The Center for Operational Excellence’s first event of 2017 is shaping up to be one of its biggest.
The Friday, Feb. 10 keynote featuring strategy expert Trish Gorman is nearly 80 percent full with weeks to go. The 1 – 2:30 p.m. session, open to employees of COE member companies and invited guests, is preceded by a noon networking lunch and is followed by a book-signing with Gorman and an optional debrief session.
Gorman’s keynote, “From Strategic Thinking to Strategic Leadership,” explores how strategic thinking is essential to competitive success – but it’s not enough. Strategic leadership, Gorman assets, is needed to energize yourself and others to convert ideas and analysis into coordinated and timely action. Especially in dynamic, uncertain environments, it’s leadership powered by analysis that ensures firms can respond with agility and resilience to challenges in real time.
Gorman is a renowned speaker and consultant currently working as an innovation expert for the Ohio State Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fisher College of Business. She is the founder of an online assessment firm, KEASkills, and serves as an advisor and subject matter expert for early stage investors and leaders of growth-focused organizations. Gorman also co-wrote What I Didn’t Learn in Business School: How Strategy Works in the Real World, which she’ll be selling and signing following her talk. Five registrants at the event also will win a copy of the book in a drawing that will take place the day before.
Click here to register for this event, which is expected to reach full capacity by the end of January.
The Max M. Fisher College of Business, home to the Center for Operational Excellence since its founding, formally celebrated its centennial year in December, ringing in the occasion with a top honor for a global leadership icon and an impassioned defense of higher-education institutions as fuel for tomorrow’s innovation.
Students, alumni, faculty, staff, friends and business partners gathered this month for a Centennial Celebration that honored one of its most successful alumni – L Brands founder and CEO Leslie H. Wexner – and featured CNN’s Dr. Fareed Zakaria as keynote speaker.
Zakaria, who hosts the show Fareed Zakaria GPS and contributes to publications including The Atlantic and The Washington Post, looked back in his keynote on a year in which divergent perspectives on many of America’s institutions had no shortage of ardent defenders and impassioned detractors. One of those institutions: The higher-education system in the U.S. that, 100 years ago, helped create schools such as Fisher.
“We’ve become very worried that we are not poised to be able to reap the benefits of this new world we are all moving into,” Zakaria said. “There’s a great fear that we have an expensive, outmoded education system that really doesn’t work for today’s world.”
Zakaria has become an outspoken advocate for the notion that this fear, often rooted in statistics that show American students’ middling scores on international tests, is in many ways unfounded. Other countries, he noted, view America’s education system with overwhelming admiration and envy that has fueled ongoing attempts at imitation for many years.
“(Other countries) like our complex layering of science, technology, humanities and social sciences,” Zakaria said. “This has been America’s innovation.”
If results on a test don’t define innovation, then, what does? Innovation flourishes in large part, Zakaria said, by how much a society allows its people to dream big, question the status quo, and keep trying in the face of failure. It’s no coincidence, he added, that top innovators such as the U.S., Israel and Sweden have these characteristics and more, allowing their people not just to master tools and technology but understand the insight into human beings that truly drives innovation.
“Innovation really is about exercising all our talents and senses,” Zakaria told the audience. “There’s an understanding of human beings, of countries, of wants and desires and tastes. The United States does this through the kind of education OSU provides better than almost anyone else in the world.”
Wexner, a famed innovator in the retail world, was presented with Fisher’s Centennial Award of Distinction, an honor he said he shared with college namesake Max M. Fisher, a mentor who drove him to new heights as a leader and philanthropist.
“This is really a joint award, and maybe I’m the junior partner,” Wexner told the crowd. “It’s really from the Fisher College of Business to Max.”
Read more about Fisher’s Centennial Celebration here or watch highlights from the event in the video below.
Planning to attend the Center for Operational Excellence’s Leading Through Excellence summit in April? Less than two weeks remain to get the best available pricing on the three-day event.
Any registrations before Jan. 1, 2017, automatically will receive 10% off the total price. Group registrations of five or more receive an additional 5% off, a discount in effect the duration of the summit sign-up period. The automatic early bird discount for individuals and groups of up to four drops to 5% at the beginning of the new year.
Leading Through Excellence, COE’s signature event, will take place April 11-13 and feature a wide variety of workshops, tours, breakout sessions and keynotes designed to help attendees sharpen their problem-solving and leadership skills. This year, we’re taking attendees to the Cleveland Clinic, exploring the power of business storytelling, and hosting sessions from leaders at companies including IBM, Bose, FedEx and more. Keynote speakers include communication expert Debra Jasper, CEO of Columbus-based Mindset Digital, and Chris Yeh, co-author of the bestseller The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age.
