How to Build Leaders from Within

Immerse yourself and your team in the how-to experiences of three companies.

Each presenter describes their unique programs that thoroughly engage executives, employees, cross-functional leaders, and the team members they serve – not only in the application of continuous improvement concepts and tools – but also in ways that build leaders from within and respect for the dignity of frontline work.

The companies will highlight the steps each has taken to design development programs that build the leader's ability to develop their team members through the frontline work that delivers value to the customer.

In this track, you'll:

  • Hear proven approaches from companies committed to sustaining continuous improvement gains by developing current and future leaders from within;

  • Discover the benefits of emphasizing the dignity of work to create sustainable organizational change;

  • Explore how the “aha moment” when you first committed to lean thinking and practice can impact how you think, act, and lead.
  • Speakers:

    Karen Gaudet
    Team Leader for Organizational Development
    Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc.

    Josh Howell
    President and Executive Team Leader
    Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc. 


    Understand how your introduction to lean thinking influences your leadership effectiveness. Karen and Josh will share their lean origin stories, the personal “aha moments” when they realized lean management principles should guide how they thought and acted. They’ll explore what biases and/or gaps these moments created. Consider what’s your origin story and its impacts.

    Chris Shier
    Director of Global HMPS
    Herman Miller

    Jill Miller
    Continuous Improvement
    Manager - Learning and Development 
    Herman Miller

    Get actionable innovative ideas for building the future bench strength of your organization’s leadership team. Jill and Chris will share how the partnership between Operations, Human Resources, and the Continuous Improvement Herman Miller Performance System (HMPS) team was fundamental to building a structured program based on the practical application of TPS and leadership skills. This unique development approach provides constant reinforcement of Herman Miller’s commitment to continuous improvement through its people’s engagement and development.

    Rich Calvaruso
    Senior Director, Lean
    GE Appliances, a Haier Company

    Jason Conrad
    Director, Manufacturing Operations – Top Load Laundry
    GE Appliances, a Haier Company

    Deepen your understanding of how to create broad buy-in to a lean transformation while aligning vertically and horizontally company functions and activities with strategic objectives. Rich will explain GEA’s shop-floor immersions, one to four weeks of activities for managers and executives focused on creating standardized work and solving problems on the frontline. 

    Bob Grimes
    Vice President, Director of Lean
    Turner Construction


    Jesus (Jesse) D. Hernandez, Jr.
    Regional Lean Manager
    Turner Construction 

    Take home practical ways to develop everyone on your team into a better problem-solver. Bob and Jesse will take you inside Turner’s immersion series of one-week, work-based improvement activities they offer to their regional lean leaders, job-site managers, and trade partners. The program focuses on solving problems, improving operations, making physical construction work easier and safer, and developing people’s problem-solving capability. Join the discussion as they share key learning moments, from work observation to the executive’s role, and the impact these milestones have had on the organization’s transformation. 

    Agenda for the Week

    All times are in eastern timezone.

    March 22
    March 23
    March 24
    March 25
    Five-minute orientation:
    Set up your logins for the elearning platform and Zoom and learn how to interact online with speakers and fellow attendees.

    We’ll have people standing by to answer questions.

    12-12:45 PM
    Karen Gaudet & Josh Howell

    Lean Origin Story: How is it informing your lean practice? What biases and/or gaps has it created? 
    12-12:45 PM
    GE Appliances featuring Rich Calvaruso

    Topic: GEA’s 1- to 4-week shop floor immersions focused on standardized work and problem-solving for all managers and executives. 
    12-1:00 PM
    Panel discussion moderated by LEI President Josh Howell, featuring one speaker from each plenary company

    Key questions: What are the essential ingredients of your company’s lean work experience (WX)? How does lean WX contribute to business outcomes/results? What are the challenges of creating a lean WX? What advice do you have for practitioners and companies that want to achieve lean WX?
    1-1:45 PM
    Herman Miller featuring Chris Shier and Jill Miller

    Topic: The company’s Bridge Program for developing future managers and leaders
    2-2:45 PM
    Turner Construction featuring Bob Grimes and Jesse Hernandez

    Topic: Turner’s series of 1-week gemba-based improvement activities focused on solving problems, improving operations, making physical work easier/safer, and developing the problem-solving capability of project resources.  

    2-2:45 PM
    (Optional) Breakout reflection session
    2-2:45 PM
    (Optional) Breakout reflection session
    1-1:45 PM
    (Optional) Breakout reflection session

    *Agenda subject to change.

    Plus, you have the option of attending group learning reflection sessions and participating in a Q&A wrap-up panel discussion with presenters.

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