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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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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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January Events

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January 26th: Lean Communication Systems that Build Engagement & Trust

Do employees get confused when the organization sends mixed messages? Have you ever taken the time to find out how your business infrastructure, policies, or formal channels impact your employees? Communication represents all of the ways we send, receive, and process information. Communication is what we say, what we don't say, what we do, and how we react.

Join this 1-hour webinar with guest host, and Toyota veteran, Jennifer Tankanow to learn how to use the communication system to drive engagement, support a lean culture, and ensure people know how they contribute value to your company every day.


  • The role of the business and leaders in creating trust with employees

  • The 5 Levels of Communication

  • Introduction to the Communication System

  • Aligning Beliefs, Actions, and Words

Register here.

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January 31st: A Lean Lunch with Lean Construction Institute

Join us for a Lean Lunch to learn and support each other in our Lean endeavors. Take part in an open conversation in a low pressure environment about the topics relevant to our Lean Community.
This will be an interactive Lean Coffee Style discussion over the lunch hour. Attendees will be able to participate in a short hands on activity and then discuss any ideas or project challenges and then talk about solutions and make a list of topics the group would like to explore throughout 2023.

Facilitated by LCI Core Group members:
Dr. Thais Alves, SDSU
Pamela Hermosillo, Sundt
Yvette Wu, HMC Architects

Lunch will be provided.

Register here.

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February Events

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February 22nd: Using Lean Thinking to Envision Communities of the Future - Lean Frontiers

*Live at 2-2:30 PM ET*
** Recording Available with Registration**

Society is experiencing many disruptions from climate change, disease, shortages and allocation of goods and services. In Alaska, Native Villages add other issues to their needs. Using Lean Thinking, Patrick Anderson’s Future State has developed a Village of the Future that can be used as a model for addressing these issues using Lean.

Register here.

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March Events

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March 3rd: Leading Lean

Facilitator:  Dr. Eric Olsen - Director Central Coast Lean

Objective:  Learn the qualities and subtleties of lean leadership and its key role in developing a culture of continuous improvement and operational excellence.

Purpose:  Serves as a capstone to the Central Coast Lean Leadership Workshop Series.  It covers the fundamentals of how good leadership applies in a lean transformation.

Approach: This integrates key elements of previous workshops in this series and allows participants to work through leadership challenges relevant to their own organizations.  The Toyota Kata and change management are covered as key elements in building a leadership style.  The Toyota Kata provides participants with a scientific method-based improvement and coaching approach that can provide any organization with new paths to discovery and higher performance.  Change management is a fundamental capability that every manager should have in their lean tool kit.  In this workshop we explore the 8-Step Kotter Change Model and how you can use it to make impactful change in your organization.

Target Audience:  All managers, team leads, and supervisors who are charged with implementing lean in their organizations.  Some background in lean or other experience in process improvement is preferred.

Location:  San Luis Obispo, CA or online via Zoom

Register here.

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March 14-15th: Katacon9 International

The KATA Summit is an annual gathering of those seeking to grow personally and professionally by practicing and coaching scientific thinking.

The Summit is full of learning opportunities

  • 20 minute keynotes

  • breakout case studies 

  • the legendary Kata Geek Meet Up

  • and more…

Who it's for:

Lean champions, HR managers, Operations managers, and Training professionals who are charged with addressing challenges like these…

  • Inability to make and sustain improvements

  • Difficulty getting workforce engagement in daily improvements

  • Struggle to create a no-blame, respect for people culture

Register here.

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March 28th and 29th: Process Palooza

Process Palooza is a high-energy collaborative experience celebrating the power of continuous improvement. Join us for The Great Innovate, our Lean Six Sigma competition to improve real processes and to engage with others as you share, learn, begin, or advance, your continuous improvement journey at Process Palooza. 

This is not just an event, it’s a movement! Beyond a one-time event, Process Palooza spawned a university-wide embrace of continuous improvement and business excellence. The first-of-its-kind event hit a max capacity of 500 participants, resulted in 30 practical improvement ideas across two large campus processes, engaged all VC areas, and launched two core initiatives to sustain this mindset shift: Lean Bench and Business Excellence Community of Practice. 

Learn more here.

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April Events

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April 24th - 25th: Central Coast Lean Summit 2023


Sylvain Landry, PhD

Author of "Bringing Scientific Thinking to Life"


Katie Anderson

Author of "Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn"

Join us for our 13th annual gathering of thinkers and practitioners from around the “local” lean community as we explore how to integrate scientific thinking into your organization.  In this Summit we will bring together experts and practitioners to ponder:

  1. What does it mean to "think scientifically"?

  2. What are the strategic advantages to a scientific approach?

  3. How do you get managers to coach scientific thinking?

  4. How do you get ALL your employees to practice scientific problem solving in their daily work?

Of course, we will be respecting people by having participants to speak, share, and connect.  We will be practicing Liberating Structures to unleash an explosion of creative thinking.

This is our second Summit following two years of virtual Summits under COVID. This year we are "going hybrid" so in person and online participants can access the same great material with effective learning and interaction experiences. Our annual Summit continues to source innovative lean ideas and “treatments’ in our ongoing experiment to build a community of lean practice on the Central Coast.  This year we learn how to learn in hybrid mode: the future of 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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Subscribe or Contact Us

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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