Based on the bestselling book ‘This is Lean’, now online for your whole organisation

"We can get amazing results (both from a customer and quality point of view), such as higher quality and much shorter lead times."


About this course

Lean is the most widespread management philosophy of our time and is currently present in every industry, yet the concept is still vaguely defined and widely misunderstood.

What is Lean? is an interactive training course consisting of 25 modules that equip participants with a solid understanding of both what Lean is, and what Lean is not.

The course is based on the book ‘This is Lean – Resolving the efficiency paradox’, which was launched in 2011. The book has sold over 300,000 copies and been translated into 18 languages, making it one of the bestselling Lean books of all time.

By using clear, concise language and insightful examples to clarify the essence of Lean, this course will increase employees’ understanding of the fundamentals and what Lean is about.

Resolving the "Efficiency Paradox"

The course also introduces the idea of the efficiency paradox, which claims that organisations misunderstand what “true efficiency” is.

What is Lean? investigates how, when organisations focus too much on resource efficiency (the traditional and most common form of efficiency), this tends to lead – paradoxically – to an increase in the amount of work that needs to be done. In this way, the more organisations try to be efficient (by being busy), the more inefficient they  become as a result.

What is Lean? addresses how to resolve this paradox.

Who is this course for?

- The beginner who wants to understand the foundations of Lean philosophy.
- The reader who has read ‘This is Lean’ and wants a lot more extra material.
- The non-reader who has heard about ‘This is Lean’ but prefers to consume the content through inspiring videos instead.
- The improver who wants to take the next step in their Lean journey by learning how to assess their current situation and identify improvement possibilities.
- The frustrated professional who wants to start developing an efficient end-to-end flow within their organisation.
- The experienced professional who has read a lot about Lean but feels the “lean world” remains unclear and overloaded with too many different tools and methods.
- The curious professional who wants to understand the story of how Toyota Japan developed its unique philosophy – the Toyota Production System (TPS).
- The social professional who wants to explore and discuss Lean with one or many colleagues during 11 self-managed workshops by using a flipped-classroom strategy (take the content before you meet)
- The team leader who wants to develop consensus in their team(s) about what Lean is and how to implement it.
- The leadership team that needs an efficient, ready-to-go Lean training programme that can be rolled out for management or scale across the entire organisation.


Course learning

- The fundamentals of Lean
- What Lean is not – three problems with the various definitions of Lean
- The core building blocks of any process
- The three sources of inefficiency and the “efficiency paradox”
- What makes a process “flow”?
- How to develop high flow efficiency
- Why prioritising “resource efficiency” and “flow efficiency” produce different results
- How to realise and implement a lean operations strategy
- How to utilise the efficiency matrix
- How to develop a lean operations strategy that priorities flow efficiency
- The history of Toyota and why they developed customer orientation and a strong focus on flow efficiency as their competitive advantage
- The development of the lean philosophy
- The ultimate purpose of lean: how to develop a learning organization

“Imagine an organisation playing on a football field – at all times, everyone can see each other, the ball, the opponents, the goal, the score and the time. And they all know what they must do.” Niklas Modig

The journey towards a Lean
organisation starts here

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