Our History

The history of the Iowa Lean Consortium

After three years of infrequent conversations about whether there was a need for some sort of an entity to support Lean implementation in Iowa, three people decided to take a Lean approach to pursue the idea.


In the fall of 2009 we conducted a Voice of the Customer survey with 22 entities – manufacturing companies, service and healthcare providers, local governments and educational institutions – asking whether their organization was involved in a Lean transformation, how they managed training, what they might contribute to make a consortium successful, and more. These results, combined with bench marking research on two long-term, successful consortia in other states, proved to be invaluable as a team of 14 people from the private and public sectors proceeded to hold a Design for Lean Sigma event in October 2009.

Over the course of three days this team created the framework for an Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC) β€œto serve as a resource and advocate for the multi-disciplinary implementation of Lean that is mutually beneficial for public, private, profit and not-for-profit organizations.” The ILC was incorporated as a non-profit on December 1, 2009 and the first board meeting was held in March 2010. The ILC hired its first Executive Director in Februaryof 2015.

From a vague idea with no members and no money, the ILC has flourished, building a strong foundation and attracting new members.

Interested in joining this dynamic and growing consortium? Learn more here.