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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 tracy@jitcafe.com.


Current Events


Every Tuesday at 10am CT

AME Lean Coffee Break

Join fellow continuous improvement practitioners and leaders for a virtual lean coffee break on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Central Time.

During the facilitated idea exchange, we'll discuss issues and solutions for your organizations. You'll be invited to share insights and hear from fellow lean practitioners.

This free, virtual event is open to both AME members and non-members but "seating" capacity is limited. Once registered, you will receive virtual meeting information via email.

Please note, depending on the registration numbers and time constraints, some participants may not be able to share their perspective with the group. It is our hope that all participants will find value in the discussion and insights shared by the collective virtual lean coffee break participants.

It is also important to note that this is a facilitated idea exchange format (i.e. it is a "lean coffee break" not a formal "lean coffee"). We occasionally use the Lean Coffee Table website to help direct our conversation.

Register for: 

June 7th

June 14th

June 21st

June 28th


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: 

June 7th

July 5th

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

Lean Coffee Hosted by Eric Olsen

Title: Central Coast Lean Coffee

Description: Lean Coffee is a great way to get and give help to others in our lean community. Although we still do the occasional Lean Leadership Forum, we are currently experimenting with virtual Lean Coffee as a lean way to get lean folks together. Lean Coffee is a structured, but agenda-less meeting. Participants gather, build an agenda, and begin talking. Conversations are directed and productive because the agenda for the meeting was democratically generated. Future Central Coast Lean Events and Lean Coffee Registration: https://www.purpose-ccl.org/lean-


2022 dates: 2nd Wednesday of every month from 10-11:30am PT

6/8, 7/13, 8/10, 9/14, 10/12, 11/9 and 12/8


July 6th & 7th

Lean Coaching Summit hosted by Lean Frontiers

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 2022 Theme:  Have a Coach, Be a Coach. 

Register here


July 11th-15th In-Person 

Kata Summer Camp

Kata School Cascadia invites you to an IN PERSON learning week, "Kata Together!" You'll be smiling like Mark Rosenthal and Gemma Jones July 11-15th 2022. Tickets available for 5 day, 2-day or 1 day programs while they last. See you at summer camp! 

Register Here


July 12,19th & 26th

Summit: Workforce of the Future hosted by AME 

Registration for this summit will open soon. In the meantime, save the date for AME's third of three 2022 virtual summits. This summit will be presented on three, non-consecutive days in July: July 12, 19 and 26. Each day will focus on a different theme: workforce, technology, and leadership.

Our expert presenters and tour hosts will examine and present information about the skills and training necessary for the workforce of the future. You'll learn how to develop the talent pipeline and build a training program that empowers your workforce with the skills and know-how necessary to build an operation that's prepared for today and tomorrow. From hiring new employees to training existing ones, you'll see how the benchmark organizations are creating a multi-generational workforce that is ready to overcome adversity, embrace emerging technologies, and prepare for the future. 

Register Here

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July 20-22nd

Virtual Lean Summit

hosted by Jared Thatcher

Discover Lean business tips from 50+ world class business & industry experts to help you with achieving a continuous improvement culture in your organization. 

Register here: https://www.virtualleansummit.com/


August 4th: 4:30-7:30pm Lean Summer Mixer hosted by SoCal Lean Network

Finally! An in-person gathering for our SoCal Lean Community. Join us for a summer mixer at White Labs Brewing Company.

Please join us for a long overdue in-person get together of folks with a common purpose!

SoCal Lean Network is a non-profit organization.

All food and drinks are paid for by those that choose to eat and drink. :)

Donations for this event are welcome but not required. If you make a donation, it will be used to purchase food and/or drinks for this gathering.

Register here: 



Starting August 5th: UC San Diego Lean Six Sigma Green Belt with Tracy O'Rourke

​Lean Six Sigma (LSS) provides a systematic method to improve performance and reduce variation in business operations to achieve productivity and profitability gains. Students earn various colors of Belts which indicate their levels of mastery of LSS expertise. A person who has earned the designation of Lean Six Sigma Green Belt often plays a key role in the success of an organization’s process improvement initiatives.

As a member or leader of a high-performing LSS project team, the Green Belt is involved in selecting or defining projects, setting project objectives, data gathering, statistical analysis, and change implementation. To function effectively, Green Belts need to understand and apply the basic LSS concepts, tools and methodologies in a variety of situations. This course is designed to educate those who wish to attain the level of Green Belt.

  • Fully online instructor-led training on your schedule

  • Coaching on a real-life project brought in from a students’ organization. Improved projects must result in a projected ROI of $40k.

