COE Summit 2020 | April 7-9
Breakout Sessions


Breakout sessions are hosted in five blocks of five concurrent, one-hour sessions on Wednesday, April 8 (three blocks) and Thursday, April 9 (two blocks).


Breakout Sessions

  • A1 | Feedback is a Gift (But I'd Rather Get Chocolate)

    According to Ken Blanchard (author of the bestselling One Minute Manager), “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”  And while you and I may prefer a bagel or pop-tart to start the day, the guy has a major point.  We cannot develop, learn, change, improve, build confidence, make course corrections, adjust, or grow without feedback.  So, why is it so difficult for people to take it in?  During this interactive workshop, we’ll talk about how feedback relates to engagement, how positive feedback is necessary for confidence and good performance, and how to defuse the defensiveness that naturally occurs when we (and others) receive it.  Be ready to laugh while you learn through the Leading Edge blend of improvisational comedic scenes, ready-to-apply skills, and the latest leadership research.  You will walk away transformed, energized, and more open to the feedback that is critical to growth and development. In this breakout, you'll learn how feedback drives engagement and growth, recognize three feedback triggers that lead to defensiveness and shutting down, and learn how to defuse the triggers in yourself and others.

    About the Speakers: Cindy Maher & Jamie Guite

    Cindy Maher is a co-founding partner and President of Leading Edge Coaching & Development. She leads a powerhouse of talented and comedic instructors who focus on bringing unique leadership learning experiences to Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and universities around the U.S. and abroad. With more than 25 years of experience in leadership education, executive team development, and performance management strategies, Cindy has executed hundreds of organizational development projects for organizations across the globe including: Aetna, the FDA and National Institutes of Health, the States of Connecticut, Minnesota, and California, Case-Western University, US Bank, and many more. Cindy brings best practices and an innovative approach to all of her work whether she is working with a team of senior leaders, delivering keynotes at international conferences, or implementing organization-wide employee engagement surveys. Prior to starting up Leading Edge in 2004, Cindy led leadership development programs at ING North America and held a number of senior HR positions at Aetna that included talent management and succession planning for the top 200. You can see Cindy performing improvisational comedy in venues around Connecticut. The combination of her expertise in business, leadership practices, coaching, organizational development and an infectious brand of humor sets her apart from other leadership consultants in the marketplace.

    Jamie Guite is thrilled to be a member of the Leading Edge Coaching & Development team. Bringing twenty years of teaching experience and running professional development programming on arts integration, Jamie combines her love of theatre and teaching to offer a humorous and memorable experience. Jamie has served as a teaching artist for numerous arts organizations including, Hartford Stage, Hartford Children’s Theatre, Neighborhood Music School, The New England Actors Theatre, LEARN, Oddfellows Playhouse, MAPA, the Greater Hartford Arts Academy, and the Independent Day School, as well as teaching throughout the New England area to educate teachers on how build fertile learning environments and raise student interest by incorporating the arts into their curriculum. A veteran improvisational performer, Jamie studied at Upright Citizen’s Brigade in New York City.  As the Director of Client Humor, Jamie works to deepen the level of comedy in every Leading Edge workshop, creating hilarious and sometimes poignant scenes that are customized to the client. When not spreading the Leading Edge magic, Jamie can be found performing improv, writing plays,  and cherishing family time with her loving husband and three beautiful children: Amelia and twins Cooper and Ezra.

  • A2 | The slow-roll (out) of the connected enterprise: Reality check from the land of Industry 4.0

    Hill and Kelley report on an extensive research project on corporate strategies and implementation of digital operations technologies within the context of digitally connected manufacturing enterprises. The research involved interviews with manufacturing companies, OT engineers, and manufacturing leaders as well as reviewing the extensive (and largely promotional) professional literature on this subject. They reach four conclusions: 

    • The jargon of IIoT and Industry 4.0 is needlessly causing confusion in most of the manufacturing community that resembles the early days of the diffusion of ERPs. Hill and Kelly provide a clear strategic guide for decisionmakers. 
    • Most companies digital OT technologies will be transformational, but they will diffuse across the economy over a long time period and begin within plants as a series of narrowly defined automation projects. 
    • The threat to those who do not adapt to digital manufacturing will be similar to the threat from not adopting lean manufacturing.
    • Small to mid-sized manufacturers are currently sitting on the sidelines due to the hurdle rates charged by equipment vendors and systems integrators.

    About the Speakers: Ned Hill & Kathryn Kelley

    Edward [Ned] Hill is Professor of Economic Development at The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the College of Engineering’s Ohio Manufacturing Institute. Ned came to OSU after serving as Dean of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and Professor and Distinguished Scholar of Economic Development.  His latest book, Coping with Adversity: Regional Economic Resilience and Public Policy, was published by Cornell University Press in 2017. He was the editor of Economic Development Quarterly and Chair of the Advisory Board of NIST’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The Ohio Manufacturers Association’s Board of Directors presented Hill with the Legacy Award in 2005 and again in 2016 for his work on behalf of Ohio’s manufacturers.  Ned earned his Ph.D. in both urban and regional planning and economics from MIT.  Ned teaches economic development, public economics, and state and local public policy. He also teaches the Glenn College’s undergraduate introductory course in public affairs.

