Cal Poly to Host Central Coast Lean Summit Feb. 18–19

Central Coast Lean Summit PresenterThe Central Coast Lean program in Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business will showcase “lean” advances in healthcare, accounting, entrepreneurship, local government and higher education during a two-day summit Thursday and Friday, Feb. 18 and 19, in the Performing Arts Center on campus.

The fifth annual Central Coast Lean Summit has chosen “Leadership on Board” as its theme and will focus on innovations, trends and best practices to help managers lead meaningful change. Organizers also hope to foster a community of local leaders who can build their network with likeminded managers engaged in lean strategies.

The lean concept seeks to maximize efficiency in many facets of business. The philosophy originated in manufacturing but has influenced other sectors to streamline processes and require less human effort, less space, less capital, and less time to make cost-effective products and services with fewer defects.

“Lean is really coming of age on the Central Coast. More organizations are recognizing the need for a systematic approach to continuous improvement just to stay competitive,” said Eric Olsen, Cal Poly’s Industrial Technology and Packaging Area chair. Olsen also serves as director of Central Coast Lean, a research project in the Orfalea College of Business.

Programs throughout the event will be led by industry professionals with real-world experience in implementing lean processes in a variety of environments. The event will begin with two pre-summit workshops on Feb. 18 to delve into lean accounting and production preparation processes applicable in industries such as healthcare. The workshops will be followed by a lean networking reception for attendees.

The summit on Feb. 19 will feature a keynote address by Sam MacPherson, co-founder and executive director of The Lean Leadership Academy and former chief of training for the Elite U.S. Army Special Forces, known as the Green Berets. MacPherson’s presentation, “Leading a Culture of Excellence,” will focus on building leadership teams capable of navigating and sustaining a lean transformation.

Central Coast Lean Summit AttendeeThe summit will also include interactive workshops led by Ken Snyder, executive director of the Shingo Institute; Steven Kane, director of Customer Success at Gemba Academy; Jonathan York and Lori Jordan from Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Paul Stamper, Lean Six Sigma master black belt and deputy executive officer for Ventura County; and Kim Brown Sims, a chief nursing officer at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.

Throughout the event, a “coaching café” with lean expert Beau Keyte, president of the Keyte Group, will discuss lean challenges and offer best practices during a facilitated peer group discussion. Attendees will be able to network with lean experts from throughout California and collaborate with Cal Poly faculty.

“The summit is our annual opportunity to bring lean thought leaders from across the country to Cal Poly and delve into the most current best practices. It is an opportunity to learn from the best as we think about how we can improve our own lean programs in the coming year,” Olsen said.

For more information and to register, go to