Subject: Continuous Improvement Conference: January Newsletter

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Continuous Improvement Conference 
January Newsletter 
The Key to Getting People to Listen is Listening
In Mark Goulston’s best-selling book Just Listen: Discover the Secret of Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone, he makes the bold claim that “reaching people isn’t magic. It’s an art…and a science. And it’s easier than you think.” Goulston started off as a clinical interventional psychiatrist and UCLA professor of psychiatry. He learned how he could reach suicidal and potentially violent individuals to prevent acts of destruction to others or themselves. He next went on to train FBI and police hostage negotiators. 

He developed a quick set of techniques that worked and flew in the face of how people normally approach situations in which they’re seeking different behavior from an employee or buy-in, say, from front-line employees for a change in processes. In those situations most of us try to persuade, encourage, argue, push—and inadvertently create resistance.

Here are few of Goulston’s core rules for reaching people, getting them to go from “No” to “Yes.”
  • Move Yourself from “OH F#@& to OK” Quickly—Learn how to go from being fixated on how you think the world should or shouldn’t be to being ready to deal with the world as it is.
  • Be More Interested than Interesting—The measure of self-assurance is how deeply and sincerely you are interested in others.
  • Help People to Exhale Emotionally and Mentally—The biggest key to letting a person vent and then exhale is to let it happen. 
  • Check Your Dissonance at the DoorMake sure how people perceive you is how you perceive yourself. Don’t have illusions about who you really are. 
  • Steer Clear of Toxic People—To save yourself, you need to strip these people of the power to hurt you.
One of the biggest impediments to being able to sustain improvement is resistance from employees. Goulston’s book provides guidance to improve your listening and communication skills and, in return, be a better agent of change. 
Want a free copy of the book? Anyone who registers for the 2019 Continuous Improvement Conference before March 1 will receive a copy. Learn more about the book and conference here
Featured Keynote: Tony Bridwell
Tony Bridwell, chief people officer for Ryan LLC, will deliver the closing keynote presentation, Connecting with People through Purpose and Character, at this year’s Continuous Improvement Conference. Tony is a recognized thought leader in corporate culture, learning and development, and human resources. His experience includes serving as senior partner and practice leader for the leadership and accountability training and consulting firm, Partners in Leadership, and as chief people officer for Brinker International, a prominent restaurant company. He is the author of three books: The Difference Maker: A Simple Fable about Making A Difference In The Life Of Others; The Kingmaker: A Leadership Story of Integrity and Purpose; and The Newsmaker: A Leadership Story of Honor and Love

Tony will explain the “Authentic-Influence” style of leadership that he feels is so critical to developing a supportive culture for improvement. He’ll give insight into how to connect with employees in a meaningful way and offer specific actions to help individuals elevate their leadership influence. In the multi-generational workforce of today, leaders should be equipped to not only engage the hands and feet of their people but, more importantly, engage the hearts and minds. 

The other speakers sharing the keynote stage:

  • Sammy Obara, Honsha Associates—The Improvement Kata
  • Mike Orzen, Mike Orzen & Associates—How to Lead with Respect
  • Dan Vermeesch, Micron Manufacturing—Our Quest for Operational Excellence
  • Doug Rawson and Jeffrey Ku, Superior Lithographics—How a Suggestion System Saved Our Company
Two New Breakout Sessions Added to Schedule
Two breakout sessions have been added to an already packed schedule at the CI Conference. Brian Van de Water of SPL Consulting will present Leading a Successful Waste Walk based on his experience in the label and package converting industries. As the title states, the session explores the value and use of the waste walk, an approach that help leaders “see waste” in a way that identifies CI opportunities, both large and small. Implementing waste walks is particularly beneficial for companies already using Lean concepts and tools, but whose momentum has stalled.

Cultivating Your Emotional Awareness to Gain Frontline Buy-in will be delivered by LeKisha McKinley, a quality professional at Dell and head of LQM Business Strategists. The emotional intelligence of the coach goes a long ways in determining whether front-line team members will take ownership and sustain an improvement effort. LeKisha will explain how to use emotional awareness to address the social side of change and understand the needs, concerns, and emotions of the individuals that will be impacted by that change.

Upcoming Continuous Improvement Webinars
Two CI-focused webinars have been scheduled in conjunction with the conference this winter. We encourage you to take advantage of them. Both webinars are free to PIA and SGIA members and $29 for nonmembers. 

Visit for more information and to register (PIA members must be logged in to for free registration). SGIA members should use the code “SGIAWEB.”
Thursday, February 14, 2:00pm EST

While there is great interest in continuous improvement (CI) in the printing and graphic arts industry, most small companies struggle to implement lean manufacturing and CI initiatives. In this session we will explore three key metrics that will allow companies of all sizes to simply and effectively get started on their journey towards improved customer satisfaction and operational effectiveness.

Presented by Steve Anzalone. Steve is a PIA consultant specializing in operational assessments and business guidance. He is the former CEO of a large commercial printing company.

Join Robert Martichenko in this live, 1-hour webinar as he discusses his lessons learned while practicing Lean thinking to connect extended enterprises in the new world of constant disruption. Both reflective and forward looking, Robert will examine how today's business leaders should focus on the end-to-end supply chain and utilize systems thinking in order to drive effective decisions that lead to discovering hidden profit.

Presented by Robert Martichenko. Robert is the head of LeanCor and a former keynote speaker at the CI Conference. He is one of the best known speakers and consultants on Lean in the United States. 

CI Peer Group Openings
Printing Industries of America is seeking two additional individuals to join a peer group focused on continuous improvement. The group is comprised of individuals (quality managers, CI directors, operations managers, etc.) from medium to large printing companies that are already engaged to some degree in continuous improvement and Lean manufacturing initiatives. There are two web conferences and one in-person meeting each year. Peer groups are a terrific way to network, learn new ideas, and get feedback on current challenges. Contact Jim Workman at or 412-259-1710 if you are interested in joining the group. 

CI Conference Registration
The 2019 Continuous Improvement Conference (April 14–17 in Dallas) is the only industry event focused on helping printing and converting companies achieve operational excellence by using the concepts of Lean manufacturing and other management and quality systems. Attendees directly link reduced costs, lowered waste, and increased profit margins to ideas gained from conference presentations and networking.

Whether you’re starting a structured improvement program or are looking for ways to sustain and improve your existing efforts, the conference has content specifically designed for your knowledge level. There will be 30 speakers, 25 presentations, 7 networking and social sessions, 3 pre-conference workshops, 3 plant tours, and several hundred attendees.

To learn more about the event, visit

301 Brush Creek, Warrendale, PA 15086, United States
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