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 SoCal Lean Network

Learning and LEANing Through Sharing

Welcome to the home page for the So Cal Lean Network - the place for all things Lean in San Diego and Southern California!

A Message From The Chair: Hello Everyone and Welcome! 

This website features any SoCal based companies, people and events that are part of the Lean Community and/or are embracing Lean Culture, Tools, and Methods. 

We were looking to schedule live tours again in the near future. There are lots of ways to plug into the Lean Community virtually! 

Scroll down to view the upcoming sessions and to register! 

Do you have an opportunity for a virtual tour you would like to make available?

Do you have a summit/conference you would like to let our members know about?

Do you have a job posting you would like to post on SoCalLeanNetwork?

Send a note to Tracy ORourke at

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Event Calendar

Here is an overview of upcoming events. Scroll down for more information on each individual event.

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Reoccurring Events

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Lean Six Sigma Leadership Course

Summer 2023 session begins August 15 - Join from any location!

Click here to watch a recording of a recent Information Session and meet Instructor Tracy O'Rourke and Elisabeth Swan

A Lean Six Sigma leader needs to foster a transformation to usher in a thriving culture of Continuous Improvement in the organization. This requires more than lean tool deployment, but also includes key leadership and management frameworks, principles and behaviors. Are you doing the right leadership tasks to build problem-solvers and build a continuous improvement culture?

This program will provide you, as the leader, with the tools to become a skilled mentor to drive organizational change, and ensure that process improvement projects align with your business’s mission and overall objectives. Through an effective blend of learning techniques, this training will provide you with the critical knowledge to confidently build a continuous improvement culture and inspire behavioral change.

This program is designed for any Leader, Supervisor, Manager or Director in any industry who desires a sustainable culture of continuous improvement for their team and organization. The training will benefit all leaders, but more specifically any leader that wants to help shape the culture and build and coach problem-solvers.

Effectively fulfill your role as a leader in the Lean Management system by:

  • Building a culture that empowers staff and promotes continuous improvement

  • Understanding the breadth of impact a leader has and the leaders roles & responsibilities in transformation

  • Identifying projects that align with the organization’s mission

  • Deploying Leader Standard Work (successful leader habits) that drive improvement activity and success

  • Mentoring and coaching staff to become better problem solvers

Register here.

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1st Tuesday every month at 5pm PT Virtual Happy Hour hosted by Lean Portland

Join us for virtual Happy Hour!

Lean Portland is a Benefit LLC committed to developing leadership skills of members and local non-profit organizations through project-based volunteer work that lead to continuous improvement. It has been a formalized professional organization since 2010 with the ultimate goal to teach themselves out of a job by developing people’s capabilities and creating lasting impacts in the larger community.

Register for: 

Jan 3rd and Feb 7th

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2nd Wednesday of Every Month @ 10-11:30am PT

Lean Coffee Hosted by Eric Olsen

Facilitated by Dr. Eric. Olsen, Lean Coffee is a structured, but agenda-less meeting. Participants gather, build an agenda, and begin talking. By voting on participant-generated topics, conversations are directed and productive. Central Coast Lean offers Lean Coffee as a way to build a stronger community of lean practice.

 Future Central Coast Lean Events and Lean Coffee Registration:


2nd Wednesday of every month from 10-11:30am PT (in person and virtual)

12/14, 1/11, 2/8, 3/8, 4/12, 5/10, 6/14, 7/12, 8/9, 9/13, and 10/11

Register here.

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May Events

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May 25th: How to Use Knowledge Management for Organizational Good

Ever been the person your organization relies on to take notes at important meetings because you're familiar with all the players, the terminology, and the current state of initiatives and problems? Aren't you tired of being overlooked? Knowledge management can help you be seen and become part of the problem-solving instead of the note-taking.

Come join guest host and author Dr. Cindy Young for a 1-hour webinar, “How to Use Knowledge Management for Organizational Good.“ Come learn about human-centric knowledge management, how to improve your use of knowledge, and how to use knowledge management to empower employees, and reduce or eliminate silos in your organization.


