toni benner.

lean + appreciative inquiry + play

With over 20 years of experience in coaching, facilitation, training and team development, Toni believes that real change happens when we ask intentional questions, have purposeful conversations, and take the time to reflect, analyze and actively test our conclusions.

Her distinct perspective has made her a sought-after “difference-maker” for organizations across diverse industries, including healthcare, military, automotive, and academia.

a-ha moments.

“Life changing...such a giving spirit, desire to share, enthusiasm to want people to see the big picture.”

At the heart of Toni's coaching is her capacity to generate "a-ha" moments. She holds an esteemed reputation for her strong storytelling and listening skills, her propensity towards play and an ability to connect with diverse groups in meaningful ways.

Creating a safe environment that promotes respect, understanding and honesty, Toni helps people see themselves and others with fresh eyes. People reconnect with their purpose and their willingness to work together for a common goal—generating inspiring action and transformational change.


“Very motivational! Applicable and down to earth. Real life examples.”

A strategic-thinking partner, Toni has co-designed and delivered experiential training, workshops and summit programs for clients in the healthcare sector and beyond, including the U.S. military, 3M, Siemens, Michigan Medicine and Kaiser Permante.

She is now involved in delivering a Lean & the Growth Mindset certification program that helps interdisciplinary teams work more efficiently and effectively toward positive organizational change. This program combines strength-based lean methodology, Appreciative Inquiry principles and experiential learning with an emphasis on the power of curiosity and play.

By creating the space for people to learn, heal and grow, the program enables teams to reconnect with their purpose, promoting more empathetic and successful leadership.

Learn more about the program and how to earn certification.


Toni Benner is a keynote speaker, coach, instructor and organizational change agent—with 20 years experience.
Key Achievements
  • Designing an Appreciative Inquiry summit for a team of U.S. Army engineers
  • Launching a four-tier certification program based on lean principles, appreciative inquiry and play
  • Facilitated Strategy Sessions based on SOAR framework
  • Worked with University STEM Center executive team to set their vision and strategic priorities
Lean Healthcare
  • Healthcare Facilities Symposium
  • European Wound Management Conference
  • World Union of Wound Healing Society Congress
Academic Credentials
  • Master of Positive Organization Development & Change, Case Western Reserve University
  • Master of Science in Engineering Management, Lean Enterprise Systems, Eastern Michigan University
  • BSAS Electrical Engineering, Youngstown State University

Professional Development
Certifications & Advanced Learning
  • Executive Supply Chain Management Certification, University of Michigan
  • Faurecia Lean Enterprise Systems
  • Lean Manufacturing Certification, University of Michigan
  • Delphi Automotive Lean Enterprise Systems

let's connect.

There is tremendous power in a network of like-minded professionals coming together to collaborate, engage in discourse, and advance the principles of lean and Appreciative Inquiry.

When we connect with each other, it leads to greater success for us all.

I would love to hear from you. Please reach out—let’s find time to connect!

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