Dr Donna Samuel – Head of Lean Academy

Donna Samuel

I have been with S A Partners since 2011, prior to this I spent 15 years working in Cardiff University, teaching and researching lean and supply chain management. On the qualifications front, I have a PhD on the spread of lean in the UK over time, an MBA, a first degree in English Literature and I am a professionally qualified buyer too.

I am fascinated by organisations and what makes them tick. I have a particular interest in how lean has spread from its origins in the car sector through to a range of other sectors including the food sector (the sector in which I predominantly work now). My other big bug bear is performance measurement. The link between how we measure people’s performance and how they behave is so well established in the management literature and yet it remains something lots of companies still don’t seem to really get.

Over my long career in the lean world I have been lucky enough to work with a really diverse range of companies from cars, steel and engineering through to finance, food and farming. More recently I have focused on the food sector and act as the lean assessor for a major retailer striving to be the most sustainable and responsible retailer in the country. As for what do people say about me, not a clue and dread to think!

My work in S A Partners tends to be focused on reviewing, assessing and critiquing the work and efforts of others. I try to carry this out with fairness, maintaining the standard, but also an open mind (lean is harder when you have no frame of reference). I manage the long and well-established relationship S A Partners holds with Cardiff University. I try to ensure that our approaches are rigorous, coherent and consistent with current thinking.

I am married with three kids, two of them big ones. My passion is music, specifically singing and I have loads of fun fronting a band. We play around about twice per month and enjoy getting everyone up and dancing. It is great fun and a great antidote to the aging process!

Contact Dr Donna Samuel