Category: Lean thinking

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The COVID-19 crisis has undoubtedly shifted our lives in a myriad of ways, including how we work. While more than twenty percent are out of work due to COVID-related layoffs, the global pandemic has forced the eighty percent still working to either perform their responsibilities remotely or to work in a facility while trying to maintain social distance (along with additional new best practices like increased sanitation or shift staggering). Regardless of where we are doing our work, one thing is certain: we have all had to adapt.
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Each year, The Ohio State University Center for Operational Excellence brings together hundreds of process improvement leaders from across the country for a deep dive into leadership and problem-solving best practices. This April saw the seventh run of the Leading Through Excellence summit, which launched in 2013 and remains the center’s marquee annual event. As preparations begin a busy summer and fall event slate – not to mention the 2020 summit – let’s take a look back at moments from this year’s summit …
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The final speaker for the Ohio State University Center for Operational Excellence’s sixth-annual summit opened his keynote with a statement that had emerged as a running theme across the three-day experience: “We’re no longer a knowledge economy; we’re a learning economy,” said Dr. Bradley Staats (pictured, above), an associate professor of operations at the University of North Carolina and author of the forthcoming Never Stop Learning. “It’s not what you know today; it’s how you’re going to adapt, how you’re going to change to deal with the uncertainty you face tomorrow.”
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Charles Duhigg took the stage at The Ohio State University Center for Operational Excellence’s first Leading Through Excellence summit nearly five years ago. A lot’s changed since then.
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Want to see lean where it got its start? The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business’ Master of Business Operational Excellence program is sponsoring a one-week “Genba in Japan” from May 12-19. The trip will offer an up-close look at how Japanese companies have succeeded in delivering superb quality at the right price, with short lead times, while ensuring high levels of employee and customer satisfaction. Sites include key suppliers of automaker Toyota – a lean manufacturing forerunner – and a range of other industries applying these principles.