Lean Leadership Series Kicks Off April 22 in Appleton

Participants gain skills to manage change, lead successful lean transformations


APPLETON, Wis. – Manufacturing managers, supervisors and team leaders can gain the skills to manage change and lead a successful lean transformation in a series of workshops that kick off April 22 in Appleton.


The Lean Leadership Development Series is offered by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) in cooperation with Fox Valley Technical College.  WMEP experts will lead the sessions that meet from 8 a.m. until noon, Tuesdays, April 22 through May 20 at the D.J. Bordini Center, Fox Valley Technical College.


The first session, Culture Change in the Lean Environment, goes to the heart of the lean philosophy – creating a lean culture whereby employees are engaged in the process of innovation and improvement. 


 “Culture is the glue that holds lean implementations together.  Eighty percent of lean is culture related,” said Doug Bengson, who specializes in lean culture for WMEP and is leading the workshops.  “The biggest waste in manufacturing is the waste of underutilized people, not that people aren’t working hard enough, but the organization isn’t expecting them to bring their brains to work,” Bengson said. 


Companies need buy-in from employees to achieve the benefits of lean manufacturing, which include increased efficiency and profitability. 


Other sessions in the series are: Personal Effectiveness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Leading Teams and Change Management. 


“At the end of the series, participants will have a new understanding of behaviors that will help them become more effective leaders, engage employees in change and create an environment for lean culture to thrive,” Bengson said.


The series will benefit any manufacturer wanting to improve performance, he added, whether they’re using lean, Six Sigma or other improvement strategy.  


For more information on the series contact Don McDonald at 920-737-3631.   To register, visit www.fvtc.edu/swreg (click on “find a class,” enter class # 96136.)  Cost for the series is $575 per person or $500 for three or more people from the same organization. 



WMEP is a private, nonprofit organization committed to the growth and success of Wisconsin manufacturers.  Since 1996, WMEP’s experts have helped more than 2,500 small and midsize manufacturers improve profitability and productivity.  WMEP is a leader in lean manufacturing, growth services, strategic business planning, quality systems and supplier development.  During the past five years, WMEP-assisted manufacturers reported economic impact of $839 million with more than 8,000 jobs created/retained.  WMEP receives financial support from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, and partners with many public and private organizations to serve Wisconsin manufacturers. For more information, visit www.wmep.org or call 1-877-856-8588.