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Upcoming Events

Interested in hosting an event? Contact us!

Registration is a commitment of payment. Payment is expected at the time of registration or your registration may be cancelled. Please contact coordinator@michiganlean.org if you do not wish to pay via PayPal and need to make other payment arrangements. Click here to view the reimbursement policy for all events.

Upcoming events

    • Wednesday, October 24, 2018
    • 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
    • City Hall 300 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
    • 6

    Food, snacks, and parking fees are included in your registration cost. You must park at the Government Center ramp, which is located underneath the City Hall building, to receive free parking.

    Keynote Speaker: Karyn Ross 

    Karyn is an internationally acclaimed business consultant, coach and lean practitioner, and coauthor of The Toyota Way to Service Excellence. Karyn comes to the world of business and lean from the world of art. A practicing artist, with an MFA in Sculpture, Karyn helps people rediscover their creativity so that they can generate new ideas based on synthesizing learning from previous experiences. Then she teaches them how to use Toyota Way/lean principles, practices and tools to turn those ideas into the services and products that satisfy clients now and for the future. Focused on service excellence, Karyn works with small, medium and large organizations in sectors as diverse as insurance, financial services, HR, transportation, higher education and manufacturing. A purpose driven consultant, Karyn is passionate both about helping companies create more effective and efficient ways of working so that they - and their customers - flourish, thrive and grow, and about helping people reclaim their innate creativity so that they can solve problems at work, at home, in their communities and in the wider world.

    Karyn lives in Naperville, Illinois and is the owner of Karyn Ross Consulting. She coaches, consults and facilitates workshops all over the world, both in-person and remotely. Her new book, How to Coach for Creativity and Service Excellence: A Workbook for Lean Coaches, will be available in Spring/Summer 2019.

    Title of her session: Service Excellence is Effective, Efficient and PERSONAL

    As we go about our busy work day, it’s easy to forget that the purpose of our work is to serve our customers: the individuals who use and depend on our services! For government agencies, this is even more important, because customers aren’t able to switch providers if they’re unhappy with the service they receive. In this keynote, using examples from The Toyota Way to Service Excellence, and Karyn’s work with customers around the world, you’ll learn why Service Excellence is more than just consistently creating effective and efficient ways to work. It’s about treating people not just as valued customers, but as the unique individual and valued human being each of them is!

    Brad Brown

    He started his fire service career in 1996 for the Guilford College Fire Department and was hired in 1999 by the Greensboro, NC fire department, an ISO class 1 and internationally accredited agency. After a few years on the streets in Grand Rapids, Brad displayed a penchant for paperwork and crunching numbers, so he moved into the planning division as a Strategic Planning Officer and subsequently Captain. He is a lean champion, recently completed his executive fire officer program at the national fire academy and has embarked on his doctor of education degree in organizational leadership and development from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI. He has presented numerous times over the past several years for the Michigan Lean Consortium, The American Society for Quality and the Center for Public Safety Excellence. When not learning or working, Brad spends time on the family farm located in Fennville, MI with his wife of fifteen years Chandra, his daughter Addyson (11), his son Brocton (5) and way too many animals.

    Title of his session: A3

    Utilizing the “Managing to Learn” book by John Shook as the foundation, participants will be introduced to the A3 Process and it’s multiple uses:

    • A problem solving tool
    • A management tool
    • A storyboard for presentations

    A brief overview will be followed by group work sessions that will include constructing an A3, coaching members on an A3 and reporting out on an A3.

    Who should attend:

    • Any manager who wishes to improve his/her department and lead more effectively
    • Change agents or those driving positive improvements within their workgroup
    • Any employee who wishes to deepen their understanding of lean thinking

    Sean Moeller

    I have served the City of Grand Rapids for 10 years, in a variety of roles, for several different departments and service areas. I was first exposed to Lean in 2009, when economic conditions required our organization to become more nimble and innovative. I have developed a number of A3 documents which have led to cost reduction, increased efficiency, and improved services to our community. I am also very passionate about 5S, which I have been sharing with the service areas I have touched for the past three years. I have also had the privilege of chairing the continuous improvement team at our Lighting, Signals, and Signs department, which benefited greatly from a concentrated focus on Lean principles and tools.

    Co-Presenter: Laura Cleypool

    Laura Cleypool is an Administrative Services Officer II with the City of Grand Rapids. Laura has over 20 years of experience in various industries including banking, non-profit and municipal government.