- Introduction

- Objectives, Definitions, and KM Terms - Dr. Nonaka and the Modes of Knowledge Creation

- What’s in it for the Organization?

- KM Challenge

- Key Take-Aways

- Q&A Who is Dr. Cindy Young: Who is Tracy O'Rourke:

Register here.

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May 31st: 5 Key Microskills for Coaches and Leaders to start using now!

Learn about 5 key microskills that will help you elevate your coaching and leadership today!

Register here.

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June Events

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June 6th: Operational Equity

CultureBrokers defines equity as “results that do not differ by race, ethnicity, culture, and other meaningful differences.” Interpreted in this way, equity moves from an abstract and amorphous concept toward a practical, structured effort. In this session, we will share how you can operationalize equity using this definition via three big objectives: Proving Commitment, Leveraging Structure and Being Disciplined. We will explore some key principles and related actions in support of these objectives which can ultimately become a living, valuable part of the way your organization behaves. Finally, we will crosswalk this with the Baldrige DEI criteria so you can see how these support each other.

Register here.


June 6th: Lean is Green Webinar

Why Attend:

Jerry Wright, a well-known and respected practitioner, advisor, coach, and thought leader on Lean Thinking, will share with you how to start your LEAN IS GREEN journey and share examples of how to improve the Triple Bottom Line.

A Preamble:

The battle to combat climate change across a supply chain requires each corporation to operate efficiently and reliably, continuously focusing on eliminating waste in any form. GHG emissions and excessive water use are two wastes that must be dealt with urgently because of their impact on our planet and society. Climate change requires an “all hands on deck” approach. New technologies are necessary, but a workforce committed to Lean Thinking trained to identify problems and opportunities for improvement and implement them is crucial.

Session Focus:

Learn why applying Lean Thinking and principles is the fastest and easiest way to true sustainability. Organizations that embark on this journey can begin to realize what has been called the Triple Bottom Line. The bottom line usually means financial gains or profit. In this case, the Triple Bottom Line means better profits for shareholders, sustainability for the planet, and a better reputation for the organization (benefiting the community, customers, suppliers, AND employees).

Register here.

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June 6th - 8th: Global Lean Summit

This is going to be unlike any Lean conference you have ever been to before. This collaborative experience will help you solve the toughest problems you are working on. Leave this Summit with a customized roadmap you need to succeed at work. 

There are 2 different tracks to take you on a journey with tangible results by the end of the Summit. Bring your asks, your problems, and we are committed to coaching and mentoring you to come away with the roadmap you want to get the results you deserve. 

Register here.

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June 20th: Practicing a Coaching Style of Leadership

Does your organization want to build the coaching skills of your Leaders? Continuous
Improvement requires leaders who can bring forth the talents of their teams and empower
them for greater contributions. We’ll explore the six habits that leaders can build to become a
more effective leader. We’ll practice a few of them during the session as a mini workshop.
Cheryl is the author of Lean Human Resources: Redesigning HR processes for a Culture of
Continuous Improvement. She is releasing a new book in May expanding on the topic of how
building coaching skills can become a reality for any organization. More information to follow.


June 20th: How to Apply Lean Thinking to Businesses of Any Size

It's no secret that businesses of all sizes are constantly facing a challenge of some sort. Whether it's visualizing and implementing long-term goals for the brand or optimizing the flow of everyday operations, overcoming these challenges is critical to the success of the company. And when facing these challenges as a small business, the uphill battle is that much steeper.

In this session, Alan Goodman will discuss practical ways to integrate Lean into your business operations. He'll teach you how to do more with less by equipping you with the tools and knowledge you need to start your Lean journey and drive meaningful results for your business.

Register here.

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June 22nd: Creativity: Gift, Necessary Skill, or Superpower?

