Breakout sessions will be hosted in five blocks of five concurrent sessions on Wednesday, April 11 (three 70-minute sessions) and Thursday, April 12 (two 60-minute sessions). While all session speakers and descriptions are final, scheduling is subject to minor changes.

Wednesday, April 11

10:30 - 11:40 a.m.

  • A1 - Disney’s Approach to Customer Experience

    Host: Jeff James, Vice President and General Manager, Disney Institute

    jeff james disney instituteWalt Disney Parks and Resorts is recognized as a leader in delivering world-class experiences. Want to learn how they do it? Join Disney Institute executive Jeff James to learn how they use time-tested business methods centered on leadership, employee engagement and service to create a culture of excellence. For over 30 years, Disney Institute has helped organizations in a wide variety of industries apply these insights to improve their own customer experiences. This is your opportunity to learn the business insights behind Disney’s success. You’ll leave inspired and ready to unlock the magic inside your organization.

    Level: Introductory

  • A2 - Building a Culture of Trust to Foster Diversity

    Host: Sapna Welsh, partner, Leverage HR

    CEOs consistently identify “having the talent I need to drive my business” as one of their top three imperatives. To achieve business goals, you need the best men and women leaders. While women represent over half the available talent pool, organizations struggle to retain and grow talented women. This session focuses on highlighting current global research on barriers preventing gender diversity at the top and how managers can build trust that is needed to unleash the power of diversity and will provide a strong foundation for all future diversity initiatives.

    In this session, Welsh will:

    • Highlight global research trends on enablers encouraging women to pursue leadership roles and deterrents preventing women from taking on leadership roles.
    • Demonstrate why trust is required for any diversity initiative to be successful.
    • Share three tactical ways to engender trust.

    Level: Intermediate

  • A3 - Keys to Effective Coaching

    Host: Whitney Mantonya, Master Black Belt, Collaborative Lean Solutions

    whitney mantonya collaborative lean solutionsEffective coaching is a critical element of a successful lean management system. The ability of leadership at all levels of the organization from the front-line supervisor to the CEO accelerates and sustains greater organizational performance, effective problem solving, and communication.

    In this interactive session , Mantonya will cover:

    • Characteristics of a good coach
    • The role and activities of the front-line manager as a coach
    • The role of and activities of executive (VP and above) leaders as a coach
    • Barriers to leaders as coaches
    • The importance of leader standard work in effective coaching


    Level: Introductory

  • A4 - Building a Culture of Disruption

    Host: David Kalman, Managing Director, Root Inc.

    david kalman rootSears. Kodak. Borders. Blockbuster – all once market leaders. Now, all but gone. Why? They failed to embrace and create a culture of disruption, not recognizing the opportunities to innovate and dramatically shift the customer’s experience. Find out how companies use employee engagement to deliberately build a culture of disruption that keeps them on the cutting edge decade after decade.

    Kalman, managing director of change consulting company Root Inc., unveils the secrets of successful disruption – both new entrants and existing companies. In the first half of this session, David defines how customer experience disruptors are using employee engagement to play the role of disruptor, while the second half focuses on idea-generation, during which attendees discuss how they can create innovative radicals of disruption at their own organizations.

    Level: Intermediate

  • A5 - Putting Data to Work: Machine Learning 101

    Host: ​Nathan Craig, assistant professor, Department of Management Sciences, Fisher College of Business

    “Machine learning” is a tech buzzword getting more and more press these days – but that’s because it’s becoming a useful tool in companies’ efforts to glean intelligence and make decisions from data instead of just drowning in it. In this session, Craig offers a primer on machine learning, explaining from a conceptual (not technical) perspective how it’s being used and describing opportunities for its application. Drawing from his research and the work of others in the data analytics field, Craig also will highlight real-world applications of machine learning in the world of the retail supply chain. This session is recommended for anyone who’s interested in acquiring a better basic understanding of this technology.

    Level: Introductory

12:40 - 1:50 p.m.

