Mastermind Groups Can Speed Up your Lean Results

For many middle-market organizations, they want to speed up their Lean Transformation as quickly as possible, but they don’t have experienced Lean professionals on their staff.  A great way to speed up a new Lean coordinator’s learning is to encourage them to join   Mastermind groups.


I led Mastermind groups in the late nineties consisting of four companies within different industry segments and we conducted round-robin Rapid Improvement Events (RIE) at these four companies.  Each month one company would host a Rapid Improvement Event at their location with Lean coordinators from each of the other three companies as part of the RIE team.

Over a year, your Lean coordinator will take part in twelve RIE’s.  Each company has a minimum of three professionally coached RIE’s and the Lean coordinators see how the methodologies apply in different industry settings speeding up their learning and understanding.

There are also additional benefits to being in a mastermind group with other companies in your area:

1.  You get to increase your network

Being part of a mastermind group will allow you to meet other like-minded business leaders in your area. If you aren’t part of an organization like Vistage International, it seems like you are going at it alone.  A Mastermind allows you to meet others and learn from them.

2.  You speed up your learning

Imagine if you only conducted 3-4 RIE’s in your facility a year.  I realize that isn’t many, but for many mid-market companies, it is about all that they can handle.  It would take your coordinator three years to be involved in twelve RIEs.  Being part of a Mastermind Group will cut the learning curve by 66%.

3.  You learn by doing

Becoming a Lean coordinator or facilitator isn’t a skill can be read about in a book and then applied.  There are so many micro-skills wrapped into being successful that the only way to learn is by doing.  How to lead teams, how to get and keep people engaged, how to present report-outs, using the Lean methodologies.

There are many things to learn, and you just have to do it.  Learning with others helps everyone involved.  You are exposed to different viewpoints, different ideas, solutions and learn how to improve an organization together.

4.  Fear is eliminated

When you are working with others who are also learning by doing, the fear goes away. Since you are part of a group at an organization outside of your own, you can learn at your own pace.  The pressure upon you to know all the answers when beginning your Lean journey is eliminated.  You receive coaching from a professional Lean coach and are within a safe environment to learn and ask questions.

5.  You need a Coach

It is important at the beginning that you are coached by a professional that has been there before and knows how to navigate the challenges of making an organization better.  They should be experienced enough to have led several hundred RIE’s across many industries and companies.

6.  It’s less expensive

Because you are having three events at your location, you are only paying for 25% of the total investment.  You only pay for your portion of the activities, yet your employee gets 100% of the participation.  Who wouldn’t like to receive 100% of hands-on learning at 25% of the cost?

I know that Mastermind groups are a great way for organizations to take advantage of the results that a Lean Transformation can provide!

To learn about our Mastermind groups at

Until tomorrow!  I am honored to serve you and I hope that you and your company are getting better every day!

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