There is no magic wand or quick fix for Operational Excellence, nor can somebody else put in the hard miles for you and hand you it on a plate.  What we have managed to do at Unleash & Engage is distil the very essence of Operational Excellence, built a 12-week deployment model around this, followed by a three-month sustainment phase where the new habits are embedded as being ‘the way we do things around here’

12 Steps to Achieving Sustainable Operational Excellence.

Our Sustainable Operational Excellence model consists of 12 steps in 12 weeks and is guaranteed to deliver a 20% productivity improvement. 

The main benefit we see when we work with teams is that the level of engagement goes through the roof when people are unleashed from the box that the organisation has put them in (whether intentionally or not).  This is the most satisfying part of our work and the reason why we do what we do.

Once we reach the targets that we agree at the outset, we don’t stop making progress. In our most recent engagement with a large multinational company, we achieved more than double our target levels of improvement – measured during weeks 8 – 12 of the engagement.  One of the client team members said “I’ve been involved in LEAN projects and other improvement stuff, but this is the first time I’ve seen something that’s truly transformational.  What we’ve achieved in such a short amount of time is amazing”.

Our approach contains a number of simple tools, which when combined with leadership coaching, and deployed in just the right way, produces really amazing results.  We have made it successful in project teams, transactional functions, finance teams, sales teams, white collar, blue collar, distributed teams and design teams.

None of the steps are scary and taken in isolation, they can even appear trivial. However, when built together, with the involvement of the team, and the time and commitment from the front-line Manager, the results can be truly staggering. Find out more cContact Unleash & Engage.

Ever since Toyota made great strides in business performance using their ‘Lean’ approach the manufacturing industry has been trying to work out more about ‘Lean’ and how to capitalise on this approach.

Founder of Unleash & Engage Mark Gregory developed his early career at Toyota where he undertook their renown ‘Lean’ programme in Japan. Now a leading authority on ‘Lean’, Mark works closely with large organisations to help them understand Lean and achieve sustainable operational excellence.

Speaking at the Lean European Manufacturing Conference, Mark’s ‘Lean Engagement’ keynote presentation dispelled the common myths about ‘Lean’ providing powerful insights into ‘Lean’ as an employee engagement philosophy.  Giving clear examples of the work Unleash & Engage do using ‘Lean’ philosophy to help large complex organisations achieve true engagement and how this is a key enabler to sustainable operational excellence.

When Mark talks about ‘Lean’ it’s always a great success.  If you want to know more about ‘Lean Engagement’ and what this means in relation to Sustainable Operational Excellence, then please contact Mark Gregory



Founder of Unleash & Engage Mark Gregory has extensive business transformation experience, developing his early career at Toyota where he undertook their renown ‘Lean’ programme in Japan. Now a leading authority on ‘Lean’, Mark works closely with large complex organisations to help them understand and achieve sustainable operational excellence.

Speaking at the Annual European Manufacturing Strategies Summit, Mark’s keynote presentation explained the powerful concepts of ‘Lean Engagement’, creating the business case and proposition for ‘Human Lean’.

When Mark talks about ‘Lean’ it’s always a great success.  If you want to know more about ‘Lean’, ‘Human Lean’ and what this means in relation to Sustainable Operational Excellence then please contact Mark Gregory



Working with Senior Leadership Team for Europe, developed lean knowledge and expertise in support of a major construction programme.

Working collaboratively with ARCADIS we supported the development of their understanding of lean for construction, helping them deliver an approach for the benefit of their and their client’s business.

Our work involved the development of a lean construction framework that helped them both understand the concepts of lean and apply those concepts in support of client tender requirements.




Our exciting journey with Horizon Platforms was a great success, the work we did is explained below; the transformational result was that through this work Horizon developed a capability for sustainable operational excellence. Their success continues and at its heart is a powerful image of the future, a truly engaged team and from this customer service excellence and business growth.

In a nutshell, our work with Horizon Platforms included:

Vision Development

Working with the Senior Management Team. Using the Unleash & Engage Visioning Framework, we led the team through a vision development process to generate a powerful image of the future for Horizon.