  • B1 - Turning Passion into Purpose

    Hosts: Anthony Schlegel and Dan Oglevee, The Difference USA LLC

    dan oglevee
    anthony schlegel difference

    Schlegel, former NFL player, Buckeye great and a nationally recognized strength and conditioning coach, has turned his passion for the game of football into a purpose of maximizing athletic performance through his company The Difference USA. Founded two and half years ago, Schlegel’s flagship product - The Difference Striking Machine - is a portable striking machine now in use by the NFL, colleges and high schools nationwide. Schlegel will share his startup journey, lessons in leadership and how he turned a passion into a purpose. Joining Schlegel will be co-founder Dan Oglevee, who has chronicled the company’s evolution from a “garage based operation” to a lean and efficient enterprise. With an emphasis on best practices surrounding supply chain and finance, Schlegel and Oglevee will further share their “fail smart” iterative processes that continuously fuel new innovations, the risks along the way, and the keys to the business’ resilience in its still-early years.

    Level: Introductory

  • B2 - A Seat at the Table: Diversity and Competitive Edge

    Host: Steffanie Wilk, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Professor of Management and Human Resources, Fisher College of Business

    Diversity comes in many forms - age and gender, among others – and organizations are putting more than lip service behind their efforts to represent these differences in the workplace. As it emerges as a key strategic priority, these crucial questions arise: What is diversity? Why is it important? And how can we get the most from it? In this session, Wilk tackles these questions, drawing upon research on workplace diversity. Organizations may recognize the value of diversity but struggle to operationalize it as they hire and develop teams. Wilk will highlight the challenges and benefits of diversity and explore missed opportunities for organizations.

    Level: Introductory

  • B3 - Timing is Everything: Op-Ex Lessons Learned at Grange Insurance

    Host: Amy Tomaszewski, AVP, Operational Excellence, Grange Insurance

    amy tomaszewski grangeToday, operational excellence at Columbus-based Grange Insurance is a strategic priority championed by top leadership, with lean-based, collaborative approaches to problem solving practiced throughout the organization. The road to getting there, however, wasn’t quick - or easy. In this session, Tomaszewski offers a look at Grange’s seven-year journey, which began as a “grassroots” movement in 2011 and has been revamped and restarted more than once since. Tomaszewski will offer insights on:

    • How to move forward after resets and refreshes in op-ex deployments;
    • How to frame continuous improvement as an integral part of stakeholders’ work, not just “another project;” and
    • How to stay resilient and focused when bumps in the road to operational excellence happen.


    Level: Intermediate

  • B4 - The Elevator Pitch: Selling Change Short and Sweet

    Host: Marc Ankerman, senior lecturer, Fisher College of Business

    Communicating to secure buy-in up and down the ladder is a critical component to driving change – but often time, and attention spans, are in short supply. In this session, Ankerman – a communication and training expert – walks attendees through best practices in getting a quick message across to others in your organization in a memorable and actionable way. This includes ...

    • Leveraging basic communication tools in the context of making a case for change;
    • Constructing a quick, precise message; and
    • Connecting communication strategy to objectives

    “Elevator-type” pitch skills take practice and require the communicator to package a message with purpose and skill. Ankerman will offer tips and tricks for accomplishing this, guiding attendees in interactive discussion and practice sessions.

    Level: Introductory

  • B5 - Anticipating Disruption: Trend Monitoring and Analysis

    Host: Peter Grimm, CEO, Cipher Systems LLC

    peter grimm cipherUnderstanding market trends and their impact is key to the future success of any organization. As dynamic competitive landscapes continue to evolve across industries, companies can no longer simply react quickly to market changes and disruptions. The ability to better anticipate changes and disruptions in the market, and their implications, can be the difference between success and failure for some organizations. In this session, we will discuss how to best identify and monitor trends that could impact an organizations differentiation in the market and anticipate potentially disruptive trends and business models. The lessons learned are vast in this area (see Blockbuster, Hummer, Kodak, etc.), where simply reacting to trends and disruptions is not enough to remain successful.

    Level: Intermediate

2:10 - 3:20 p.m.

  • C1 - Flexible Leadership: Matching Style to Situation

    Host: John Schaffner, Faculty Director, Coaching Program, Fisher Leadership Initiative; Senior Lecturer, Fisher College of Business

    Most leaders can identify a dominant style – at best a few – that they use to solve the challenges that come their way. A business world with increasing ambiguity and more complex challenges, though, requires the ability to pivot, sometimes within the same situation, among a broader set of leadership styles to drive toward a solution if one is possible.

