From the CEO: Educating the lean workforce

AME | August 14, 2020


It’s back-to-school time and — even though this year is different than any other — students are getting ready to continue learning or have already headed back to class and campus. Whether virtual or in-person, the start of the school year is a time to recommit to learning something new.

This time often conjures images of K-12 students returning to the classroom, but some of you may be in education programs as well. I applaud your efforts to learn new skills and accumulate knowledge in formal education programs.

Whether you’re in a school-based program or individually pursuing best-practice information, AME is happy to be part of your journey.

AME’s mission speaks of experiential learning and our commitment to helping members share, learn and grow. I’m stating the obvious here, but “experiential learning” has shifted tremendously in the past six months. At AME, we’ve found new ways to help you maintain your skills using virtual tools and settings, and we’re humbled that you’ve continued to look to AME as a source for this learning. Our recent virtual tours have been a huge hit, and we’re excited to have three additional tours coming up at Essex Industries, JASPER Engines and Transmissions and Duke Manufacturing. These are in addition to myriad virtual workshops and webinars and our biggest event, the 36th annual AME International Conference. We hope you’ll continue to take advantage of these learning opportunities, and we’re pleased to be able to offer these events either with no admission fee or at reduced registration rates.

Our volunteers and staff work hard to identify learning opportunities that will appeal to practitioners regardless of your experience level. Since 1985, our events and conference have been a development source for those starting out and those with significant operational excellence experience. It is incumbent on the more seasoned practitioners among us to help foster the next generation of lean leaders. AME is proud to play a role in this effort. We will soon roll out a reimagined Emerging Leaders Program and we have AME’s first-ever student chapters forming now!

If you are a seasoned practitioner, I encourage you to work with your company or organization to mentor the next generation. Point them to AME programming that will help them acquire the skills and knowledge that will benefit their personal growth and your organization. Likewise, if you are new to lean and continuous improvement, seek out mentors in your organization and the lean community. If you can’t easily find a mentor, email me! AME’s volunteers include the brightest minds in our industry, and I am happy to connect you.

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


Kim Humphrey
President & CEO


P.S. I hope you saw our huge International Conference keynote announcement about Katie Anderson and Isao Yoshino. Take advantage of AME’s Last Chance Discount when you register by 8/31.