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Organizational Fitness

Strength | Speed | Agility


Organizational Fitness

Strength | Speed | Agility


I help improve organizational performance through targeted interventions and coaching based on fundamental lean principles. 

The level and type of engagement depends on whether the client seeks an immediate solution to a business problem, or the development of broader internal skills and capabilities.


I tailor my talks to each client's needs, but these are the most popular topics:

THE FIT ORGANIZATION: This presentation, based on my new book, Building the Fit Organization, presents the six core principles that will make any organization stronger, faster, and more competitive. By reframing continuous improvement as a journey towards organizational fitness, it provides a non-alienating cognitive and cultural on-ramp for the audience. 

A FACTORY OF ONE: This keynote draws on the concepts from my Shingo Research Award-winning book of the same title. Attendees learn how to apply lean manufacturing principles to individual work so that they can get more value-added works done with less effort. 

FROM FIRE FIGHTING TO CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT: This interactive session introduces the scientific method of problem solving that lies at the core of any sustainable commitment to continuous improvement. 


I provide training on a variety of topics, including:

STRUCTURED PROBLEM SOLVING: This workshop guides participants through the process of creating of an in-depth, single-page understanding of a problem, including context, root cause analysis, countermeasures, implementation plan, and follow up. 

PERSONAL LEAN: If you want to lead lean, you've got to live lean. This workshop blends classic time management principles with lean manufacturing techniques and the latest psychological insights to show attendees how to create more value and reduce waste in their workflows. 

VALUE STREAM MAPPING:  Value stream mapping is a critically important skill for analyzing and understanding complex (and invisible) office processes. In this workshop, participants will learn fundamental mapping techniques that they can immediately use at their jobs. 

LEAN FUNDAMENTALS: What does "lean" mean, and where did it come from? This is a short introduction to the history of lean, its core principles, and the best way to approach it in your organization. 






A3 Thinking: This guide provides an introduction to the fundamentals of "A3" thinking, an elegant and structured approach to root cause problem solving. This Infopack explains what an A3 is, why you'd want to use it, and highlights common mistakes. 

Value Stream Mapping: A short primer on the basics of value stream mapping. This Infopack identifies the key components of a value stream map, and suggests how to introduce it to your organization. 

Bridging the Gap: Sometimes the basics get lost in the heated discussions over the various ways to develop strategy. This short Infopack presents four key principles that you don't want to forget, irrespective of your preferred approach to making strategy. 


Fit Organization: Is your organization fit or flabby? Use this self-assessment to identify where you're doing well and where you need some work in the six critical areas for operational excellence. 

Organizational Efficiency: What people commonly perceive as time management challenges are actually symptoms of underlying problems in organizational efficiency. This assessment will help you identify where the root cause lies. 

Individual Lean: Your organization may be well on its lean journey, but what about your own work habits? You might be surprised at how much waste in all its myriad forms is hidden in your own work. Take this assessment to learn where -- and how -- you can improve the way you work. 




We REALLY Need to Stop Talking About Lean | Industry Week

Your Six Sigma Belt Program IS the Problem | Industry Week

The Art of Change | Industry Week

Flipping Accountability on Its Head | Rotman Management Journal

The Perils of Internal Disruption | Rotman Management Journal

How to Take Your Coaching Skills Up a Notch | Rotman Management Journal

First, Show You Care | Industry Week

Six Failure Modes in Strategy Deployment | Industry Week

Why You're Struggling to Improve Company Culture | Industry Week

How to Deal with Seasonal Fluctuations in Your Business | Industry Week

Why It Makes Sense (Sometimes) to Start with Hoshin Kanri | Industry Week

Three Reasons Why Visual Management Boards Fail | Industry Week

Nudge Your Way to Better Results | Rotman Management Journal

Smart Power Personified | Rotman Management Journal

Ask Not What Your Employees Can Do For You | Rotman Management Journal

In Praise of Ignorance | Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Insights

Organizational Structure, Organizational Clutter | Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Insights

The Fit Organization: How to Build a Continuous Improvement Culture | Rotman Management Journal

Lean Transformation: "Shock & Awe" vs. "Slow & Grow" | The Lean Post

Lean Fitness: The Individual vs. The Organization | The Lean Post

How Visual Systems Make it Easier to Track Knowledge Work | Harvard Business Review Blog

