Art Smalley

Art Smalley

Art Smalley is a renowned author, consultant and expert specializing in the areas of leadership, lean thinking and world class methods for improvement based upon the Toyota Production System. Through his company Art of Lean, Inc. he has served numerous companies and leading organizations around the world.  He is frequently called upon to speak at conferences and advise organizations in the area of performance improvement and leadership development.

In the latter part of the 1980’s Art was one of the first American’s to work for Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan first studying at different universities. Art was assigned to the famous Kamigo Engine Plant where Taiichi Ohno was the founding plant manager and perfected many of his improvement concepts. During his time with Toyota in Japan Art helped launch several key facilities involving precision engine components.

After a decade of both education and work in Japan, Art returned to the United States and served as Director of Improvement for Donnelly Corporation a $1 billion tier one automotive parts supplier.  During this time Donnelly Corporation executed one of the most impressive multi-site improvement transformations in North American winning multiple awards while substantially improving net income as well as operational metrics in safety, quality, productivity, delivery, and morale. As a result Art’s work was profiled in Forbes magazine and subsequently mentioned in numerous books and conferences.

In 1998 Art subsequently joined the international management consulting firm of McKinsey & Company and was one of the firm’s leading experts in the area of operational improvement.  During this time he counseled numerous Fortune 500 clients on operational matters involving lean implementation and oversaw specific cost, quality, and delivery improvement projects.

In 2002 Art launched his own company Art of Lean, Inc. and now divides his time serving a diverse base of manufacturing companies, service organizations, national laboratories, and private equity holdings.

In addition Art serves as senior faculty member and periodic adviser to the Lean Enterprise Institute and its global affiliates delivering lectures and workshops to leading operational executives around the world.  Art has authored four different books pertaining to improvement and problem solving. Links to the books on Amazon can be found on the Publications page of this website.

In 2006 Art was inducted as a lifetime member of the Shingo Prize Academy for Excellence in recognition of his contributions to lean manufacturing knowledge. In his spare time Art enjoys spending time with his family, woodworking, martial arts, photography, and reading books.

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