Cal Poly to Host Seventh Annual Central Coast Lean Summit April 16-17

The Central Coast Lean Summit, an annual showcase of strategies that maximize customer value while minimizing waste in health care, education, government and non-profit agencies, will be hosted by the Central Coast Lean program in Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business on April 16-17 at the SLO Brew Rock Activity Center.

The theme of the seventh annual conference is “Establishing a Lean Culture.” Industry leaders and lean experts, including Jeff Hastie of the Bose Corp. and Carlos Scholz of The Permanente Medical Group, the largest medical group in the U.S., will focus on creating high-performing workplaces by strengthening the team environment.

“I think this year’s theme will help organizations reap true value from their investment in lean tools and processes by engaging their workforce,” said Cal Poly Professor Eric Olsen, who is host and facilitator of the lean summit. “This event will benefit everyone from CEOs to new hires across a variety of industries.”

The philosophy of lean business practices 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.

Hastie, Bose’s global director of lean enterprise, will share the story of how a Lean Enterprise Maturity Model changed the journey of the company, which designs, develops and sells audio equipment.

Scholz, director of Kaiser Permanente’s strategic initiatives, will talk about the “North Valley Way,” a lean operating system aimed at achieving engagement and continuous improvement by every team member, implemented at Kaiser Permanente, North Valley.

The two-day event will include interactive breakouts led by experienced facilitators to allow participants to actively apply lean concepts to a variety of industries and specific job functions.

In addition, a Coaching Café will give participants the opportunity to discuss lean challenges with Sam MacPherson, lean transformation leader and founder of the Lean Leadership Academy.

Attendees will be able to network with lean experts from throughout California and collaborate with Cal Poly faculty. Participants will also see lean posters of improvement projects from Cal Poly students and the Central Coast Lean community.

A networking reception in the SLO Brew Rock beer garden will take place at the end of the day April 16.

Attendees can also take advantage of a post-summit workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 17.  Jim Benson, author of “Personal Kanban: Mapping Work, Navigating Life,” will discuss continuous improvement processes for back-office employees.

Registration is open. Tickets and corporate sponsorship information can be found at:

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

Central Coast Lean Summit

CentralCoastLean_19*Central Coast Lean and Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business hosted the fourth annual Central Coast Lean Summit on Feb. 19-20, 2015, at the Performing Arts Center. The summit showcased lean advances through this year’s theme, “Frontliners Engaged in Problem-Solving.”

Attendees took advantage of a pre-summit workshop to learn the lean language through a hands-on simulation that emphasized several lean concepts. The summit itself featured interactive workshops with leaders in the health care, manufacturing, government and higher education sectors. Norbert Majerus, senior master Six Sigma black belt at Goodyear, delivered the keynote address, “Principle-based Problem-Solving in Lean R&D.”

The annual event aims to showcase lean innovations,trends and best practices that will be valuable to practitioners in a variety of industries. The organizers see this as an opportunity to foster a community of local leaders who can build their network with likeminded managers engaged in lean strategies. For more information, visit


A Message from area Chair Eric Olsen

olsen_09 smallHello Program Supporters,

In case you haven’t heard, I took over as area chair in July of last year, succeeding Manocher Djassemi, who did a great job. In my first annual newsletter, it is only right that I recognize and thank Manocher for his three years of service as chair. He did a lot to realign our curriculum, improve our scheduling, and hire new faculty members, whom you’ll read about later in this newsletter. Manocher’s turn as chair will be remembered as a period of stability, focus and professionalism that was appreciated by faculty and students.

We began 2015 with the good news that the review team from the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering has recommended our program for another six years of accreditation. The review team shared that programs are rarely recommended without a corrective action report or follow-up visit. This solid result is a testament to the effort lead by Manocher, and we owe him a debt of thanks. I have three other news items I would like to share:

• You may have noticed the program name change on the cover of this newsletter. We are now the Industrial Technology & Packaging area. This will be effective with the 2015-17 catalog cycle. This name change has been a long time coming, and it allows us to recognize the large and vital role that the Packaging Program plays in our major.

• In support of our name change, we are embarking on an effort to strengthen both disciplines by creating separate concentrations in industrial technology and packaging technology. We will be adding courses and professors in support of this effort.

• We have just completed a marketing study to support a potential relaunch of our master’s program. The details are still being worked out, but the goal will be to create a world-class program to provide advanced education in packaging value chains. We’ll continue to update you on our progress.

Finally, I would like to reach out for your support. It takes an extended network of alumni and industry professionals to continue to make our program successful. If you see an area where you can help or get involved, please pick up the phone or drop me an email. My actual and virtual door is always open.
Eric Olsen, Chair

Central Coast Lean to Host Liberating Structures Workshop April 17

Cal Poly’s Central Coast Lean program will host a Liberating Structures Workshop on Friday, April 17 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Monday Club in San Luis Obispo. The workshop will focus on applying methods to transform meetings, decision-making, and leadership into an evolutionary model for collective intelligence and growth.

Keith McCandless, author of the book “Liberating Structures” and a founding partner in the Social Invention Group, will facilitate the workshop. He specializes in organizational development and business strategy. The event will focus specifically on using simple and efficient methods to encourage creativity and enthusiasm within an organization.

Central Coast Lean is an action research and community outreach program within Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business. It seeks to build a local community of lean practice across all industries through learning events and networking opportunities.

The lean concept seeks to maximize customer value in business while minimizing waste. While lean thinking originally began in manufacturing, lean strategies have been successfully implemented in healthcare, education, community organizations, law enforcement, and retail businesses.

Registration is $199 through April 3, and it includes breakfast and lunch on the day of the workshop. Attendees will also have access to a Lean Leadership Forum on Thursday, April 16 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information and to register, visit