MLC Blog

Welcome to the MLC Blog! A blog fueled by the Lean and Continuous Improvement Community!

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  • Friday, October 15, 2021 9:52 AM | Andi Barajas (Administrator)

    Be sure to engage your graphics, marketing or other arts department early on in your Lean endeavors. There is a lot to do in Visual management, and their help will be invaluable.


    In early Lean activities, 5S and area organization is key. As things progress, standard work is implemented, requiring visual representations to go with the narrative. Flow lanes, takt time, and a long list of others make your graphics team key to presenting the visuals in a timely and personalized manner.

    If you don’t have a marketing or graphics department, there are several online tools that can provide examples of visually engaging representation of data, like Venngage or you can use online programs like Canva for visual management.

  • Thursday, September 30, 2021 9:54 AM | Andi Barajas (Administrator)
    Joe Pesz
    Lean Coach/Consultant, JMPesz Design

    I came to Lean in 2005, as a result of some problems my company was having with safety issues specifically related to gaps in our training. Learning and implementing 5S, Standard work and Value Streams mapping were my introduction, and those core tenets helped me transition over the last 16 years, from a Construction industry background into Manufacturing and Distribution, Supply Chain and most recently Healthcare. 

    Currently working as a Lean Coach/Consultant for my company JMPesz Design. Part time musician. Married with two kids, and five granddaughters. 

  • Tuesday, September 28, 2021 8:35 AM | Andi Barajas (Administrator)

    Neil Wilson

    Director of Operations, LEANCOACHING

    Neil is a professional business leader with over 20 years of experience implementing Lean across a wide variety of industries and cultures.

    His career began in Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK where he learned his appreciation for Lean as well as the methods and behavior’s associated to successfully practice. He has three degrees including a masters in business and a bachelors in automotive and maintenance engineering. Neil progressed through various roles within Nissan, becoming a Senior Manager of engineering responsible for new vehicle launches and plant improvement activities. From there Neil took a new role with Bosch responsible for South East Asia manufacturing and greenfield developments. For the last 8 years Neil has been running a management consulting company specifically focused to coaching Lean, where he acts as a trusted advisor to many major companies across a range of industries such as automotive, manufacturing, pharma, metals/mining, banking and construction.

    Neil has two young children and enjoys trips away camping, playing sports, and motor racing. When he is not engaged in any of the above, he can often be found relaxing with a cup of tea 

  • Wednesday, August 11, 2021 4:32 PM | Andi Barajas (Administrator)

    Lean Tribe! 

    The Events Team took a big step forward this week and had a "re-introduciton" session for our Events Team volunteers. During Covid we pivoted to 100% virtual and did not need a lot of event support. There is just not as much work to do when an event is all online. Our eyes are on the future and the future holds IN PERSON EVENTS! (assuming Delta does not crash the party...). 

    Our re-introduction session reviewed the event planning process at a high level and what the different roles and responsibilities are for the different levels of volunteers. Long story short, our pool of volunteers are split into 3 main categories:

    • "Single day" event planners
    • "Multi day" event planners (conferences!!)
    • "Day Of" volunteers

    We need a pool of each type to be able to execute all ranges and types of events for our membership. As always, if you are interested in being a volunteer, let me know!

    Our events Master Schedule has a couple in-person events and in-person Coffee Chats on the list for the rest of 2021 (with a couple virtual events sprinkled in). Be on the lookout for updates and get yourself on the registration list!

    Be safe,

    Dave 

  • Thursday, July 01, 2021 7:38 PM | Andi Barajas (Administrator)

    Did you know that you have an MLC membership card? 


    If you need to access this card follow these steps:

    1. Log into your account
    2. Click on your name in the upper left hand corner

    A page will be displayed that has your membership card and all the details about your MLC membership.

    You will be able to update your information too.

    Thank you for being a member!

    Check Out the Membership Site!

  • Thursday, July 01, 2021 7:34 PM | Andi Barajas (Administrator)

    The 9th annual MLC Healthcare Symposium was a success.

    We had 100% attendance!

    Here is some of the feedback we received:

    ❝I overall highly enjoyed the symposium. Hearing from Dr. Zarbo was fantastic, and the breakout session I attended with the Spectrum group was great to hear what they did, and how they did it❞

    ❝Dr Zarbo was fantastic❞

    ❝Dr. Sozener and Dr. Bassin were engaging and funny. I enjoyed learning about their Lean journey to a more productive and successful ER❞

    Thank you to everyone that volunteered their time to help facilitate this event!

    Congratulations for the winners of the 2021 Best in Healthcare Continuous Improvement Award! 

    We at MLC know there were so many Michiganders whose hard work and dedication led to putting Michigan on the frontline of the vaccine roll-out, and we recognized some of them for their contributions at our Virtual MLC Healthcare Symposium.

    Read about the Winners!

  • Thursday, July 01, 2021 7:29 PM | Andi Barajas (Administrator)

     You guys! We are beginning to plan in-person events for the fall of 2021!