    In this session, Schaffner guides attendees through a behavioral framework to help them …

    • Discover their dominant leadership style;
    • Understand how they can leverage different leadership styles in different environments;
    • Distinguish among puzzles, problems and dilemmas they may encounter; and
    • Identify the key “emotional intelligence” characteristics that underlie these leadership behaviors.

    Attendees will emerge with new tools to help them assess an environment and change their leadership approach in response.

    Level: Intermediate

  • C2 - Win-Win: Negotiating What's Best for Both Sides

    Note: This is a shortened version of a half-day workshop being offered the morning of Tuesday, April 10

    Host: Roy Lewicki, Irving Abramowitz Memorial Professor Emeritus, management and human resources

    Negotiations, at work and in life, aren’t all “win-lose” scenarios, with the winner driving the car home at the lowest price possible. Many of the situations we encounter that require negotiation are of the “win-win” variety, where a deal that satisfies both parties is best in order to build or maintain a long-term relationship. These scenarios could include interactions with supervisors, co-workers, or long-term suppliers over budgets, time, job duties, role expectations and more. In this workshop, Prof. Roy Lewicki – a leading negotiation scholar, author of the market leading textbook in negotiation, and an award-winning negotiation instructor at Fisher for 30+ years – outlines the fundamental principles of win-lose and win-win negotiation and focuses on the strategies and tactics of win-win. These include:

    • Key components of a win-win negotiation
    • Common types of win-win deals (internal, team, team-on-team)
    • “Packaging and slicing” strategies in deal-making

    Attendees in the session will practice a negotiation scenario and emerge with new capabilities in leveraging these tools at home and at work.

    Level: Introductory

  • C3 - Learning to See (Together)

    Hosts: Kate Blake, manager of curriculum, Toledo Museum of Art; Mike Deetsch, director of education, Toledo Museum of Art

    deetsch mike toledo museum art
    blake kate toledo museum art

    “Seeing” is a fundamental component of process improvement: We map processes to find hidden waste, we make problems visible so they can be solved, we create signs and symbols to keep our people safe and our work standard. As humans, though, we all carry “visual biases” that affect how we process visual information and can sow confusion and discord in team environments. In this session, Kate Blake and Mike Deetsch of the Toledo Museum of Art identify the visual biases we carry and offer a framework for processing visual information that will help unite attendees and their teams around thinking and communicating in a shared visual language. Developing this “visual literacy” ultimately can be useful in processes like value-stream mapping and, more critically, in safety-focused situations, the latter of which forms the basis for a case example used in this presentation.

    Level: Introductory

  • C4 - Digital Transformation in the Supply Chain

    Host: Kalyan Sakthivelayutham, VP, IT, VP, IT Automotive, Engineering & Manufacturing, and Chemical & Energy, DHL Supply Chain

    kalyan sakthivelayuthanIt’s not a question of “if” the digitization revolution is going to transform the future of the supply chain industry. It’s a question of when – and for COE member DHL Supply Chain, it’s now. In this session, Sakthivelayuthan will offer an inside look at how digitalization is shaping the supply chain through real-world examples of innovations under way at the company, including:

    • An end-to-end global supply chain visibility tool that’s leveraging the “Internet of Things” to empower customers and businesses;
    • A “Locus” robotics warehouse program that’s driving ROI and other business opportunities by meeting business challenges and addressing demand issues for seasonable labor “flex;”
    • An augmented reality breakthrough (think: Google Glass) in traditional warehouse operations, demonstrating that gamification isn’t just for millennials.


    Level: Introductory

  • C5 - Building for Tomorrow: Employee Development as a Foundation for Growth

    Hosts: Stephanie Kovach, Amy Nelson, employee development specialists, Crown Equipment Corp.

    amy nelson crown
    stephanie kovach crown

    At Crown Equipment Corp., success begins and ends with the employees who are tasked with designing, manufacturing, selling and supporting the company’s material handling products. Employees at all levels throughout the company are engaged in talent development to ensure they are challenged to grow, encouraged to succeed and achieve their goals. In this interactive presentation, Nelson and Kovach offer a look at Crown’s approach to sustainable employee development: an Employee Talent Development Process designed to engage, innovate, and empower. By systematically deploying this employee development process and supporting tools, Crown is working to create a continuous talent development culture across the company’s 18 global manufacturing sites.

