From the CEO: Returning stronger with no little plans

AME | May 8, 2020


The famed architect Daniel Burnham once said, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood.”

When I began in my role as AME's president and CEO on January 20, I had grand plans for AME’s future. As you might imagine, my 90-day plan went out the window with the onset of COVID-19, but that does not mean that AME only has little plans. It does, however, mean we recognize there are more immediate concerns — the need is now to help one another return stronger. But while we have shifted our current focus to how we can best serve you and your organizations, we still have our eyes on the horizon and are working to enhance the complete AME experience at the same time.

When I think about this necessary focus on immediate needs, I see a parallel with Burnham. While he made his name designing buildings across the country including New York’s Flatiron Building, Washington, D.C.’s Union Station, and San Francisco’s Merchants Exchange Building, his most lasting legacy may be his Plan of Chicago. Published in 1909, the plan continues to influence urban planning both in Chicago and other cities around the world.

In short, Burnham made both components (his buildings) and a system (his urban plans). This is precisely, what AME is helping its members do every day. While we might help you concentrate on a topic during a virtual tour, webinar or Target Online article, it’s important to remember that everything connects to a deeper lean mission. You are on a journey, and we are here to help you each step of the way.

While some things have changed, the commitments I shared in my first email to members and volunteers have not. I remain fully committed to the following three tenets:

  1. Effective two-way communication with our members: We will listen to and learn from the voices of our members, exercise people-centric leadership in our interactions, and communicate effectively and often.
  2. Flawless execution: We will provide the best opportunities to our members for practitioner-to-practitioner learning and sharing with the goal of achieving enterprise excellence.
  3. Accountability and transparency: We will embrace our responsibility for sound fiscal accountability while providing the best products and services to our stakeholders

In that spirit – and the spirit of making no little plans – we continue to add virtual events and to partner with organizations like Reshoring Initiative, Lean Frontiers and Women in Manufacturing to ensure that the lean movement can help your organizations survive and thrive during this pandemic and return stronger once it has subsided. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you on your journey.

And as always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.