Past Workshops

7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Thurs/Fri, July 11-12, 2019

Objective: Achieve personal effectiveness as a prerequisite to organizational effectiveness.

Purpose: It is impossible to have an effective lean organization without effective associates and managers. Central Coast Lean invests a great deal in providing high quality lean training and access to lean thought leaders. In assessing our process, it became obvious that we want to provide training to people who feel empowered to use it. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Signature Edition 4.0 helps participants not only learn to be more effective, but also shows them how to use processes and tools to live and apply the 7 Habits everyday.

Approach: This workshop uses lectures, videos, discussions, and reflective exercises.

Target Audience All managers and associates. Knowledge of lean or six sigma is not required.

Length: 2 days, 8:30am-4:30pm


Liberating Structures – A3 Immersion

Thursday, January 24, 2019 8:30am-4:30pm

Objective:  Learn to facilitate group problem solving by providing a little bit of structure to unleash a wealth of creativity and positive engagement.

Purpose Engaging associates in problem solving is key to building a lean culture.  In particular, A3 problem solving (e.g. Theme, Current State, Problem, Goals/Targets, Analysis, Countermeasures, Plan, and Follow-up) is a powerful concept for lean practitioners.  This workshop teaches participants how to use A3 problem solving while simultaneously using Liberating Structures to engage teams or large groups.

Approach:  Immersion Workshops are designed to introduce participants to a large number of Liberating Structures very rapidly. The idea is to create awareness of the range of possibilities that Liberating Structures open up. Also, covering a wide variety of structures underscores the idea that there is no single way to address many complex challenges. Another message that participants get loud and clear: you learn by doing; once you’ve seen a Liberating Structure in action and practice doing it in the workshop, you can use it in any setting.  In this special immersion workshop for lean thinkers, we will be using an 8-step A3 framework to put various Liberating Structures together and engage participants in a problem common to lean organizations. 

Target Audience:  All managers, team leads, and supervisors who are tasked with engaging associates and facilitating their interaction.  Some exposure to lean is beneficial, but not required. 

Zombie Hunter – Lean Six Sigma Project Simulation

Thursday, November 8, 2018 8:30am-4:30pm

Objective:  Learn to apply the lean six sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) approach to problem solving with your team.

Purpose One way to view lean is as a problem solving methodology.  Teams of associates need a common framework and approach based on the scientific method to drive continuous improvement.  This course integrates lean and six sigma tools and practices into a common problem-solving framework.  It allows teams to practice the DMAIC process and develop confidence in its application.

Approach:  Participants have fun and learn DMAIC problem solving while playing a computer simulation of a “zombie outbreak” in London ..  The technology allows teams of 3-4 to test their tool knowledge and skills.  Each team builds a DMAIC storyboard and is evaluated on cost and time to solve the problem.

Target Audience:  All managers and associates.  Some exposure to lean and six sigma is beneficial.  More experienced and knowledgeable participants can help those newer to their lean journeys.

Length:  1 day

Required: Bring your own Wi-Fi enabled PC or Mac.

New to Lean

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 8:30am-4:30pm

Objective Understand the principles underlying lean thinking and a lean transformation for your organization.

Purpose This is an introductory course to lean for managers and associates whose organization has started or is exploring starting a lean journey.  It provides a common baseline understanding of how lean works and the prerequisites for success.

Approach:  This six-hour workshop uses the Shingo Model (i.e. Cultural enablers, Continuous improvement, Enterprise alignment, Results) to build an understanding of lean, its underlying principles, and how lean can transform how an organization works.  Lectures, videos, and physical simulations are used to introduce concepts and tools.  Liberating Structures are used to level the playing field and allow everyone the opportunity to engage with the materials and others for an effective learning experience.  The day ends with an assessment of how lean your organization is and where there are opportunities for improvement.

Target Audience All managers and associates.  Knowledge of lean or six sigma is not required.  Participants already knowledgeable in lean can attend to build a common framework with their team or become facilitators.

Length:  1 day

Price:  $249 early bird, $299 regular

SLO HotHouse downtown San Luis Obispo, CA


  • Two day intensive lean learning course.
  • Learn why accounting and operations must become allies for a successful lean journey.