    Kathryn Kelley serves as executive director of OMI; she has more than 20 years' experience in program leadership and strategic communications at industry-oriented higher education, economic development and statewide technology organizations. She collaborates with state and national partners to develop regional and national public policy to support manufacturing innovation, advocate for small- and medium-sized manufacturing needs within the supply chains and remove barriers between academia and industry.  Activities include:

    • Working with Ohio Development Services Agency and Ohio MEP affiliates on a roadmapping pilot project to determine manufacturing needs and technical solutions by manufacturing processes
    • Serving as principal investigator on the Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program to support companies and communities affected by defense spending cuts
    • Helping to develop the human network for the Ohio Innovation Exchange with the Ohio Department of Higher Education on a research expertise portal project that will connect Ohio academic and technical institutions with industry partners 
    • Producing a "Manufacturing Tomorrow" podcast series on iTunes University to highlight innovative manufacturers and the partnerships that propel their efforts (
    • Collaborating with state and national partners on advanced manufacturing education pathways and engineering technologist manufacturing career programs
    • Organizing industry-focused events such as the Central Ohio Manufacturing Resource Forum

    She is dedicated to researching and issuing action-provoking reports on advanced manufacturing trends, workforce development and disruptive technologies.

  • A3 | Coming Soon

    Coming soon!

  • A4 | Develop and Coach a Team of Frontline Problem Solvers

    As a manager or practitioner, you’ve developed solid problem-solving skills. Yet organizationally, problem solving tends to be isolated to certain people, roles, departments, or events. You still don’t have an “everybody, everywhere, everyday” improvement culture. To build an improvement culture, you have to move from doing problem solving to coaching problem solving. The thing is, these are two distinctly different skills. In this session, learn key steps that help you transition from being the primary problem solver to coaching a team of problem solvers.

     In this session, you will:

    • Get crystal clear on the purpose of coaching, and how it differs from what we typically do
    • Experience the biggest shift you can make to adjust and improve your coaching conversations
    • Uncover the anatomy of a good coaching question so you can improve your existing systems like Gemba walks, daily meetings, and kaizen events

    About the Speaker: Jamie Parker helps leaders and organizations master the people side of Lean, with an expertise in building leadership teams who both inspire commitment and develop people along their Lean journey. Through onsite training combined with implementation support and targeted mentoring, Jamie and her clients collaboratively build the leadership capabilities of managers and practitioners. She also supports individual leaders through a virtual 4-month program – Lean Leadership Core: How to Coach Problem Solving. Through over 17 years of multi-unit operations management in manufacturing, retail, and service environments, Jamie has developed a soft spot for mid-level managers and loves the opportunity to serve and guide them in her current practice.

  • A5 | Operational Excellence in Talent Selection

    Making hiring decisions is amongst the most important decisions in an organization, yet the tools and processes used tend to over rely on intuition, not objective data or sound decision-making practices. The discipline of industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology focuses on measuring people and teams in a work context.  Many of the frameworks for research and application in this field have aspects of operational excellence. In this breakout, you’ll learn how to incorporate DMAIC into your hiring process, techniques for identifying why people succeed (and why they fail), and what assessments can and can’t measure. Leverage your operational excellence mindset to improve the accuracy of your hiring decision and build repeatable processes that actually enhance candidate experience!

    About the Speaker: Chad Thompson, PhD has been assessing leaders for over a decade.  He has had the opportunity to work with a wide gamut of leadership levels from front-line managers to CEOs.  Overall, his work centers on gathering and using data to help individuals and organizations make better decisions about maximizing their talent.  Chad combines a deep understanding of psychometrics and personality psychology with a pragmatic, business-based approach to executive assessment.   Experienced in using a number of different assessments, Chad works with clients to translate these objective results into meaningful insights on a company- and role-specific basis.  He often partners closely with internal and external executive coaches to identify strengths and potential areas of development in participants.

  • B1 | Effective Coaching: Let's Get Real

    Teaching, consulting, mentoring, coaching we hear all these buzz words, how do you make sense of it all? What do you need to understand and practice to become a good coach? Coaching relies on creating an authentic connection through supporting, respecting and encouraging their ideas and viewpoints. In this breakout, we will consider a different way to view change while developing the skills you need to influence the behavior and thinking of the people you coach. The talk is focused on leaders, managers, continuous improvement professionals and others involved in operations & services. We will attempt to create some clarity around what coaching really is and what you need to know to  become a great coach.

    About the speaker: Mike Orzen 

    As president of Mike Orzen & Associates, Inc., Mike’s passion for continual improvement and effective Enterprise Excellence methodologies help clients build a healthy organizational culture that prioritizes respectfully engaging people, improving business process capability through enabling people, and leveraging information technology to drive a culture of operational excellence.

    With a consulting and coaching career spanning more than 20 years, Mike Orzen has collected a unique blend of Lean, Six Sigma, Finance, IT, and Operations insights that he uses to help organizations in their pursuit of Enterprise Excellence. His personable approach and people-first philosophy has inspired leaders and empowered workforces to successfully apply Leadership, Lean, and Enterprise Excellence practices in many complex work environments. Mike Orzen is coauthor of the award-winning book “Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Enterprise.” The principles of the book extend far beyond Information Technology (IT) and apply to all aspects of business, particularly the support functions of any organization.

