"Design Thinking the Learning Organization using Lean A3" with Will Evans

This is a past event

45 people went



45 W 18th St, 7th floor · New York, NY

How to find us

Between 6th and 5th avenues, above the Bed Bath and Beyond. Spotify is up on the 7th floor.

Location image of event venue


Is your organization designed to learn?
Lean management is not about experts providing answers, or aligning ‘resources’ to a vision. It’s about designing a system of constraints for people to ask the right questions, find purpose in their work, and be empowered to make decisions and constantly learn & improve through experimentation and failure.

”Learning organizations are organizations where people continually expand their capacity to design for the results they truly desire; where new and expansive mindsets are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together instead of optimizing for the parts.” – Peter Senge

When people talk about the application of Lean principles to knowledge work like software, what immediately comes to mind? Perhaps “visualize your work,” using visual management systems like Kanban? Perhaps the idea of removing waste from the system to increase flow of value? While both of these are incredible powerful tools, many software companies believe that simple installing Kanban boards will move their organization forward. The reality is that it’s missing the most important aspect of the Lean (or the Toyota Production System), which is the use of A3 to create a continuously improving, learning organization.

As Jim Womack from the Lean Enterprise Institute says, "The most basic definition of an A3 would be a P-D-C-A storyboard or report. The broader notion of the A3 as a process–embodying the way of thinking represented in the format–captures the heart of lean management. In this context, an A3 document structures effective and efficient dialogue that fosters understanding followed by the opportunity for deep agreement.”

This two hour introductory workshop designed by PraxisFlow, will introduce the basics of design thinking and A3, unpacking the concepts and tools to introduce it into your organization. We’ll then integrate Edgar Schein’s notion of Humble Inquiry to teach coaching strategies for mentoring knowledge workers in its application towards designing better futures, solving problems, and removing waste from the value stream.


Through hands-on instruction, small group discussions and exercises, the workshop participants will:

· Learn the basic concepts of design thinking and formats of A3s and uses of the A3 as a learning process;

· Gain experience in the three basic roles of the A3 process (Author/Owner, Responder, Coach)

· Learn the four types of inquiry necessary for coaching A3 at the team, function, and leadership levels of the organization

Who should attend:

· Any leader who wishes to improve her organization

· Any designer who wishes to lead and manage her organization more effectively

· Lean and Agile coaches

· Human Resources and Organizational Development professionals who wish to seek more effective means to deeply improve the thinking, behavior, alignment, and performance of their organization and the people in it

· Senior executives who wish to improve their abilities to lead and manage

· Anyone who wishes to improve his or her critical lean thinking

Presenter: Will Evans explores the convergence of practice and theory using Lean Systems, Design Thinking, DevOps, and LeanUX with global corporations from NYC to Berlin to Singapore. As Chief Design Officer at PraxisFlow, he works with a select group of corporate clients undergoing Lean and Agile transformations across the entire organization. Will is also the Design Thinker-in-Residence at NYU Stern's Berkley Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Will was previously the Managing Director of TLCLabs, the world's leading Lean Design Innovation consultancy where he brought LeanUX and Design Thinking to large media, finance, and healthcare companies.

Before TLC, he led experience design and research for TheLadders in New York City. He has over 15 years industry experience in design innovation, user experience strategy and research. His roles include directing UX for social network analytics & terrorism modeling at AIR Worldwide, UX Architect for social media site Gather.com, and UX Architect for travel search engine Kayak.com. He worked at Lotus/IBM where he was the senior information architect, and for Curl - a DARPA-funded MIT project when he was at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science.

He lives in New York, NY, and drinks far too much coffee. He co-founded and co-chaired the LeanUXNYC conference, founded the LEAD SUMMIT NYC, and was also the User Experience track chair for the Agile 2013 and Agile 2014 conferences.

Location: Spotify is on 45 W. 18th Street. That's between 6th and 5th avenues, above the Bed Bath and Beyond. We meet up on the 7th floor.