Emotional Intelligence: Becoming a Leader Who Cares, hosted by American Woodmark CEO Cary Dunston. In this session, Dunston will explores why leaders with the best intentions often make choices that limit their ability to be effective. The root cause, he proposes, is a lack of “emotional intelligence,” which can steer leaders to become emboldened by purpose and aligned with their core values.
The Power of Lean Habits, hosted by Eric Olsen, a professor at California Polytechnic State University. Drawing from Charles Duhigg’s bestseller The Power of Habit, Olsen in this session explores how companies can leverage the key components of the habit loop – cue, routine, reward, craving – to identify the lean and non-lean habits at work in their organizations.
Building the Fit Organization, hosted by Dan Markovitz, Shingo Prize-winning author. Markovitz wrote his book of the same name after realizing too many companies in their pursuit of operational excellence were trying to mimic “the Toyota way” without translating the core concepts of lean into a language that resonates with their employees and in their unique corporate culture. This session offers the keys of the Toyota Production System in jargon-free terms.
Getting to the market before a competitor can mean the difference between smashing success and crushing defeat. This has prompted many companies to look critically at their product development processes in hopes of finding new ways to slash time.
So is faster better? New research this year from Fisher College of Business Associate Dean Elliot Bendoly shows it’s not that simple.
Bendoly’s research, co-authored by Rao Chao of the University of Virginia and published this year in Production and Operations Management, took the novel step of scrutinizing the product development process at eight distinct stages – spanning the “fuzzy front end” to market entry – to find out what happens when each one is sped up.
They found evidence that shortening two of the eight stages – beta/market testing and technical implementation – was linked to market value gains, though only to a certain point. How aggressively companies innovated and how much time they cut were key factors of influence. The research, which you can read about in full on the Management Sciences department website, might break new ground in how we view the product development process.
Fisher’s Management Sciences department, where COE’s associate directors reside, is a powerhouse in generating the latest research insights the managers’ most critical challenges. Check out these other research highlights, published in recent months:
Center for Operational Excellence member Huntington Bank on Nov. 22 announced plans to add 1,000 jobs in its home city of Columbus in the next several years and boost its commitment to lending in low-income area neighborhoods.
Huntington said it plans to achieve its jobs push by 2024, adding 1,000 workers to its Columbus-area payroll of about 5,600, according to data from Columbus Business First. Huntington today ranks as the 15th-largest employer in the Columbus area, just ahead of COE member Cardinal Health Inc. The bank also said it will commit to lending $300 million to low- and moderate-income areas of the city over the next five years, with a focus in the Linden and Northland neighborhoods.
“Columbus is our home, for the past 150 years, and we’re stepping up to help transform an important area because we believe in helping small businesses grow and families prosper,” Huntington CEO Stephen Steinour said in a statement. “The city has been an outstanding partner and we’re proud to support the Mayor’s vision to revitalize key growth neighborhoods.”
Registration for the Center for Operational Excellence’s fifth-annual summit is set to open Friday, Dec. 2, when COE will be hosting its final event of 2016. Leading Through Excellence will take place April 11-13, 2017, at the Fawcett Center in Columbus, Ohio, and is expected to attract nearly 400 process excellence leaders from around the country. Once again, the summit will bring a blend of dynamic keynotes and breakout sessions from researchers and business leaders, hands-on workshops, and off-site tours, all focused on developing key problem-solving and leadership skills.
More information on the summit, including a new keynote addition, will be announced at the Dec. 2 seminar, but here are some speakers, events and other key details you should know:
Co-author of bestseller ‘The Alliance’ set for closing keynote: COE is thrilled to announce Chris Yeh, bestseller of The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age, will be serving as the closing keynote of the summit on Thursday, April 13. Yeh’s book, which he wrote with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha, debuted in 2014.
A collaborator with high-tech startups since 1995, Yeh’s mission statement as described in The Startup of You is “To help interesting people do interesting things.” He has been blogging since 2001, both on his personal blogs and as a guest author in outlets like TechCrunch, Mashable, and VentureBeat. He’s also the author of the popular blogs Adventures in Capitalism and Ask The Harvard MBA.
More keynote information will be announced Dec. 2 and posted on our summit website.