  • Guided project mentorship from a Master Black Belt live webinars and virtual office hours

  • Next step opportunity to progress into the Accelerated Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

  • Click on the “Online” $2,495 section below to view details of the course

Live instructor sessions are scheduled for the following dates all on Fridays from 12:30-3:30pm PT: 8/5, 8/12, 8/26, 9/9, 9/16, 9/23, &  Final Presentations on 12/2. For more information, Click Here. Register with Angela Miller at UCSD

at angelamiller@ucsd.edu


September 13th: Lean Learning Tour: Costco Packaging Facility

Learn from a model example of people-centric leadership, employee engagement and one of the best run Employee Idea programs outside of Toyota at Costco’s Packaging Facility!

This tour is FREE! A gift to the Lean Community members with an interest in learning more about Lean and Idea Boards.

  • Walk the shop

  • View the Idea Boards

  • Feel the cultural environment

  • Hear from Supervisors and front-line employees about how the Idea program is working


  • Presentation on Costco’s Lean Journey

  • Supervisor-directed tour of the facility and Idea Boards

  • Q&A & Reflection: Provide feedback on what you saw

Register here


Starting September 20th 2022: UC San Diego's Lean Six Sigma Leadership with instructors Tracy ORourke 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?

Hear what an attendee has to say

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

Program At a Glance

Total Instructional Hours: 30
Live Online Training Portion: five, two-hour sessions (10 hours total)
Units: 3.0
Duration: 2.5 months
Tuition: $1,795 (includes all learning materials)
Format & Structure: This program is a blend of online learning and live virtual training sessions. After completing the learning modules on your preferred schedule engage with the Instructor and fellow leaders within an interactive virtual classroom.
Class sessions meet virtually on Tuesdays, 2:00- 4:00 PM, PST on 9/20, 10/18, 11/1, 11/15, & 11/29 

For more information Click Here.

To register, contact Angela Miller at angelamiller@ucsd.edu


September 21st-23rd 2022

Lean Leadership Week hosted by Lean Frontiers

Lean Leadership Week is an annual gathering of those seeking to learn, implement, and sustain successful lean transformations in order to address some of the most common challenges in lean organizations. The Summit highlights companies who are addressing these challenges through Lean Accounting, Lean HR, Lean Management, and Lean People Development.

Register Here


October 11th: Lean Learning Tour - Costco Optical Lab

Learn from a model example of people-centric leadership, employee engagement and one of the best run Employee Idea programs outside of Toyota at Costco’s Optical Lab!

Costco’s Optical Lab has doubled productivity, reduced scrap by 80%, cut lead time by 75% and has implemented 6000+ employee ideas.

This tour is FREE! A gift to the Lean Community members with an interest in learning more about Lean and Idea Boards.

  • Walk the shop

  • View the Idea Boards

  • Feel the cultural environment

  • Hear from Supervisors and front-line employees about how the Idea program is working


  • Presentation on Costco’s Lean Journey

  • Supervisor-directed tour of the facility and Idea Boards

  • Q&A & Reflection: Provide feedback on what you saw

Register here


October 17th-20th 2022 

AME International Conference - Dallas

Continuous improvement practitioners know there is no better learning experience than an AME International Conference. Join us from almost anywhere you access the internet, and discover practical ways to apply creative ideas to your business. You’ll learn about best-in-class practices from operational excellence leaders, see lean organizations up-close during facility tours and uncover new ways to empower people within your organization.

Share, learn and grow with the best — all at the 2022 AME International

Register Here


October 18th-27th: Results Washington Lean Government Conference

The 11th annual Washington State Government Lean Transformation Conference will be virtual for the third year in a row! Hosted by Results Washington, our conference will span six days from October 18th - October 27th with most days covering 4 hours of content presented by public and private-sector Lean and Continuous Improvement professionals.​

The goal is to:​

  • Provide concrete tools and methods that participants can readily apply to their work vs. theory-based presentations.​

  • Provide learning that can be applied with hybrid and remote work environments to meet current and future realities.​

  • Provide learning that supports our commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in Washington state government.​

​As in years past, there is no cost for people to attend the Lean conference – our focus is to produce an event that advances Lean and Continuous Improvement in state government, creating and adding more value for agency employees and Washingtonians. We aim to open registration between late August to early September.  

More information available Here


October 19-21st: Lean in Higher Education Conference in Melbourne

Lean in Higher Education (Lean HE) aims to ensure that continuous improvement philosophies and practitioners within Higher Education (HE) are themselves always improving. We do this for the good of all those whom HE serves. 

Our annual international conference brings together people applying lean in universities (in everything that they do), to learn and improve. Our annual event is held around the end of October. We host the conference alternating years between our three continental divisions, with the aim of sustaining our international network.

RSVP your interest here


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.

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