King County Hosts 2015 Lean Coaching Summit

This month, people from across the country came to watch one-on-one problem-solving conversations between supervisors and staff in King County’s Finance and Business Operations Division.

On July 23rd, King County’s FBOD was one of two gemba hosts of the 2015 Lean Coaching Summit (Starbucks was the other). The Lean Coaching Summit is an annual joint venture of the Lean Enterprise Institute and Lean Frontiers, two of the leading organizations in the Lean community, and offers an opportunity for Lean practitioners to learn and hone their Lean coaching skills.

FBOD employees and their supervisors worked through real A3 problem-solving and coaching in front of attendees from organizations including Sutter Health in California, Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, and both Northwestern Mutual and Mass Mutual (yes, they acknowledged the awkwardness).

Then those same supervisors had discussions about their Lean coaching with King County Lean specialists and the FBOD’s leadership team, again with Coaching Summit attendees watching.

Lean Coaching Summit 2015

King County’s Kara Cuzetto and Jean Prepontaine (center) discuss an A3 coaching session with two attendees of the Lean Coaching Summit.

Then the whole group, including external attendees, discussed what they learned from watching the coaching conversations, identifying what worked well and making suggestions for what might have been done better.

FBOD interim deputy director Eunjoo Greenhouse said, “We weren’t sure what we were getting into, but was a great experience. Working with other Lean practitioners and having external people give us feedback was priceless learning for us.”

“We were proud to share FBOD’s Lean journey story and how our leaders have worked to improve themselves as coaches. And it highlighted the  importance of creating a safe environment for us all to practice our coaching. That will be an area of emphasis in our future work.”

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