Tour highlights Cleveland Clinic’s lean office excellence: Cleveland Clinic isn’t just one of the best hospitals in the country. It’s also a model of how a culture of excellence and continuous improvement can grow and sustain across a massive organization that sees more than 5 million patient visits a year and employs more than 3,000 caregivers. Leading Through Excellence attendees will have the chance on Tuesday, April 11, to head to Cleveland and get a look at how the organization has rolled out operational excellence in its back-office functions. This all-day opportunity is a must-see for process excellence practitioners in service and transactional environments. It’s one of more than a dozen tours and workshops being hosted on the first day of the summit, most of which are posted on the summit website.
Bose, FedEx, IBM leaders among breakout session hosts: Head to our summit website now for an early look at confirmed hosts of the breakout sessions that fill out April 12-13 at the summit. The sessions once again feature the summit’s signature mix of insights from Fisher College of Business researchers and transformation stories from business leaders. This year, participating organizations include Bose Corp., Fedex Corp., IBM, ThedaCare, and more.
Best group discounts end Dec. 31: The first four weeks of summit registration offer member and non-member attendees the chance to save up to 15% on summit registration by registering five or more employees at one time. A smaller early bird discount runs Jan. 1 – Feb. 13, though groups of five or more save an additional 5% during the entire registration period. Check out our pricing info for more details.
Don’t miss your best chance to save the most on what will mark the biggest event in COE’s 25-year history!
As a researcher, Prof. Aravind Chandrasekaran doesn’t hang his hat in one particular industry.
In the 12 years he’s been contributing to our knowledge on issues such as innovation, knowledge creation and health-care delivery, he’s walked the floor in manufacturing plants, chased high-tech electronics as they move through the R&D pipeline, and scrutinized discharge instructions for kidney transplant recipients.
At the heart of his research is the question of handoffs: How can we move information more efficiently? How can we bring products to market more rapidly? How can we discharge patients and ensure they won’t be readmitted days later?
Prof. Chandrasekaran is bringing key insights from his research across this variety of industries to the Center for Operational Excellence’s Dec. 2 seminar, where managers can learn how they can collaborate across departments – even across their supply chains – and avoid common roadblocks such as employee burnout, intellectual property leaks, and scope creep. His 10:30 a.m. presentation is followed by a 1 p.m. keynote from Pete Buca, a top executive at manufacturer Parker Hannifin who’s giving an inside look at the company’s remarkable collaboration with Cleveland Clinic.
COE spoke to Prof. Chandrasekaran about his research and what attendees can expect at his Dec. 2 keynote.
COE: This summer, you led a three-part “Innovation Summer” series for COE. How does your upcoming keynote build on that?
AC: We focused this summer specifically on product and process innovation by looking at companies such as 3M and Johnson & Johnson. This keynote is meant for the R&D folks that attended this summer but a much broader audience, as well. I’ll be sharing keys to the “perfect handoff” by looking at examples in manufacturing, health care and IT services, not just R&D. There’s not a single COE member that wouldn’t benefit from it.
COE: Let’s talk about health care, specifically what non-health care companies can learn from your extensive research in that field.
AC: A lot of discussion in recent years has centered on what health care can learn from other industries, particularly manufacturing. I think the reverse is true, too: In health care, you have specialists – physicians, nurses – who are extremely skilled at what they do. At the same time, you have a complex ecosystem with tons of variation across patients, even caregivers. Those two components are present in just about any industry. As a result, many of the tools and processes I’ve worked with caregivers to apply in health care can be easily transferred to other settings.
COE: Speaking of handoffs, what are some of the biggest mistakes companies make when collaborating across departments or the supply chain?
AC: I think a really common one is that departments or companies take for granted that the other party has a clear understanding of the process. This is at the root of so many problems I’ve seen in R&D and health care. There’s also a misconception that the rules and requirements established at the beginning of a process don’t change. They can, sometimes in a way that can take us by surprise. I’ll be sharing insights in my keynote that can help managers address both of these common missteps.
COE: What’s causing more of these surprises?
AC: The increasingly global nature of business plays a not insignificant role here. More than ever, companies are dealing with language and cultural barriers, regulations and political risks – and the stakes for success have never been higher.
To register for Prof. Chandrasekaran’s keynote and the entire Dec. 2 seminar, click here.
Being a top hospital in the country, Cleveland Clinic is home to countless great ideas poised to transform into life-altering, even life-saving, medical advancements.
Getting those ideas out of the heads of its top-ranked physicians and onto the market has been the focus of a remarkable collaboration between the hospital and one of its neighbors in the Cleveland economic scene: Manufacturer Parker Hannifin Corp.
