Highlights from GE’s “The Lean Mindset”

What is a “Lean Mindset”? How can you create a culture of continuous learning? How do you pursue excellence through learning from failure for yourself and your team? 

The answer to these questions and more were the focus of a special event called The Lean Mindset: Pursuit of Progress, hosted by General Electric CEO Larry Culp (whom I interviewed on stage at the AME 2022 conference).

In early September 2023 I had the honor of being invited to attend an in-person event for GE executives, customers, investors, and suppliers to highlight the importance of a lean and continuous improvement mindset…and how a lean mindset is how GE will achieve success.

The line-up of speakers included executives from GE, PG&E, Uber, Ford, and the Cleveland Clinic, and other leaders including professional athletes such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, master chef Wolfgang Puck, and retired Navy Admiral William Lescher.

Top Lean and Continuous Improvement Books Recommended by GE

I was also thrilled that that GE chose my book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn to give to attendees, along with Mark Graban’s book The Mistakes that Make Us, Carol Dweck’s Mindset, and Jim Womack’s Lean Thinking — and that we were all there in person to sign books and meet together. You can see more about all the books GE recommended here.


Authors of books provided at The Lean Mindset event: Katie Anderson, Carol Dweck, Mark Graban, and Jim Womack

Key Highlights from The Lean Mindset

I recorded a short video to capture some of my immediate reflections from The Lean Mindset Event here.

Five initial themes from the day stood out to me as keys for personal and organizational impact:

  1. The importance of continuous improvement and learning
  2. Embracing failure as a source of learning and improvement
  3. Having a growth mindset — not defining yourself by the result (failure or success)
  4. Starting with yourself – how can you personally grow and improve?
  5. Human connection

Check out my video above and dive into some of the other discussions already available about the event in the links below. There is a lot more to come from me too!

Jim Womack, Mark Graban, Jamie Parker and Katie Anderson Discuss The Lean Mindset

Mark Graban, Jamie Parker, Jim Womack and I gathered together for an immediate post-event discussion (followed by some non-recorded discussions at a restaurant around the corner….which I’ll talk about in upcoming posts and the Chain of Learning podcast), which we have released on Mark’s The Lean Blog Podcast.

One thing that really stood out to us all was that there is always room for improvement for us as individuals, leaders, and organizations. Everyone at the event highlighted this as a core attribute to their personal life philosophy, and how they support others to achieve their best too.

Be sure too to check out Jamie Parker’s podcast Lean Leadership for Ops Managers about her initial reflections from The Lean Mindset event.

The Chain of Learning Grows — as a Podcast!

There is so much rich learning from the day, and — over coming months and year, — I’ll continue to share insights and reflections from what I learned, plus discussions recorded onsite at the event and some follow-up conversations with attendees and speakers including Carol Dweck, Jim Womack, GE leaders, and more — to be released on my NEW forthcoming podcast “Chain of Learning” later this year!

Yes — I’m officially starting a NEW podcast!

You might have been following my videos and author interviews here and on my YouTube Channel for awhile — which I started to offer as audio recordings on a podcast channel called “Leading to Learn” so that you could listen in wherever you go!

But this time, I want to be intentional about the podcast…and it’s one of the things I’m actively working on right now! So stay tuned here — and if you aren’t already a subscriber of my newsletter, be sure to sign up to know when the podcast launches so you don’t miss out.

Jim Womack reading his endorsement of “Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn” – and podcasting!

The Lean Mindset Videos from GE

GE has generously made the talks from the day available publicaly so that you can learn from them too! Be sure to check out GE’s YouTube channel to hear these inspiring leaders across diverse industries exploring what a lean mindset, continuous improvement learning from failure, leading through challenges, and pursuing excellence means to them – as individuals and as team or organizational leaders.

You can also get a highlight glimpse of the event from this short “wrap” video by GE.

I have a few cameos here taking pictures with Mark GrabanJames WomackJamie ParkerCarol Dweck and interviewing Lisa Yerian for an upcoming Chain of Learning podcast episode!

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