    In her current role, she oversees the administrative functions and processes for the Public Service Group (Public Works, Parks & Recreation, Environmental Services and Water) including finance, strategic planning, office operations, project management, leadership development, key performance indicators and lean continuous improvement. As a lean champion, she has coached departmental leaders in obtaining exceptional performance through lean tools, principles and management practices. Laura has facilitated multiple kaizen events and is currently working on a Managing for Daily Improvements strategy for her service group.

    Laura earned her MBA from Western Michigan University and her Lean Certification through the GRCC Workforce Management training program. When away from City responsibilities, she instructs group fitness classes and spends time with her husband, seven children and three grandchildren.

    Title of their session: Simple strategies for introducing Lean in your workplace

    Introducing Lean to your workforce can sometimes seem like a daunting task. This session will expose you to some fun and engaging activities which can be used to educate employees about the value of Lean. If you are new to Lean, or are struggling with how to gain traction with your employees, this session will expose you to methods which will increase employee buy-in. This will be a hands-on workshop, focusing on basic concepts like 5S and Simple Kaizen documents. Be prepared for an exciting, fast-paced, and fun session!

    Rob Pease

    Rob has been involved with lean and learning in organizations for 25 years. Currently owns the culture at Nucraft Furniture, in Comstock Park, MI as a kata and continuous improvement leader, but has worked in the military, government, service, and manufacturing spaces. He has personally practiced Toyota Kata on a daily basis for five years and infrequently for a few years prior to that.

    Rob has spoken across the country and around Michigan with groups like the Michigan Lean Consortium and ASQ. He is currently a six sigma black belt, a lean champion, and a current student who is currently enrolled at WMU for master’s degree in Organizational Change Leadership to satisfy the love for learning. The learning approach within an organization fits perfectly with the Toyota Kata methodology.

    Rob is the father of two teenage sons with his wife Amy of 19 years. They reside in the Grand Rapids area and are involved with many groups to improve their culture and processes. He spends his free time coaching leaders, creating strategy, improving daily work processes within organizations, or playing somewhere between those two topics. One example is as the Chair of the Michigan Lean Consortium, who is aiming to become the “leading voice” for lean in the State of Michigan.

    Title of his session: “Discussion and examples of connecting behaviors to improve your kata”

    Steve Kane

    Steve is Director of Customer Success for Gemba Academy, LLC, a provider of online Lean and Six Sigma training content. He brings to this role his experience in Lean leadership and executive operational management to assist customers with Lean learning and implementation.

    Prior to joining Gemba Academy, Steve was Vice President of Operations for Specialty Silicone Fabricators, Inc., a contract manufacturer of medical silicone, bioresorbable materials, and medical device-drug combination components based in Paso Robles, California. Steve is a Lean leader who emphasizes a customer focused culture. His professional experience includes Lean supply chain management, sales, satellite plant operations management, value stream management and multiple site operations. He has also served on the board of directors for the AME Western Region and the Advisory Board for the Central Coast Lean Forum.

    Steve received a B.A. in philosophy from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a project management certificate from the University of Minnesota Extension, and a Lean Champion certificate from Northwestern Michigan College. He has served in the United States Army Reserve and volunteered as a police officer and deputy sheriff in Orange County, California.

    Title of his session: Overcoming Resistance: Leading People to Want to Improve

    A common struggle with continuous improvement is dealing with resistance to change. People genuinely want to do a good job. At the same time, resistance can be perceived as an attitude or performance problem. In this session we'll explore how resistance to continuous improvement can be a response to basic emotional needs not being met. We'll then align Lean leadership methods to help people move past resistance to intrinsically motivated contribution.

    • Friday, October 26, 2018
    • 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
    • Dart Container 500 Hogsback Rd., Mason, MI 48854 Building 6
    • 21

    If you have any questions please call Jerry Browne at 517-364-2531.  
    Time for sessions 1-4 is 
    8:30am – 4:30pm, Testing Day Time TBD. 
    NOTE: Membership fee is $90 and if you become a member today or by the event you only pay the member registration fee of $60 for this event.
    • Wednesday, November 07, 2018
    • 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
    • 6307 84th St. SE, Caledonia MI 49316
    • 14

    Do you love coffee (or tea)? Do you love networking, sharing lean best practices and solving lean problems together? If yes, we are rolling out a new informal program called Lean Coffee Chats! We will have 60-90 minute sessions in different locations around Michigan.

    What are the benefits?

    • Leverage our membership knowledge base
    • Focus on implementation of lean tools
    • Opportunity to network
    • Share best practices
    • Stay connected with other MLC members
    • ALL FOR FREE for members (+ you can bring a non-member guest for FREE too!)