    Mike Orzen holds degrees from Stanford University and the University of Oregon, as well as certifications in Management Accounting, Production and Inventory Control, Project Management, Six Sigma, ITIL, and Agile. He is also a recipient of the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence Research and Professional Publication Award, a faculty member of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI), an associate of GBMP, a licensed affiliate of the Shingo Institute, and a certified Shingo facilitator and assessor. He is also an advisor and instructor with ThedaCare’s Healthcare Value Network, as well as a coach and adjunct professor with Ohio State University’s Master of Business in Operation Excellence program.

  • B2 | Innovation Games: Deliver New Ideas in the Shortest Amount of Time

    When you face a new challenge, or a vexing problem, or an unmet customer needs, getting useful input from your team is important in resolving that issue.  Save time by setting up a framework for idea generation, and then use a simple process for selecting and prioritizing next steps. This session will introduce the audience to activities that will help you gather useful ideas for problem solving and innovation.  These games will foster a high level of participation and can be tailored to your needs.  Then we will practice methods for selecting and prioritizing your next steps so that the session does not just end with another wish list.  Having fun is also possible. Participants will be able to translate these activities immediately in their own workplaces and generate new ideas in a short amount of time.

    About the Speaker: 

    Tracy Owens is a business transformation leader who has driven his employers and client organizations to achieve near-term objectives and better long-term results through innovation and quality management.

    As an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer and Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence, he has strengthened operational capability and process improvement expertise among all the teams he has supported since 1998. His book Six Sigma Green Belt, Round 2 was published by Quality Press in 2011 and serves as a guide for successful improvement project execution.

    As a founding member of ASQ’s Innovation Division, Tracy has promoted a growing body of knowledge on innovation management and brought his audiences a strong message about innovation as a process and not just a creative spark. He is co-author of The Executive Guide to Innovation, which was published in 2013.

    Tracy holds a Master's Degree in International Business from Seattle University and he was elected to the 2016 class of ASQ Fellows.

  • B3 | Coming Soon

    Please check back in the coming weeks!

  • B4 | Effectively Communicating Your Work – Verbally, Visually, and in Writing

    Communication is a powerful tool that everyone has in their toolbox, yet people often struggle to use it effectively.  Successful communication of our work enables efficiency gains in driving engagement, sharing best practices, and promoting the company-wide collaboration necessary to be competitive.

    The Grange OpX team has developed best practices around the effective storytelling of our work.  In this workshop, we will cover tried-and-true approaches for communication via verbal, visual, and written methods.

    • Verbal: The Elevator Speech – Can you describe your project or idea in a few sentences or less?  Can you explain it in a way that any listener can understand it in a short period of time?  We will go over some Elevator Speech basics and why it’s important to have one!
    • Visual: Intuitive Presentation Design – Bad presentations. We’ve all had to sit through them. Let’s design slides that effectively support conversation during the meeting and can stand-alone long after.  We will cover some tips & tricks for effective presentation design; what to do and (perhaps more importantly) what NOT to do.
    • Written: Content that Speaks for Itself – 8 seconds, that’s the average amount of time a person spends reading an email.  Knowing that, are your recipients truly understanding your work just by reading your messages?

    In this session, you will learn to communicate their work in a more focused and concise manner, gain insight into compelling slide design methods, and improve your communication via email.

    About the Speakers: Nick Woo & Tim Wolf

    Nick Woo is a Senior Continuous Improvement Specialist in the Operational Excellence department at Grange Insurance. He obtained a BS in Industrial Engineering, a minor in Team Psychology, and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification upon graduation from The Ohio State University. Nick recently earned his Black Belt certification, and has over five years of process engineering experience at Boeing, Gulfstream Aerospace, Honda and Kroger. Nick loves cars, camping on the weekends and traveling abroad with his wife Keila.

    Tim Wolf is a Senior Continuous Improvement Specialist in the Operational Excellence department at Grange Insurance. He began his career as an underwriter for Amica Insurance and then joined Grange Insurance where he began his focus on continuous improvement. He has worked in the Lean Six Sigma field for seven years and recently earned his Black Belt certification. Tim grew up in Columbus and is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University where he earned both his BBA and MBA. In his free time, Tim enjoys spending time with his family, running, reading, traveling, cooking, and watching the Buckeyes.

  • B5 | Coming Soon

    Coming Soon!

  • C1 | Approachability Playbook

    This session teaches the 3 simple questions that ensure that nearly 90% of your employees will go above and beyond at work.  The session is engaging, interactive and delivered with a unique blend of humor, hard research and practical tools that will move participants to begin their own approachability journey.  As a result of this session participants will be able to practice behaviors that lead to more open and welcoming interactions with people - anywhere, anytime and will make a lasting difference in the climate of their workplace, home and anywhere they go.

    About the Speaker: Phil Wilson

    Labor and Positive Employee Relations Expert: Phillip B. Wilson, President of Labor Relations Institute and the founder of Approachable Leadership. He is a national expert on leadership, labor relations, and creating positive workplaces. He is regularly featured in the business media including Fox Business, Bloomberg News, HR Magazine, and the New York Times.

