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Lean Approaches to Social Innovation

Course Description

Affordable housing that's 40% less expensive to build. Three times as many soup kitchen clients served each hour. Hospital ER wait time cut by 90%. This is the type of impact social innovators aspire to achieve by applying the method called "Lean."

Since Toyota developed the Lean continuous improvement methodology, manufacturers globally adopted it, then finance and healthcare organizations, and now nonprofits, government agencies, and for-­profit and hybrid social enterprises. What is Lean? How do you set up a Lean program? Which organizations have seen great results, and why? How does Lean relate to financial and social impact strategy and operations?

Students will understand the basic concepts and methods of Lean; gain familiarity with case studies from nonprofit, government, and social enterprise; and become ready to take an active role in a Lean project.



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