Navigating the Currents: The Flow System’s Journey through the evolution of Lean and Agile

In this captivating conference keynote, we embark on an intellectual voyage that traces the evolutionary currents of two influential methodologies: Lean and Agile, while our compass points towards The Flow System™, a comprehensive approach to optimize the flow of value through an organization.

Picture a river merging tributaries — born in the automotive Lean’s stream of waste reduction and sprouting from software development Agile’s cascading iterations — into a powerful current of continuous value delivery.

As our vessel navigates the rapids of customer-centricity and faces whirlpools of cultural clashes and scaling challenges, we realize that our voyage cannot be safely completed without understanding the DNA of Organizations — The Triple Helix of The Flow System™:

  •  Complexity Thinking: Ah, the undercurrents! How can we surf these waves, embracing uncertainty? It’s essential to understand that not everything is predictable. Complexity Thinking is a new form of thinking to aid in understanding uncertainty.
  • Distributed Leadership: How do leaders navigate these waters, balancing vision with adaptability? Do we rely on the skills of the helmsman or the crew? Here, leadership transcends titles; it’s about servant leadership, empowering teams, and fostering a culture of shared decision making.
  • Team Science: Our crew— diverse, collaborative, and passionate —, our most important resource propelling us forward, how can we avoid them becoming pirates? Team Science is a discipline to maximize the benefits of Agile’s self-organizing teams and Lean’s cross-functional collaboration.


Fear not fellow explorers, hoist the sails, and let’s chart a course towards the confluence of Lean and Agile: The Flow System!

Bastiaan Brouwer

Bastiaan is owner of SPARK Innovation Catalysts®, an Italian consultancy boutique with an international presence, lecturer at CUOA Business School and translator of the Italian edition of The Flow System and The Flow System Playbook.


Bastiaan has 20 years of experience as a consultant, trainer and coach in the field of Lean and Agile and the areas of Operations Management, Strategy and Leadership Development.


In his consulting activity, that sees him engaged in a wide variety of sectors and types of organizations, Bastiaan brings a ‘soft’ approach. The starting point is never the tool, no matter how powerful. Organizations need to find their own way to use the various tools. What really matters is the learning process, the company needs people to question the organization they are part of, to actively challenge the system when they recognize obstacles or waste in the work they do, and to feel safe in provoking improvement.