    Author and Speaker: Phil is the author of more than a dozen books and publications, including his most recent The Approachability Playbook: 3 Essential Habits for Thriving Leaders and Teams and Left of Boom: Putting Proactive Engagement to Work (which reached #2 on Amazon’s Hot HR Books list). Wilson is also a highly regarded keynote speaker, delivering keynotes, workshops and webinars regularly for audiences and companies across North America. His publications and speeches cover a wide range of labor, employee relations and leadership topics for both represented and union-free organizations.

    Labor Attorney: Phil practiced labor and employment law in Chicago after earning his J.D. from University of Michigan Law School and remains licensed in the State of Illinois. He remains active in the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section.

    Leadership Expert: Phil is a recognized thought leader on labor, positive employee relations, and leadership topics. He serves on the Society of Human Resources special Labor Expertise Panel, the US Chamber of Commerce Labor Relations Committee, and the Consultant’s Advisory Committee for CUE. Phil has been called on multiple occasions to testify before Congress as an expert on union financial reporting and labor law reform.

    Labor Relations Institute, Inc.: LRI is a full-service labor and employee relations consulting firm dedicated to helping businesses sustain direct relationships with employees and avoid union intervention. Our mission is to improve the lives of millions of working people by teaching their leaders how to cultivate trust and collaboration in the workplace.

  • C2 | Operational Excellence for All Associates: Deploying a Lean Management System Beyond Brick and Mortar

    In an ever-changing work environment, where more and more Associates are working remotely, how do we ensure we are empowering these remote associates and continuously optimizing remote business processes. Nationwide was faced with the challenge of optimizing processes and deploying Operational Excellence and the Nationwide Lean Management Operating System to remote and field-based Associates. With over 13 years of internal and external management consulting experience, Lanny Rubin will discuss how Nationwide has evolved their Lean Management Operating System to ensure it is effective and able to span across the Enterprise, reaching all Associates. This presentation will discuss the evolution of the Nationwide Operational Excellence program and Nationwide Management Operating System, what Nationwide has done to stay with the times and how you can evolve your Operating System to span beyond your physical location. The presentation will highlight effective approaches used to allow Lean tools and Lean methodology to be impactful for all Associates, inclusive of Remote and Field Associates. Attendees will leave the session with:

    • Better understanding of the Nationwide Lean Management System and how Nationwide has evolved their Operational Excellence model to enable maximum results across the Enterprise
    • Better understanding of how to create a sustainable operational excellence model, while evolving to stay current with the times, yet exponentially increase effectiveness of the organization
    • Ability to learn techniques to create a flexible Lean Management System for Associates to thrive and have World Class Processes in a variety of settings, such as Remote based or Field Based environments.

    About the Speaker: Lanny Rubin

    Lanny Rubin is Director of Enterprise Lean Deployment at Nationwide.  Lanny has been at Nationwide for five years, where he specializes in leading internal Lean consulting teams, operation excellence initiatives, strategic initiatives and large-scale value stream transformations across the Nationwide Enterprise.  Lanny possess over 13 years of operational excellence, business transformation, management consulting and strategy experience.  At Nationwide, Lanny combines his previous management consulting, coaching and strategy experiences to continue to provide innovative ways to achieve the highest level of operational excellence within a Fortune 100 company. Prior to joining Nationwide, Lanny led and managed large-scale management consulting initiatives specializing in operational excellence.  Lanny has worked with CEOs and Senior Leaders to establish strategy and create a culture to allow their organizations to be the most efficient and effective as possible.   Lanny’s passion is around enabling and coaching his clients to achieve their desired results by establishing enterprise excellence with a sustainable high performing culture. Lanny has experience working with clients to identify and close the gap on strategic imperatives, optimize processes and implement lean methodologies in industries including Healthcare, Insurance, Financial Services, Sales, Defense Contracting, Oil and Gas, Aerospace, Food and Beverage, Pharmaceutical, Automotive, Pulp and Paper and Building Materials.  Lanny received his Master’s Degree from The London School of Economics in Comparative Politics and Financial Markets.  Lanny received was a triple major receiving his bachelor’s degree in Finance, Marketing and Political Science from Walsh University.  Lanny is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and certified in ADKAR.

  • C3 | Effective Negotiation Skills and Behaviors

    This session will highlight the components of effective negotiating and help you to analyze your own behavior across a variety of negotiation contexts.

    Although business professionals and managers need analytical skills to develop optimal solutions to problems, a broad array of negotiation skills is needed in order for these solutions to be accepted and implemented. As a critical influence and communication tool, negotiation is pervasive – but many negotiators are not as effective as they could be. In many corporate deals, money and resources are not allocated optimally, conflicts persist, and people agree to deals or outcomes that are counter to their best interests. Even worse, parties often walk away from good offers or reach an impasse when there is the potential for an agreement that would satisfy their interests.  This session is designed to help you improve your ability to manage the negotiation process so that you can achieve better negotiation outcomes.

    About the Speaker: Tracy Dumas

    Tracy L. Dumas, Ph.D. is an associate professor of management and human resources at the Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, where she teaches MBA courses on negotiations and managing teams. She earned her PhD in management and organizations from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and has taught and conducted research in the area of organizational behavior for over fifteen years.

