Value Stream 1 Engaged People

The lean leadership paradox


Traditional leadership approaches

Examine leadership behaviors; understand the core concept of respect for humanity; optimize behaviors to support a lean operating system.


The principle of “Respect for People” is well known in the field of lean management from its roots in the Toyota Production System. But do our behaviors as managers and leaders truly reflect this principle? Is modern management radically slowing the adaption of the lean systems that we all know will produce results? Learn about the relationship of conventional leadership behaviors to the development of high levels of operational excellence. The training and experience that is typically encouraged and valued – especially at higher levels in the organization – is often inconsistent with the implementation and support of a lean system that will optimize operationally performance. We are left with the paradox of a conventional management system that actually discourages superior performance.  What can you do to examine your own behaviors and how can you change the behaviors of others? Hear examples of conventional management and leadership behaviors seen in most corporate environments. Do these approaches support the creation and sustaining of a world class manufacturing operating system? This compare and contrast exercise will allow attendees a framework within which to examine behaviors. Are you ready to change?


Medtronic is the world’s largest medical technology company, offering an unprecedented breadth and depth of innovative therapies to fulfill its Mission of alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life. Last year, more than 10 million people benefited from its medical therapies, which treat cardiac and vascular diseases, diabetes, and neurological and musculoskeletal conditions. Medtronic Surgical Technologies, a $1.6B business unit of Medtronic, develops and supplies products and procedural solutions for surgical applications that include; neuro/spine, cranial and orthopedics; ear, nose and throat; and surgical oncology.

Speaker: Mark Johnson

Mark P. Johnson is currently vice president of global operations for Medtronic Surgical Technologies. His career spans more than 30 years at a number of high tech firms including Philips, Motorola and Flextronics as well as several successful start-up ventures. He has experience across a wide variety of industries including medical devices, telecommunications and industrial/consumer products. Johnson’s main interests are in product and supply chain development, quality and management systems and lean leadership. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and is a graduate of The Management Program at the University of Washington.