Karen Martin

Karen Martin and her team provide Lean transformation and business performance improvement support to industry, government, and the not-for-profit sector. Karen’s broad understanding of operations design and business management stems from her experience building the operational infrastructure for several rapid-growth operations that each grew into multi-billion dollar companies. Her expertise also includes a keen understanding of customer value, which she honed while serving in sales and marketing roles—and extensive experience with legal and regulatory issues. She has provided support to organizations in a broad range of industries including construction, distribution, energy, financial services, government, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, military, publishing, research and development, and technology.

Karen’s quality and process orientation evolved from her early career as a scientist (B.S. Microbiology, Pennsylvania State University) and was formally developed while serving as the Director of Quality Improvement for an organization that managed the healthcare for 22 million Americans, and the Director of the Institute for Quality and Productivity at San Diego State University, where she oversaw the university’s sell-out Lean Enterprise and Quality Business Practices programs.  Her passion for organizational learning and workforce development led her to a graduate program in adult learning (M.A. Education), California State University, Bakersfield).

As a consultant, Karen is known for her keen diagnostic skills and rapid-results approach to meeting client needs. A skilled change agent, Karen builds energy within work teams by helping them focus an organization’s key performance goals—faster delivery of higher quality products and services at lower cost—while simultaneously building organization-wide problem-solving capabilities and boosting employee engagement. Clients also give Karen high marks for teaching them to fish for themselves so that they become self-sustaining as quickly as possible.

Karen’s healthcare-rich background includes clinical, administrative, and regulatory work in hospitals, post-acute care settings, payer services, medical research, clinical laboratories, physician practices, integrative medicine and behavioral healthcare.

Karen is a highly-rated speaker who wows her audiences with high-energy presentations containing practical takeaways. She’s also an instructor for the University of California, San Diego’s Lean Enterprise program and an Industry Advisor for the University of San Diego’s Industrial and Systems Engineering program.

She’s the author of The Outstanding Organizationwhich addresses the missing fundamentals that are key success factors in organizational transformation (McGraw-Hill, 2012), and co-author of Value Stream Mapping: How to Visualize Work and Align Leadership for Organizational Transformation, The Kaizen Event Planner: Achieving Rapid Improvement in Office, Service and Technical Environments and Metrics-Based Process Mapping: An Excel-Based Solution (both by Productivity Press).