Want better employees? Be a better employer.
What does it mean to be a better employer? Are you doing everything you can to develop your team? (how do you know?) Do you need new tactics?
Regardless of your position within your organization, everyone holds the responsibility to build a better company. This is what we will be exploring, sharing, and learning when the lean community gathers in Nashville, March 26 & 27.
Many years ago, LEI Chairman, John Shook left his home in Tennessee to become the first American Manager in Japan. Now, after decades of learning, John brings us all back to his home state to share what he’s learned, as well as other company stories that will inspire, educate, and change how you approach your work, your team’s work, and you company’s culture.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM THE 2018 LEAN TRANSFORMATION SUMMIT?
- Every session is required to give you something you can apply immediately when you return to work
- Unbeatable networking opportunities in a casual friendly setting
- Motivation to improve/charge your battery
- The opportunity to create new knowledge for the entire lean community
We intentionally design our summit to have an intimate feel and allow for more unique networking opportunities. We want you to have a personalized experience, and make every effort to accomplish this.
Lean Thinking About Jobs and Work
In the age of mass production and modern management (think Henry Ford plus Alfred Sloan at GM) we had a clear, stable view of the roles of employers and employees and the meaning of jobs and work. But in the post-modern world of the past 30 years, employers have tried to shed their responsibilities and employees have transitioned, in many cases, from secure jobs to zero-obligation gigs. The result is widespread anxiety and dissatisfaction in the workforce and stagnant productivity.
The lean view is different: The job of employers is to create good, sustainable jobs by steadily building capability in every employee to do better work over long tenures. And the job of every employee is to improve their work while doing the work. How can we in the Lean Community move the world from its post-modern cul-du-sac to a dynamic world of lean employers with lean employees? We’ll be seeking answers in this opening presentation and throughout the 2018 Lean Summit.
Plenary & Breakout Sessions
American Family Insurance
As American Family celebrates its 90th birthday this year, it is undergoing a cultural transformation to bring its traditional customer focus to a whole new level through: empathy, experimentation, empowering people closest to customers and processes, and using evidence-based decision making to create a culture of innovation.
With 8,000 people and operations spread across the country, American Family has had many successful local process improvement efforts that never scaled into a coordinated companywide effort. In this plenary, Matt Cornwell will share how the company is changing that through Lean, Lean Startup, and Agile/Menlo development and a communications strategy so people at all levels know that culture change will be done with them, not to them.
You’ll learn how the communications strategy:
- Uses new innovative approaches to support culture change to all levels of the company.
- Adapts existing communications tools and approaches.
- Supports building new capabilities in people to sustain the culture change.
- Shares how the change will benefit all stakeholders -- customers, employees, agents, and the communities where American Family operates.
Be a Better Employer - Live at WLEI
Tracey and Ernie Richardson, authors of The Toyota Engagement Equation and LEI Faculty members, will be sharing a special session focusing on creating:
- Mutual trust and respect
- Space to think
- Capability development
Lean Leadership Transition: An Obstacle…or an Opportunity?
Too often, a change in executive leadership can bring a lean transformation to a grinding halt. But that has not been the case at Lynn Community Health Center (LCHC).
LCHC is located 10 miles from downtown Boston, in the economically, culturally, and socially diverse city of Lynn. It is a small but mighty healthcare center serving more than 40,000 patients representing 113 countries and 72 languages – of which over 90 percent live at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
To conquer the challenges of serving this vibrant community, LEI has worked with LCHC for two years to create a model primary-care clinic powered by lean. In doing this, LCHC hopes to better serve its customers (and employees!) by tackling wait times and achieving increasingly higher levels of productivity.
Learn how LCHC is building successors by turning a recent leadership transition into a catalyst for improvement. You’ll hear from the two CEOs that exchanged the baton, and find out how they ensured that lean efforts would continue. What did the outgoing CEO do to ensure the continuation of lean thinking? What made the incoming CEO realize that lean thinking truly was the way for everyone?
Lori Abrams Berry
Kiame Mahaniah, MD
Strengthening Our Employees with Lean
Whether moving billions of dollars around the world or transporting precious diamonds and jewelry, Brinks 60,000 employees deal with complex work and unique logistical challenges as they serve customers in more than 100 countries. Lean thinking and practices help them keep commerce safe, moving, and protected.