  • Operation’s professionals achieve great gains on the production floor but are surprised when there is little evidence of improved operating results. Manufacturing must understand why improving flow, reducing inventory, improving customer service and creating capacity will potentially lower earnings. Manufacturing must be able to explain this, in advance, so accounting is not surprised when quarterly results are prepared.

  • Accounting and manufacturing must work together to develop new metrics and “plain English” financial reporting. This class will illustrate the changes required based on 30 years of leading such changes.

Key Learnings:

  • Why shop floor improvements will likely be invisible to accounting

  • Why current metrics will not illustrate Lean improvements

  • What manufacturing practitioners can do to create an alliance with accounting

  • Why your company’s cost system likely promotes non-Lean behavior

  • How to value inventory in a Lean environment

  • How to calculate costs without a standard cost system

  • How to construct “plain English” profit & loss statements that all associates can truly understand

  • How Lean tools eliminate waste and transactions in accounting and free up accountants to be strategists and consultants to the value streams

Who Should Attend

This course will benefit all areas of a company, as the entire team needs to understand the scorecard of the business and how to motivate Lean behavior.  While accounting professionals will gain a great deal, it is strongly encouraged that manufacturing, product development and continuous improvement associates come as a team in order to build a plan going forward that makes sense for the entire company, both the providers of information and the critical uses of that information.

  • Presidents

  • Plant Managers

  • CFO’s

  • Mfg. Engineers

  • Controllers

  • CI Professionals

  • VP’s & Directors of Finance,

  • Product Dev. Engineers

  • Operations & Supply Chain

  • HR Leaders

July 12-13th, 2018

Thurs/Fri, 12-13July, 2018 –  Download Flyer .pdf 

Objective:  Achieve personal effectiveness as a prerequisite to organizational effectiveness.

Purpose:  It is impossible to have an effective lean organization without effective associates and managers.  Central Coast Lean invests a great deal in providing high quality lean training and access to lean thought leaders.  In assessing our process, it became obvious that we want to provide training to people who feel empowered to use it.  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Signature Edition 4.0 helps participants not only learn to be more effective, but also shows them how to use processes and tools to live and apply the 7 Habits everyday.

Approach:  This workshop uses lectures, videos, discussions, and reflective exercises. 

Target Audience:  All managers and associates.  Knowledge of lean or six sigma is not required.

Length:  2 days, 8:30am-4:30pm

Price:  $399 early bird, $499 regular

August 14th, 2017

Although lean has found widespread application in manufacturing and services, there have been very few sustained implementations in R&D and even less in the innovation creation process. Lean start-up thinking has energized the area of computer applications but the manufacturing innovation lacks behind.

The resistance to lean and innovation is unfortunate: the benefits of applying lean principles to innovation or R&D even at the fuzzy front end of the innovation cycle, can be much higher than what has been accomplished in traditional applications, such as manufacturing and services. Benefits include higher agility, more successful new products, better delivery and much higher speed to market.

This workshop focuses on the following subjects:

  • Why innovation is important in all industries, services and processes
  • The lean principles that take an idea to a successful product
  • Examples and case studies of successful implementations
  • How to engage the people in the transformation

The workshop is hands on and uses many exercises and simulations to explain concepts like:

  • Quick learning cycles (agile, scrum)
  • Minimum viable products
  • Fail fast and often to succeed quickly

Other subjects can be explored based on the interest of the class.

Norbert Majerus 
Lean Champion 
Book Author & Shingo Prize Winner

About the Presenter: 

Norbert Majerus began his career with Goodyear in 1979 and has spent the last eight years developing and implementing an end-to-end Lean Product Development process across all three of Goodyear’s Global Innovation Centers. 


Norbert has a master’s degree in chemistry and earned the titles of Master Black Belt for both six sigma and for lean. Throughout his career, he has worked in most functions of product development with time spent in both Akron, Ohio, and Luxembourg, Europe. His experiences include materials development, tire engineering, project management, and equipment design, benchmarking and quality systems. 


Norbert also just finished writing a book called: “Lean-Driven Innovation” where he described the lean principles that apply to new product development and shows how they were implemented at Goodyear. 

