From the CEO: 10 things I’m thankful for this year

AME | November 22, 2021


Since this is the last time I will connect with you via a “From the CEO” message before Thanksgiving in the U.S., I wanted to spend some time highlighting things I’m thankful for this year. Like 2020, it has been a difficult year in many regards, but I’ve been creating a gratitude journal this year and it’s amazing how much this activity fills my heart with thanks and optimism. So today I’m sharing 10 things that I’m thankful for as Thanksgiving week begins:

  1. AME members and our mission-driven community
    Together, we have created a global, mission-driven community focused on operational excellence and helping each other share, learn and grow.

    Last Thursday, Dan Gingiss — author of The Experience Maker — addressed the AME Champions Club and told the executive leaders in that group about the keys to making a good customer and employee experience. At AME, we are constantly looking for ways to make your experience better, and we are inspired by what Dan shared. In fact, we’ll have some exciting — and incredibly valuable — new member benefits to announce soon. Stay tuned!
  2. AME volunteers and the home team
    Whether you serve as one of our brilliant national or regional board members, room host a virtual event, facilitate a discussion group, work on the redesign of Lean Sensei, assess companies as part of the AME Excellence Award, or volunteer for myriad other jobs, you are valued by me, the home team and our community.

    Similarly, each staff member on the AME home team brings their own talents to work every day and they continue to go above and beyond to help our members and volunteers flourish.
  3. Our workforce heroes
    On the heels of Veterans Day and my gratitude for those who have served, I’d also like to recognize and thank everyday heroes in health care, law enforcement and fire protection. Likewise, I thank those on the manufacturing frontlines and the people who are working hard to repair our supply chains. In my book, local government workers, those who stock, bag and checkout our grocery orders, and those who serve our food and coffee at restaurants are also heroes. At a time when employers are struggling mightily against the Great Resignation, you make our local communities feel like, well, communities. You have continued to do your best in the face of obstacles and risks, and you deserve our gratitude for helping us all have a little bit of “normal” in our lives.
  4. Decorating for the holidays
    There’s something special about decorating for the holidays: connecting with things you haven’t seen since the previous year or rediscovering a decoration that’s been passed down from generation to generations. Decorating warms my heart and sets the stage for more joy to come.
  5. Family and friends  old and new
    I am so fortunate to have my family and long-time friends in my life. Your support has been invaluable, and I appreciate all of those who continue this journey with me. Your companionship and continued health have been blessings.

    Meanwhile, I am in awe of those who have stepped up in the past 20 or so months to connect with me and help our community thrive. Many of these new friends stepped out of the books I have studied and learned from during my career, and I am fortunate to now call these thought leaders my friends.
  6. Continuing education and training
    I strive to be a lifelong learner about anything that piques my curiosity. I am grateful for the vast wealth of opportunities to learn both within AME and beyond. I am grateful to work in the AME community and I appreciate that we have followed our passions and come together to grow our networks and learn from one another. Beyond AME, this week, I will graduate from the Virginia Beach Police Department Citizen’s Academy, and I was fortunate to graduate from the FBI Citizens Academy a few years back. Both experiences have enriched my work with AME. I encourage you to follow your curiosity as you look ahead to 2022. What new things might you learn along the way?
  7. Technology and how it empowers AME to bring knowledge to the communities we serve
    Where would we be without the technology that has allowed us to connect with one another? Technology lets us connect across geographies and share important information with one another. Whether we think about our virtual AME Everywhere 2021 conference, virtual events, our on-demand offerings on YouTube, or the best practice sharing that takes place on social media, we are fortunate to have these tools at our disposal.
  8. The return of in-person events
    While technology has allowed us to visit places that we wouldn’t otherwise see, there is no substitute for visiting the gemba in-person or connecting face-to-face. I need to give a huge shout out to the AME Northeastern Region, which last week hosted AME’s first in-person tour and workshop since March 2020. We are equally grateful to Legrand Wiremold for opening their doors for this event. As we turn the corner, I am looking forward to seeing people at both virtual and in-person events in the months ahead — all leading up to our AME Dallas 2022 conference!
  9. Thought leader partners
    AME is proud to be a thought leader in the lean, continuous improvement community, but we’re equally proud to provide a platform for other thought leaders. If you presented at an AME event, wrote a Target article, led a 2 Second Lean tour, or opined about a topic in response to an AME LinkedIn post, you have played a thought leadership role in our community. I am grateful for your contributions.
  10. Our lean forefathers
    From AME Hall of Famer Norman Bodek (who sadly passed away since our last Thanksgiving) and Dr. John Toussaint (another AME Hall of Famer who this year keynoted the AME Health Care Lean Summit) to Doc Hall and AME’s other founders, we are fortunate to stand on the shoulders of many giants. We continue to be inspired by your work, your legacy, and your dedication to the lean community.

I am thankful for these things and so much more — including movie theater popcorn, of course! Thank you for reading my weekly messages and trusting AME with your training needs. For our U.S. community, please have a happy Thanksgiving.

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



P.S. Don't forget that if you register for AME Dallas 2022 by Dec. 31, 2021, you'll save $959 off the full-price, in-person registration cost. Multiply your savings and the impact on your organization by bringing an entire team to Dallas in 2022! Learn more and register now!