About Us

Mike Orzen

The consulting firm of Mike Orzen & Associates specializes in the training and application of Lean Continuous Improvement methods in service and administration processes, digital information & technology, manufacturing and healthcare to drive measurable improvement. As coach and consultant to numerous clients, we ascertain opportunities for improvement, train leadership, management and associates in the effective application of Lean, Six Sigma, Lean IT, Agile, DevOps, Operational Excellence, TPS, and the Shingo Model to develop internal capability and sustain improvements.

We work with clients to build awareness, create the conditions, develop skills and coach the specific behaviors required to drive an environment of trust, mutual respect, continuous improvement and team-based performance.

Mike Orzen & Associates is a collection of people with a passion for helping companies move from reactive firefighting to a more thoughtful and intentional way of running their organization. We have invested decades learning what works in moving organizations to higher levels of engagement, ownership and performance.

Mike Orzen

As president of Mike Orzen & Associates, Inc., Mike’s passion for meaningful teamwork, psychological safety and continual improvement helps clients build a healthy organizational culture that prioritizes respectfully engaging people, improving business process capability, enabling people and leveraging information technology to drive a culture of excellence.

His personable approach and people-first philosophy has inspired leaders and empowered workforces to successfully apply Lean in many complex work environments including banking, insurance, software development and operations, textiles, manufacturing, aerospace, food and beverage, logistics, healthcare, military and higher education. Mike has been teaching, consulting and coaching for more than 25 years and amased a unique blend of Lean, Lean IT, service administration and operations insights he uses to help organizations in their pursuit of enterprise excellence.

Mike actively coaches and mentors business professionals around the world. He is coauthor of the award-winning books Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Enterprise and The Lean IT Field Guide. The principles of these books extend far beyond Information Technology and apply to all aspects of business and organizational change.

Mike holds degrees from Stanford University and the University of Oregon, as well as certifications in Management Accounting, Production and Inventory Control, Project Management, Six Sigma, ITIL, Agile, DevOps and Lean IT.

He is a recipient of the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence, a faculty member of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI), Shingo Fellow and certified assessor and adjunct professor with Ohio State University’s Master of Business in Operation Excellence program. He is on the editorial committee for the Lean IT Association (LITA). His contributions to LITA, the DevOps Institute (DOI) and The DevOps and Agile Skills Association (DASA) demonstrate his thought leadership.

Mike is a 40-year practitioner of yoga and meditation and has completed over twenty long-distance running races. He is active in several local charities and community projects.

David Verble

David Verble has been a performance improvement consultant and leadership coach since 2000. Prior to that, he worked for Toyota in North America for 14 years, first as an internal change agent and later as a manager of human resource development. He is on the faculty of the Lean Enterprise Institute and supports a number of the LEI affiliates in the Lean Global Network.

David has worked with clients in manufacturing, healthcare, finance, and higher education in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His work focuses on supporting clients in process improvement, development of lean management systems and practices, strategic thinking and problem solving, and leadership coaching for managers and executives. He has a graduate degree in instructional systems and performance technology and training in consulting psychology.

Steve Zagarola

Steve Zagarola is a Six Sigma Executive Master Black Belt certified by Mikel Harry – a co-founder of the Six Sigma methodology from Motorola. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the practical application of statistical approaches to the optimization of manufacturing and transactional processes, quality systems and R&D including the application of statistical process control, design of experiments, DMAIC and Design for Six Sigma.

Steve’s skills are the perfect balance between “real-world” experience and the ability to effectively train and inspire others. He has provided training and consulting for industries ranging from apparel manufacturing, advanced semiconductors, food and beverage, plastics molding, wind energy, healthcare, and public transportation for manufacturing, service and administration processes. He has worked with clients to significantly improve operations, net profit and customer loyalty for global organizations on six continents and in English, Spanish and German.

Joe Hesch

Joe Hesch MBA, LSSBB,  PROSCI certified Change Practitioner, started Lean work in 1987 beginning with a career in the machine tool industry, followed by a 13-year career at HP in inkjet printer manufacturing where he designed and refined high volume manufacturing process. Joe also worked as a Lean coach for 8 years with a broad range of clients from cheese makers, mattress recyclers, shoe manufacturers, medical device manufacturers and higher education institutions.

Currently, Joe is a Lean Coach specializing in building problem solving capabilities in front line employees up to VP level executives. Joe has a real flair and passion for training using real life examples and simulations while focusing on coaching people to develop their own solutions and methodologies based on Lean principles. Joe is an accomplished Lean Management System Developer helping companies build what is right for them from the shop floor, office processes, and the executive enterprise management.