    This mix of lessons learned, current states and future continuous improvement plans will cover …

    • How a common language and strategy for employee development creates an internal motivation to continue to improve every day;
    • How Crown created a structure to support the expansion of the employee development process; and
    • How to succeed in achieving employee engagement.

    Attendees will leave the presentation with the tools and resources to aid in their own employee development process.

    Level: Intermediate

Thursday, April 12

9 - 10 a.m.

  • D1 - Digital Vortex

    Host: Jeff Loucks, executive director, Technology, Media and Telecommunications Center, Deloitte; co-author, Digital Vortex

    jeff loucks deloitteCompanies across all industries are threatened by digital disruption, as start-ups and other tech-driven competitors attack their core businesses. Increasingly, market incumbents are seeking to understand how and why disruption occurs and how they can put in place the organizational capabilities to counter (and capitalize on) disruption. Join Loucks, co-author Digital Vortex, to learn how established companies can harness digital technologies, new business models, and the strategies of start-ups to create competitive advantage. Armed with this knowledge, you can help your organization build digital capabilities to anticipate threats, seize opportunities, and beat disruptors at their own game.

    Level: Introductory

  • D2 - Leading Big Change, One Person at a Time (U.S. Postal Service)

    Host: Linda Wise Richmond, Western Area Master Black Belt, U.S. Postal Service

    The journey to deploying Lean Six Sigma into an established culture of 243 years doesn't happen overnight. Rather, the journey to a sustainable lean engagement culture takes a rapid multi-year change strategy. In this session, Richmond shares lessons learned from directing a four-year journey to infuse lean engagement thinking into a 100,000+ person organization from a complete restart.  Richmond will cover methods and lessons learned of a successful lean engagement including:  

    • Maturity and journey roadmap, from the initial deployment of Lean Six Sigma to date, including lessons learned; 
    • Training and certification management, project strategy deployment, leveraging best practices and project sharing;
    • Sustainment keys; and
    • Employee engagement infused into a continuously improving culture.

    Level: Intermediate

  • D3 - Visual Management in the Lean Office: Best Practices at Cardinal Health OptiFreight

    Host: Kim Scibelli, Manager, Operational Excellence, Cardinal Health OptiFreight Logistics

    kim scibelli cardinal optifreightMaking “invisible” office work visible can be a challenge for many organizations – but it’s a critical step in creating accountability and driving collaboration. In this session, Scibelli will offer an inside look at how OptiFreight Logistics, a business of Cardinal Health Inc., has made visual management a central component of its lean implementation. By rolling out visual management boards and creating standard work around them, OptiFreight has helped improve workflow, increase efficiency and create transparency across the organization, which manages over 17.5 million shipments annually at more than 30,000 locations in North America. Scibelli will offer insights on:

    • Developing a daily cadence for interactions with visual management tools;
    • Using visual boards to drive cross-functional collaboration; and
    • Incorporating visual tools in leader standard work to track performance and understand potential gaps.


    Level: Intermediate

  • D4 - The New Consumer: Supply Chain Trends to Watch

    Host: Terry Esper, associate professor of logistics, Fisher

    The consumer marketplace is changing rapidly. New shopping platforms are evolving, new technologies are constantly introduced, and new delivery models are quickly setting new standards. When considered in sum, a new consumer has emerged, who brings expectations and requirements that have placed significant focus on upstream supply chain and logistics operations. This session - intended for supply chain professionals and those outside the industry with a general interest - will highlight some of the key trends and issues associated with the new consumer, with insights on how firms are addressing the new consumer delivery and service landscape, and opportunities to share and engage on this hot topic.

