Doing Lean in a Lean Way (Leaning Lean!) (Lean getting Leaner!)

5 Years and $10 Million later we are disrupting the way we teach Lean, and here’s why!

After years of helping companies to Lean success through our green belt course, and with the influence of our new leadership coach Karyn Ross, Co-author of the Shingo Award Winning Book The Toyota Way: Lean in Service Excellence, we recently took a step back and thought, “How can we make Lean even Leaner?!”

When we first set out to deliver Lean Training with our highly experienced and qualified team of educators, we did what most companies do – looked at other green belt programs out there and adapted the format to our needs with few modifications. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? We have a great team of curriculum developers who have years of experience delivering Lean Six Sigma “training” for 1000s of individuals, so it made sense to do things the “traditional way”.

It worked! In the last few years we have had some fantastic results for which we have been published and recognized in newspapers and other media. Some of our major accomplishments were $550k in savings for Atlas Copco within 1st year of taking our course, and eliminating healthcare waitlists within two weeks of getting a project started. When we look at all of the completed projects, we have provided our clients over $10 million dollars in savings. But in my honest opinion, this is our “vanity metric”; these results are undeniably amazing…but there are also results that are not so great.

One issue is that out of the leaders who attend our course we only have about a 50% graduation rate, and for those individuals who have not graduated we haven’t provided any incentive systems to encourage the continued use of Lean tools in their day to day work. We have no way of truly knowing whether anyone  has continued to apply these skills on an ongoing basis – essentially when leaders left our class we simply did not have a plan to support them in the actual work place, other than the standard group coaching calls which everyone else offers. So, the question became, how do we do that? And the answer was staring us right in the face – make the process leaner!

Most Other Lean / Six Sigma Green Belt CoursesPACE Lean Green Belt
3 Group coaching calls and some optional as needed calls between sessions. Focussed, personal coaching calls to build up the Lean Thinking Discipline and live group training on addressing specific topics such as change management, project management etc.
Focus on a “project” and not how to integrate tools into your day to day work. Our graduation is based on a Point System which encourages the use of tools and teamwork in the actual work place. Leaders will absolutely do projects based on the PACE LEAN framework but the pressure of “one big project” is off, leaders will build the habit of consistently using the tools and doing multiple projects for the rest of their career.
Lots of standing up and “talking to slides” and some simulations. Lots of quick reviews and actually applying and doing the work in the day long simulation, designed specifically for the type of workplace most leaders are from. We test the group as we go and focus more on concepts that have not quite hit home. If we are running low on time, we schedule short online training sessions with the group and their coach.eer.
Zapping leaders to “not solution” Using a variety of adult learning and self-realization techniques based on individual student learning styles and coaching leaders on the importance of problem definition and to be more aware of their current problem solving style and how to make the mental shift.
Forcing them to use “our material”Providing them our material and Encouraging them or pointing them to high quality latest and greatest material that is freely available. Let’s face it people love geeking out on their topics of interest, we are shifting our value proposition from just curriculum development to our ability to coach leaders to actually making a long term sustainable change in their thinking. This in itself is priceless.
Once you graduate lack of motivation or incentive to continue to be a “lean practitioner”PACE helps our leaders form a community of practice by onboarding them to online learning and sharing platform, where leaders have the opportunity to network, volunteer and help each other out. Our C2V Operational Excellence Framework provides the organization with the skills and coaching needed to take full advantage of your Lean Green Belt Graduates.

Our main metric, and the one thing that sets PACE services apart from any other company we know, is our focus on ensuring return on investment or clear value for money for every dollar our customers invest in us. We are called “Partners in Achieving Change Excellence” because we look to establish long term partnerships with the people and organizations we serve. Keeping all of the above in mind we have changed up our green belt course to re-allocate most of the time to supporting our leaders by coaching them in the actual workplace (for no additional cost), and only pulling them out initially to hit home some concepts in a close-to-work simulated environment.

Ideally your organization  will bring us in for the short two-day session (at any location of your choice, nationally or internationally) to set the stage for operational excellence and kick start the lean training in a new and exciting way! (I am reminded of how small and connected the world truly is as I sit here on my flight to San Francisco). For organizations who simply do not have the critical mass to bring us in we also offer a series of “open” sessions where one or two individuals can attend and then bring Lean back to you. (If you do not see a course scheduled near your location and you would like to send a couple people, please reach out to us as we have had success in the past with getting multiple similar organizations to collaborate and bring us out for a joint session at an agreed upon site.)

Please call us at 1-844-535 – PACE (7223) or simply book a quick consultation for a time that suits your needs by clicking here – we would love to chat with you. At our website,, you will find YouTube videos of testimonials, webinars and case studies

If you are truly interested in sustainable professional development that makes a real difference in your people and overall workplace, us Pacers (yes this is what we call ourselves!) look forward to making this a reality for you.

Green Belt Testimonials