broader community.

Because we are ALWAYS about the Lean Enterprise and this, we believe, is a large missing piece in the Lean Ecosystem -> we can’t NOT bring this session to you.

Presenter Bio:

Lou Flaspohler, MD, is a practicing rheumatologist in Cincinnati, OH, serving as the Division Head of Rheumatology at The Christ Hospital. He graduated with a B.A. in Communications Arts and Marketing from Xavier University and obtained his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Cincinnati. Following his medical school training, Dr. Flaspohler completed an Internal Medicine residency at The Christ Hospital and a Rheumatology Fellowship at Indiana University at the medical campus in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has a strong interest in servant leadership and a passion for improving the lives of his patients and community.

Lance Barrett is Vice-President of Caliper Energy Services located in Texas.

Ashley Bacot is President at ProvInsure located in Florida.

Lean Leadership Behaviors at the Gemba
Joe Murli

This is an experiential session in intended to demonstrate and reinforce the behaviors Lean leaders use to continuously develop the problem solving capabilities of their workforce.

Conducting effective walks at “the actual place where the work is done” (The Gemba) is the single most important skill a Lean leader must adopt and continually hone to perfection. Going to Gemba and displaying command and control management behaviors is actually worst in many cases that just staying off the floor entirely.  The objective is to make problems visible. If workers perceive that communicating a problem to their bosses may lead to negative repercussions their motivation will be to minimize problems or hide them all together.  Making problems starkly visible and building the problem solving muscle of the workforce is the lifeblood of a Lean organization.

Developing a coaching leadership style is a learned behavior and it can be taught. Attend this brief hands on session and experience a transition from conventional management to Lean leadership!

About the Facilitator:

Joe Murli is author of “The Lean Management System”, Lean Enterprise Institute faculty member, and founder of The Murli Group-People Centered Lean.
Joe’s started his Lean journey 1989 in what Jim Womack called “the acid case” of the Lean transformations he described in his
book “Lean Thinking”. Initially, in the onslaught of rapid fire improvement events there was excitement over how much could be improved in five day increments. Then as time went on and the lack of sustainability was obvious he searched for deeper understanding of how to capture the hearts and minds of people in pursuing the three simple questions of Lean.

Everybody, every day, everywhere asking:
How did we do yesterday?
Where was the waste?
How can we do it better today?
Ever since that time he has been dedicated to understanding the human factors of Lean and how they can lead to continuous improvement if properly managed and lead. He studied organizations that had highly engaged teams doing exactly this and distilled the basic elements that separated truly Lean thinking organizations from the rest. He was able to put these systems into play in the businesses he led at Pratt & Whitney, Kaman Aerospace, and Sterling Autobody.
As founder of The Murli Group he is dedicated in helping organizations of all kinds through every phase of the Lean transformation process especially as it deals with integrating technical and people systems into sustainable learning organizations.

“People Centered Lean is at the heart of everything we do”

Traversing the unclear territory of Leadership – The Toyota Kata Way
Oscar Roche

Too often we don’t understand the why of something introduced to us. We’re given a “model” and expected to “just apply it, make it work”. But that approach almost always fails. There isn’t a connection to “why I’m here, how does this relate” and there’s no environment for practice established.

Conversely, in this experiential you will:

  • Make a connection to a business imperative to practice the Toyota Kata patterns.
  • Be introduced to both of the Toyota Kata patterns and the why of each element of each.
  • Hear from a HR professional how the Toyota Kata patterns have benefited them and their large multinational organization.
  • As a group, practice the application of the Improvement Kata and witness the Coaching Kata.

About the Facilitator:

Oscar Roche believes strongly that excellence in business lies in the development of people capability. It is this belief, combined with extensive operations management experience, that permits him to add value to any organisation he works with.

Across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, Oscar specialises in developing the:

  • 3 TWI (Training Within Industry) frontline leadership skills of Leading, Instructing and Improving.
  • Improvement and Coaching Kata patterns outlined in “Toyota Kata” (Mike Rother).