The Perils of Vertical Thinking | Industry Week

Let's Get Serious About Lowering the Water Level | Industry Week

Smarter Work: Applying Lean to Our Own Gemba | Planet Lean

Go To Where the Actual Work is Being Done | Harvard Business Review Blog

No One Likes to Be Changed | Harvard Business Review Blog

The Folly of Stretch Goals | Journal of the Institute of Management Services

How to Break Free From Email Jail | Harvard Business Review Blog

A Factory of One Webinar | Gemba Academy Lean Thinker Webinar Series

The Folly of Stretch Goals | Harvard Business Review Blog

Information 5S | Management Services Journal

What’s Your Job? | Productive! Magazine

A Flurry of Inactivity | Quality Progress Magazine

To-Do Lists Don’t Work | Harvard Business Review Blog

How Broken Promises Can Benefit Your Company. | Amex OPEN Forum

Inspiration Doesn’t Come From A Box Of Cocoa Puffs | Amex OPEN Forum

One snowstorm. Three leaders. One lesson in lean management | Reliable Plant Magazine

Time Management Training: A Waste of Time | Chief Learning Officer

Think You Have a Time Management Problem? Think Again | Amex OPEN Forum

Why Isn’t ‘Thinking Time’ Part Of Your Standard Work? | What Do You Want From Them

Making Time For Business | California Lawyer

TPS – The Thinking Production System | The Manufacturer

The New Frontier of Lean | Industry Week

Lean Methods, Lean Planning | Industry Week

Get Lean, Get Innovative | Industry Week

How to Make an Office Lean | Industry Week


Building the Fit Organization | Karen Martin Group

Building the Fit Organization | KaiNexus

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"Dan Markovitz brings a thoughtful and supremely practical perspective to the fundamental scarcity faced by us all: time." 

- Jim Collins, author Good to Great, Built to Last

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"Dan is one of today's leading voices revealing the role of skill development in organizations, and how practice is a vital ingredient for acquiring new skills, mindsets, and making change really happen."  

- Mike Rother, author, Toyota Kata

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in the media

in the media


Use Lean Management to Make Your Organization Fit | Planet Lean

4 Things You Should Never Reduce in a Lean Environment | The Fast Track

Flurry of Inactivity | Quality Progress Magazine

How To Keep Meandering Meetings On Track | Nine To Thrive

Workplace Distractions: Here's Why You Won't Finish This Article | Wall Street Journal

Book Review: A Factory of One | Mindedge

Setting Appropriate Work Boundaries: Start With Your Smartphone | Mindjet

Foundry Magazine March 2012 - What's Your Job | Foundry Management & Technology

Improve your productivity with three lean manufacturing principles | CIO Magazine

It's About Time To Maximize Your Time | Physician's Money Digest

Where Does the Time Go? It's Up to You | Miami Herald

The Path To Work-Life Balance: One Size Does Not Fit All | The Hospitalist

A Tension Deficit? | HR Executive Online

Managing Your Technology | Financial Planning

Beat The Clock | Business Week

Company Spotlight | Examiner.com

Take Control Of Your Career In Time | Boston Globe

Four Tips to Unclutter Your Life Time Magazine


Focus on the People, Not the Process | Fisher College of Business

Building the Fit Organization (Part 1) | Lean Blog

Building the Fit Organization (Part 2) | Lean Blog

Building the Fit Organization Intervew | Gemba Academy

A Factory of One Interview (video) | Gemba Academy 

Podcast Interview | The Blog Of Ari Meisel

Individual Lean: the Root Cause of Success? | Business901.com

Lean Principles in the Workplace | Amazing Leadership Podcast

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About Me

More than you wanted to know....

About Me

More than you wanted to know....

I founded Markovitz Consulting to help organizations become faster, stronger, and more agile through the application of lean principles to knowledge work. I've worked with non-profit and governmental organizations such as the New York City Department of Health, Planned Parenthood, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, as well as a diverse roster of corporations such Starkey Technologies, W.L. Gore & Associates, Abbott Vascular, Clif Bar, Hydro Flask, and CamelBak. 

I've keynoted conferences and delivered seminars at the Lean Enterprise Academy Summit (UK), the Lean Island Conference (Iceland), the Lean Transformation Summit (US), the Rome Confluence Conference, the Outdoor Industry Association Rendezvous, the Printing Industry Association Continuous Improvement Conference, and numerous Association of Manufacturing Excellence events. I'm a faculty member at the Lean Enterprise Institute and teach regularly at the Stanford University Continuing Studies Program. I also lecture at the Ohio State University’s Fisher School of Business.

My first book, A Factory of One, was honored with a Shingo Research Award in 2013. I've also published articles in the Harvard Business Review blog, Quality Progress, Industry Week, Reliable Plant, and Management Services Journal, among other magazines.

I lived in Japan for four years and am fluent in Japanese. (Sadly, I knew nothing about lean at this time, and missed the opportunity to visit, study, and learn from Toyota while I was near the mothership.) I received a BA from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.