    Dumas’ research examines how employees’ nonwork roles and identities shape their work experiences. Her research is published in leading academic journals, and she has also written articles for Harvard Business Review. Additionally, several media outlets have profiled her work including Forbes.comThe Economist: Which MBA? site, Fast Company, the Bloomberg Business BNA Workforce Report, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, and the HBR Women at Work podcast.

    Prior to joining Fisher, Dumas was a visiting assistant professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, and an assistant professor of organizational sciences at George Washington University.  Prior to entering academia, Dumas managed client projects for a Chicago-based consulting and research firm specializing in work force issues. 

  • C4 | Design Thinking Behaviors: Empathize for Innovation

    Exponential technologies ensure disruption. Without innovative solutions that keep us ahead of the curve, our organizations are ripe to be disrupted. Design Thinking Behaviors encouraging the learner to behave more innovatively to design better outcomes.

    Design Thinking Behaviors Learning Outcomes include:

    • Forming empathy for the user as a method for design better outcomes for them
    • Turning problems into opportunities
    • Seeing possibilities instead of limitations
    • Understanding that creativity takes practice and creative people are developed

    About the Speaker: Craig Turner

    Craig Turner is Executive Director at EDGE Innovation Hub — a food innovation ecosystem founded by Jim Grote of Donatos Pizza and the Grote Company. The EDGE’s vision is a future where food is abundant, accessible, healthful, sustainable, and delicious. Our mission is to build principle-based businesses that lead with love and drive food innovation to the edge of possibility. Craig’s passion is to create community. As a brand strategist, visual communication designer, artist, and musician; Craig uses innovation process to solve problems and help organizations grow.

  • C5 | The Op Ex Journey: A Forum for New Travelers

    Finding a common view of operational excellence in the workplace is challenging task.  In-fact, every speaker at this Op Ex Summit has a unique perspective, that’s why they are here.  But think about the drivers of change in tomorrow’s workplace such as: scarcity of talent, integration of technology and multi-generational workplaces.

    Maybe the workplace itself is the wrong place to look for answers. Even if we find approaches that work today, how certain are we they will work tomorrow?  This workshop is different.  Instead of focusing on best practices of today’s workplaces, we want to “go to Gemba” and focus on the workforce of tomorrow (you).

    We will host a collaborative, discussion-rich forum where the attendees themselves provide the content. In our time together, we hope to consider topics like:

    • Pain points of a changing workforce – what are today’s organizations missing?
    • Remote meetings – how might we mass-customize them?
    • Finding and engaging talent – does it have to be a short-term thing?
    • Metrics and management systems – are we over-relying on them?
    • Agile practices and experiments – can failure really be tolerated?

    As a result of this forum, we hope to call out new ideas for our operational excellence playbooks.  Take-aways you can expect include: new ideas and insights from your peers on this topic, to have more (and better) questions for other Summit workshops, and a few new relationships!

    About the Speaker: Steve Lundragen

    Steve Lundregan is a senior lecturer in the Management Sciences department and associate director of strategy for Fisher’s Center for Operational Excellence. He teaches operations management, service operations, and innovation courses and was awarded Fisher’s Undergraduate Program Teaching Award in 2013.

    Lundregan joined Fisher in 2012 after three decades of industry and community leadership experience. He held officer-level roles in marketing, strategy and operations at Nationwide Insurance, where he formulated and implemented innovative growth strategies for the Fortune 100 financial services firm.

    Lundregan holds Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) professional designations. He previously served on community service boards of Junior Achievement, Boy Scouts of America and Lutheran Social Services in central Ohio.

  • D1 | Navigating Treacherous Waters: Micro and Macro Trends affecting Today’s Supply Chains

    “Microtrends” consist of events that are impacting our businesses and supply chains -- as we speak.  These include matters like talent acquisition, tightening capacity, general inflation, tariffs, trade wars, and regulatory uncertainty.  Beyond these “here and now” circumstances, an array of macrotrends are starting to surface as well.  These include forces for change, ranging from consumer centricity (i.e., the “Amazon Effect”) and technologies, like blockchain, artificial intelligence and robotization, Internet of Things, and the Physical Internet.  The key questions of this session are: How do these forces affect our supply chains? How can we turn these challenges and into business opportunities?  This session will present these questions in a thought-provoking, yet actionable way. 

    Tom Goldsby will illuminate the major economic and market forces shaping business today, explore how effective supply chain operations can respond to change, and present best practices and cutting-edge techniques for turning challenges into opportunities. By the end of the session, attendees will better understand the shifts taking place in business today, recognize opportunities for leveraging knowledge and techniques for competitive advantage, and be able to better prepare themselves and their organizations for turbulent business environments.