Scorecard Development

Working with the Management Board, we trained the concepts of Hoshin Kanri (policy deployment) methodologies. Post training, we supported the implementation and deployment of a balanced scorecard, creating clear business objectives and accountability.

Development of Lean Manufacturing Facility

Using the Unleash & Engage New Product Introduction (NPI) Model, we worked with Horizon’s facilities team to develop the Greenfield Service Manufacturing Facility.

Lean Training

Working across the entire enterprise with various functions, establishing and implementing a Lean Tools Training Programme. Developing a foundation of lean knowledge upon which the organisation can grow.

Lean Enterprise Diagnostic

Using the Unleash & Engage Lean Enterprise Diagnostic, we undertook enterprise-wide assessments of the organisation, creating a current state view of the enterprise’s lean maturity.



A leading thinker and practitioner of Lean, Lexus approached Unleash & Engage founder; Mark Gregory to speak about Transformational Change in Real Life.

Mark presented to the Sales & Marketing teams from Lexus giving practical insights on leading transformational change.  Focusing on Difference, Logic & Emotion, Involvement, Engaging & Communicating, creating new sustainable habits and dealing with loneliness.

So, you can see when Mark talks about transformational change it doesn’t follow the usual leadership textbook, but instead the Unleash & Engage proven approach to achieving real sustainable change and operational excellence and how this approach can be applied in your work and personal life.  To find out more contact Mark Gregory

Read more on Lexus here.

Founder of Unleash & Engage Mark Gregory has extensive business transformation experience, developing his early career at Toyota; often considered the leading exemplar of Lean in the world.

Participating in their renown Lean Philosophy programme, Mark has continued his work with Toyota and was asked to provide a Keynote motivational speech on Engagement and Change through Lean to Toyota Sales & Marketing teams across Europe.

Mark will tell you that the things you read about Lean are in the main incomplete in understanding and don’t reflect the undeniably successful Toyota approach to Lean, which at its heart centers on engagement not just process.

When Mark talks about Lean it’s always a great success and through his presentation he covers:

  • Practical insights in leading engagement and change through lean
  • Difference
  • Logic & Emotion
  • Involvement
  • Engage & Communicate
  • New Habits
  • Loneliness
  • The connection between lean and change.

If you want to find the real story on Lean and how this approach is part of achieving sustainable operational excellence, please contact Mark Gregory


Article by Mark Gregory:

So engage the employee and it makes a difference to your customer which makes a difference to your profit. Not rocket science I hear you say! Agreed. So why don’t you do it then or worse why do you pretend you do it?

A service culture at its heart must be an engaging culture; a culture whereby every internal customer must be engaged as a whole person. This means equipping our people managers and leaders to think and behave differently and use the lean tools as customer service tools. When I help organisations embed a lean philosophy my advice is generally to think of the lean tools as an engagement vehicle and the improvement interventions as an opportunity to engender greater levels of employee engagement first and improve the business secondly. When we do this we obtain more of the whole person. The more we tap the whole person, the individual, the more engagement we obtain. Back to the Sears proposition.

So what about employee engagement mapping instead of value stream mapping or visual engagement instead of visual factory or leader prevention training instead of accident prevention training. I also often hear those who work in the field of lean philosophy talk about empowering the staff. Just imagine how easy that would be if we focus on the person before the process.

For those of you that are still not quite there and are thinking, “that’s not the real world the answer is simple, if you are not careful the internal customer is only doing what you want on the outside and my experience suggests what’s on the inside eventually appears on the outside. I am not saying this is easy as those who have tried leadership and engagement will tell you it is relentless and unforgiving, but we should be familiar with this as that’s what customer loyalty is like.

As Alan Jones, Chairman Emeritus of Toyota UK said, “Wherever you work, your job as a manager is to make your people the very best they can be – and usually they don’t know just how good they could be. It’s individuals that make the difference. For Toyota, this approach is not based on altruism – though it is based on a profound respect for its members. It is predicated on the firm belief that the most valuable asset the company has is its people, and that enabling them to have an intellectual and emotional relationship with their work, as well as a financial stake in the success of the company, is the key to continuous product and productivity improvement from the shop floor to the boardroom. Toyota’s people are their competitive advantage.”

