By Mara Irons, Marketing Manager
Lean can be used in any industry, in any environment.
Last month, I had the privilege of attending my first Colorado Lean Network Summit, where Transformance Advisors had a booth offering attendees the chance to win a free Certified Lean Apprentice course. I wasn’t expecting to get a lot out of this event, especially given my occasional struggle to stay focused during long presentations (yes, I do have ADHD – why do you ask?). However, the Summit turned out to be a fantastic experience, thanks in no small part to the keynote speakers.
Our day kicked off with Jesse Hernandez, the first keynote speaker, who encouraged us to introduce ourselves to the people around us (shout out to Justin and Jen). Jesse then launched into an engaging story that demonstrated how lean principles can bring people together. As someone with an English degree, I have an appreciation for the art of storytelling, and Jesse’s narrative skillfully entwined his personal experiences, family struggles, and emphasized the inevitability of change with how lean principles can help us navigate life’s challenges both in and out of the workplace.
The most significant takeaway from his talk, in my opinion, was the concept that every situation is a “win-or-learn” scenario, not a “win-or-lose.” When we approach projects, conversations, or relationships with this mindset, we can discover lasting solutions that genuinely work.>
Time to Break Out
After Jesse’s inspiring talk, attendees scattered to various breakout sessions. While holding down the fort at our booth, I had the pleasure of engaging with fellow participants and finally putting faces to the names of some of the Colorado Lean Network board members I had been emailing leading up to the event.
Following the breakout sessions were the lightning talks, featuring several speakers, including our very own CEO. While I might be a bit biased, Mike’s talk on Lean Project Scorecards was a personal favorite of mine.
Lunchtime was the perfect networking opportunity. I talked about Transformance Advisors, our lean certification courses, and how great it is working alongside Mike to everyone who stopped by our booth. I also made connections with individuals interested in contributing guest posts for our readers, so stay tuned for exciting content in the new year!
The Concluding Keynote Speaker
Darrel Hammond, our second keynote speaker, rounded out the day by talking about internal consultants. Darrel used humor and anecdotes to keep the entire room engaged, drawing out laughter at several points. Given that Transformance Advisors is a consulting company, Darrel’s talk aligned perfectly with our values. What resonated most with me was Darrel’s reminder that “it’s not about you; it’s not about your comfort.” Sometimes, I tend to forget the person on the other side of the conversation, and it’s essential to keep in mind that I am working to help our clients, not just completing a job. Darrel underscored the importance of kindness in all interactions, whether it’s offering criticism, explaining new ideas, or simply listening. I’ve added a “be kind” reminder to my workspace, right next to my “stay-on-task” post-it note.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the summit. The board members did a fantastic job planning the event. They also provided breakfast, lunch, and most importantly, coffee. My personal belief is that events run on coffee, so coffee is high on my list of event necessities. I know first hand how much time and effort it takes to plan events on this scale and I’m beyond impressed that they did all of it in their spare time. The board members are all volunteers and have full-time jobs they work every single day. Thank you to all who were a part of making this event a success.
The Summit was a resounding success, with outstanding speakers, and ample networking opportunities.
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