Executive Search | Assessing For Lean Talent

Specialist Advice About A Candidate's Lean Competencies

From long running Lean organizations to newer implementers, assessment of candidates' Lean competencies should avoid over-attributing credentials and execution to the standards of a current employer because employers' business sytems and each individual's engagement with Lean varies.  We focus on assessing commercial, general manager, and corporate functions talent regarding their experiences and/or abilities to join a client's pre-existing Lean culture.  

Hiring process owners must determine the Lean competencies of candidates.  Defining lean-management values within job descriptions can filter for certain basic standards, however the talent pool varies widely in capacity, adoption, and passion for Lean.  Our search process is designed to help your decision making when it involves Lean.

Access Point Partners' consultants have recruited for some of the leading Lean organizations. In addition to experiences recruiting candidates into the companies respected for their operational excellence systems, our search process is differentiated on certain search engagements by the inclusion of the firm's Lean experts.  Beyond conducting searches for Lean competencies, our consulting team has co-lead weeklong Kaizen workouts alongside human resources leadership.  

Our unique search solution includes candidate interviews conducted by our Lean-dedicated consultant whose career includes being a client Corporate Vice President of Human Resources at a top performing Fortune 500 manufacturer dedicated to Lean production systems.  Together our clients and consultants obtain a clearer picture of a candidate competencies. 

Representative Consultant Experience  |  Selected Company Business Systems


Comas: We devote a lot of attention to the people we hire — both in recruiting them and in helping them be successful here. For many years we have worked with a group of psychologists to develop a custom assessment for Danaher executives, covering both talent and cultural fit. You do not come into the organization at mid-level or above without completing it.


We look for people who are aggressive, smart, metric-oriented, OK with failure, nonpolitical, and not defensive. We want someone who is capable of saying, in a meeting with the CEO, “Hey, we underperformed this quarter. These are the three reasons we underperformed, and this is what we’re going to do differently to change that.”


Simms: Often, the critical factor when you consider hiring an executive at Danaher is whether he or she can buy into the culture of process development and continuous improvement. For example, there might be a sales leader or manufacturing executive who has grown up in a culture of delivering his commitments through brute force or other “heroics” at the end of the quarter. At the end of the day, though, he didn’t leave a strong organization in place. That approach may be successful in some companies, but not at Danaher.

Our goal is to hire, develop, and retain strong leaders who can create and continuously improve the necessary processes to achieve our goals and the expectations — without the need for brute force. That’s what creates competitive advantage.

  • Original Systems
  • Building Capability
  • Meaningful Metrics
  • Superior M&A Capabilities
  • The Soul of A Company  (On Hiring)

Lean Competency

Boutique Firm Advantages -  Founded On Sophisticated Processes

Access Point Partners knows Lean and deploys it within Human Resources and Operating Executives clients' searches.  Prior to founding the firm, Eric Gustafson co-managed the initial Kaizen of Executive Search at Danaher Inc., the corporation from which the Danaher Business System would become a template for other corporations' installation of Lean business process systems.   Invited by Danaher's CHRO, he co-managed a week long session with HR and operating executives to refine internal processes to include efficient relationships with outside search firms.

Access Point Partners practices continuous improvement and process excellence internally and with client corporations.