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Kaizen Workshop (Add-On)

This hands-on and interactive workshop provides an opportunity to understand Kaizen as a mindset and culture.

  • Title: Kaizen Workshop
  • Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2024 from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Location: UC San Diego Price Center, 2nd Floor, Green Table Room
  • Cost: $425
  • Breakfast & Lunch: Included (Options available for various dietary restrictions)


Kaizen, a Japanese term meaning "change to improve” or “change for the better”, is an integral part of the Toyota Production System (TPS) and a fundamental principle of Lean management. 

Kaizen embodies the philosophy of continuous improvement within an organization and emphasizes the daily, systematic pursuit of small, incremental changes in all aspects of an organization's processes, systems, and culture. Kaizen engages collaborators at all levels in actively participating in identifying and implementing small, regular improvements to eliminate waste (therefore increasing process efficiency and efficacy), improve quality, and improve safety in every area of the workplace; resulting in higher customer satisfaction.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Foster a Kaizen culture, and understand how to facilitate employee engagement, lead improvement initiatives, and create an environment that fosters continuous improvement
  • Explain the Kaizen philosophy, including the principles of "everyday / everywhere / everyone" and the impact of small, incremental changes over time
  • Implement a Kaizen proposal system, including problem identification, root cause analysis, proposal submission, change implementation, standardization, evaluation, and recognition
  • Speak to successful applications of Kaizen in various industries, and share best practices, lessons learned, and practical tips for developing a Kaizen culture
  • Design incentive programs, foster employee engagement, and create systems that support the practice of continuous improvement across the organization


Sammy-Obara.jpgSammy Obara

Sammy Obara is a seasoned professional with deep expertise in Lean and the Toyota Production System (TPS). Over four decades, he has successfully introduced, guided, and applied Lean practices in various organizations and countries.

 Sammy's Lean journey began at Toyota facilities in Japan, Brazil, Venezuela, and the United States. Through immersive hands-on experiences, he gained a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles of TPS/Lean. Today, he serves as a trusted mentor, coach, and trainer, sharing his knowledge with esteemed Lean consulting firms, renowned educational institutions, and even engaging in humanitarian missions across Asia, Africa, and South America.

As a faculty member at Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) and an instructor of Global Strategy Management for the California Community College system, Sammy imparts invaluable insights to the learning setting. He is invited as a guest lecturer for post-graduate classes at esteemed institutions like UC San Diego, Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Southern California, La Verne, and San Diego State University.

Having assisted over 450 companies worldwide in implementing TPS/Lean projects, Sammy's expertise spans diverse sectors and countries. He has successfully guided organizations in their Lean journey in environments ranging from schools and hospitals to military organizations.

Currently, Sammy continues to contribute his skills to the implementation of Lean practices through . His extensive experience and significant contributions have solidified his reputation as a respected figure in Lean methodologies, making him an invaluable resource for organizations and individuals striving to reach their next level of operational excellence.