Thoughts and Reflections on the Inaugural Lean Leaders Meeting London, July 2010

Six Sigma & Process Excellence IQ hosted the inaugural Lean Leaders Meeting in London in July. We bring you a round-up of the feedback from speakers and delegates who attended.
Aug. 10, 2010 - PRLog -- What are the key benefits of taking part in Meetings like this?

Luc Nguyen, Senior Manager for Global Excellence at GSK, summed up the event, saying: “It’s a great forum for sharing, discussion and meeting people from other industries with similar issues.” Elaborating on the benefits of attending, Grace Duffy, Lean Six Sigma MBB, ASQ Fellow and Lean Six Sigma author, said: “One of the key benefits of this type of Meeting is that it creates an opportunity to engage in the open synthesis of Lean techniques and systems development and a chance to discover best practices or at least innovative approaches that I have not yet tried.”

The event was also seen as a good place to discuss lessons learned across different environments. Sebastian Pepper, Head of Change and Process Management at Hiscox, said: “It was about listening to people who are applying Lean in different environments and what their learning experiences are.” Steve Lague, Operational Excellence Manager at RSA Insurance Group, also pinpointed that the event was a good way to spread ideas from across different sectors and geographical regions: “The event was a chance for networking and information sharing, to gain new ideas and different viewpoints across industries and cultures. It was also a chance to see how Lean/Six Sigma/Operational Excellence are viewed and developing across companies.”

Gudron Maul, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at Lilly, saw the event as a good way of helping to build on his own programme: “This is an easy and fast way to get a good overview about the positioning of your programme in relation to other companies and industries. It is also a great opportunity for networking,” he said. In agreement was Philip Holt, Regional Leader for EMEA at Simply Philips Operating Systems, Philips Consumer Lifestyle, who said the Meeting was an effective way of learning from other companies’ successes and shortfalls: “It was all about meeting your peers from other companies, learning about their experiences, success and failure, and keeping focused on what is right to do.”

Obviously this is a very interactive Meeting, what value do you think this has brought to the programme?

Steve Lague highlighted the merits of open discussion versus presentations: “It allowed discussion of issues and experiences in a comfortable setting, versus presentations which are more one-way.” Grace Duffy agreed that the interactivity element was “much better than a bunch of lectures”.

Gudrun Maul said the Meeting format was valuable as it allowed for a wide range of talking points: “Because of the many discussions and interactions, even more thoughts and experiences were shared in a very short timeframe.”

Luc Nguyen praised the open discussion as an effective way of provoking high-quality, focused debate. Of a similar opinion was Philip Holt, who said: “The interactivity of the Meeting really helped to keep it alive and fresh. The subjects were discussed with enthusiasm and meaning by all of the participants.”

What have you found most valuable about the Meeting?

Gudrun Maul found benefit in the “open discussion and shared learning across industries”. Grace Duffy said of the event: “The time during the discussions was useful to take the new ideas and work them into current projects and designs within my organisation”. Meanwhile, Luc Nguyen found particular value in some of the presentations about Lean deployment.

Networking was another key value drawn from the Meeting. Philip Holt commented: “The networking opportunity with my peers from other companies was the most valuable outcome for me.” These sentiments were echoed by Steve Lague, who said that he increased his network of contacts, and by Sebastian Pepper who found it of real benefit talking to and listening to people within the industry.

What challenges do you face as a Change Leader and how do you think this Meeting might help you to overcome these?

The delegates and speakers raised a number of challenges which they considered the event addressed well, one being the balance of cost versus efficiency. Steve Lague said that the Meeting was helpful in: “getting the focus of improvement away from cost savings and seeing how others have managed to address this”. Sebastian Pepper agreed, saying that the event tackled the challenges of ‘too much to do, with too little resources’ – which was revealed to be a widely experienced problem. He felt that the event was particularly useful in helping participants to see what other people are doing.

Meanwhile, Philip Holt, said that the most difficult challenge is ‘keeping the faith’, and that the Meeting helped attendees to keep a focus on what is right to do: “It helps to know that you’re not the only one”, he said.

To find out more about the forthcoming Six Sigma, Lean Leadership and Business Process
Excellence events run by Six Sigma and Business Process Excellence IQ, please email or call freephone on 0800 652 2363.

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IQPC leverages a global research base of best practices to produce an unrivaled portfolio of problem-solving conferences. Each year IQPC offers approximately 2,000 worldwide conferences, seminars, and related learning programs. IQPC now has offices in major cities across six continents including: Berlin, Dubai, London, New York, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney and Toronto.
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