Upcoming Events


LLBNovember 21 |  9:30am - 2:00pm | EDGE Innovation Hub  

With so many organizations placing innovation at the forefront of their strategic goals, the creation of physical innovation spaces is growing. Innovation work spaces are an opportunity to change how, where, and when people connect for value creation through the development of new products and services. In an increasingly digital world, these spaces encourage face-to-face collaboration, daily interaction with technology, and a shared entrepreneurial focus on developing new methods, products, and ideas.


The Center for Operational Excellence and the Center for Innovation Strategies invite you to this benchmarking session featuring leaders from AEP, Donatos, and SafeliteGroup. Hosted at Edge Innovation Hub, a food technology innovation center founded by Donatos, attendees will have the opportunity to experience a hands-on ecosystem driving food industry innovation while learning about alternative approaches to physical innovation spaces, reviewing best practices, and learning to innovate with OpEx in mind. Speakers include:

  • Craig Turner, Executive Director, EDGE Innovation Hub
  • Ashley Weaver, VP, Operations and Performance Transformation, AEP
  • Bruce Millard, VP, Digital & Customer Innovation, SafeliteGroup 
  • Jim Colvin, Director of Research & TechnologyWillowWood Global
  • Paul Reeder, Executive Director, The Ohio State University, Center for Innovation Strategies

This limited capacity session is open to senior-level leaders at COE member companies. Please email Cheyanne Cierpial at Cierpial.1@osu.edu to register one attendee per member company (you may designate an additional attendee for the waitlist). 

Download Leveraging Your Innovation Center Event Flyer Here


Lean in Non Profits

Dec 6: Professional Development Meeting
The Blackwell Hotel | 10:30am - 2:30pm (lunch included)

The ability to adapt matters more than ever; the digital age is changing the work we do and the roles we have, requiring a culture that values continuous learning and a relentless cycle of process improvement. This is especially true for nonprofit organizations. Lean frameworks and a focus on operational excellence help accelerate execution and drive change, sustain speed during times of disruption, and align all stakeholders to ensure forward momentum.

For 2019’s final event, join Matt Habash, President & CEO of Mid-Ohio Foodbank, and Thomas Corley, Continuous Improvement Officer, SBP for an engaging discussion around the application of lean in nonprofits.

Morning Keynote: Thomas Corley, Continuous Improvement Officer, SBP

As the frequency and impact of natural disasters grow, it is critical for post-disaster service providers to adopt lean and efficient systems to deliver relief. Through mentorship and coaching from Toyota, SBP has transformed from a small rebuilding group to a national leader in disaster recovery. In this keynote, learn about the key changes in culture and management that enabled SBP to fully embrace continuous improvement, develop a greater understanding of the impact of natural disasters and opportunities for efficiency in post-disaster communities, and hear a case study on how continuous improvement methodology acts as a game changer for community groups and non-profits.


Afternoon Keynote: Matt Habash, President & CEO of Mid-Ohio Foodbank 

The means by which we have addressed hunger in the past will not solve the hunger epidemic in the future. Even with record lows of unemployment, the number of people living in poverty is holding steady – and the advent of technological and job disruptions threatens to increase that number. It’s time to “lean” in and engage now. Learn about how Mid-Ohio Foodbank is building technology to accelerate impact, changing the culture to sustain innovation, and developing a new future vision for the organization – with the help of Fisher Master of Business Operational Excellence students and faculty.


 Download Lean in Nonprofits Event Flyer Here


think fast talk slow

Jan 17: Women's Leadership Forum 
Ohio Union | 8:00am - 12:00pm 

Featured keynote: Think Fast, Talk Slow: The Art & Science of Successful Spontaneous Speech by Colleen Niese, SPHR, CPP, Principal at Marylyn Group

As a leader at any level within an organization, we are routinely being asked to speak spontaneously: whether it be as simple as introducing colleagues to one another at a networking event, being asked to take over a meeting agenda in the moment, or taking the podium and addressing a room full of people on a particular topic off the cuff. 

The skills and abilities needed when influencing others to achieve common goals is a continual learning process that changes and grows with each career advancement.  Overlay gender trends, unintentional biases, and perceptions and we have an additional dynamic in the room that may hinder what needs to be prioritized, decided upon and actioned for any given team. 

For over 20 years, Colleen Niese has worked with first time leaders, C-suite executives, and everybody in between on improving their ability to be heard in any given forum when conversing, presenting and reacting in the moment through the words they choose, non-verbal indicators and listening skills. During this event, Colleen will examine the following related aspects:

  • Balancing emotion (how we feel about any given topic) with data (what we know based on fact) to quickly organize our thoughts into succinct messages.
  • An examination of gender trends in the board room to decide for ourselves if any affect our self-talk and/or the view of others.
  • Recognizing the common challenges that affect our ability to be present in any type of conversation  (e.g., anxiety, distractions, “interrupters”, etc.)

By the end of the session participants will have completed a personal action plan comprised of an individual’s learnings, personalized best practices, and leadership commitments from the day; identify contextual goals that blend easily into daily leaderships practices further supporting changed behavior; and recognize and document their own challenges with options to mitigate in future conversations.

Colleen Niese, SPHR, CPP, Principal at Marylyn Group, has published and presented on advanced female professionals in the workplace at national conferences, industry events, and organizational executive meetings. Colleen’s understanding of what makes a business tick comes from her 25 years of experience in back office support and administration, and her insatiable curiosity about superior business. 

Registration to open in December.

Download Think Fast, Talk Slow Event Flyer



January 30, 2020 - Lean Leaders Benchmarking: Change Management

February 21, 2020 - Professional Development Meeting: Emerging Technologies 

March 20, 2020 - Supply Chain: Diversity & Inclusion

April 7-9, 2020 - COE Summit 2020