    About the Speaker: Tom Goldsby

    Thomas J. Goldsby, Ph.D. is the Haslam Chair of Logistics and Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee. Dr. Goldsby is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Business Logistics. He has published more than 50 articles in academic and professional journals and serves as a frequent speaker at academic conferences, executive education seminars, and professional meetings around the world. He is co-author of five books and recipient of the Best Paper Award at the multiple academic journals. Dr. Goldsby has received recognition for excellence in teaching at Iowa State University, The Ohio State University, and the University of Kentucky. He delivered a course on Business Operations for The Great Courses’ Critical Business Skills series, which rates as a top selling title on He is a member of the selection committees for several industry awards, including Gartner’s Top 25 Supply Chains. He has supervised more than 100 Lean/Six Sigma supply chain projects with industry partners, chaired seven Ph.D. dissertations, and served as an investigator on five federally funded research projects, exceeding $3.5 million in grant proceeds. In his spare time, Dr. Goldsby competes as one of the top masters (over-40) runners in America for distances between the mile and the marathon, having completed 17 Boston Marathons (winning his age group in 2016).

  • D2 | Integrating Organizational Change Management into Continuous Improvement: What You’re Already Doing, Only Better!

    No matter what the size or complexity, continuous improvement (CI) initiatives depend on people effectively adopting to process change.  While the CI discipline has a robust methodology and toolset, integrating some specific components from the field of organizational change management (OCM) can improve the sustainability of the CI program.

    In this breakout, hear about the partnership between Grange Insurance and Success by Sprite. Grange Insurance has a robust CI program that is integrated across all the company’s change initiatives. They have adapted the Success By Sprite Process Change Impact Log to integrate the key OCM areas of stakeholder identification, communications planning, culture change, learning, and sponsorship with identified process impacts to move individuals from where they currently are to where the business needs them to be.  This allows them to capture key information, including: policy and process changes, degree and type of change, recommended OCM intervention, learning impacts and recommended learning activities, identification of stakeholder roles and changes by stakeholder role.

    Users who attend this session will receive a thumb drive with an electronic copy of the Process Change Impact Log. After attending this session, users will be able to:

    • Capture process change impacts, affected stakeholders, recommended OCM interventions, and learning activities in a single location.
    • Conduct high-level business impact discussions with executives
    • Improve the probability of successful and sustainable change adoption


    About the Speakers: Brenda Sprite and Amy Tomaszewski

    Brenda Sprite:  With more than twenty years of experience as a change management strategist, Brenda’s focus today is the same as when she first entered the consulting industry: understand the unique characteristics of an organization, the mission of the leadership, what employees value, and then deliver a strategy that produces a culture of success where people at all levels understand the value of sustainable change.  As an organizational strategist, Brenda collaborates with leaders to develop methods tailored to meet the organizational objectives, as well as the intrinsic needs of each employee.  Her background includes the design and execution of large-scale change initiatives for academic institutions, government entities, and a broad range of U.S. and multinational corporations representing diverse industry sectors. Projects under her leadership have included enterprise-wide policy, business process improvement, and technology system changes focused on aligning and preparing the organization to improve performance. Brenda is a frequent speaker at both the national and local levels, on topics ranging from how to maintain a great place to work to enterprise change management to designing change management programs for agile-based project teams.  She holds a B.S. in Psychology and a Masters in Labor and Industrial Relations (MLIR) from Michigan State University.  Her certifications include CCMP (Certified Change Management Professional), Prosci®, PMP and the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner.  She is President and CEO of Success By Sprite, LLC, a company committed to unlocking the value of people.

    Amy Tomaszewski: Amy Tomaszewski is currently the Assistant Vice President of Operational Excellence at Grange Insurance. Amy is passionate about improving processes in all operations, having worked in the property & casualty insurance industry for 32 years, in personal and commercial lines of business, as well as Information Technology. She has experience leading production and operations teams in both business units and shared services, and believes in the power of leading and developing engaged associates toward improved customer value, and metric-driven results utilizing the continuous improvement methodologies of Lean Management and Lean Six Sigma. Grange Insurance is a multi-line insurance provider founded in 1935 and based in Columbus, Ohio with nearly $3 billion in assets and more than $1.2 billion in annual revenue. Grange has been named a Top Workplace in Central Ohio for four straight years, and serves policyholders in 13 states through its network of independent agents.

  • D3 | Machine Learning 101

    Machine learning allows us to use data to train machines for tasks without explicit programming. Typical tasks for machine learning include image and speech recognition, medical diagnoses, and fraud or error detection. The session's goal is to improve our abilities to recognize opportunities for the application of machine learning and to understand the data and technology that such applications require. In this session, we will survey the most common methods for machine learning alongside examples of their implementation.

    About the speaker: Nate Craig, PhD

    Nathan Craig is an assistant professor in the Department of Management Sciences. He earned a DBA in Technology and Operations Management from Harvard Business School as well as an MS in Operations Research and a BS in Integrated Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University. His teaching experience includes courses in operations management and stochastic modeling as well as custom and executive-education programs at Harvard Business School and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His current research interests focus on retail supply chains, including capital structure and liquidation in the retail industry as well as mechanisms for improved manufacturer service levels and their impact on retailer demand. Craig’s research has been presented at various conferences and seminars, including annual meetings of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) as well as the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS). His research has been published by Harvard Business School Press, the Journal of Operations Management, and Manufacturing & Service Operations Management. Nathan is the recipient of the Wyss Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research presented by Harvard Business School.

