Catalyst Connection 
Intermediate level
Advanced level

S.I.i.P (Sustaining Improvement in Processes): Practicing change

How to overcome fear and anxiety when change is happening to you



Learn the roadmap that helps us realize our way through change in this half-day workshop.


Continuous improvement initiatives fail when people do not see the relevance to their day-to-day jobs. They ask, "But what's in it for me?" and receive an unsatisfactory answer. It's important to make the change relevant and show people how improvement can improve their jobs.

Failure to understand that continuous improvement is a methodology, not a project or program, is a common problem. To succeed with CI, you must bring the mindset of change into your day-to-day culture. If you don't do this, passive resistance will often kill initiatives.

Top management tends to focus only on the fruits – ROI – and ignore the tree. They need a culture change because they fail to engage with employees and obtain their buy-in and input prior to implementation.

When organizations change, people resist because the history of change is often large-scale over small continuous improvements. Big changes are difficult, uncertain and fatiguing, so people fear them.

When we introduce any change of routine into our lives, our brain is also on guard and ready to pounce, immediately considering the possible threat change can carry. S.I.i.P. (similar to KATA) is the roadmap that helps us realize our way through change.

One way to operationalize how to practice continuous improvement includes a five-step method of setting overarching goals and performing trials to determine how to get there. Learn deliberate ways to overcome the brain's resistance to change through the practice of conscious thought with the support of a coach. Once we create and strengthen new neural pathways, our new "habits" will be that of continuous improvement.


Catalyst Connection is a non-profit in Pittsburgh that helps small manufacturers in southwestern Pennsylvania through consulting and training services. They collaborate with clients and the manufacturing community to boost revenue, growth and productivity. They are supported by various organizations, including the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Catalyst Connection is an economic development organization whose mission is to advance the performance of manufacturing companies in southwestern Pennsylvania by accelerating their growth and productivity improvements.


As CEO of Impact Performance Solutions, Chris Hayes provides vision and strategic direction, ensuring the customer's voice is always the loudest. She is a proven business performance improvement leader, international speaker, and author of over 50 publications. Hayes is a full-spectrum coach and instructor with practical experience from the shop floor to the boardroom. She has partnered with companies such as Danone, ITT, Pepperidge Farms, Lifetime Products and Thermo Fisher, where she utilizes organizational excellence best practices to emphasize the development of systems to engage the workforce, drive behaviors, meet objectives and sustain results. She is on the ASQ Board of Directors, has received the honor of ASQ Fellow, and is currently the chair of the ASQ Quality Innovations Summit Technical Program Committee and ASQ Lean Enterprise Division. Because of her extensive experience helping companies achieve organizational excellence, Hayes is one of only 36 in the world to be accepted as a Shingo Licensed Affiliate.

Hayes has served in various top management positions throughout her career, including COO of iMPact Utah, VP of quality for Purple Innovations, quality and continuous improvement manager at Chromalox, and senior project manager with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership under NIST. She has also served as adjunct faculty at Utah Valley University and the University of Tulsa. Hayes has an MBA and an undergrad degree in project management and has earned certifications such as ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB), Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt (LSSMBB), Supplier Quality Professional (CSQP), Quality Engineer (CQE), Quality Auditor (CQA), Manager of Quality / Operational Excellence (CMQ/OE), Project Management Professional (PMP), Human Resource Development Specialist, Organizational Systems Improvement Specialist and Bronze Certification in Lean (LBC). 

Hayes specializes in working with organizations across the globe to provide both operational and organizational excellence services, including Shingo Model implementation, eLearning, and blended training.

Eric MacDonald has 30 years of experience in senior positions in the manufacturing sector, including electronics, medical, beverages, construction, consumer goods and plastics. MacDonald has held positions such as plant manager, director of operations, project manager and manufacturing engineer. These positions required an experienced lean transformation leader with a broad cross-functional background who demonstrated success in driving improvements across transactional business processes.

MacDonald has worked and consulted with over 700 manufacturing and service companies over his impressive career as a Lean practitioner. He is accomplished in problem-solving, lean principles, productivity and standardizing processes.

MacDonald has a B.S. in industrial technology from California University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Waynesburg University. Additionally, he holds certificates in practical problem solving, value stream mapping, Lean Kaizen event facilitation, Master Kata Coach, and Lean tool implementations.