In just the past three years, Brinks has trained thousands of employees, implemented more than 3,000 improvements guided by A3s, and conducted hundreds of kaizen events in North America, South America, and Europe.
In this session, Mike Beech, executive vice president, will share how Brinks is building lean capabilities into its operations and work culture through:
- Leadership: Learn what roles senior leaders play every day in the continuing lean transformation.
- Education: Hear how the company teaches functional managers at all levels why and how to apply Lean principles.
- Repetition: Learn how Brinks reinforces behaviors and models standard practices to build desired habits.
- Recognition: Discover how Brinks rewards people and celebrates their contributions to develop happier people.
TechnipFMC Schilling Robotics
Join Tyler Schilling, president of TechnipFMC Schilling Robotics, and Andy Houk, vice president of product development, as they reveal how purposeful guidance of company culture happens through leadership behaviors. They’ll explain what behaviors moved the company forward -- and what ones set it back.
You’ll also hear how focusing on lean product and process development provided a framework for leadership behaviors that supercharged cultural guidance at Schilling, which makes the robotic vehicles and manipulators needed to search for oil and gas in extremely harsh environments like the deep ocean. This challenging environment accidentally created a culture of experimentation and pushing limits.
Today, the company believes that you can get a good company culture by accident, but a great company culture takes purpose. And it cannot be dictated. Just as lean practitioners can identify waste then guide the workforce to systematically reduce it, Schilling and Houk believe leaders should be able to do the same for behaviors in the organization. Join them to learn what leadership behaviors you can use to create a place where people love to come to work every day.
The Lean Journey of MAS
From its founding in 1986 by three Sri Lanka, brothers, Mahesh, Ajay, and Sharad Amalean, apparel maker MAS grew rapidly to its current size of 90,000 associates, in 16 countries, working in 53 world-class facilities, making lingerie, activewear, sportswear, and swimwear for global brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Nike, lululemon, and Calvin Klein. What the young company lacked in technical skills and knowledge -- almost non-existent in Sri Lanka in 1986 – it made up for with passion, tenacity, and a clear understanding that it would not compromise the welfare of employees.
After years of rapid, profitable growth, Mahesh Amalean felt MAS needed to do even better to stay ahead of increasing local and international competition. Exposed to lean concepts during a trip to Japan, he adopted them to the apparel industry.
In this session, you’ll hear how MAS:
- Became a better employer with better employees because of lean thinking and practice.
- Differentiates itself through new thinking in people, product, and processes.
- Builds on its founding values to develop a unique people-oriented culture of mutual respect -- that gives it a competitive advantage by attracting the best talent from around the world.
- Invests in educating associates at all levels and conducted systematic training -- not only on systems and processes -- but also on developing people.
- Deals with challenges of a continuing lean journey in a highly competitive global industry obsessed with low-cost operations.
The interest in strengthening employee engagement is sometimes considered a separate topic from lean transformations.
While organizations are aware of the need to engage people in their lean efforts, they often are unaware of the dynamics of engagement by itself. More importantly, optimizing engagement takes more than simply involving employees in improvement activities.
In addition, leadership teams need to identify and address common situations that may actually disengage team members.
Interestingly, if you were to do a side by side comparison of lean activities and engagement efforts, you’d see considerable overlapping endeavors.
So how do we know that optimizing engagement matters?
This session will review a variety of extensive research on engagement that not only describes the financial benefits, but precisely how it converts to a stronger more successful workforce.
Strategically increasing engagement provides a whole new dimension to optimizing lean transformations.
In this session, you will learn to:
- Understand the basics of engagement and the implications of how it differs from satisfaction and motivation.
- Identify improvement related activities that are disengaging and damaging your workforce
- Build a business case for engagement, that is aligned with your lean transformations, based upon available research.
- Apply five strategies to strengthen the level of your team member’s engagement and reduce activities that are likely damaging it.
- Measure engagement (and how not to) to assess the effectiveness of your efforts to engage your workforce.
“You ruined my holiday!”
Problems checking-in, delays cleaning rooms, mistakes in food and drink orders, lags in service – dealing with these and other problems are just part of staying at – or managing -- a hotel. It’s the business; it can’t be changed.