  • D4 | The Application of User Centric Design Thinking Methodologies and Processes in Building an Innovation Mindset

    In the accelerating business world that companies navigate today, understanding the perspective of the end user is critical in preparing for new growth. User experience and design thinking are more than buzz words. Our experiential breakout will explore methodologies and tools to enable your organization to apply these processes to uncover unmet needs and improve your customer engagement. This session will help you discover through experiential learning how design thinking can be immediately applied to your business challenges, create a new perspective on your customer experience across all platforms of your business, and access practices that can be used to experiment with your teams to uncover baseline problems, opportunities and jobs to be done.

    By attending this session, you will learn to:

    • Understand human centric critical thinking to identify unmet consumer needs
    • Develop your curious mindset; ask WHY?
    • Develop your growth mindset
    • Practice empathy, challenge assumptions, inspire others

    About the Speakers: Paul Reeder & Jennifer Heckscher

    As the Executive Director of the Center for Innovation Strategies, Paul’s mission is to partner with key university stakeholders to establish a unified, overarching innovation collaboration strategy that maximizes value creation for Ohio State. His commercialization experience and industry relationships have uniquely prepared him to lead CIS. The Ohio State University Center for Innovation Strategies is an official academic center of The Ohio State University housed at the Fisher College of Business. The center facilitates innovation-based learning and experiences that will impact the global economy by assisting in new company formation and the development of new products and services within existing businesses. In his previous position as Director of Operations and Collaboration Strategy in the Office of Research, Industry Liaison Office, Paul will work closely with his ILO colleagues, Office of Research leaders, college deans, and internal partners involved in business collaboration to assemble, expand, and improve accessibility of core university capability in support of external engagement.

    Jenny manages programs, operations and outreach to support education, research and applied practice in innovation. She provides learning experiences and consultation for corporate partners with a goal of aligning strategy, people and process in support of initiatives that create value. In prior roles at Ohio State, she developed a career onboarding program for graduate business students that received a national innovation award. She also implemented diversity and inclusion programs for faculty and staff, including co-leading a record launch of the region’s Higher Education Recruitment Consortium, a national non-profit focused on promoting equity in talent management. Prior to joining Ohio State, Jenny worked at Nationwide for over ten years, most recently as an AVP of Product Development for the retirement plan division, where she helped launch a platform for new product innovation that became a growth engine for that division. She is also an adjunct faculty member for the online MPA@UNC program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She earned a B.S.B.A from Ohio State and an M.A. in public policy and management from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.

  • D5 | Coming Soon!

    Please check back in the coming weeks.

  • E1 | How Serving Leadership Catalyzes High Performance in Organizations

    Drawing on leadership case-stories from around the world, Dr. Stahl-Wert will show how the practice of serving leadership produces shifts in an organization’s culture, leading to measurable improvements in worker engagement, customer/client/patient satisfaction, and organizational outcomes. This breakout session will be action oriented, with take-away tools provided by Dr. Stahl-Wert to guide next steps in incorporating serving leader disciplines in your organization.

    About the Speaker: 

    Dr. John Stahl-Wert is a best-selling author and internationally known speaker, whose specialty is making serving leadership intensely practical for results-oriented leaders worldwide. In 2012, Johnfounded the Center for Serving Leadership, which provides innovative leadership solutions based on The 5 ActionsSM described in John’s best-selling book, The Serving Leader. Previously, John created and directed the Training Institute for Leadership Foundations from 1994 to 1999 and served as President and CEO of Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation from 2000 to 2012. Having started ten business, social sector, and faith-based organizations, John brings significant hands-on leadership experience to his training and coaching engagements. He divides his time between the U.S. and Singapore.

  • E2 | Leading from the Middle: Respect for People in the Daily Management System

    It is imperative in healthcare today to ensure all staff are not only doing their job but working to improve it as well.  Problem solving can no longer be managed by “throwing spaghetti against a wall and seeing what sticks”.  We need to build a culture where continuous improvement, supported by the right tools and necessary structure, is just a way of life. 

    Handing people tools and telling them to use them will not get you where you need to go. When you involve staff in creating the structure, a higher level of engagement is ultimately achieved.  While standardization is essential, as a leader you must learn where to let the team play freely inside the fence.  Utilizing structure, standardization, and building a culture of continuous learning allows teams to truly own their practice and practice environment. In this breakout session, presenter Emily Jackson will:

    • Detail essential tools to design and implement a visual management system within a healthcare organization.
    • Present techniques to engage frontline staff in problem solving to assure successful continuous improvement.
    • Describe pragmatic tips to drive continuous improvement in your organization.
  • E3 | Innovation Games: Deliver New Ideas In The Shortest Amount of Time

    When you face a new challenge, or a vexing problem, or an unmet customer needs, getting useful input from your team is important in resolving that issue.  Save time by setting up a framework for idea generation, and then use a simple process for selecting and prioritizing next steps. This session will introduce the audience to activities that will help you gather useful ideas for problem solving and innovation.  These games will foster a high level of participation and can be tailored to your needs.  Then we will practice methods for selecting and prioritizing your next steps so that the session does not just end with another wish list.  Having fun is also possible. Participants will be able to translate these activities immediately in their own workplaces and generate new ideas in a short amount of time.

    About the Speaker: Tracy Owens

    Tracy Owens is a business transformation leader who has driven his employers and client organizations to achieve near-term objectives and better long-term results through innovation and quality management.

