University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria

Roseggerstraße 15, 4600 Wels, Austria


University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria

MAY 3-4

Be Inspired

From practical tips and scientific behaviour to a leadership culture to tackle the complexity of our time. We got it all.

Deep Dive

We will discuss all keynotes with our leading experts, ask critical questions, detect blind spots, and convey new learnings.

Hands-on Practice

Hone your scientific thinking skills within different scenarios.

Let´s Study

In our collaborative studies, we research specific topics, share and build together.

From Dots to Picture

Our experts will connect dots and help us to digest and deepen our learnings.

From Dots to Challenge

We will sketch the fields of learning as new challenges will emerge.

Dining & Networking

Meet leading experts and scientific thinkers from around the world.

For KataCon Europe 2023 we want to create a vibrant, exciting, invigorating space where Kata practitioners can stretch their minds and deepen and extend their Kata knowledge and skills. Not just another conference – but a gathering where we all love going. We want to inspire, unite, excite and – most importantly – learn together.

At KataCon Europe 2023 we will have a combination of presentations, deeper panel discussions, collaborative study groups, and workshops with a lot of learning, sharing, and working together. We aim to create an event that is small and intimate enough to allow everyone to indulge in true discussions and collaboration.

At the heart of our purpose is to connect and strengthen the global Kata community through sharing experiences, learning, and practising together in a fun way.



980 €

Refunds up to 30 days before event


Jeffrey K. Liker

Jeff Liker is one of the more knowledgeable and famous people in the Lean world. He is the author of the best-selling book, The Toyota Way. He has co-authored nine other books about Toyota, including The Toyota Way to Service Excellence and The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership. His articles and books have won 13 Shingo Prizes for Research Excellence.

Aslak Iversen

Aslak Iversen is a licensed clinical psychologist with 15 years of experience in leadership within psychiatry. For the last decade, he has had a senior management position. His strategic agenda has been focused on improving flow and a continuous improvement structure. The organization he is responsible for, Halland psychiatric outpatient services are currently ranked number one nationwide by patients.

Tanja Schleußinger

Tanja Schleußinger is an elementary school teacher and principal at Flachslanden Elementary School in Bavaria, Germany. She helped introduce the competency-based Bavarian curriculum at the school district level many years ago. At that time, she had already linked Mike Rother’s KATA idea with her teaching design. In the 2015/16 school year, she became Flachslanden Elementary School’s principal. “KATA in the classroom” and KATA coaching to shape the school development process have since been firmly established at the school and in its environment. She is happy to pass on her experience at further training courses and specialist conferences.

Amanda Colliander

Amanda has her roots and a day job in Agile Software development leadership focusing on coaching leaders and teams. She has been a Kata practitioner for six years and has done hundreds of Kata coaching cycles as a learner, coach and 2nd coach. She is a speaker at agile and lean conferences in Sweden and abroad.

Peter Lowe

Peter Lowe has held several senior leadership roles in the National Health Service over the last 20 years and has completed transformation programmes, including the hospital’s electronic patient record. In 2018, he worked with seven other hospital trusts to co-develop the ‘Vital Signs Continuous Quality Improvement method. The method is locally branded as ‘Dudley Improvement Practice’, and Peter’s sustained commitment to embedding scientific thinking as a cultural improvement mindset across DGFT has ensured Kata is at the heart of the improvement support provided to clinicians and health professionals.

Graham Canning

Graham Canning has worked in lean and kaizen consultancy roles for nearly 20 years, supported by a further 15 years working in the manufacturing sector for companies such as Toyota, Black & Decker and Pilkington Glass. An experienced Kata Coach himself, Graham is a Partner in the training company People Centred Excellence, the UK’s leading trainer of Kata Coaches; he is a founding member of Kata School UK; and leads a research workstream for LERC on the successful use of Kata in organisations. The Lean Competency System (LCS) has recently announced the launch of a new Kata Competency System accreditation service; Graham is working as a partner in developing this new platform.

Gerd Aulinger

Gerd is a researcher, speaker, entrepreneur, and management coach with over 20 years of experience helping leaders develop their people’s improvement skills while improving the flow of value to their customers. Gerd views the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata as part of a holistic management system and is motivated by how it generates collective experimentation toward challenging strategic goals. This led him to co-author “Toyota Kata Culture” with Mike Rother in 2017.

Gerd has a mechanical engineering degree. He worked at VW, Fraunhofer IPA, Daimler AG and Festool before becoming an independent consultant in 2007. He has assisted dozens of companies and trained hundreds of coaches worldwide. He shares what he learns at Gerd is 51 years old, married, and has three children who coach him daily!