But what if that's not true? What if all hotel processes could flow smoothly? Don't believe it’s possible? Then attend this session for a success story about a hotel that really changed the rules on how to improve the management of a busy, popular resort, from check-in, to room cleaning, to restaurant management, and beyond. You’ll change your mind!
Dreamplace Hotels & Resorts, Tenerife will cover some background, then experience a simulation game, review experiments to improve customer satisfaction, and finally learn from a live connection to the hotel.
Learn and be inspired by the CEO emeritus of a highly successful health system about how to bridge the gap between your lean management system and tools, and the creation of a culture that maximizes innovation while employing the strengths of both system and tools.
In this session, you’ll discover how values-based leadership gives your organization the ability to recruit, retain, and inspire staff so they find the waste, solve the next problem before it happens, and help you grow. You’ll review examples of why developing an environment where lean thrives requires clear expectations, consistent follow through, and clarity on the priorities of customer and staff above executive advantage.
You will cover:
- Why leaders must get close enough to the work to feel its importance and moral imperative.
- How to use structure to enhance creativity.
- How to have a disciplined disregard for conventional wisdom.
- How to use your values statement and strategic plan to lay the ground work for lean success.
- How to implement 3 key tools to develop an environment that fosters long-term success and staff engagement.
- How to boost innovation.
- How to implement what it takes to move from tools and systems-driven leadership to principle-driven leadership.
Learn how mapping builds not only process improvements but employee engagement and respect.
This session is based on the real-world experiences of The Wonderful Company as it intensively educated leadership about lean management principles, mapped the current state of product lines, created a future-state vision, formed an action plan, and launched an initial kaizen event.
Lean practitioner Jean Cunningham will share the keys about how and why this approach promotes genuine collaboration and deep understanding. Tim Benshoof, Wonderful sponsor, will explain how the approach opened the eyes of participants and leaders alike to the value of cross-functional improvement activity. Plus, he’ll reveal how the company launched its leadership learning process and the impact.
You’ll learn the specifics of facilitating this type of improvement work, including preparation, event flow, examples of dealing with multi-flow streams, and an example of presenting results.
You’ll also cover:
- Mapping event sequence,
- Tips for engaging every participant and ensuring everyone has a voice,
- Examples of how to document the event for clear communicating and building interest,
Why the cross-functional event is so powerful in building engagement and respect
If you want to learn more about the intersection of lean and agile product development and how to apply these frameworks to increase team member ownership and engagement, join Intel’s Alex Jones for this hands-on session and simulation. You’ll learn:
- The principles underlying the application of lean and agile to product development and, more generally, knowledge work.
- The benefits of breaking large batches of knowledge work into smaller sizes.
- How to engage teams in making commitments to output, work methods, and quality.
- How to structure “inspect and adapt” reflection sessions for knowledge workers.
- How to make knowledge work visible so that it can be effectively managed.
This Learning Session consists of five segments:
- Introduction and concept
- Challenges in managing knowledge work, including lack of visibility, uncertainty of customer needs, technical implementation, and long lead times
- How lean principles improve managing development
- Scrum as a tool that applies these principles in a concrete framework
- Simulation Round 1
- Learn the essence of scrum in a simple table-based exercise
- Debrief and additional concepts
- Group reflection and discussion
- Concepts for empowering teams to meet commitments
- Simulation Round 2
- Apply new concepts; check results
- Debrief and close
- Group reflection and discussion
- Implementing new concepts
In a digital world, customer experiences are changing for the better and at an exponential rate. In turn, customers are demanding more and more value created through digital means. Companies are learning how to leverage digital capabilities to better design, develop, produce, deliver and service. Many are creating new business models, often crossing industry boundaries in new ways to do it at scale, fast enough, or in a consistent way.
Everyone realizes that the nature of work is changing, and they must learn how to best augment human capabilities with technology in a way that not only serves their enterprise and its customers but also their employees. Some are discovering that managing with lean thinking – with an emphasis on purpose, process, and people - is a powerful way to meet this challenge, and are using it as an advantage over their competition.
How do you to keep up, get ahead, or even just start?
