One of the things I am most proud of in my three and a half years at AME is the success and growth of the AME Emerging Leaders Program. What started as an idea blossomed into something significant to AME’s future. I want to give a shoutout to our AME volunteer Emerging Leaders director, Josh Buchanan, the 2020, 2021 and 2022 graduates, and the current cohort. You all inspire me every day.
Emerging leaders are AME’s future. I often hear long-time AME’ers share that they have been together since the start of their careers – supporting, encouraging and connecting with each other. Along the way, these leaders grew in their careers and created the changes required in their respective industries and within AME.
We overuse the word innovation at times. However, we know that fresh eyes provide different perspectives and create opportunities for change and, yes, even innovative thinking. New ideas are the catalyst for growth. As I work with these emerging leaders and hear their thoughts, I know they will lead AME into the future in positive, creative and fun ways. Our Emerging Leaders program sets us up with future leaders so AME can be around another 40 years. Program metrics for the last few years prove that their one-year program experience helps to maintain retention and engagement and supports AME’s goal of increasing diversity and inclusion. We have emerging leader graduates serving in key volunteer roles, including roles on our AME regional boards.
The Emerging Leaders program is a one-year commitment where people can learn about lean and continuous improvement. We start the year with the history of AME provided by one of our founders, Doc Hall. An AME and Industry Week Hall of Famer, Hall is an early leader in the lean movement, a staunch advocate for manufacturing, a champion of agile thinking and a true believer in people-centric leadership. I consider him a true mentor. Our emerging leaders’ year culminates in their project presentation and graduation at the AME annual conference.
AME’s Emerging Leaders director, Buchanan, shares, “The Emerging Leaders Program is a one-year commitment with a cohort of new lean leaders. The cohort has an ‘all-access pass’ to AME to learn from the best in the industry and work together on a capstone project. The program brings diverse and engaged lean learners together to embody AME’s mission to share, learn and grow.”
As we close in on conference week, take advantage of every opportunity to prepare so you can make the most out of your conference experience. Mark your calendars with a reminder to join the free virtual event AskME: Navigating AME Cleveland 2023 on Thursday, Sept. 21, from 4:00 - 4:45 p.m. E.T.
As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.