Beginner level
Intermediate level
Advanced level

Introduction to kata



By practicing Toyota kata, anyone can become better equipped to navigate ambiguity and reach challenging goals. So, if you want to enable the people in your organization to achieve their full creative potential, contact us today to learn more about kata approaches. Upon completion of our on-site coaching, you will be able to:

  • Leverage the scientific thinking model
  • Utilize both the improvement kata and coaching kata
  • Apply techniques of deliberate practice
  • Develop and operationalize improvement kata patterns
  • Create a deliberate culture for learners and coaches


Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) is the engineering-based, solutions-driven, client-focused unit of NC State University. Our broad portfolio and deep industry expertise help organizations grow, innovate and prosper. Our extensive partnerships with business, industry, education and government generate a unique culture of collaboration that provides access to cutting-edge expertise, research, and technology.

IES helps North Carolina businesses:

  • Manufacturers
  • Educational and research institutions
  • Healthcare and pharmaceutical companies
  • Aerospace and energy industries
  • Government and public sectors
  • Defense contractors and entrepreneurs

IES provides:

  • Access to industry experts
  • Referrals and networking
  • Technical assistance
  • Business assessments
  • Training and education
  • Innovative technologies

IES administers the National Institute of Science and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) for North Carolina (NCMEP), the Southeastern OSHA Training Institute Education Center, the North Carolina Defense Industry Diversification Initiative (NCDIDI), the North Carolina Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program (NC DMCSP), the NC State University Minerals Research Lab, North Carolina Awards for Excellence (NCAfE), and the Manufactured in North Carolina (MNC) supply chain database and website.


Chris Hartley serves as a Lean improvement specialist working with hospitals, physician’s offices, public health departments, government agencies and many other types of organizations to teach and guide them through their lean journey. Chris has over 15 years of process improvement and project management experience in government, hospital, and laboratory service industries. Chris’ responsibilities include teaching classes, training on-site with organizations to lead them through their lean journey, and coaching and mentoring personnel to become lean leaders in their respective organizations. Chris has led Kaizen teams to see dramatic decreases in throughput in hospital emergency departments, decrease in time to hire for human resource departments, as well as increasing capacity and production for multiple government agencies. Chris holds certifications as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt; DDI Leadership Content Facilitator; and The Culture Works - All In Culture Course. Chris has a B.S. in psychology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Chris operates out of the Greensboro, NC office servicing North Carolina and Virginia to bring the lean message to healthcare organizations.