Recently, Mark Graban, VP of Innovation and Improvement Services interviewed next week's webinar presenter Kevin Meyer, on the KaiNexus Continuous Improvement Podcast. Let's take a look at that interview and get psyched for the upcoming webinar!
Meyer is a co-founder and partner at Gemba Academy. He has over 30 years of manufacturing leadership experience in the automotive lighting, telecom electronics, and medical device industries. He has been responsible for lean transformations at Sylvania, Abbott Laboratories, Newport Corporation, and most recently as President of Specialty Silicone Fabricators. He guest lectures on business, manufacturing, and leadership topics at his alma mater Rensselaer as well as CalPoly. Meyer is on the board of directors of two technology companies and two regional public policy councils, and actively supports early stage entrepreneurship by investing with SLO Seed Ventures and mentoring startups at the SLO HotHouse.
I think the story of how Meyer got introduced to Lean is fascinating. It was back around 1996 when he was working for a large medical device company and was transferred out to run a facility in Utah. In the interview, Meyer said that "when you're part of the corporate world, you don't ask questions when you get transferred, you just go." Turns out, some questioning might have been prudent; he arrived to find that this facility was running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year - and was still running 6 months behind schedule to downstream plants.
As Meyer put it, "what do you do in that situation, besides panic?"