Join us for a two-part Learning Session featuring speakers from CI&T, Nationwide, Bell Canada, LEI’s LPPD Initiative, and your moderator/host author Steve Bell.
In the first part of this session you will hear about the challenges these companies have encountered in their digital transformation, and how they have used lean thinking, agile, and other related methods to overcome these challenges.
In the second part of this session you will have access to the speakers and other attendees in an open forum where tactics can be debated and tough questions are asked and answered.
- Steve Bell author and thought leader
- Bruno Guicardi, President, CI&T
- Kevin Fisher, Build Capability Leader, Nationwide
- Jean-François Côté, Director Network, Bell Canada
- John Drogosz, LPPD Coach at LEI
Finding improvement opportunities is easy, finding meaningful problems to solve is hard. One way to build problem-solving skill is to go to different gembas and see different problems. In this learning session, Executive Chef, Rich Vellante and the Legal Sea Foods team will bring their gemba to you.
In this unique, hands-on session, you and your team will be presented with a “problem” - guests are dissatisfied with unwanted delays. By investigating food preparation and delivery, measured as “ticket time,” you will work together to try your own countermeasures, to meet your guests’ needs, and deliver outstanding quality.
Legal Sea Foods’ moto is “If it isn’t fresh, it isn’t Legal”, and in this session, you will learn that how Legal Sea Foods focus on problem-solving for lead time and quality is helping them meet this promise to their guests, while developing your own problem-solving skills.
- Mindful Observation
- Basic understanding of the “work pie”
- Using ERACS to help solve problems
- Online vs. Offline work.
- Building a work story
Companies and the knowledge workers in them are overloaded. This overload makes us focus on short-term gains, such as meeting deadlines, over long-term needs, such as developing healthy organizations. To change this culture, you must focus on three areas:
- Situational Awareness:
- What’s going on in the company and my team
- How my actions actively implement the current strategies
- What’s going on in the market
- The Ability to Be a Professional
- Choice of work-in-progress
- Spot and respond to problems
- Discuss difficult issues and innovate
- Growth and Learning
- Understand kaizen or other learning in the organization
- Assemble strike teams to deal with problems
- Regularly and formally discuss operations with peers
These needs neatly fold into one operating system, a combination of visual and social tools that allow you and your teams to plan effectively, avoid overload, and grow through learning and the evolution of value.
In this session, you’ll learn how to develop an operating system that helps you visualize work, limit work in progress, communicate upcoming problems, stay focused on corporate goals, improve delivery forecasts, and remove stress from the daily lives of you and your team members.
When the Great Recession hit in 2008, Grand Rapids, MI, like many cities, struggled to maintain services amid plunging tax revenues, increasing layoffs, and deepening budget cuts. When local business leaders suggested city officials apply lean management to maintain services, the fire department became an early adopter.
Join Brad Brown to learn how lean principles are applied in a nontraditional environment to eliminate waste, increase service levels, improve finances, and transform how a key government agency operates. He’ll cover:
- How resistance to change was overcome in the tradition-bound fire service
- How the A3 problem-solving process was used to address systemic department issues.
- The roles played by the Michigan Lean Consortium and Grand Rapids Community College.
- How the department’s continuous improvement efforts evolved from a focus on tools like standard work, 5S, rapid improvement events, and visual management, to a daily lean management system.
- How activities like Monday morning improvement walks, personal kanban boards, and huddles make the daily system work.
- How the department is using hoshin kanri for strategic planning.
- How lean methodology bridged the gulf between management and operations personnel by shifting from an approach of doing lean TO people to doing lean FOR people.
Ben Hartman grew up on a 500-acre corn and soybean farm where success meant getting bigger every year – buy a bigger tractor, rent more land, build another grain bin. He started his own farm with the same get-bigger mentality until one day he got a wake-up “thud.” In a wind storm, his new greenhouse, built in a rush to expand, went airborne and crash landed on the barn roof.
Today, Ben, author of The Lean Farm, and his wife, Rachel, own and operate Clay Bottom Farm, which is less than one acre but more productive and profitable than their old five-acre spread. They rely on lean principles rather than computerized tractors, genetically modified crops, or GPS-guided herbicide sprayers that are the mainstays of U.S. farms.