Lili Boyanova Hugh

Lili is a Leadership and Workplace Culture Consultant who works with global organisations looking to create a culture of care, commitment, and compassion. She helps leaders and teams understand and embrace the benefits of love over fear at the workplace and pursue a distinctly human-centred culture and strategy. Lili has spent 13 years leading corporate change management projects in IT and Finance. Today, she is coaching and consulting independently and in communities passionate about positively impacting the world. She is gathering insights about the future of work by meeting hundreds of heart-centred leaders from diverse backgrounds to put together the case for Leading with Heart. She serves as the Executive Director of the Center for a Loving Workplace. Lili is a Kata coach and a proud Kata Girl Geeks global community member.

Daniel Eckerstorfer

Daniel Eckerstorfer completed his “Production and Management” studies at the University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria in 2007. Since then, he has worked in lean management at Fronius International. He started as a Lean manager in the production environment and has been responsible for lean activities at Fronius International as a group leader since 2019.

Tilo Schwarz

Tilo is an author, founder, and leadership coach helping managers to coach and empower their teams for improvement, adaptiveness, and superior results.

He was a plant manager at a renowned German power-tool manufacturer, where he and his management team started practising Toyota Kata as part of Mike Rother’s groundbreaking research in 2006. Tilo is co-founder of the Campus for Leaders at the University of Applied Science Ansbach and the author of several books on coaching and Toyota Kata.

Pia Anhede

Pia has over 30 years of experience in the area of implementing lean, organizational change and creating a system of continuous improvement with sustainable results, especially using the Toyota Kata thinking and way of working. Pia has focused the last years on training and coaching problem-solving as a part of a CI system. Pia has been involved in Kata Girl Geeks and established Kata School Sweden, which is a learning network that has been running for over a year.

Joakim Hillberg

Joakim has been involved in large-scale lean transformations in over 15 countries for over 30 years. The main focus of his practice is achieving organisational change and building capability by integrating training, implementing and coaching clients. He has experience in various sectors, including manufacturing, television, service, public sector, IT and healthcare. Three clients have won the annual Swedish Lean prize. Besides authoring articles and co-written books, he regularly lectures on Lean and Change Management at universities. He has a long track record of contributing to the Lean community through organisations such as the Swedish Lean Forum (former board member and chairmen), founder and organiser of KataCon EU, organiser of ELEC (European Lean Educator Conference) and board member of Plan Sweden’s oldest logistics organisation.

Dominik Ortelt

Dominik is an autodidact polymath, a systems thinker, learning and complexity management expert with over twenty years of international and cross-sectoral professional experience. Dominik helps organisations, teams, and individuals establish system-scientific ways of thinking and acting, leading to long-term and sustainable success through improved management of increasing complexity. He is a voluntary director of future development for Formwelt gUG, researching systems sciences and supporting systemic education projects. 

Event Schedule

Day 1 Morning

May 3th

Choose your learning experience and decide between study visits and different workshops.

08:30 – 12:30

Study visit at Fronius

Fronius has been practicing KATA since 2019. Their goal is to anchor continuous improvement and working towards challenging goals in the minds of their leadership team and process improvers.

Study focus:

  • We will tour the production site in Sattledt and visit different Kata storyboards on the shop floor
  • We will look at how Fronius combines daily shopfloor management, continuous improvement processes, and practising Kata

08:30 – 12:30

Study visit at BMW

We move people: For over 40 years, we have built diesel and petrol engines at BMW Group Plant, Steyr. Now, the BMW Group’s biggest engine plant also makes components for e-mobility. “A heart made in Steyr” – our quality promise applies to all types of drive train.

Study focus:

  • The powertrain is changing – from internal combustion engine to e-mobility – we’ll look behind the scenes of the transformation process
  • Possess improvement in our mechanical production
  • Possess improvement in our engine assembly
  • Leadership and work organization in production and projects.

08:30 – 12:00

Kata in the Classroom

With: Amanda Colliander

Learn the fundamental basics of the Improvement Kata pattern in a joyful way and apply what you learn at home.

08:30 – 12:00

Coaching larger organisations to develop their learning culture

With: Gerd Aulinger

Learn more about deploying challenges and cascading target conditions and how to apply Kata to provoke a more holistic, self-sustaining learning and innovation culture.

12:00 – 13:00

Lunch Break

Day 1 Afternoon

May 3th

13:30 – 14:00

Welcome and Teachback

With: Tilo Schwarz, Joakim Hillberg & Pia Anhede

Pia, Tilo and Joakim welcome you back and discuss what we have learned from the morning.

14:00 – 14:45

Improvement Coaching Kata in UK NHS

With: Peter Lowe & Graham Canning

UK National Health Service has been working with the Improvement and Coaching Kata since 2018 and has exponentially grown their scientific thinking capabilities. In 2022, introducing the Kata DOJO not only helped to hone coaching capabilities but also significantly impacted the style of leadership.

14:45 – 15:15

Coffee break & networking

15:15 – 16:00

Fronius: Our journey of introducing Kata

With: Daniel Eckerstorfer

Fronius International has been dealing with Toyota Kata since 2019, focusing on anchoring a continuous improvement routine with challenging goals. Daniel Eckerstorfer will share the approach taken of introducing and anchoring Toyota Kata and what the company did learn along this journey.