So who is the real customer really?

Click here to read part 1..

Article by Mark Gregory:

As I go about my daily business, like most people, I am continually exposed to varying levels of customer service from fantastic to (as Buzz would say) awful and beyond! Unlike most of the people around me though, I wonder whether the proprietors of this service really think and/or attempt to understand who the real customer is and what are their needs?

There are a couple of key enablers we talk a lot about in the lean philosophy: firstly, the value chain – the chain of activities and interactions that produces the output, be it a product or a service; secondly, the customers within the value chain – which is simply the next person in the chain or the receiver of the output of the previous activity. As those more conversant with lean philosophy will know, there are then a whole host of tools one can use to optimise this value chain and what the customer receives. There is of course as with all good philosophies, a higher purpose at play here as well, a why are we doing this at all question to be answered and principles to guide us to that higher purpose, but on the whole, in its simplest terms, it is about optimising customer value and experience.

So when I consider this service excellence, customer experience, customer loyalty or whichever other term you prefer conundrum, I just see the external customer as the end of a long value chain. While it is important to expend concerted effort to recognise all of my needs, wants and desires in an attempt to satisfy them and get me to buy, it strikes me that this is often out of balance with the effort put into satisfying the only customer truly in our circle of control the internal one, our employees.

It strikes me that the poor service I often receive is just the outward manifestation of the lack of engagement effort the employer has expended on the internal customer (the employee). In other words, the service outcome is merely a by-product of the engagement proposition, just as high levels of quality and productivity are, within the lean philosophy.

The evidence is there but we may just be looking in the wrong place. For example, in 1998 the Harvard Business Review published an article entitled “The Employee – Customer Profit Chain at Sears.” This article (worth a read by the way) talks about the turnaround and transformation undertaken over a three year period at Sears Roebuck Company, an American Department store chain. As with all good turnaround stories, it has the CEO and the senior leadership team climbing the torturous mountain of culture change to place the flag of victory at the peak. What however is more interesting, is the approach they took in climbing the mountain. They started with creating a compelling place to work or employee engagement. The second interesting point here is that they put just as much, if not more energy into this, as they did into the other key area of focus, the external customer. The result was that they found a direct correlation: a 5 unit increase in employee attitude drove a 1.3 unit increase in customer impression, which in turn drove a 0.5% increase in revenue growth.

So if the internal customer is the key to service excellence and customer loyalty how does lean help?

To be continued…. Click here for part 2

Article by Mark Gregory:

Webinar’s have become increasingly popular mediums for training but whenever I have attended a webinar I have left disappointed. I don’t seem to find it as easy to connect to the presenter (or perhaps their style does not suit) and the material never leaves a lasting impression. This is why when looking at online training we wanted to do something a bit different.

Unleash & Engage have teamed up with GLOE (Great Live Online Events) to create the Unleash & Engage Academy. The academy is part of the Unleash & Engage Technologies portfolio and will provide an online training platform for organizations and individuals to learn about employee engagement, lean and leadership techniques the Unleash & Engage way.

But how do our sessions differ from standard webinars?

  • Engagement – As you would expect from us, engagement is at the forefront of training. We ensure there is as much interaction and engagement as much as possible through the live online events. We have breakout rooms, polls, debates, all geared towards
  • Teamwork – Our online events always involve you, a host and a presenter so there are a number of people bouncing off each other with loads of interesting content shared.
  • Focus – All our programs are geared to achieve results and in that we know that watching the program is not enough. As well as participating in the modules, you will also be given activities and homework mid and post program to ensure you keep what you have learnt at the forefront.
  • Review – Once you have completed a session of your program you will have unlimited access to the recording and support material at our academy so you always have a reference point.

So why not join our webinar revolution! You can find out more about the Unleash & Engage Academy here.

Our next open program is ‘The Power of the A3’, watch this space for more details!