    What a typical agenda will look like:

    • Meet and greet
    • Lean implementation topic and brainstorm - bring a topic suggestion or come ready to ask for help with a lean issue you are encountering
    • Learn about MLC and upcoming events
    • Networking

    Our hosts will be:

    Sharon Hayward

    The Campbell Group

    • Thursday, December 13, 2018
    • 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
    • Dart Container 500 Hogsback Rd., Mason, MI 48854 Building 6
    • 28

    If you have any questions please call Jerry Browne at 517-364-2531.  
    Time for sessions 1-4 is 
    8:30am – 4:30pm, Testing Day Time TBD. 
    NOTE: Membership fee is $90 and if you become a member today or by the event you only pay the member registration fee of $60 for this event.
    • Wednesday, January 16, 2019
    • Friday, January 18, 2019
    • 2 sessions
    • Dart Container 500 Hogsback Rd., Mason, MI 48854 Building 6
    • 30

    If you have any questions please call Jerry Browne at 517-364-2531.  
    Time for sessions 1-4 is 
    8:30am – 4:30pm, Testing Day Time TBD. 
    NOTE: Membership fee is $90 and if you become a member today or by the event you only pay the member registration fee of $60 for this event.
    • Thursday, February 21, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Dart Container 500 Hogsback Rd., Mason, MI 48854 Building 6
    • 30
    You are responsible for paying for your own test fee. Refer to the SME Bronze webpage for current pricing. Click here

    If you have any questions please call Jerry Browne at 517-364-2531.  

