Courageous Leadership : The Missing Link to Creating a Lean Culture of Excellence book cover
1st Edition

Courageous Leadership
The Missing Link to Creating a Lean Culture of Excellence

ISBN 9781138104389
Published January 3, 2018 by Productivity Press
278 Pages 99 Color & 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Courageous Leadership: The Missing Link to Creating a Lean Culture of Excellence is one of the firsts of its kind to wade through the confusion among leaders on selecting the type of change approach that will get the best results in their organization. It educates the senior executive leaders and organizational excellence practitioners on the different characteristics of change and answers why the approach to incremental and transitional change cannot deliver the results expected from a transformational change. The author shares his experiences from leading several small and large scale organization transformations in multiple industries across different countries on how to establish a robust foundation for an excellence journey and integrate strategy into daily operations. This book elaborates on the types of courage and what it means to be a courageous leader while leading change in difficult situations, and what leaders do differently for putting the organization on a path to excellence and culture transformation.

This book shares an innovative design, a methodology and an approach that combines best practices and principles from Malcolm Baldrige, Shingo, Lean, Six Sigma, Balanced Scorecard, accreditation, change management, patient and family-centered care, the Competing Values Framework, the LEADS framework, and the project management body of knowledge. The implementation of this model at a hospital in Canada propelled the organization further ahead on their transformational journey compared to other organizations that started much earlier. Sensei in Japanese means Teacher and Gyaan in Sanskrit means Knowledge. Brief sections on ‘Sensei Gyaan’ have been interspersed throughout the book to provide valuable tips to the readers based on author’s experiential learnings over the past two decades.

This book serves as a practical guide for senior executive leaders and organizational excellence practitioners, who wish to embark or are in various stages of their organizational excellence and culture transformation journey. Readers will be guided through 26 elements necessary for establishing a robust foundation and an additional set of 22 Management System elements required to create and sustain a culture of quality across the organization. For leaders in healthcare, the book provides a framework, guiding principles, and associated practices that support the implementation of the 4 core concepts of patient and family centered care namely, dignity and respect, information sharing, participation and collaboration. Included in the book are several examples with creative visuals, ready-to-use templates and standard works, models, guiding principles, and strategies based on best practices to assist leaders in their organization excellence journey.

Table of Contents

Section A: Create a Shared Need

Chapter 1: Understand the need for change

Chapter 2: Select the change approach that is right for your organization

Chapter 3: Select the framework for change

Section B: Shape a Vision

Chapter 4: Integrate excellence journey with organization’s strategy

Chapter 5: Integrate organizational culture with strategy

Chapter 6: Design the Business Excellence Model to implement the Excellence Journey

Section C: Mobilize Commitment

Chapter 7: Define roles and responsibilities of the change facilitators

Chapter 8: Develop the recruitment criteria and select the change facilitators

Chapter 9: Organize visits to best practice organizations for leaders to ‘Go See and Learn’

Section D: Make Change Last

Chapter 10: Develop Hospital Report Card

Chapter 11: Develop Visual strategy room

Chapter 12: Develop the process to cascade the organization strategy to frontline

Chapter 13: Develop project prioritization and selection criteria

Chapter 14: Prioritize and select critical few improvement initiatives across the organization

Chapter 15: Define role and responsibilities of project teams

Chapter 16: Define the Guiding Principles and Management System elements to sustain the Excellence Journey

Chapter 17: Develop a communication plan with a high degree of visual management to support branding

Chapter 18: Develop processes to celebrate experiments and to recognize individuals and teams

Chapter 19: Develop content for standard work on management system elements and other education material to support the excellence journey

Chapter 20: Build problem solving muscle of the organization

Chapter 21: Build Knowledge Management system

Section E: Monitor Progress

Chapter 22: Define the role of performance management team to support the Excellence Journey

Chapter 23: Develop standard toll gate process to evaluate progress of improvement projects

Chapter 24: Develop a 5 year roadmap and evaluation criteria for the Excellence Journey

Chapter 25: Develop evaluation criteria for selecting test pilot area for implementation

Chapter 26: Develop individual performance measures for leaders to build accountability

Section F: Leadership and Courage

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With broad experience spanning two decades, Sumeet Kumar has been leading individuals and organizations through business and culture transformation. He has a proven track record for stimulating organic business growth, increasing revenues and profits, and decreasing overhead.

Organizational excellence through strategy planning & execution, innovation, continuous quality improvement, and project management has been the focus of his partnerships with Boards, leadership and executive teams in automotive, food, chemical, paper, textile, education, and healthcare. Sumeet has expertise in optimizing systems and processes, improving flow, and developing integrated quality, risk, safety and management system frameworks that complements departmental and enterprise-wide policies.

Mechanical Engineer and MBA, by qualification, he has held a number of titles that speak to his expertise in strategic systemic change, including Vice President and Business Head, Chief Strategy Officer, Director Transformation, and Quality Deployment leader among others. A certified Project Management Professional, Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma, and Master Black Belt in Innovation, he is an expert motivator who brings an infectious enthusiasm to every change initiative. In Canada, he is one of the three consultants trained to conduct the organizational culture assessment instrument (OCAI).

Sumeet’s professional reputation and passion for driving positive culture change by integrating best practices and principles of Malcolm Baldrige, Shingo, Accreditation, ISO, GMP, Six Sigma, TQM, TPM, WCM, and Lean quality management into daily operations has made him a sought after speaker at national and international forums. In 2015, he founded KFI Management Consulting ( that provides advisory services to clients in the areas of designing and implementing Lean management system frameworks, strategy planning and execution, and building capacity to support operational and cultural transformation.


"A practical and insightful guide to quality transformation. Sumeet explains the theoretical and practical considerations of leading large scale change, involving stakeholders and linking strategy from the front line to the board table."

Paul Heinrich, President and CEO, North Bay Regional Health Centre

"A thought-provoking book that provides leaders a structure to subjective nuances of creating an organizational culture. Sumeet will walk you through a journey of self-realization and courage; the courage it takes to transform your leadership and the organization."

Stéphane Giguère, CEO, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation 

"A management-excellence playbook for business leaders to be successful in this world of constant change. This book provides the tools necessary to guide the change journey from the beginning when defining your Change Vision, through the middle when ensuring Employee Engagement, to the end, when confirming the change sticks."

Corina Moore, President and CEO, Ontario Northland

"A brilliant interplay of Lean Management and Leadership Courage. Sumeet takes the reader on an exciting journey of excellence filled with teachable moments. A required reading for all leaders."

Marc Gauthier, Director of Education, CSPGNO

"In today's lightning fast paced global economy, those that strive for advantages long before most recognize a challenge, will be the leaders of today and the future. This book is an accelerator for those they truly want to be at the top of their game." 

Mayor Al McDonald, City of North Bay  

"An excellent resource for leaders embarking on a culture transformation journey. Sumeet provides the reader with a systematic approach supported with real case examples of leading behavior change in an organization. The pictorial representation of technical concepts, models and tools makes the book more interesting, provides clarity to visual folks, and enhances reader’s learning experience."

Nancy H. Jacko, former Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive, NBRHC

"This book is a valuable resource explaining the various types of change along with key strategies to ensure success. The emphasis on change behaviors at the leadership and staff levels for organization transformation is paramount. What a terrific synthesis of management excellence. A must-have manual for leaders!"

Joanne Bezzubetz, Vice President Patient Care Services, The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

"Sumeet takes a principles based approach to leading sustainable change. Blending theories and actual experience, the book provides the reader with practical tools for organizational quality transformation."

Dr. Susan J. Adams, former Chief of Psychiatry, NBRHC