Many people don’t consider themselves creative or, they don't see a place for creativity in their work. Yet creativity is an essential skill for future success. The truth is that everyone can be creative in their own way. It's a gift that makes us human. With practice, creativity can become more than a gift or a skill, it can become your superpower for problem solving and continuous improvement.

Creativity is rarely done alone. Together, we built a unique relationship based on our discussions about creativity, a relationship that builds on our individual voices. Come join Ruth Stanley and the authors of "Your Creativity Sprint" for guidance and practice at the Just-in-Time Café on June 22 at 11 AM PT/2 PM Eastern.

1. Interactive Poll on Creativity
2. Creativity as a skill (What it is, why we need it)
3. Practice Breakout: Getting into the Zone Challenge
3. Creativity as a superpower (Types of creativity)
4. Practice Breakout: Hero Challenge
5. Q&A

Register here.

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July Events

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July 17th-19th: 2023 Lean Coaching Summit

The annual Lean Coaching Summit is designed for continuous improvement professionals, or anyone in a lean environment, responsible for directing the work of others. The Summit is focused on action, not theory; so, prepare to come, learn, and practice key coaching skills.

Our 2023 Theme:

Building Coaching Style Leadership at all Levels

Speakers include Dan Prock, Mike Martyn, Crystal Davis, Mohamed Saleh, Stefan Martiyan, Mark Rosenthal, Cheryl Jekiel, Kelly Mallery, and Katie Labedz.

Register here.

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August Events

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August 16th: A Vision of Process Excellence and Seven Habits for the Journey

*Live at 2 PM ET*
**Recording available with registration**

In my work with NGOs and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries, I developed a vision for Process Excellence that integrates Lean and community development principles, and Seven Habits of Process Improvement for organizations to pursue the vision. In this session, I will present the five elements of Process Excellence – Effective, Efficient, Appropriate, Empowering and Continuously Improving – and introduce the Seven Habits – practical actions everyone in an organization can do.

After that, I will share examples of how NGOs and SMEs are applying these Lean habits in pursuit of Process Excellence, and the impact they are having. I hope all participants will find Process Excellence and the Seven Habits applicable to their own organization or consulting work when introducing Lean and explaining what everyone can do to improve how they work.

Register here.

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October Events

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October 18-20: Lean in Higher Education International Conference

Welcome to the community of lean and related improvement practitioners in Higher Education! We are a worldwide community of practice, with local groups all around the globe (like a very polite motorcycle club!).

Our diverse and vibrant local groups are arranged in divisions for Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. We support a world leading international conference for people who care about improvement for Higher Education. We have emerging international special interest groups researching the application of specific techniques across universities, for instance Hoshin Kanri planning.

We're powered by people, purpose, and passion for the good that our Universities do.

More details coming soon. 

Learn more here.

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October 30th - November 2nd: AME Cleveland International Conference 2023

Reimagining Excellence.

The meaning of excellence has changed. Focus is shifting across industries toward culture, employee well-being and purpose. Join us on October 30-November 2, 2023, in Cleveland, Ohio, for the 39th annual AME International Conference. An event by practitioners for practitioners, AME brings together continuous improvement professionals from the front office to the front lines and from every industry and corner of the earth.

Hosted at the Huntington Convention Center, AME Cleveland 2023 will focus on engagement, sustainability, industry 4.0, lean fundamentals and leadership. Learn from organizations that are keeping employees, customers, their communities and the environment in mind. See excellence in action on local tours and engage with fellow continuous improvement practitioners during presentations and interactive sessions. Hear from inspiring keynote speakers, grow your professional network and much more. 

Learn best practices to make transformational changes in your organization. Build upon your experience from the 2022 AME International Conference where we “Embraced Disruption” as you ReImagine Excellence in 2023.

Register here.

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Do you have a Lean tour available in San Diego? Do you have a Lean related job posting? Do you have a Lean podcast interview candidate in mind? Send us a note? We're always looking for more San Diego Lean companies and people to highlight.

Thanks for submitting!

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