Past events

Friday, September 28, 2018 Lean 101
Wednesday, August 29, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat Grand Rapids
Wednesday, August 08, 2018 8th Annual Conference - LEAN: Learn, Educate and Network
Thursday, July 19, 2018 Webinar: “Prioritizing lean projects at the State of Michigan: Going from FIFO to Strategic Alignment”
Thursday, July 19, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat Grand Rapids
Thursday, June 28, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat at the Horse Farm in Fenton
Friday, June 22, 2018 State of Michigan Energy Center Tour
Wednesday, June 20, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat Houghton
Friday, June 15, 2018 Kanban for Everyone
Friday, May 25, 2018 Lean at a Horse Farm
Friday, May 18, 2018 2018 Annual Healthcare Symposium: Lean: A Safer Tomorrow
Thursday, May 17, 2018 Event with ASQ
Friday, May 04, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat Brighton
Friday, April 27, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat Traverse City
Thursday, April 19, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat Troy
Thursday, April 19, 2018 Lean Do It Yourself (DIY) Toolkit Training
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 Coaching Kata for Continuous Improvement
Thursday, April 12, 2018 Webinar on Decision Bias
Friday, March 23, 2018 Webinar with IBM Watson Health
Friday, March 23, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat Brighton
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 City of Grand Rapids Presents A3 & Lean for Management
Friday, March 16, 2018 Lean Sustainability Focus Tour at Bell's Brewery
Thursday, March 08, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat Grand Rapids
Friday, March 02, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat Oakland University
Friday, February 23, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat Burton
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 Change Leadership Event at DTE Energy
Friday, February 16, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat Southfield
Friday, February 16, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat Brighton
Friday, January 19, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat Brighton
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 Lean Coffee Chat Ann Arbor
Tuesday, January 16, 2018 Coaching Kata for Continuous Improvement
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 Lean Into the New Year - A 12 month Plan Webinar with Kathy Malone
Friday, December 01, 2017 Year End Event & Networking Reception
Friday, November 17, 2017 Bronze Prep Exam
Friday, October 27, 2017 Healthcare Kata
Friday, October 06, 2017 Lean Application
Thursday, October 05, 2017 Amway VMS Learning Event
Friday, September 22, 2017 Lean Story at Hayes Manufacturing
Wednesday, August 02, 2017 7th Annual Conference - Achieving True North: Lead-Engage-Accelerate-Now
Friday, July 21, 2017 An Inside Look at Truven Health Lean Events
Friday, July 21, 2017 Lean 103
Friday, May 19, 2017 2017 Annual Healthcare Symposium
Thursday, May 18, 2017 “Using Value Stream Mapping in Idealized Design” - Event with ASQ
Friday, May 05, 2017 Lean 102
Friday, March 24, 2017 2nd Michigan Kata Practitioner Day
Friday, March 10, 2017 Lean 101
Wednesday, March 01, 2017 Toyota Kata Course
Friday, February 17, 2017 Part 1 of 3 Part Series: Simulation at Built Systems LLC
Friday, January 27, 2017 Gemba Walk at Menlo Innovations
Friday, December 02, 2016 Year End After Event Networking Reception
Friday, December 02, 2016 Year End Event: “This Year's Challenge Condition and What I Learned”
Thursday, October 20, 2016 Joint Venture with ASQ Detroit: “ReThink” Continuous Improvement Curriculum 1 Day Training
Friday, October 14, 2016 Lean Law Journey at Orlans Group
Wednesday, August 03, 2016 6th Annual Conference - Lean 3.0: The Next Frontier
Thursday, June 16, 2016 The 1st Michigan Kata Practitioner Day
Friday, June 10, 2016 DTE Educational Learning Event
Friday, May 20, 2016 2016 Annual Healthcare Symposium: Lean and High Reliability
Friday, April 22, 2016 Grand Rapids Fire Department Gemba Walk
Friday, April 01, 2016 Speak So They Listen
Thursday, February 11, 2016 Pettibone Traverse Lift Gemba Event
Friday, December 04, 2015 Year End After Event Networking Reception
Friday, December 04, 2015 End of Year Event - Lean Journeys
Friday, October 23, 2015 Herman Miller Healthcare Lean Learning
Thursday, October 15, 2015 Joint Event with ASQ - Red Bead Experiment Redux
Tuesday, October 06, 2015 How to Assess the Maturity of your Lean Organization
Monday, October 05, 2015 The Mechanics of Lean Deployment
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 5th Annual Conference - Transforming The Future NOW
Thursday, June 18, 2015 MLC Young Professionals Group Meetup
Friday, June 12, 2015 Improvement Kata Fast Start
Friday, May 15, 2015 TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) workshop
Monday, May 04, 2015 2015 Annual Healthcare Symposium: Navigating the Whitewater of Healthcare
Friday, March 27, 2015 Value Stream Mapping
Friday, March 06, 2015 Lean Assessments
Friday, February 27, 2015 How to Stop Whack A Mole Safety Management
Friday, January 16, 2015 Tauber Institute Operations Leadership Factory at the University of Michigan
Friday, December 05, 2014 Year End After Event Networking Reception
Friday, December 05, 2014 The Herman Miller Performance System, The Story of Herman Miller's Lean Journey and Lessons Learned Along the Way and After Event Networking
Friday, November 21, 2014 Value Stream Mapping
Friday, November 07, 2014 Lean 103
Friday, October 10, 2014 2014 Annual Healthcare Symposium: Lean Strategies in Transforming Patient Care
Friday, September 26, 2014 Lean 102
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 Lean 103
Thursday, August 07, 2014 4th Annual Conference: "People: The Heart of Lean"
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 Lean 102
Friday, May 02, 2014 Improvement Kata Fast Start
Friday, April 04, 2014 The History of Deming, Quality and Synergies to Lean – With The Red Bead Experiment
Friday, March 28, 2014 Lean 101
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 GEMBA Walk at Zingerman's Mail Order
Friday, February 28, 2014 Integrated Task Assessment: A Tool to Improve Health Care Performance
Friday, January 24, 2014 From Vision to World-Class Business: Living the Principles, Using the Tools at DragonMead Brewery
Friday, December 06, 2013 End of Year Event and Networking Reception
Friday, November 15, 2013 Lean 103
Friday, October 25, 2013 The 2013 Healthcare Symposium
Friday, September 27, 2013 Lean 102
Friday, September 20, 2013 Train the Trainer featuring Amelia Brown
Thursday, August 08, 2013 3rd Annual Conference: "Lean: Past, Present & Future"
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 Lean 101
Friday, April 19, 2013 Managing for Sustainment - Creating a Lean Management System and Leader Standard Work
Friday, March 22, 2013 Change Management: What Is It and How to Do It Well!
Friday, February 08, 2013 Organizational Pit Stop: Get a Tune-Up and a Clean Windshield by Grand Rapids Fire Department
Friday, January 25, 2013 Benchmarking Visit to Spectrum Health Systems
Friday, December 07, 2012 "Creating a Sustainable Lean Culture" & Networking Event featuring Tom Shuker
Friday, November 02, 2012 Micron Manufacturing Benchmarking Event featuring Dan Vermeesch
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 Lean Operational Excellence Simulation
Friday, October 05, 2012 Health Care Summit
Friday, September 14, 2012 "Kaizen for Beginners" featuring Amy Long
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