    This is such a big step toward getting the MLC “back to normal”. Over the years we have hung our hat on the amazing networking and relationship building opportunities that we have been able to offer in addition to Training and Education. As you well know, that has been a struggle when the world went fully virtual. Buckle up, we believe that is going to really change very quickly!

    With that said, our ask for Event Team volunteers will be ramping back up. I have really struggled over the last 18 months trying to figure out how to use the volunteers who have already committed to helping the MLC Events Team. If you have felt left out, I apologize! Virtual events did not tend to need a lot of help. As we transition back to in-person, that will change. To our current resource team (and you know who you are!), expect to hear from me soon! If you are thinking of becoming a MLC Events volunteer, there are a couple of service categories we look at: Event Planner – This is someone who is willing to take an idea and run with it! We do have Event Planning Standard Work, so you would have some structure to follow. We give you the seed of an idea and you take it from there. Event Volunteer – This is for folks who are not interested in the extra work of planning, but love being on-site (brick and mortar or virtual) to do event kick-off, break out room lead, etc. Coffee Chat Planning Lead – This person would organize the Coffee events and work with Coffee Chat volunteers to execute them. These are all fantastic roles and are so fulfilling. You will meet the best people and be a part of changing lives.

    If you are interested, please reach out to me and I will have a 1:1 discussion with you to see what you are passionate about and where we can use your talent! I cant wait for that first event where I get to see everyone’s smiley face IN PERSON!

    Thanks,

    Dave Kippen

    MLC Events Team Coordinator

    Volunteer for the MLC!

  • Tuesday, June 29, 2021 2:05 PM | Andi Barajas (Administrator)

    We miss you!

    This past year has certainly been a long road for all of us and we are deeply grateful to our MLC membership community who stuck with us as we navigated virtual events. We also know that building a Lean network and learning through interaction are highly valued benefits of an MLC membership. Therefore, this summer, we are bringing back regularly scheduled coffee chats and we will look forward to holding these coffee chats in person as often as possible.

    We will kick off the summer with a Lean Coffee Chat on July 16 at 9:00 a.m. in Ann Arbor (location to be determined), hosted by MLC Board Member, Lauren Wisniewski.

    The MLC is committed to expanding our Lean networks throughout regional communities and we invite you to volunteer to host a Lean Coffee Chat in your area as well!

    Please reach out to admin@michiganlean.org if you are interested in hosting a coffee chat.

    We look forward to seeing you in person and having meaningful conversations that will inspire and brighten your day!

    *Our priorities will be the safety and comfortability of our members as we seek out coffee chat locations. Per current guidelines, masks will not be required, but we encourage all who have underlying medical issues, those not yet vaccinated, and those who feel uncomfortable for any reason to continue to wear them.

     Lauren Wisniewski

    MLC Board Member


  • Friday, May 28, 2021 10:19 PM | Andi Barajas (Administrator)

    One of the questions I get asked frequently by my clients…how can I reduce the cost of training? I have a few recommendations!

    1. Leverage learning offered by organizations where you are a member. You are already paying a membership, so use the resources provided and often the organization has received a significantly discounted rate. MLC has great learning offerings with some exciting options coming up in the near future! Take a look at some upcoming workshops to see if they meet your needs!
    2. Take a look at LinkedIn Learning. For $59.99/month, you gain access to a TON of learning offerings. I did a quick search on ‘lean’ which returned 791 results! If you are just starting your lean journey, 325 are beginner level! Intermediate had 259 results and Advanced had 37! If you pay for the year in advance, you get a 20% discount :)  
    3. Create a book group. Books are an inexpensive way to build knowledge and discussing in a group helps make the concepts come to life and how they might quickly be applied at your company!  A few quick suggestions: Creating a Lean Culture by David Mann, The Flow System: The Evolution of Agile and Lean Thinking in an Age of Complexity by Nigel Thurlow, 2 Second Lean by Paul Akers.
    4. Look at local college / university offerings. The MLC has partnerships with many Michigan academic institutions, in fact there is even a Community of Practice! Check with their local offerings or even get in touch with a MLC member of an academic institution to brainstorm ways they can support your organization's learning needs. Perhaps an intern that is a whiz at Lean in the classroom that could come in and help you make some quick wins?!

    Training doesn’t have to be expensive. Get clear on what skills/capabilities you need, then get creative on how to build that capability. Need a little bit of extra help to get you started? I am always willing to spend 15 minutes discussing with MLC Members! You can schedule time with me on my OnceHub and select “Your Problem / 1 Solution.”  

    Becky Andree

    MLC Board Member

    CEO of Vertical Leadership Consulting

  • Tuesday, April 27, 2021 10:47 AM | Andi Barajas (Administrator)

    The MLC has updated their mission statement to better fit their new board, member suggestions, and the changing times.

    "Engage, connect, and develop people and processes in continuous improvement and Lean initiatives to positively impact Michigan."

    Learn more about the  MLC at our About Us page.

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