Join Ben for the fascinating and inspiring story of why farming just may be the next industry ripe for disruption. You’ll learn why lean management principles:
- Upend the mass production farming model of endlessly pushing corn, soybeans, and a few other products with almost no regard for what customers actually want.
- Make small-scale farming practical and profitable for young people and agro-entrepreneurs wanting to farm.
- Require half the tools and far less work to be more and more profitable.
- Let Clay Bottom move from the country to inside city limits, within a mile of the consumers and restaurants they serve.
- Give Clay Bottom the flexibility to change what it grows every few months to produce the crops customer want -- in the amounts they want to buy them.
Is your company or department struggling to engage employees? Then learn from LifeWay Christian Resources, which moved away from a top-down, tool-oriented approach to continuous improvement training to a focus on engaging and developing people with thematic events and instruction.
After previous attempts at lean transformations failed, this supplier of Christian support materials matched training in lean management tools and principles to its Bible-based culture and language. The result was training that engaged and resonated with people for a sustained improvement effort. In this session you’ll learn how its sprawling Lebanon, TN, distribution center did it, and you can adapt the lessons to your unique culture, including:
- How Lifeway came together to decide on its principles and values.
- How it built its “House of Lean” from foundation to roof.
- How it successfully created effective training for employees at every level by matching lean principles and tools to its mission and vision.
- How it used competitions to get employees involved with 5S and standardized work.
- What themes and events it used to engage employees to be problem solvers.
- What’s next in its continuing transformation.
If you are a lean coach (or any other type of coach) or aspire to become one, there is a skill which can significantly boost your effectiveness to support another person’s personal development. This skill can be learned with practice and is accessible to everyone who is willing to apply themselves.
The session will employ hands-on interactive exercises and breakouts to position you to become a more effective problem solver, leader and coach others to develop problem-solving capabilities in others.
Mindfulness is the ability to focus one’s awareness on the present moment. It is about being fully present and grasping the impact of your thoughts, words, actions, and awareness right now, in this moment. Conscious application of these practices directly impacts one’s ability to connect with people on an authentic level and co-create mutual respect and trust.
All activities benefit from heightened levels of awareness, focus and concentration, and lean thinking is no exception. Mindfulness impacts coaching skills and capability more effectively than any other tool or technique. This is especially true for structured problem solving and deep reflection – two essential elements of lean. Learn how to apply mindfulness techniques to strengthen your coaching skills in:
Come to this session and learn by experiencing mindfulness practices and leave with a new understanding of the role of mindful awareness in lean thinking and coaching.
- Learn and apply the tools of mindfulness to become a better practioner and coach of lean problem solving
- Understand how to assess and adjust your practice routine to avoid stagnation of the people you coach
- Explore the power of reflection practices to reach new levels of personal and professional excellence
- Develop a habit of consistent practice to experience personal continuous improvement
- Apply these practices in your personal life for better health, relationships, and quality of life!
Sunday, March 25th: Welcome Reception at the Wildhorse Saloon!
We always try to do something special for our networking reception, and this year we are in our Chairman, John Shook’s home town so you know we have to go big.
The Wildhorse Saloon, has been featured featured on countless TV shows and is on virtually all the "must see" locations in Nashville, and we’ve got your ticket in. Enjoy an evening of networking, live music, dancing, games, food, and drinks. We want to give you the honkey-tonk welcome you deserve.
The party starts at 6:00 PM on Sunday, March 25th!
More Networking Opportunities
The summit is designed to be the best networking venue in the Lean Community by providing formal and informal ways for you to connect with counterparts facing the same challenges as you:
- Monday, March 26th: Networking Happy Hour (continue conversations and compare notes after the first day)
- Networking Breaks (30 minutes to allow time for a phone call, cup of coffee, and conversation)
- Lunch Roundtables (attendee-led discussions on topics you've told us are important to you)
Maximize your learning opportunities, add a workshop!
You’ve traveled to Nashville to learn and meet new people sharing similar struggles. Creating a better company means improving your capabilities and skills. LEI’s workshops are in-depth programs that will help move you beyond individual "tools" and isolated improvement projects to build leadership capabilities and develop management skills needed to create the complete lean enterprise and a culture of problem solving. There is a 25% discount on workshops for attendees.