16:00 – 16:25

Panel discussion

With: Lili, Joakim, Tanja & Tilo

16:25 – 17:10

The psychological challenge with and in Kata

With: Aslak Iversen

Aslak Iversen takes you on a journey to explore vital psychological questions such as: which factors can enable organizations and individuals to embrace models for improvement and problem solving? What is needed to adapt to a new behaviour and how can leadership improve their support capabilities in that direction?

17:10 – 17:30

Q&A - Closing Day 1

With: Aslak, Lili & Tilo

17:40 – 18:30

Kata School Meet-up


Joint dinner

Day 2 Morning

May 4th

Choose your learning experience and decide between different workshops.

09:00 – 12:00

Welcome to the Kata Dojo

With: Tilo Schwarz

Pilots regularly go to the flight simulator and athletes practice at the gym – where do coaches go to step up their coaching game? In these three hours you will learn how the Kata Dojo works. You will learn how to deliberately practice coaching for scientific thinking through multiple Dojo exercises and by that, hone your coaching abilities with universal micro-skills.

Note: Participants should be familiar with the basics of Toyota Kata and the coaching questions.

09:00 – 12:00

Welcome to the A3 Dojo

With: Pia Anhede

Show me your thinking, and I will coach you, as simple as that, or?

There are many good problem-solving tools, but often there is a lack of knowledge on developing underlying problem-solving skills. A common pitfall is that organisations and individuals understand tools such as A3 as a template to fill in rather than a framework to improve qualitative thinking. In this Dojo, Pia Anhede will show you how to coach with the A3 technique as a reference.

09:00 – 12:00

Welcome to the Grow Dojo

With: Amanda Colliander

Where do you practice coaching?

Just like you practice to get better at soccer or tennis, you need to get better at coaching. The Coaching Dojo is a time and place for deliberate practice, in the Grow Dojo we use Sir John Whitmore`s four step coaching model which will inspire you what to practice and to try it for yourself.

12:00 – 13:00

Lunch Break

Day 2 Afternoon

May 4th

13:00 – 13:20

Welcome and teachback

With: Tilo Schwarz, Joakim Hillberg & Pia Anhede

Pia, Tilo and Joakim welcome you back and discuss what we have learned from the morning.

13:20 – 14:00

Giving wings to your team: Learning to coach the Toyota Kata way

With: Jeffrey K. Liker & Tilo Schwarz

Scientific thinking might be our best approach for reaching challenging goals.

Like any other skill, it requires practice – best done on the job with leaders as coaches. But not just any kind of coaching. Take a fresh look at the Coaching Kata dual-purpose coaching model and learn how effective coaching inspires and provides autonomy while at the same time helps developing people’s scientific thinking skills.

Note: Jeff will join via Zoom

14:00 – 14:20

Coffee break & Networking

14:20 – 14:50

Learning Groups for training and developing skills

With: Amanda Colliander & Pia Anhede

Among different kinds of training set-ups and experienced-based courses, Learning Groups are those which have shown excellent results in developing a more scientific way of thinking. Pia and Amanda will share their insights gained from hundreds of hours spent in different Learning Groups such as Kata Girl Geeks and Kata School Sweden and inspire you to try it yourself through that.

14:50 – 15:30

The broccoli problem: Short-term vs. Long-term thinking

With: Gerd Aulinger

No organisation will ever be better than the people working in it; therefore, developing people is a long-term investment that requires commitment, time and patience. Still, often enough, we tend to think and decide on short-term improvements at the cost of long-term, sustainable growth and sometimes even due to survival. Gerd Aulinger will show you how we can learn from second-loop feedback by sharing vital tricks to build and lead a sustainable learning organisation everybody wants to be a part of.

15:30 – 16:00

Closing panel discussion

With Lili, Joakim, Tanja & Tilo

Location & Hotels


University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria
Roseggerstraße 15
4600 Wels

650m walking distance from Central station Wels


• Best Western Wels

• City Rooms Wels

• Boutique Hotel Hauser

• Hotel Ploberger


Dominik Ortelt

Dominik is a systems thinker and complexity management expert dedicated to helping business enterprises and institutions to become learning organisations.

Tilo Schwarz

I’m passionate about helping leaders give wings to their teams. Author & co-founder Campus for Leaders Ansbach University. Supporting leaders to become better coaches and develop their teams’ adaptiveness & creativity.

Pia Anhede

Pia has over 30 years of experience in the area of implementing lean, organizational change and creating a system of continuous improvement with sustainable results, especially using the Toyota Kata thinking and way of working.

Joakim Hillberg

Joakim focus is building capability through an integration of training, implementing and coaching clients. He has a long experience from a wide range of large scale improvements in over 15 countries.