    As an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer and Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence, he has strengthened operational capability and process improvement expertise among all the teams he has supported since 1998. His book Six Sigma Green Belt, Round 2 was published by Quality Press in 2011 and serves as a guide for successful improvement project execution.

    As a founding member of ASQ’s Innovation Division, Tracy has promoted a growing body of knowledge on innovation management and brought his audiences a strong message about innovation as a process and not just a creative spark. He is co-author of The Executive Guide to Innovation, which was published in 2013.

    Tracy holds a Master's Degree in International Business from Seattle University and he was elected to the 2016 class of ASQ Fellows.

  • E4 | You Cannot Extend Outstanding Service if You Are on Auto-Pilot

    Too many companies overthink outstanding service instead of just extending it. At the end of the day, outstanding service boils down to the four Cs. Common sense, common courtesy, care and concern. Customer-centric companies (internal and external customers) all have one thing in common. That is, a strong organizational culture which is known, owned and energized by all team members. World class companies are laser beam focused on ensuring that their organizational culture is not just words on laminated cards or words in gold frames on the Corporate Office walls. They find ways to enliven their culture and inspire their team members every day.

    In this session, Diana Oreck will:

    • Share organizational culture and key service principles which apply to all industries
    • Provide examples on how to keep organizational culture thriving
    • Describe how to turn your customer experience from ordinary to extraordinary at minimal cost


    About the Speaker: Diana Oreck

    Diana Oreck is Executive Vice President, Owner Experience, and a member of the Executive Leadership Team at NetJets.  Diana brings over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry to her role. Diana joined NetJets from the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, a corporate university open to the public, providing benchmarking opportunities to executives and learning professionals from a variety of industries.  Under her leadership the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. was named the best Global Training Company in the world in 2007 as ranked by “Training Magazine”.  Diana was named one of the top 100 people in Learning and Development by  “Leadership Excellence Magazine” in 2008.  In May 2010 Diana’s case study on “Radar On, Antenna Up, Fulfilling Even the Unexpressed Wishes and Needs of Customers” was accepted by Cornell University’s Hospitality Research Center.  Diana is an expert on the psychology of service.  In addition to her extensive experience in Hospitality Leadership, Diana also served as CEO for her own firm “The Quality Profit Control Company”. Diana was educated in Mexico, England and Switzerland.  She speaks three languages and is a member of the National Association for Female Executives.  She was inducted into The Waldorf Astoria Distinguished Alumni and the Academy of Women Achievers.  She was voted 2011/2012 Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women.  In 2018 Diana won the FortuneTM  Partners Top Service Leaders award. Diana is passionate about strategically linking organizational culture with the company’s business goals, objectives, and return on investment.

  • E5 | Third Party Risk: Welcome to the 21st Century

    This session will explore how in the 21st Century, the risk universe has become ever more complex. Companies and risk professionals are increasingly turning to third parties and or “nth” parties to assist in navigating the changing landscape.

    Increasing use of third and nth parties will require business to include risks not only inherent within their primary businesses, but also inherent within the third party that the activity has been outsourced to.  Research has shown that many companies are overlooking the risks and are ill prepared to managing the third parties.

    This session will focus attention of the challenges that are inherent within any third/nth party risk program and will provide some guides on how to structure an effective approach toward management. This will include:

    • Risk Assessment
    • Due diligence monitoring
    • Training, and
    • Documentation and Record Keeping.

    About the Speaker: Phil Renaud

    Mr. Renaud joined The Risk Institute at The Ohio State University in January 2016. Prior to joining The Risk Institute, Mr. Renaud managed large enterprise risk management functions in a number of diverse industries. The experience extends to management of multilocation, international risk management departments with a specialty in financial risk, strategic and operational risk assessment and management.

    Mr. Renaud’s experience in Risk Management began with Royal SunAlliance Insurance Company where he managed several claim and loss locations within the United States. He then entered a more traditional risk function with JLG Industries a large international manufacturer of heavy hydraulic construction equipment where he managed the global risk function. Following JLG, Mr. Renaud led the risk functions for SCOA Industries (Shoe Corporations of America) and their multiple divisions including discount department stores, shoe manufacturing and show retailing. Following SCOA, he held the functional risk management leadership position for LBrands (Limited Brands, Inc.) a multinational specialty retailer with business including Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works and at the time additional diverse brands such as Express Stores, Structure, Cacique, Lane Bryant, New York and Company and Abercrombie and Fitch. Mr. Renaud then became responsible for Risk at Kmart during it’s first business reorganization and subsequent Chapter 11 filing. Following Kmart, Mr. Renaud led the Operational Risk, Safety, Health and Environment, and Business Continuity Management functions for Deutsche Post/DHL (Global Supply Chain and Shared Service America’s). Mr. Renaud’s responsibilities extend to a global role within the wider supply chain division of the business.

    He is a regular speaker at various international, national, regional and local risk management forums. Mr. Renaud currently serves as a Board Member and Trustee at Johnson and Wales University, Providence RI and Hood College, Frederick, Maryland. In addition he serves as a Board Member for Columbus Humane, and Christine’s Christmas (Christine Wilson Foundation). Mr. Renaud was past Board Chair for the National Kidney Foundation (Ohio) and Board Secretary Make A Wish Foundation (Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana).