Steve Yorkstone

Steve Yorkstone

Mr Steve Yorkstone MA(Hons) FRSA FICiPS MAC



Steve enables continuous improvement in Edinburgh Napier University, where he works as an internal consultant. In his role he facilitates and runs interventions, from "process reviews" to more tailored workshops; convenes an internal community of practice; and delivers support and advice informally and formally in terms of consultancy, coaching and training.

He is recognised as an expert on facilitation and has developed, in partnership with Svein Are Tjeltnes at UiT the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, a model for facilitation and associated training.

In 2016 he authored "Lean Universities" in the Shingo Prize Winning 'Routledge Companion to Lean Management'. He edited the book 'Global Lean for Higher Education: A Themed Anthology of Case Studies, Approaches, and Tools' published 2019.

Externally to the University he chairs Lean HE, the international organisation for continuous improvement in universities (see: ) and coaches senior leaders in facilitation and change.

In previous roles he has worked with a number of Universities, including establishing the 'Lean team' in the University of St Andrews where he co-designed the Lean 'St Andrews Model' and established their internationally successful consultancy service.


Conference Organising Activity

  • Presentation: Enhancing Programme Management to enable Programme Leadership: A Roadmap for Programmes
  • Organiser: Lean HE Global Festival 2020
  • International Programme Committee: European Lean Educator Conference 2019
  • Invited Speaker: Finnish Universities Quality Network 2019
  • Team Member: KATACON Europe 2018
  • Programme Committee: European Lean Educator Conference 2018
  • Parallel Session Chair: EUROMA 2017
  • Invited Speaker: Committee of University Chairs Autumn Plenary 2016
  • Conference Chair: The LMJ OpEx Conference "Achieving Operational Excellence" 2016
  • Conference Chair: 6th Annual LMJ European Conference, 2015
  • Programme Committee: Second International Conference on Lean Six Sigma in Higher Education 2014
  • Invited Speaker: Lean Forum Konferens 2012
  • Conference Chair: Lean Thinking in Universities 2010


Editorial Activity

  • Editorial Board Member: The LMJ - thought leadership for process improvement 2014 - 2018


Fellowships and Awards

  • Fellow: The Institute of Continuous Improvement in Public Services
  • Fellow: The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts Manufactures and Commerce



15 results

Becoming a Lean University: The Case of the University of St Andrews.

Book Chapter
Robinson, M., & Yorkstone, S. (2014)
Becoming a Lean University: The Case of the University of St Andrews. In Leadership and Governance in Higher Education: Handbook for Decision-makers and AdministratorsRaabe Verlag
This article looks at how “lean” can be successfully introduced into a higher education setting by discussing what has become known as ‘The St Andrews Model’. The article demo...

High Tech; Lean Tech.

Journal Article
Yorkstone, S. (2014)
High Tech; Lean Tech. Lean Management Journal,
Stephen Yorkstone compares the duplicitous appeal of technology and how drives towards new software and technologies can limit improvement to how visionary change has been ena...

A lean course in higher education.

Journal Article
Yorkstone, S. (2014)
A lean course in higher education. Lean Management Journal,

Leaning Universities Old and New: A comparative case study on the implementation of Lean Thinking in Universities Ancient and Modern, from the perspective of a practitioner.

Presentation / Conference
Yorkstone, S. (2013, June)
practitioner. Paper presented at First international conference on Lean Six Sigma for Higher Education, Glasgow, Scotland
Purpose Scottish Universities have experience applying lean Higher Education, in both Ancient and Modern contexts. This paper aims to capture the experience of a practitioner ...

Lean goes back to school.

Journal Article
Yorkstone, S. (2013)
Lean goes back to school. Lean Management Journal. , 24-27
Stephen Yorkstone...discusses the implementation of lean in universities and how higher education can improve by applying its principles.