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Lean Leadership

Lean Leadership

Instructor-guided basic awareness course on how the Lean mentaility can be incorporated into daily life

Course Description: 

This technical Lean Leadership training provides formal and informal leaders with a basic awareness of how the Lean mentality – based on servant leadership and the mission of empowerment – can be incorporated into daily interaction with employees, customers, and processes within the larger value stream to which they all contribute. Students are challenged to objectively capture current state design of workplace conditions, objectively consider the impacts, and propose alternative approaches more aligned with Lean Leadership mentalities. The holistic message of Dr. W. Edwards Deming is woven into discussions as the foundation for continuous improvement coupled with respect for people. 

This course is part of the Lean Leadership track, an OU Lean Institute exclusive, and a prerequisite for Business Culture Excellence Using the Deming Lens and Introduction to System Thinking. This track is designed to optimize organizational success by helping organizations Lead with Lean. Recommended follow-up training: Gemba Walking.

General Information: 

Online registration is available for most courses. Otherwise, you may contact Registration and Records at (405) 325-6034 to sign up.

Quick Facts

Course length: 8 weeks 

Prerequisites: None 

Instructor: Brain deFonteny, LSS Black Belt 

Location: 100% Online

Next offered: June 03, 2024

Cost: $1,550 ~ Register Now

Register for Session 1 before May 05, 2024 and save $75.00. 6-person minimum for class to make. Registration closes May 26, 2024.

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Course Credits

Participants receive Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits, which are required to maintain many professional licensures. OULI training also qualifies as PDU credits for Project Management Professionals. 

Training Locations

Public classes are held at the Tinker Business Industrial Park at I-40 and Sooner Road. All public classes are open enrollment and typically feature an interesting mix of teams from a variety of industries. 
The Lean Institute also offers private or contracted training programs onsite at locations across the state, including workshops implemented at suitable client facilities. 




OULI's team of instructors and consultants are practicing experts in the field with extensive history in implementing process improvement efforts and coaching students.

Brian deFonteny 

deFonteny is the creator of Leading with Lean and other short courses offered by the OU Lean Institute. A certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt once active in the oil and gas industry, deFonteny has more than a decade of experience as a Lean practitioner, coach and instructor. He holds a master’s degree in human relations and a bachelor’s in psychology. deFonteny is committed to optimizing organizational success by helping others Lead with Lean. He is the author of Leadership Reimagined and an adjunct professor with the University of Oklahoma.  

Joyce Hinton

Hinton is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and has served as an OULI Lean Six Sigma coach, instructor and consultant for many of the Institute’s major clients. She is the primary instructor for the Institute’s LSS White and Green Belt training workshops. She holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and has completed extensive training in Lean Six Sigma methodologies, as well as having extensive experience in both management and procurement. 

Teresa Tobias

Tobias is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt trained by some of the original consultants in the industry (Sigma Sciences, Inc., p.k.a. Six Sigma Associates). She has worked with Six Sigma Academy, the first consulting organization created by the founder of Six Sigma, Dr. Mikel Harry. Tobias has extensive experience at the strategic level working with leadership. At the tactical level, she has coached and mentored clients' internal resources for hundreds of transformational projects. 

Larry Fisher

Fisher is the Center Process Manager for Continuous Improvement and Innovation (CI2), Air Force Sustainment Center, Tinker AFB. He coordinates continuous improvement mentoring and training for 35,000+ Airmen. As a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Black Belt, he is an instructor and facilitates multi-organizational improvement events, mentors, and coaches those utilizing CI2 techniques and seeking LSS Green Belt/Black Belt certifications. Since 1985, Fisher has held positions in engineering, quality, contracting and process improvement organizations.