Office: (330) 796-2318


Purchase Norbert Majerus’s Book “Lean-Driven Innovation” 


June 20th to 21st, 2017 

Jerry Solomon
Course Leader 

About the Course Leader:

Jerry has over 35 years of experience in a variety of industries where he has held the CFO & VP of Operations positions. He led Lean transformations achieving dramatic improvements in inventory turns, lead-times, customer service, income and cash flow. He has authored 3 Lean books, two of which won the prestigious Shingo Award: Who’s Counting? and Accounting for World Class Operations as well as Leading Lean. He was the Maryland Lean Leader of the Year in 2013.  He is a founding thought leader in Lean Accounting and has been teaching Lean Accounting for the last decade. Jerry is both a Shingo Prize Research and AME examiner as well as a frequent speaker at industry conferences.


Books by Jerry Solomon:
Who’s Counting? A Lean Accounting Business Novel
Accounting for World Class Operations 
Leading Lean: The Making of a Kaizen Event 

Class Overview: 

Open 8:00am – 5:00pm each day 

November 6th, 2015 

Workshop Description:

This workshop is for participants that are “new to lean,” or who have only had informal exposure to lean thinking.

Lean thinking is a principled and practical approach that maintains or increases customer value while improving processes and operational effectiveness by involving everyone in problem solving.

This compact, 5-hour workshop provides an introduction to the background, concepts, key tools, and approaches necessary to getting you or your organization started on its lean journey.  It is designed to address lean thinking across industries and management levels.  Lean is not just for manufacturing anymore.  Healthcare, service, retail, government, finance, and education are but a few of the industries that have jumped on the lean bandwagon.  If you think your industry is not doing lean, you are behind the curve.

In this workshop, we will go beyond the tools to focus on the underlying principles of quality management and continuous improvement that drive lean thinking.  We will cover cultural enablers, continuous improvement, enterprise alignment, and results (Shingo Model) in a classic Cal Poly “learn by doing” approach that provides practical and pragmatic learning.  The custom nature of the workshop, and the expertise of the instructor, will let you get your questions answered in the context of your workplace challenges.

Participants will learn the requirements for starting and sustaining an effective lean approach to their job and workplace.  You will also learn enough about the history and jargon of lean to be knowledgeable consumers of additional lean training, education, and approaches.  You will see why more and more companies have lean programs in place and how lean can benefit your workplace with:

  • Lower total costs

  • Better quality products and service

  • Shorter order fulfillment lead times

  • Lower raw material, work in process, and finished goods inventory

  • A more engaged workforce

  • And more satisfied customers.

Although it is impossible to teach you all you will need to know to be successful, you will walk away with an understanding and appreciation for lean thinking.  You will have a basic foundation to build on and get properly started on your lean journey.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn what lean is.

  2. Understand the key principles and paradigms that drive lean success.

  3. Become familiar with key tools and approaches that support a lean implementation.

  4. Learn about the history of lean and it’s relationship to other improvement paradigms.

  5. See how lean can be integrated into your organization and affect a lean transformation.

  6. Learn how to get started.


  • Associates to Senior Management

  • No prior knowledge of lean required

  • Additionally, experienced lean folks who what to organize their knowledge into a principle based approach and share that knowledge with others. Lean is an open source paradigm and approach that invites sharing, collaboration, and learning.

Eric Olsen
Director of Central Coast Lean 

About the Instructor: 

Dr. Olsen serves as Area Chair and Professor of Industrial and Packaging Technology in the Orfalea College of Business at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. Dr. Olsen teaches undergraduate and master’s courses in lean thinking, six sigma, and operations management. Dr. Olsen had over 20 years of industry experience in engineering and manufacturing management at Caterpillar, Litton, and Hewlett Packard before getting his PhD at The Ohio State University. His dissertation compared the financial performance of lean versus non-lean companies.


Dr. Olsen continues his professional development with a focus on creating new knowledge in operations management, biasing his research towards working with real companies and organizations. He has published, consulted, and trained in lean performance improvement, strategy deployment, and six sigma. He has run numerous improvement events at Cal Poly and in the local community.

