MBA Program with a Lean Focus


Announcing a new MBA Program with a Lean Focus

Lindsey Wilson College and ILS have partnered to launch a unique Lean Systems MBA this fall. This program is designed to give you the deep understanding and practical skills to effectively apply the lean systems model – widely recognized as the most impactful new management paradigm of the last half century – in your business and operations. If you are interested in advancing your lean skills to a new level, please review the innovative educational program described below. Seats are available to join the first cohort that will start on September 12, 2016.


  • Meets SACSCOG accreditation standards (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges)
  • Integrates traditional MBA curriculum with specialized lean systems instruction, including managerial accounting, business strategy, and organizational behavior.
  • The focus is on learn-by-doing. Ideally, students retain full-time employment as they progress through this program. The most important learning comesthrough completing a series of integrated and impactful lean transformation projects within their organization, with strong, positive impacts on organizational performance and value delivery. Work for their employer and work for the degree are thus, largely, one and the same. Effectively, students and their employers collaborate in a win/win partnership to earn the degree, both reaping major benefits.
  • The program is highly work-friendly.
  • On-line modules along with completion of certain written case studies ensure learning of key principles and theory and may be completed on the student’s schedule, allowing flexible pacing within each module.
  • Like many executive MBA programs, residential activity is focused in 3 weeks of hands-on learning activities. This is conducted on-site at various host organizations in the Louisville, KY region. Here they complete structured simulations and case studies central to learning the core technical, cultural, and managerial components of lean systems. They build relationships with their peers and program faculty. This experience broadens the student’s perspective beyond their company’s business and operations as they directly participate in the host’s lean transformation effort.
  • The program is affordable. Tuition for the LWC – ILS Lean MBA program is less than half that of an average MBA program
  • The program is comprehensive. It addresses a broad range of industries. It addresses operations, product development, extended-enterprise/partner relations, operational strategy, supply chain and logistics, organizational design, and daily management systems from the unique perspective of the lean systems model. It also builds strong skills in structured problem solving.
  • You customize the program to meet your learning objectives and interests and the needs of your employer.
  • Core content is taught in a general manner and then translated in sufficient detail so the student can apply learning across diverse businesses. This includes manufacturing, health care, service businesses, new product and/or service development groups, and government and public agencies.
  • Students can selectively deep-dive into areas that interest them. For example, in the lean systems design related courses they select, depending on their interest, from a menu of case studies that might include:
    • Development of a lean healthcare clinic operations
    • Development of cellular manufacturing structures and pull-based pattern scheduling systems to achieve product flow in high-variety, low-volume fabrication and assembly operations.
    • Development of standardized work systems to support highly specialized jobs such as cardio-surgery.
    • Structuring lean processes for scoping, design, and construction of large capital projects for quasi-public organizations such as airports.
    • Lean warehouse and logistics operations.
    • Structuring an extended-enterprise value stream, defining product requirements, supply chain structure, partner relationships, and operations that creates high market value while advancing barriers to competition.
  • Case studies, based on real-world problems where lean has been applied to great advantage, are supported with practical, principle-based curriculum that leads to effective solutions. In many instances, you will learn solution approaches that are cutting edge. The emphasis is always on practical and impactful change. Those of your who are driven may want to devour the entire menu.
Through this experience, you will learn practical skills in leadership, facilitation, teaching, and change management.

Lindsey Wilson

About the Lindsey Wilson – ILS Partnership

Lindsey Wilson College is strongly interested in providing learning programs that allow adults to build practical skills as they prepare for and progress through their careers. ILS leadership is comprised of former university faculty who researched and studied the principles of lean and developed strong, lauded academic and continuing education programs. Subsequently, for 10 years now, they have gone forward to apply and advance what they learned as a highly successful consulting organization that has designed and lead major lean transformation across highly diverse industries. They know lean and the underlying theory. They know how to apply it and make it work. They are always learning and pushing the boundaries. They also love to teach and to develop people who share their interests.

With on-line and other recent educational delivery advancements, a partnership that blends their practical skills, experience, and passion with the capabilities and structure of a strong, traditional higher education institution make sense and forms the basis of this alliance. We are excited to offer this program that has been designed to meet a strong educational need.


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