About Kata Competency System - Lean Competency System

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About Kata Competency System

A unique kata qualifications framework from the LCS

The Kata Competency System (KCS) is the only university linked kata workplace-based qualification, offering a universal standard that can be applied in any organisation, regardless of size or sector.

Organisations and consultants can become KCS accredited, enabling them to issue Certificates of Kata Competency to learners they train. Experienced kata practitioners can also become certified at KCS Level 2 via the Approved Prior Learning & Experience route.

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Created by the LCS & collaborators

The KCS has been developed by the LCS, Lernzone and Lean FSL Associates as a vehicle to help organisations develop kata capability and adopt kata practices more effectively.

The KCS is managed by Lean Competency Services Ltd., an independent company which holds the Cardiff University licence to operate and develop the LCS and associated products. KCS governance and management is overseen jointly by the LCS, Lernzone and Lean FSL Associates.

Graham Canning

Director, Lean FSL Associates

Graham Canning has worked in lean and kaizen consultancy roles for nearly 15 years, supported by a further 15 years working in the Manufacturing sector for companies such as Toyota, Black & Decker and Pilkington Glass. He has an impressive record in leading lean transformations in many different industries (including Healthcare and Financial Services).

Graham has developed a passion for – and an academic interest in – coaching leaders to be successful in a Lean environment. He is a founding partner in Kata School UK and leads the LERC research project on the effective deployment of Toyota Kata. He is one of a select number of consultants accredited to Level 3b in the Lean Competency System.

He has an MSc in Manufacturing Leadership from Lancaster Management School. Always at the forefront of emerging Lean thinking, he is gaining a reputation as a skilled practitioner and coach of the Toyota Kata approach to improvement and people-development.

Tilo Schwarz

Director, Lernzone

Tilo works as Leadership Coach and Toyota Kata Trainer and supports organizations and managers to successfully lead change and continuous improvement. In the past 15 years Tilo has focused his work on helping leaders to coach their teams for mastering challenges and navigating unknown territory.

Between 2006 and 2012, being plant manager at a German power-tool manufacturer, he introduced the Toyota Kata as main problem solving- and management-pattern. Together with his management team he successfully navigate the crisis of 2007/2008, winning the 2008 A. T. Kearny manufacturing competition “plant of the year“ and receiving a second place in the WHU/INSEAD contest “industrial excellence award“ in 2011.

Simon Elias

Director, Lean Competency Services Ltd

Simon heads up Lean Competency Services Ltd which was established in 2013. The company holds the Cardiff University licence to manage and develop the Lean Competency System (LCS), which he was instrumental in developing in 2005 in the Lean Enterprise Research Centre (LERC) at Cardiff University. Before managing LCS, he was director of the LERC, where he was involved in a range of research, knowledge transfer, engagement, executive education projects, programmes and initiatives, as well as marketing and strategic development. Simon has been working for, or in collaboration with, Cardiff University since 1997 and previously worked in marketing, research and planning roles in several multinational businesses.