Oscar began his work with TWI in 2009 after reading an article in the Target magazine and thinking “this is one of the missing pieces”. After first being trained by the TWI Institute in Job Relations, Job Instruction and then Job Methods followed, then recently TWI Problem Solving. Oscar and Ben Chopping’s TWI Institute Global Partnership was formed in 2011 which leads to work in Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and the US helping individuals and organisations develop the leadership capabilities of their people.

Oscar, now a TWI Institute Toyota Kata Master Trainer, has made developing his skills in assisting companies reach their business improvement goals his main focus. With them he has practised methods and developed his specific skills in order to assist companies achieve genuine and sustained improvement. Working with the frontline leaders and their managers in any business, applying the right principles and tools, in the right place, with the right people is the key to bringing lasting improvement in the workplace.

Oscar believes passionately that leaders have been ignored for many years, and now is the time to support their development in order for businesses to survive and develop. The practical nature of the TWI and Toyota Kata programs makes them the ideal vehicle to build leader capability development. So much so, that Oscar practices the skills in his everyday working life.

Oscar is a regular speaker at TWI and Toyota Kata summits and conferences in the US and Europe and a frequent presenter of webinars through Lean Frontiers.

The Missing Element: Developing a Daily Coaching Style of Leadership
Cheryl Jekiel & Deondra Wardelle

Practice how to approach performance leadership in a manner that creates the daily coaching skills that lean workplaces require.  Because this method applies to everyday leadership tasks and challenges, it’s clear that a coaching style is simply the best way to work. Experience the five elements for mastering performance improvement in a lean culture, including a fail-safe method for building coaching skills. Master the steps to diagnose performance gaps to ensure the real root cause is addressed to get improved results.  Since success also requires not getting blocked by common barriers to team effectiveness, this session also provides strategies that allow teams to reach their full potential.

In this session you will learn:

  1. Discover how the success of an effective coaching environment is contingent on building relationships, which requires psychological safety and trust.
  2. Experience five aspects of the performance improvement cycle to appreciate the importance of ensuring all lean leaders can demonstrate the fundamentals of coaching team members.

3. Identify strategies to overcome barriers that interfere with lean leaders successfully building relationships and empowering team members

Facilitator Bio:

Currently Cheryl M Jekiel is the founder of the Lean Leadership Center (LLC) that sponsors a range of program implementations and educational services. The mission of LLC is to promote the advancement of talent strategies that drive operational excellence, optimize employee involvement and depend upon inspirational leadership.

Ms. Jekiel has held Vice President of Human Resources positions for a number of corporations.  Prior to her recent senior leadership roles in Human Resources, Ms. Jekiel served for five years as Chief Operating Officer after a number of other leadership roles at a Specialty Bakery in the Chicagoland area.  Ms. Jekiel has made countless significant improvements in increasing employee engagement, reducing operating costs and leveraging a Lean culture to obtain new business. Ms. Jekiel brings a tremendous passion for continuous improvement in her commitment to building Lean HR as a recognized field of work.

Deondra R. Wardelle is a leader, organizer, corporate trainer, licensed health coach, problem solver, motivational speaker and continuous improvement professional.  Her focus is coaching, empowering and developing individuals towards achieving their personal and professional goals.

Deondra has a diverse professional background that includes her current role as Director for a global industry leader, where she and her team are responsible for driving and supporting Continuous Improvement opportunities for more than 70 facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. In addition, she has worked as a corporate trainer, human resources professional, project manager and has held various roles in operations management.

Born in California, raised in Kentucky and now living in Indiana.  Deondra graduated from Western Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate & Organizational Communication, has studied Leadership at the Louisville Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and earned her Health Coach certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

As a licensed Health Coach, Kata Geek and Lean Six Sigma professional (specializing in Lean Six Sigma and the Toyota Improvement and Coaching Kata ) Deondra’s  passion and life’s calling is using Continuous Improvement methodologies via Vision Boards to help change the lives of people by turning their dreams into reality one day at a time.

Get connected with Deondra and let her help you achieve your goals and start moving On to the Next One!