About us

Our formation

Origins of the Lean HE Hub

In September 2013 a group of lean practitioners met at a conference hosted by Coventry University, in the UK (although less formal communities of practice can be traced back to 2008, in a 1 day event hosted by Cardiff University).

We realised that there were a growing number of events for lean practitioners in HE, and there was a need for an organisation to provide consistency across these events, and provide a network for peer support. In essence, to ensure that as practitioners we were ourselves applying continuous improvement to our own activity, at whatever stage of the lean journey we are at.

Out of this the Lean HE Hub was born, using existing on-line forums and tapping into the knowledge of a wide number of practitioners. In 2016 the Lean HE Hub became "Lean HE". Three continental divisions were established to better meet local needs. Lean HE Australasia (now Lean HE Asia Pacific), founded by Valerie Runyan, Lean HE Americas, founded by Marilyn Thompson and Lean HE Europe, founded by Rachel McAssey.

We work within our Terms of Reference, which we review annually to achieve our statement of Purpose, Mission, Vision and Values.

We hope to provide a space for those undertaking lean type activity to share experiences, learn, and then further improve.

We aim to support practitioners applying lean or similar continuous improvement practices in Higher Education. Our vision is to see the culture of HE embrace continuous improvement, bring about increased effectiveness and efficiency and thereby support the transformative power of Higher Education.

Find out about our first five years in the:

Lean HE Timeline 2013-2018

Who we are

The Lean HE Steering Group

Lean HE Team, AGM 2019 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

Lean HE is a community of practice supported by a global steering group and three continental division steering groups.

The global steering group supports and awards our international conference series, our website, and our online networking.

Each continental division supports networking appropriate to institutions in their approximate geographical regions.

Together these groups are supported by over 30 expert lean practitioners drawn from universities across Europe, Australasia and the Americas.

Steve Yorkstone chairs the global steering group. He has been working on lean in Higher Education since 2006 as a staff member embedded in a number of different Universities.

The global steering group meets regularly, and presents a brief report of activity each year at the Lean HE conference.

Annual Reports

Get involved

We do membership differently

We don't have any membership fees, and we don't hold membership lists. We're a community of practice, a network. You become part of what we do by taking part in it.

Search out the #LeanHE and join our LinkedIn group for free. Find or create your local networks through your Continental Division.

"Being a part of Lean HE is about taking the initiative and getting involved. It does take commitment [...] costs are significantly less than my professional body membership, but I get so much more from sharing with people as exited about Lean in HE as I am."

The cost of coming to one of our international conferences is typically significantly less than, say, annual membership of a professional body.

Need help?

All our global steering group members are open to be contacted for free and impartial advice.

You may wish to review the type of experience, model of Lean and type of institution when deciding who to contact. Check out their profiles here.

Alternatively send a message to our Chair or Secretary, stating your requirements and we will direct you to an appropriate resource.

Contact details

Drop us a line if you are interested in finding out more about what we do:


Stephen Yorkstone: s.yorkstone@leanhehub.org


Stephen Yorkstone: (+44) 0 131 455 5006