Alumni in Action: Lori Kirstein Sees LSS as a Tool For Today’s Work World

Alumni in Action: Lori Kirstein Sees LSS as a Tool For Today’s Work World

Lori Kirstein has 30 + years of experience in improving small business processes and communications. A creative-strategic partner to the businesses she works with, Lori’s  work has involved everything from providing coaching in sales, processes, presentations and public speaking, writing internal communications, documenting workflows, creating and designing websites, and serving as a business consultant for entrepreneurs. In all her work, Lori emphasizes authentic communication which she considers the building block of all successful effort.

Training Benefits

After participating in BPG’s Lean Six Sigma (LSS)White Belt training, Lori signed up for and earned her LSS Black Belt. She realized how rooted in LSS procedure her personal experience and processes already were. She learned tools and methods to further the effectiveness of her consulting work. She has taken advantage of  BPG’s  offer to mentor alumni on their first formal LSS  projects by checking in with BPG COO Tasos Georgopoulos. And, she is seeing that  LSSBB certification gives her more legitimacy in the eyes of potential clients.

Perhaps as importantly, Lori is finding that the training has given her a pipeline to like-minded people; people who want to  improve processes, profits, and the lives of the people they work with.  What Lori really loves about LSS is that it’s about uncovering and utilizing human talents to supercharge, slim down, and speed up success goals. She believes that “Too often we think that speed is the only answer to a quest for more bottom-line benefits. However, there are people born to inspire others, and there are people born to create order out of chaos, and there are people born to envision change. When the right person for the job finds her or himself in the job they are ideal for and love, and are given the freedom and tools they need to do that job in ways that give them their personal agency, the explosion of productivity and ideation are natural outputs.”

Changing Mindsets

Lori describes herself as a visionary who loves to “straighten things out to allow the natural flow of process, quickly spot problems, and envision and plan for LEAN solutions.”

Her LSS training has given her a deeper appreciation of how challenging change can be when someone doesn’t  have a vision into the enormous wins possible from simple changes. That understanding has changed how Lori approaches her work. She now sees prepping her clients as part of the LSS process; taking a little more time to get them comfortable both with sharing what is troubling them, and with confronting the idea that knowing what is wrong gives the business manager/owner the golden key to uncovering what is right. Lori says, “You can’t bring LSS into an organization until people are ready to see the problems for what they are: massive golden opportunities.”

She begins by asking questions with a sense of curiosity, and learning from people at all levels of the organization. Because a change in one area usually impacts some or all other areas, she needs a 360 degree view of the organization and its people.  Then she involves those people in the work of visioning a new normal. For example, on one project, a long-time employee told her that just a few 5-second checks to multiple areas on a candy manufacturing production line during every factory worker’s day could eliminate expensive errors and machine damages – not to mention the costly resulting supply chain delays.  Lori suggested creating a training video for these money-saving and leadership-building actions, and with her help as videographer and film producer, they created a video to train line workers in the process.

Lori finds that when she can use LSS approaches to get people to engage their curiosity with boots-on-the-ground approaches, collaboration increases and resistance to change decreases.  Clients move toward achieving their business goals and their people enjoy work more when they can contribute.  A win-win situation! Once again, communication is key, as is an openness to seeing what works best for both people and process.

LSS  for a New Work World

As you’ve read, Lori’s mission is to improve her client’s business and their employees  work life with systems and processes that maximize innovation, creativity, and the growth and fulfillment of the people within an organization -something that, she says, traditional work structures, historically based on top-down, obey-or-die army structures could never do.

Why? Drawing on her own experience, her 1% Solution path-of-least-resistance program, and the work of Carol Sanford, researcher and author of  “The Regenerative Business,1” Lori says the traditional work format eliminates trust, and “finding a way to share innovative ideas becomes a treacherous road filled with potentials to be censured or fired rather than a road to celebration, shared collaboration and business expansion from the ground up.”

That said, Lori knows “We can’t just throw all existing systems out of the window. Evaluation is critical.” This is where LSS fits in her toolbox. “From win-win, to clean processes, to  freeing the human potential on all employee levels, that is the beauty of utilizing LSS in all contexts in today’s work world.”


1Regenerative Business – a term coined by Carol Sanford in her book The Regenerative Business which describes her work over 50 years with large corporations like Johnson & Johnson – is about asking questions and discovering answers and engaging the magic of human potential.