The Lean Global Network (LGN) is a consortium of not-for-profit organizations dedicated to advancing lean thinking and practice throughout the world to make things better. LGN is currently comprised of 31 institutes and partners.
Through co-learning action research partnerships with universities and leading companies and organizations across all sectors, and an online community of over 300,000, LGN members gather the best in lean thinking and share it with the lean community and beyond.
The birth of the Lean Global Network stems directly from the MIT research (the International Motor Vehicle Research Program – IMVP) that introduced the term “lean production” to describe the revolutionary production and management system identified at Toyota, as explained in the groundbreaking book The Machine That Changed the World (Womack, Jones, & Roos). MIT IMVP research leaders Jim Womack in the United States, Daniel Jones in the United Kingdom, and José Ferro in Brazil left academia to establish institutes to promote the ideas and practices of lean thinking in their respective countries. The success of these and other activities, including the phenomenal impact of the subsequent book Lean Thinking, quickly resulted in a global movement, with thought leaders deciding to establish institutes to promote and develop lean thinking in their countries. A community of lean thinkers and a network of lean institutes thus steadily emerged across the globe at the turn of the century.
We were formally chartered as a Massachusetts not-for-profit legal entity in September 2007 with 14 member institutes. Today, we have 24 education and research organizations and dozens of co-learning partners across the globe.
Our Purpose and Values
We are mission-driven individuals and organizations that take responsibility for advancing lean thinking and practice in our countries and regions in order to make things better for customers and society.
LGN members aim to:
- Enable individuals to create more value;
- Improve organizational performance;
- Minimize resource use and environmental impact;
- Provide more fulfilling work and continued personal development;
- Improve the quality of life for individuals and society;
- Raise living standards and enable prosperity.
To fulfil this collective mission, we engage in a variety of activities to 1) learn to further their own understanding of lean thinking and practices, which they 2) teach and otherwise support individuals and organizations to learn and practice lean thinking, and 3) share fundamentals and latest practices with the global community.
LGN education and training offerings consist of understanding lean fundamentals and concepts, hands-on simulations, real world problem solving, often including group reflection and discussions. We run experiential on-site or in-company gemba-based learning activities, public workshops, webinars, and education programs for companies.
We also partner with universities around the world, which entails anything from lectures to research to education program design and delivery. We partner with Singapore Institute of Technology, Moscow State University, Ohio State University, Nyenrode Business School (Netherlands), the University of South Australia and the Cape Town Graduate School of Business and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, among others.
As you can see on this website, we also produce online content that aims to help individuals, organisations and society to leverage lean and transform themselves.
Public conferences have been a primary means of promoting lean thinking in different countries since the beginning of the lean movement.
- Summits reaching several hundred to over 1,000 attendees
- Smaller regional events
- Topic or sector-specific learning events for a few dozen to 100+ participants
Action Research through Co-Learning Partnerships and Projects
LGN institutes partner with private companies and public service organizations. Co-learning partnership programs may entail direct support or involve collaborative learning and sharing among multiple organizations. Developing and sharing this knowledge supports our mission to create and share the latest lean thinking via stories, publications and education programs to help make things better throughout the world.
Publications and Learning Materials
LGN institutes publish the findings of their learning in books and other learning materials, including extensive web-based media. Leading LGN authors include Jim Womack, Dan Jones, John Shook, Mike Rother, Pascal Dennis, Art Smalley and Michael Ballé.
At a Glance
Over the past 20 years, LGN institutes have:
- Hosted 25,000 attendees at 100 conferences or “summits”;
- Educated thousands of individuals in training classes and workshops;
- Published 25 book titles that have sold approximately 1 million copies;
- Created content for websites that receive over 1 million visitors per day.