Sammy Obara


Sammy learned and implemented the Toyota Production System (TPS) at Toyota facilities in Japan, Brazil, Venezuela and in the United States.

He has taught Lean to a multitude of Lean consulting firms, educational organizations such as Harvard and Stanford, and even in humanitarian missions thru Asia and Africa.

With close to 40 years of Lean experience, he has helped more than 450 companies. These include TPS projects in environments ranging from schools, to hospitals, to military and many others and in a variety of countries, including China, Mexico, Canada, Indonesia, Brazil, Japan, Austria, Lithuania, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S..

Mastered in Technology Management, he also is a faculty member with the Lean Institute and an instructor of Global Strategy Management for the California Community College system. He is a guest lecturer on Lean for post-graduate classes at Stanford University, University of Southern California, La Verne and San Diego State University, and has been a speaker at conferences sponsored by the American Production and Inventory Control Society, the Association for Productivity and Quality (APQ), and the American Society for Quality (ASQ). He is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English and has a basic knowledge of Japanese.

He currently aids companies implementing lean through Honsha.ORG.

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“I need to share my extremely positive impression from Sammy`s presentation.

The way he described specific problems of Lean tools implementation, made it easier to understand the mechanism of Lean philosophy.

During “Gemba Walk – A pictorial trip through different perspectives”, I felt something like “Lean aura” around Sammy, some specific energy, that is being derived by passion, knowledge and experience.

Meeting him, I realized how smart and effective Lean Management can be if you approach a Gemba Walk effectively.   I understood that defining the Gemba Walk purpose is one of the fundamental factors to define current state, forming a strong team and avoid being just another industrial tourist.

As Sammy was sharing his knowledge, everybody had a chance to reconsider their management style and organization’s current state in order to improve it.   Knowing Lean tools may not be enough, understanding why using them, may be crucial.

After this Lean Summit in Poland I can categorically say that Lean Management is more than set of tools, it`s state of mind.”

Andrzej Hasiuk
Production Manager


“This workshop was literally life changing. I might not be quite sure that I am fully equipped yet to live and breathe Lean way in everything I do, but I know for sure that Sammy really got to shift my way of thinking and now I can’t go back to my old ways.

I have learned of Toyota approach many times. I have even studied it during my Executive MBA studies. However, I always considered that to be cumbersome and complicated, so never adopted it. I appreciated it as a different approach of problem solving but never considered that it could work in my business as well. For the first time Sammy presented it to me as a way of thinking and not just a document. It really opened my eyes.

His introduction example of how inefficient our communication was, was an incredible trick. It definitely got me at that moment and then I was hooked for the rest of the day.

Sammy is a talented teacher.

I would absolutely love to learn more about the actual culture that is needed in the organization in order to implement lean thinking and management.

Thank you so much for amazing experience”.

Diana Anderson
Kohls Corporation

“I’ve attended Sammy’s seminar twice and he always teaches us some new things, especially his demonstrations that lean is not only about culture, but also by creating the need to change, the need to be always improving.

He is a master in showing that lean is simple, and so it should be conducted simply as it is.

I’d love to hear him again.”

Rodrigo Zimmermann
Americas-NLO Lean Manager

“Sammy is one of these unique people in the Lean field, with deep knowledge about the sources of Lean thinking, extraordinary lecturer and a visionary professional. It’s a privilege to attend events where he is lecturing and that makes us think over how to overcome cultural boundaries and to unveil the key Lean benefits to the companies.”

Willian Nunes de Aquino
Quality Manager