This partnership, which began quietly nearly a decade ago and was formally announced in 2014, is the focus of the afternoon keynote at the Center for Operational Excellence’s Dec. 2 seminar. At the event, Parker Hannifin VP Pete Buca will share details on the Cleveland Clinic collaboration, which has become a bustling pipeline of medical device ideas the company is working to bring to life using its own product development process, dubbed “Winovation.”
Recently ranked the No. 2 hospital in the country, Cleveland Clinic sees more than 5 million patient visits a year and employs more than 3,000 caregivers. That same U.S. News & World Report ranking called it the No. 1 hospital in the country for cardiology and heart surgery and one of the top five for diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology, orthopedics and pulmonology, among others.
Parker Hannifin, meanwhile, is an $11 billion-a-year maker of motion and control technologies that spent about $360 million on research and development in its latest fiscal year. It’s a supplier to more than 400,000 customers that span just about every significant manufacturing, transportation and processing industry in the economy: Food and beverage, life sciences, renewable energy, agriculture and aerospace, just to name a few.
Parker and Cleveland Clinic began collaborating several years ago in an effort to connect the engineering and product development prowess of the former with the critical insights into health-care challenges at the latter. To translate these two capabilities into action, Parker employees sat in on surgeries and communicated with surgeons, leaders told Crain’s Cleveland Business. Interactions like these spawned the 100-plus ideas that initially populated the partnership’s pipeline.
One product seeking to eventually make its way to the market is what’s called the Cleveland Multiport Catheter (CMC), a bold attempt to advance the treatment of brain cancers. Gliomas – a type of tumor in the glue-like supportive tissue of the brain – are resistant to radiation and other common therapies, largely because of the natural barrier in the body that keeps circulating blood out of the brain.
Surgical catheters that pump cancer drugs directly into the brain have been used on a trial basis for the past few decades, according to an October 2015 article by a CMC inventor, but have key limitations. Two in particular, according to the article, must be used in a special operating room, and left in only for several hours. The CMC, which began development in 2009, can be implanted in any neurological OR then be left in place for several days, ultimately delivering more cancer drugs, wrote inventor Dr. Michael Vogelbaum.
Cleveland Clinic partnered with Parker Hannifin to manufacture the CMC and treated its first patient with the device about two years ago. A March update revealed seven patients have undergone treatment with the CMC, which now has an Investigational New Drug application formally on file with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Vogelbaum said in a CMC update video that the device ultimately could help treat other neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and epilepsy.
At COE’s Dec. 2 seminar, Buca will share other exciting developments with Cleveland Clinic and detail how other organizations can learn from their collaborative innovation efforts. The featured keynote at the seminar’s morning session is Fisher College of Business Prof. Aravind Chandrasekaran, an award-winning researcher who will be sharing keys to collaboration.
While only about two in every five undergraduate supply chain-focused students at universities are women, they hold a scant 3 percent of executive-level leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies. The Management Sciences department at Fisher College of Business this fall has launched a new initiative seeking to grow those numbers at both ends of the pipeline.
The department this academic year welcomed its first round of scholars in the Pathways for Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain program, a group of eight first-year undergraduate women at Fisher College of Business. Each student has received a $2,500 scholarship, funded by this year’s Pathways Scholars sponsors: Columbus-based Motorists Insurance Group and Wendy’s Quality Supply Chain Cooperative.
Management Sciences Department Chair Ken Boyer said he worked to launch the program for reasons both personal and practical. He’s the son of one of the first women to earn a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin 60 years ago.
“Barriers to women in a variety of professions have been greatly reduced in the intervening decades,” Boyer said. “Unfortunately, this is far different from saying there are no challenges.”
Indeed, data from research firm Gartner shows women staff only 20 percent of supply chain leadership roles at the director level and higher. This comes as the nation’s supply chain workforce faces a troubling shortage as waves of baby boomer retirements crest.
Krista Pohlman, senior director of program management for Wendy’s QSSC, said developing the company’s talent pipeline was a key motivator in signing on to fund the Pathways Scholars program.
“We really want to be a world-class supply chain organization,” Pohlman said. “To collaborate with Ohio State in an effort to bring more women into this industry is something we’re immensely proud of.”
Ralph Smithers, assistant VP of Associate and Community Engagement at Motorists, said the company approached the opportunity with similar goals.
“We’d like to increase the number of women in the supply chain management field, and it’s a great opportunity to work with Fisher on this,” he said.
