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Upcoming Events:

Part 1 of 3 Part Series: Simulation at Built Systems LLC on February 17 in Holland
Lean 101 on March 10 in East Lansing
2nd Kata Practitioner Day on March 24 in Comstock Park
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!
More information on our AWESOME upcoming events: 
We are offering our Bronze Prep Certification Course again - take all of the classes and your Bronze Exam or just take one class! Sign up now!


Want to help design a giveaway for our annual conference?

Have you attended our annual conference in previous years? Remember how small those coffee cups are? This year we are providing FREE, BIGGER coffee mugs and we want YOU to design the mug!

Just send in a JPG file of a design for a coffee mug (size can be negotiable) to Lauren at and we will compile all your designs and then let our membership vote for which one will be debuted at the 2017 MLC Annual Conference. Please send in entries by March 31. 

We are excited to announce our third keynote speaker: Mr. Bob Richard

Robert A. Richard is Senior Vice President of Major Enterprise Projects for DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE), a Detroit‐based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy‐related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non‐utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress.
Richard is responsible for major projects in Power Generation, Distribution, Renewable, Nuclear and Gas Midstream platforms. This assignment leverages his experience as an operating Executive in Gas Midstream, Power Generation and the Gas Utility of DTE Energy.
Prior to joining DTE Energy, Richard was vice president of operations and process improvement at Bethlehem Steel. This role was responsible for sales, marketing and operations of the eastern division. Previously, he spent 13 years at General Electric where he served in a variety of leadership roles. Richard was senior executive for GE LEXAN Americas Manufacturing and responsible for Phenolics, BPA, SAN, Chlorine and Polycarbonate extrusion.
Richard earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in chemical engineering from The Ohio State University. At Ohio State, his graduate work was in coal technologies, which included liquefaction, gasification and the microbial desulfurization of coal. Richard attended the Nuclear Reactor Technology course of MIT and he is a certified Master Black Belt from GE and the Six Sigma Academy. He received the Whitney Award for technical achievement at GE. Richard is a member of the board of directors of the Wildlife Habitat Council where he serves on the finance subcommittee. His is active in the Boy Scouts of America and is a lifetime member of the National Eagle Scout Association.
Lastly, mark your calendars to get a spot on the Manitou Tall Ship at the annual conference again this year in August! Stay tuned for details!
Click the picture above to email Lauren for more information if you're interested in being a guest on The Leaning Edge on February 3! 
Read on for an article from our Chair... Check out more on Linkedin too!

Two weeks ago, I mentioned how Mike Duggan, the mayor of Detroit told a great story of how he discovered that the culprit responsible for wide ranging problems in the DMC hospital system was the leader – he was the culprit that needed to change and transform. Mike also related a second chapter of this story that I share with you today.

Mike asked his team “why” they had to wheel out patients who were able to walk out under their own power. He asked “why” it was a policy and the answer was that federal regulations required it. Mike asked for a copy of the Federal requirement. Days later after several rounds asking "why" the team discovered there is no Federal, State, or insurance requirement from the DMC’s carrier.

So again Mike asked “why” and this time, it was something like “why not stop doing this and test the outcome?” The DMC leadership team set about putting the new practice into place, and ambulatory patients could walk out under their own power without wheelchairs.

The real roadblock was not the policy or practice, but their thinking. They thought that there was a “requirement” of the system that did not exist at all, except in their thinking. Stephen R. Covey said “The way we see the problem is the problem“ and this is a perfect example. They had not asked “why” enough! Yet, this held them back from asking why this practice existed at all. 

The moment of discovery for Mike as CEO and leader was that ultimately, our thinking that can help us solve problems, can also imprison us. W. Edwards Deming once said, "We’re living in prison, under the tyranny of the prevailing style of management, a style of interaction between people, between teams, between divisions, between competitors. We need to throw overboard our theories and practices of the present, and build afresh." 

Yet, we sometimes spend valuable effort to improve something that should just be abandoned. We need to ask “why” more often and transform our thinking as Mike did.

Dennis Sergent

Chairman of Michigan Lean Consortium, Deming Apprentice

Transforming Our Thinking

MLC Annual Healthcare Lean Symposium:
Pursuing Value-Based Care
        Call for Speakers! Save the Date for May 19, 2017 Healthcare Symposium!

We Need You! The deadline for submissions is extended to February 17, 2017!

Michigan Lean Consortium Sixth Annual Healthcare Symposium on May 19, 2017 at Sparrow Health Science Pavilion 2900 Hannah Blvd. in East Lansing, Michigan

    This year’s theme: Pursuing Value-Based Care

The planning committee is now seeking presentations for this year’s Healthcare Symposium. If you have experiences to share or expertise to help attendees put into practice the behaviors necessary to support lean thinking and culture in regards to healthcare, we invite you to submit a synopsis for a “hands-on” workshop, “lessons learned” case study or “skill application” presentation that you would like to share with other lean learners and practitioners. 

We are very excited about this year’s Healthcare Symposium and thank you for your willingness to share your experience with others.

To submit your program synopsis, please fill out the form (click here) and submit it with your biography to Vera Szram-Senyk and Gerald Browne at or

Copyright © 2017 Michigan Lean Consortium, All rights reserved.

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Michigan Lean Consortium · PO Box 763 · Saline, MI 48176 · USA

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