OEN NewsLean Portland Partners with New Leadership at OEN to Apply Lean Principles to Nonprofit Industry

Kjell van Zoen leads OEN staff in a Lean consulting session.

OEN is entering into an agreement with Lean Portland (a Benefit Company) for Lean coaching and consulting services.

Often associated with the manufacturing industry, Lean principles have potential to drastically improve the efficiency of nonprofits, many of which are already operating with scarce human and financial resources. As Lean Portland extends its reach into the nonprofit sector, it hopes to help nonprofits reduce operating costs and strengthen revenue streams by helping staff better prioritize and focus their time.

The agreement is part of Lean Portland’s unique mission: Developing our members’ leadership skills by helping nonprofit organizations learn to continuously improve.

“During a change in leadership, many existing processes are often revisited and called into question,” says OEN Executive Director Maggie Finnerty, who started her role in January. “There is no better time for OEN to start our Lean Journey, and we’re thrilled to have access to the unique talents of Lean Portland’s volunteers. We are surprised and delighted to have world-class talent volunteering their time for us.”

“We’re here to teach the tools, but more importantly, we are coaching staff to help them adopt the underlying mindset that drives positive engagement,” explains Matt Horvat, Founder of Lean Portland. “Our vision is that Portland is a city where people are actively engaged in making improvements to their own work. And having ownership in your work is fundamental to dignity. As Taiichi Ohno, the father of lean, used to put it, it’s about respect for humanity.”

Lean Portland is also engaged in projects with The ReBuilding Center and Free Geek. Past clients include Friends of the Children and Social Venture Partners. The current project for OEN involves Lean expert volunteers Kjell van Zoen of VanZoen.com, Brion Hurley of Rockwell Collins, and Thomas Cox of Becoming a Best Boss.

The OEN staff looks forward to reporting their progress to their board, to their members and to the public.

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