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Pre-conference Workshops

Attend the conference. Network with colleagues. Update your skills and put yourself ahead of the game.

Pre-conference workshops offer in-depth, skill-building tools and focus on the topics that you will require for career advancement and professional development. Enhance your learning experience and maximize your networking opportunities by attending one of our pre-conference workshops.

  • Continuing education units (CEUs) and professional development hours (PDHs) are available.
  • You must register for the full conference to participate in a pre-conference workshop.
  • Advance registration accompanied by the additional registration fee is required to reserve a pre-conference workshop seat.
  • Pre-conference workshops will be held Saturday, May 20.

Toyota Kata: Improving and Coaching Your Way to Success

C. Brandon Brown, P.E., Continuous Coaching Commitment LLC 

Workshop Summary: Toyota Kata addresses the question "How can we lead our companies so they will survive and thrive long term?" Since the future lies beyond what we can see, the solutions that we employ today may not continue to be effective. So it is not the solutions themselves – whether lean techniques, today's profitable product, or any other – that provide sustained competitive advantage, but rather the ability to understand conditions and create fitting, smart solutions. Toyota Kata is the routine to develop this capability in the organization, and is both a key factor in Toyota's long-running success and a core responsibility of its leadership. Briefly put, Toyota Kata channels and utilizes the capabilities of all its members in order to strive for continuous improvement better than our traditional management methods. Join us for a "learn, share and do" opportunity as we explore:

In this workshop, you will learn how to: 

  • Hear and see how companies are utilizing the Toyota Kata methodology of the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata to coach for daily continuous improvement.
  • Review the Toyota Kata Handbook slide material found on Mike Rother's website regarding:
  • The Improvement Kata: A scientific four-step iterative PDCA routine that addresses only those obstacles which lie on the path of a trajectory that leads to the achievement of short term Target Conditions that are in line with a long-term Vision/Challenge.
  • The Coaching Kata: A daily routine that utilizes The Five Questions to help teach the Improvement Kata thinking pattern and ensure that it is imbedded within an organization via team accountability.
  • Participate in a multi-round simulation that is progressively interwoven in with the slide material to make it easy to understand how the Toyota Kata trajectory components come together (i.e., Vision/Challenge, Current Condition, Target Condition, Obstacles, PCDAs and Coaching).

About the Presenter: Brandon Brown is a master Kata coach for Continuous Coaching Commitment LLC and an associate for the W3 Group and delivers tangible and sustainable continuous improvement results as a Toyota Kata coach and lean instructor/facilitator. He recently returned from Great Britain developing an online Toyota Kata course and giving Toyota Kata workshops both "in company" while in Stockholm and at University of Gent, Belgium, and Ansbach University for Applied Science in Stuttgart, Germany. He is currently working on an online Toyota Kata Masterclass course for the United Kingdom.

Since 2006, Brandon has been a professor of operations management at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville teaching courses and instructional designing online courses in the industrial engineering department such as lean production as well as leadership principles and practices for the Master of Science in operations management degree program. Brandon is a regional director and board member for the Southeast Region of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence. He is also a certified John Maxwell coach, teacher and speaker. Prior to his work with W3 Group, he advanced through management leadership at Central States Mfg. as regional operations manager for three facilities in the Eastern region, which served 17 states. He has a Master of Science in engineering and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering as well as a professional engineers (P.E.) license in Arkansas. He holds a certificate as a LeanSigma Kaizen instructor from Time Based Management Consulting Group, to teach value stream mapping and Kaizen instruction, and has led many continuous improvement events.

Brandon has 20 years of continuous improvement experience in various leadership roles for Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions, Central States Manufacturing, Waterloo Industries, and Lincoln Automotive. He has led many value stream mapping, Kaizen and continuous improvement projects with various companies.

Unleash Your Strengths-Based Leadership Horsepower!

Terry Mylan, University of Pittsburgh 

Workshop Summary: In your life, at home and at work, who is counting on you to lead? How can you tap into and unleash your true leadership potential? Using the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment (included with course registration) as its foundation, this one-day course uses horses and experiential learning to provide participants with strengths-based, inspirational leadership skills and application experience. Whether you are new to StrengthsFinder or a StrengthsFinder veteran, this course will help you get safely out of your comfort zone by learning strengths-based leadership concepts ... from a horse!

This course highlights leadership principles proven to help you know your own strengths, know the strengths of others, and empower effective teams by leveraging strengths in yourself and others. Participants will leave with tools, strategies, and application experience to apply concepts of strengths-based leadership. The methodology in the course, based upon research and experience of developing leaders in 25 countries, uses horses to teach strengths-based leadership concepts with increased speed, retention and Upon-Return Impact. Attendees spend half of the day learning about leading horses, and the other half uncovering leadership lessons and how they relate to leading people. Half of the day is spent in the indoor horse arena and half in the classroom attached to the arena. Anyone can participate – horse experience, ability, mounting, or riding experience are not required for this training. Participants will earn a Leadership Adventures Strengths-Based Inspiring Leader Level I Certification.

In this workshop, you will learn how to: 

  • Apply principles of strengths-based, inspiring leadership by working with a horse
  • Know your own strengths, recognize strengths in others, and lead with strengths
  • Convert strengths 'barrier labels' into 'talent enablers'
  • Learn faster, retain more, and develop an Upon-Return Impact plan
  • Equip yourself to perform to your true leadership potential

About the Presenter:
Terry Mylan is an expert in organizational leadership and accelerated, experiential training and is a Leadership Adventures Inc. certified master instructor. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has more than 25 years of experience in driving organizational change. With a focused expertise in strategic design, Terry has been involved in the development of more than 300 lecture-based and experiential training courses and 250 online courses. She twice received the President's Award while at HB Maynard and Co. Inc. for leading a culture changing training program to impact leadership and team environments. Since then, her focus has been designing custom training solutions that drive strategic changes to align employees with business goals in the areas of leadership and workforce optimization. She has written numerous white papers and is published in the fifth edition of Maynard's Industrial Engineering Handbook. Terry is an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh teaching graduate level courses in basics of industrial engineering. Terry is on the board of directors of the Ambridge Area School District and the Laughlin Memorial Library and recently was recognized by Accenture as a finalist for the U.S. Corporate Citizen Volunteer Award.



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