    Level: Introductory

  • D5 - Big Data Risk: A New Frontier for Corporate Social Responsibility

    Host: Dennis Hirsch, Director, Program on Data and Governance; Ohio State Moritz College of Law

    hirsch dennis ohio state moritz lawCompanies today are swimming in data, which is opening the door to new customer insights – and some questionable behavior. In many instances, though, the law has yet to catch up with today’s digital landscape, creating a vast ethical gray area for companies equipped with increasingly savvy data analytics capabilities. In this session, Hirsch outlines the risks of big data – to individuals and to companies – and offers a look at new research with Fisher College of Business Prof. Aravind Chandrasekaran that’s studying how proactive companies are navigating the tricky ethical ground between compliance and legality. Attendees will emerge with new insights that can inform their own management approach in identifying and avoiding big data risks at their own organizations.

    Level: Intermediate

10:15 - 11:15 a.m.

  • E1 - Building High-Performing Teams for Operational Excellence

    Host: Lori Kendall, Managing Director, DIT Advisors LLC

    lori kendallFirms pursuing operational excellence often work to develop flattened, department-spanning teams and accelerate decision making. Unfortunately, these changes are too often targeted toward “fixing the process” and “finding the right people” without focusing on the performance of the team itself. In this session, Kendall shows how successful firms build high-performing teams and operate in dynamic environments to deliver results. Session attendees will learn how to:

    • Identify the key behaviors of high-performing teams, including trust;
    • Develop practices that high-performing teams use to hold each other accountable; and
    • Evaluate roles-based teams to foster autonomy and action.


    Level: Intermediate

  • E2 - Obsoleting Ourselves?: Ensuring Op-Ex Stays Relevant

    Host: Adam Ward, Associate Partner, IBM

    adam ward ibmToday’s work environment combines those who began their careers without the Internet and computers and those who have never known life without them. Entrepreneurial start-ups are disrupting strong, traditional businesses and the speed of change is blinding. Operational excellence has never been more needed but must modernize to remain relevant. Learn the pitfalls and solutions of this critical function in a time of sweeping software solutions. Leave the session buoyed by a game plan that keeps your improvement culture leading instead of playing catch-up.

    Level: Intermediate

  • E3 - Artificial Intelligence: The Nationwide Journey from Automation to Cognitive

    Presentation / panel discussion featuring: Tobi Milanovich – Sr. Consultant, Enterprise Cognitive Architect; Tom Paider – AVP, IT Applications; Erik Bennet – AVP, IT Applications; Kevin Yania – Consultant, Lean Deployment Lead

    nationwideCompanies today are challenged by the constraints and promise of artificial intelligence (AI). Determining what is reality, what is hype, and where to start causes real confusion as companies begin their journey. In this session, Nationwide team members will provide an overview of the AI spectrum and dive into what is happening at the company today and what is planned for the future. This includes a look at a suite of automation tools, from augmented/AI to scripted automation, and examples of how these are being used in the company’s legal, finance, and infrastructure and operations areas.

    Level: Introductory

  • E4 - Leading From the Middle: Respect for People in the Daily Management System

    Host: Emily Jackson, BSN, MBOE, RN, NEA-BC, Director of Nursing Quality, New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center

    In this session, Jackson will speak about her experiences in influencing a lean movement in healthcare from the middle. As the Director of Nursing Quality at the 738-bed Manhattan hospital, she has been responsible for the implementation of components of a daily management system that include visibility walls, leader standard work, and other tools that support continuous improvement. More importantly, Jackson has worked to cultivate a culture of respect in a high-stress environment. In this session, Jackson will discuss the challenges of guiding a team to a new way of thinking about problems and why it is crucial to change the way managers lead.

    Level: Intermediate

  • E5 - Driving Additive Manufacturing Innovation Through Public-Private Partnership

    Host: Charles Young, Director of Business Development, Ohio State Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence

    charlie young cdmeThe Ohio State University launched the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence in 2014 to better connect students, faculty and staff with and industry through applied engineering applications. In this session, hear how CDME is becoming a national leader in additive manufacturing through an innovative collaboration with Hilliard-based ProtoPrecision Manufacturing Solutions. Young and Proto’s founders, Sugu Suguness and Dr. John Johnson, will detail how the firm is placing industrial metal additive printers on campus at CDME, forming a partnership where Ohio State can leverage research and student involvement and the company can bring industrial “voice of the customer.”

    Level: Introductory