Full Biography: 


Workshop Description:

An increasing number of corporate training programs are transitioning to a ‘blended learning’ model for Lean Six Sigma training that combines online materials with in-class practice to allow students to apply the learning to realistic situations. The InBox Workshop is an immersive interactive practice experience that mirrors real workplace situations. Participants practice applying Lean concepts, use tools and make decisions in a risk free environment. The learning curve is shortened. Particularly unique about the InBox simulation is the transactional nature of the work. This hands-on simulation is targeted towards people who work in office environments where the work is often “invisible” and the waste is harder to see.


During the InBox simulation, each participant assumes a role within the work stream where they will have a chance to practice a variety of Lean tools and techniques, including VOC, Process Mapping, waste identification, bottleneck resolution, takt time analysis, work balancing, and standardized work.   After the first run, participants will collaborate in an instructor facilitated group to create a process map, identify waste and design improvements to the process. Improvements will be incorporated into revised work instructions, which are then ‘tested’ with a new run of the simulation to determine whether the change improved the process.


This workshop focuses on how participants can use the InBox simulation to gain firsthand experience applying the Lean concepts and tools mentioned above (and more!) to transactional processes frequently seen in the back-office. Time will be available throughout the session to discuss how to use the simulation to build capability and better decision-making skills in the workforce.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn how the eight lean wastes apply to an office process.

  2. Learn the basics of applying continuous improvement (i.e. plan-do-check-adjust) in transactional work.

  3. Learn and practice the application of lean tools and concepts including voice of the customer, process mapping, bottleneck resolution, takt time analysis, work balancing, and standardized work in a transactional environment.

  4. Relate learning back to similar environments back in your own organization.

Lori Serna 
Cal Poly – University Payroll Manager 


Lori Serna has spent the last 10 years at Cal Poly in the Administration and Finance Division implementing systems and processes with projects ranging from document management and workflow to campus-wide employee self-service. Her unique in-the-trenches perspective demonstrates how anyone can start their Lean journey, even in a highly bureaucratic and administrative environment.

April 17th, 2015

View Presentation Slides



Liberate Yourself and A Culture of Innovation

Now making waves around the U.S. and around the world, Liberating Structures (LS) offers an innovative approach that is swiftly changing how we work, lead, and create together. It provides methods to transform meetings, decision-making, and leadership into an evolutionary model for collective intelligence and growth.  Developed by Henri Lipmanowicz and Keith McCandless, the LS offers 33 simple ways to address some of the most challenging aspects of working in groups and organizations.

In this workshop, we learn and apply the methods to:

  • Safely take more riskselephant

  • Liberate your group from unnecessary meetings

  • Develop strategy without excluding people

  • Ensure great ideas have a chance to leave the drawing board

  • Avoiding after-the-fact efforts to sell your ideas with buy-in strategies

  • How to stop separating the deciders from the doers

  • Eliminating counter-productive behaviors to make space for innovation

  • Address challenges from your experience (bring examples)

LS is not only for leaders and change professionals, but also for every person in an organization, business, school or community to use for everyday solutions, projects and strategic planning.  You will be surprised how quickly you can liberate and unleash full potential and creativity in groups of any size.

For more information, go to

Wondering what can be liberated in your work? In this roll up your sleeves immersion workshop we will cover the following territory:

  • Developing strategy without excluding people because it slows you down

  • Avoiding after-the-fact efforts to sell your ideas with buy-in strategies

  • How to stop separating the deciders from the doers

  • Eliminating counter-productive behaviors to make space for innovation

  • Finding alternatives to forcing top-down “best practices” initiatives

  • Bootstrapping a culture of innovation through LS

  • Challenges directly from your own experience

Videos & Info:


Keith McCandless 



Keith McCandless, MA, is a founding partner of the Social Invention Group and co-creator of Liberating Structures. He specializes in organizational development, complexity science, and business strategy.

October 24th, 2014


  • Full day of training and learn-by-doing on lean A3 problem solving methodology.
  • Facilitated by our friends from Simpler
  • Learn to apply the nine-box A3 format.
  • Attendance is capped at 36 participants (8 per organization max).
  • Participate in one of 5-6 teams that will work on a variety of actual problems brought to the workshop by participants.

Workshop Facilitators