Lean Blog Interviews — 378: Christopher D. Chapman and Valeria Sinclair-Chapman, PhD on Lean, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion



Joining me for Episode #378 are Christopher D. Chapman, Senior Lean Transformation Coach at Chapman Lean Enterprise and Dr. Valeria Sinclair-Chapman,  a social scientist, Associate Professor, and Director of the Center for Research on Diversity and Inclusion at Purdue University.


I was first introduced to Chris through his article that was published on the Lean Enterprise Institute’s “The Lean Post” section titled “Lean in Lean Thinkers to Root Out Racial Inequity.” He also has a follow up article called “Our Burning Platform and Using the 5 Whys to Think More Deeply about Corrective Action” with more to come.


As he wrote:

Lean leaders have a crucial role to play. We have long practiced and taught clients Respect for People as the moral core of lean thinking. As LEI states, leading respectfully not only improves business results but also the lives of workers, their families, their community, and, ultimately, society.” 

I reached out to Chris to see if he’d want to discuss his article in a podcast and he was quick to bring his wife, Val, into the conversation, given her academic credentials and her experience working with organizations on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).


In the episode, all three of us discuss the intersection and overlap between Lean transformation and DEI. Changing the culture of an organization is difficult and it requires a willingness to call out problems as a start.


This is a different topic than other podcast episodes. It’s also a much longer episode than usual… because it’s an important discussion, it was thought provoking, challenging (for me), but it was also friendly and spirited in a positive way. I hope you agree. I invite you to join us. This topic might be outside of your comfort zone… it was for me, but that made it all the more worth doing.