The scholars in the program, in addition to their funding, connect with mentors from Motorists and QSSC over the course of the year and receive coaching from Fisher professors. They also connect with supply chain organizations through several exclusive events hosted throughout the year. Already this fall, the students have toured Wendy’s and Wendy’s GSCC, attended a National Association of Women Business Owners conference, and met with supply chain leaders from JPMorgan Chase & Co., Nestle USA and DSW Inc.
Ultimately, Boyer said, the participating students will be well-positioned to find supply chain leadership roles as they enter the workforce.
For information on the Pathways program and sponsorship, check out its website or contact Ken Boyer at email@example.com.
Even as an icon in leadership circles who’s built a thriving, multibillion-dollar retail business, L Brands Founder, Chairman and CEO Les Wexner stays true to his roots – and is quick to acknowledge them.
“But for The Ohio State University, I wouldn’t have been able to go to college and get the basic education that helped me so significantly in my career,” he said, opening his featured keynote at the Center for Operational Excellence’s September seminar. “Every time I come back on campus, I smile to myself.”
Wexner came back on campus to headline a leadership seminar that attracted nearly 300 attendees, making it the largest in COE’s nearly 25-year history. Here’s a look back at some of his best insights over a wide-ranging discussion that covered his personal philosophy on leadership – what he called “a lifetime executive education program you have to master for yourself” – along with his outlook on the retail business and his verdict on crucial past decisions he’s made:
On the value of leadership education: “I firmly believe leadership is not just an important thing – it’s the most important thing, and it’s undervalued in high schools, colleges and universities. If there’s a single thread of teaching and learning that I try to influence at our university, and influence other educators to think about, it’s the importance of leadership as a subject.”
On what makes a great leader: “Leaders come in all shapes and sizes with virtually every characteristic and kind of personality, but they all have the ability to influence, and influence is the foundation of leadership – whether it’s by pushing from behind, coalescing the middle or being an insurgent, General Patton-type. I always default to the front; I like to churn things up and say, ‘We can take that hill, let’s charge.’”
On the virtue of adaptability: “Leaders that continue to grow are optimistic but they’re professionally curious about society and they think about adapting, trying new things, and understanding things they can’t so they can be continually relevant in their own lives. … In my thinking, the only way to test my adaptability is to do something different. It’s very important mid-career not only to have a good understand of yourself, but to think about how to exercise that curiosity muscle between your ears and be adaptive.”
On why brick-and-mortar retail is here to stay: “We’re pack animals. People like to be with people; that’s part of the human condition. It’s what they buy that changes, and one of the things that’s interesting to us is how the Internet has changed lifestyles, communication, and the consumer. … Still, we find that shopping has to be fun and interesting, and we’ve been experimenting with that for several years.”
On his game-changing decisions to spin off brands such as Abercrombie + Fitch, The Limited and Express: “I believe in life cycles. I look at those cycles and say, ‘OK, when’s the next wave coming, and is that a good or a bad thing for us? Those were very tough decisions I thought over for a long time. I gathered in my own mind the information and had to suck up some courage to do it. It turned out to be the right thing to do and it did take our business to a better place.”
On the inevitable challenge, and opportunity, of risk: “Leaders have to have a pretty good instrument on risk. We remember generals that won wars, not the ones that got killed doing foolish things. There’s that notion of knowing yourself, and leadership is about change, taking people to places that haven’t imagined. That means risk. … Leaders have a vision that’s a little different than the one that’s popular at the moment, and in that you have to assess failure. If I didn’t screw up some things, that means I didn’t push hard enough.”
On why aiming high matters: “I try to encourage our enterprise to really dream. If you don’t have a dream, you can’t have a dream come true. Still, you have to focus on ambition, in part, and separately think about the resources you need, and the risks. … The world’s changing while we’re here and it’s just going to get faster in the future. Are we stimulated by that? I am.”
On how he stays busy – and grounded: “What I worry about is running out of work – it would just be a terminal thing. I like the idea of work, and I have a substantive to-do list that’s more than I can finish. … I made a decision in my early 40s that I could make more money but I couldn’t make more time. Nobody can make more time. If I was effective and efficient, I could do more with the limited time I have.”
On why he enjoys leading: “People ask me when I’m going to retire, and I say, ‘When I’m unhappy.’ I like the people I work with, the challenges, the changes. Leaders have to be happy with themselves. If they’re not, they can’t lead themselves, let alone others.”
On the ultimate test of a leader: “The simplest measure of leadership is this: Did you actually take people to a better place? Are we better off today than we were yesterday, whether that’s in business, family or community? It’s not about how many people followed you blindly. Did you actually improve things in hindsight?”