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Upcoming Events:

Lean 102 on May 5 in East Lansing
2017 Healthcare Symposium on May 19 in East Lansing
Lean 103 on July 21 in East Lansing
2017 Annual Conference on August 2-4 in Traverse City
Lean Application on September 22 in East Lansing
Bronze Prep Exam on November 3 in East Lansing

Register now!


The Leadership Track

Purpose: Lead personal transportation towards becoming a reflective and effective lean leader.

  • Develop a personal leadership plan (PLP)
  • Explain and demonstrate the leadership style necessary in a lean culture
  • Learn methods to change (and sustain!) your behaviors
  • Explain how a lean leadership style is different from other styles
  • Self-assessment (pre-conference)
  • Reading and Pre-work (pre-conference)
  • Three break-out sessions plus the half day Friday session (at the conference)
    • Each break-out session will have different facilitators to ensure a variety of perspectives
  • Follow-up group calls 3-6-9 months to discuss progress on the PLP (post-conference)
Here are just a few highlights of the track:
  • How a lean leadership style is different from other leadership styles
  • Lean Leader components:
    • coach
    • facilitator
    • teacher
    • communicator
    • builder of teams
    • builder of consensus
  • Share real profiles of lean leaders from industry
    • Distinguish between leadership myths and reality
  • Metrics to measure leadership success
  • Conflict management style (pre-work)
  • Leadership personality style (pre-work)
  • “Leadership BS” (myths vs. reality) – Pfeffer
  • Deming’s principles
Fee: $250 (includes the book ‘The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership’, the leadership self-assessment, pre-work, the personal leadership plan, the half-day workshop on Friday, coaching after the conference)

For questions reach out to Debra Levantrosser at or to register go to (once you start conference registration, you will see an option to sign up for the Leadership Track) or ask registration questions to Lauren at

Don't forget to register for the Healthcare Symposium!

Just like the annual conference, we hold an annual Healthcare Symposium. This year it will be in East Lansing at Sparrow Hospital and feature 2 keynote speakers: Bryan Buckley and Beth Rubenstein! It will also feature several breakout sessions. If you work in healthcare, you don't want to miss this! Register now!
We are on Slack! Slack is a way to connect, discuss topics and network! Please join us there! Click here to join:

We are excited to announce that the cycle to elect three new MLC Board members begins with this letter to open nominations officially today, May 1, 2017.
MLC Bylaws allow for the annual election of a subset of the board, which provides an element of continuity and facilitates an orderly transition of leadership. This year we will be electing three Board members for 3-year terms.  Sara Miller, Dennis Sergent, and Betsy Williams will be completing their current term on the Board of Directors and are eligible to run for reelection should they choose to do so. 
At this time I encourage you to make your nominations of qualified candidates who have demonstrated active commitment and participation in MLC events, projects, training, or other endeavors. You may self-nominate or nominate someone whom you feel would add value as a Board member.  To put forward your nomination please email with the name, contact telephone number, email address, and a summary describing why you believe this person is a well-qualified candidate. Nominations will close at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 12, 2017.
The MLC Board of Directors is a working Board, and positions are not compensated. Board members must be willing and able to participate in four face-to-face meetings each year in various Michigan locations in addition to a regular cadence of conference calls.  To supplement board meetings, the work of the board is carried out individually and in groups throughout the year.
For information on the current Michigan Lean Consortium Board of Directors or the Bylaws that govern the election process and address the role of the Board of Directors, please refer to the MLC website.      
Nominees will be reviewed by the Election Committee after the close of nominations to develop a final slate of candidates.  Selected nominees will be contacted to gain their acceptance and to gather candidate information for the ballot. Voting will be conducted in early June, and newly elected Board members will be announced to the membership at the Annual Conference in August. 
If you have any questions about the nominations and election process or about serving on the board, please do not hesitate to contact anyone on the Board of Directors.  Thank you for considering further service to the Michigan Lean Consortium.
Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, Election Committee           
Rob Pease, Election Committee                        
Click the picture above to email Lauren for more information if you're interested in being a guest on The Leaning Edge!
Joyce Weiss joined us last month to talk about revealing leadership blind spots.

Check out some of our other past guests here and listen to past episodes!

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A word from a member (Want to be featured next? Reply to this email!): 
"Can you cut defects down to zero? It is possible."
- Shigeo Shingo
Shigeo Shingo advocated the idea of zero process defects and introduced poka-yoke, mistake-proofing using inexpensive devices to catch errors before they become a defect.  There are many good examples in manufacturing to depict this effort.  Are there ways we can accomplish this goal in the office?  How many times do we have to “re-work” our spreadsheets and charts?  What is the office’s First Time Yield or Rolled Throughput Yield for daily / weekly / monthly / yearly tasks?  Do we incorporate standard work procedures for excel charts and reports?  Do we have standard templates to mitigate the risks of errors in spreadsheets or other reports? Do we apply TPS or 8 wastes to improve our work office procedures?  Do we know the office’s Cost of Poor Quality for these efforts?  Today is a good day to start our lean office work environment.  Tell us your implementation plan to start your office lean approach.  If you started the lean office process, please tell us how it worked or didn’t work for your organization.  
Gary Kapanowski
“the time is now to lean-in to lean-out waste”

Let's discuss this on Slack!
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