AME Blog

AME Blog
    The U.S. Thanksgiving is a chance for families and friends to get together to break bread and spend time with one another. In many families, these celebrations include multiple generations sharing laughs, stories and sometimes a political argument or two. It’s not hard to conjure up a Norman... More
AME Blog
  On Wednesday in the United States and Canada we recognized military veterans and those who continue to serve. While Veterans Day and Remembrance Day are opportunities to thank veterans for our freedoms, it is incumbent on industry to provide veterans with the opportunities to use their skills in the... More
AME Blog
  Allegedly, we are in November. Daylight saving time has ended. AME’s conference has passed. Halloween has come and gone. There was a U.S. election. And leaves continue to change colors and fall from trees. But in the Midwest where AME is headquartered, there’s been a bit of a resurgent summer... More
AME Blog
  Today, I want to talk about the importance of gratitude and celebrating. Regardless of your role in your organization, your family or your community, it is important to take a moment to thank those who make your successes possible. Let people know what sort of impact they have on you and your organizations.... More
AME Blog
    I’ve mentioned before that the AME staff meets regularly as an informal check-in via Zoom. We miss the watercooler talk that we enjoyed when we were in the office together, so these meetings are a great way to maintain our human connection to one another. A core tenant of continuous improvement... More
AME Blog
  Big projects can feel overwhelming at times, but when you have a team with which you can brainstorm, troubleshoot, and share the load, it helps you power through and get the job done. Right now, there is a dedicated team of volunteers and staff working long hours behind the scenes to put the finishing... More
AME Blog
  Since becoming AME’s president and CEO earlier this year, I have been able to regularly speak with AME co-founder Robert “Doc” Hall. This is certainly one of the more unexpected but welcome opportunities of my career. An AME and Industry Week hall of famer, Doc is an early leader in the lean... More
AME Blog
  The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) announced today that it has appointed five new members to its board of directors. Brian Fields, Robert Martichenko, Gregg Miner, Ellen Sieminski and Billy Taylor will serve as directors-at-large for a two-year term that began October 1, 2020. They... More
AME Blog
  Next week AME will announce the new members of our board of directors. Approximately 70 nominations were put forward for five director-at-large positions. These nominees included CEOs, continuous improvement leaders, academics, familiar and new faces to AME, and many other worthy candidates. An expansive... More
AME Blog
  Believe it or not, this Sunday marks one month before the 36th annual AME International Conference. I often mention AME events and programs in my weekly messages, but I try my best not to be overtly promotional. As a reader, I hope that you come away from each email with a valuable nugget or insight,... More
AME Blog
  In the lean, continuous improvement world, we talk a lot about “the journey.” It is a long march made up of many steps — and missteps — that bring us closer to operational excellence. Along the way, folks like you and me seek out expert insights that inform our journey, point us in the right... More
AME Blog
The leaves are still on the trees outside my office window, but I can tell we’re close to the changing colors and the beauty of autumn. The signs of fall are all there: schools are back in session, football has started and the AME International Conference is on the horizon. While you might not initially... More
AME Blog
  Labor Day weekend traditionally marks the end of summer. “Traditionally,” of course, has gone out the window this year. In the continuous improvement community, we know the pitfalls of “traditionally” and the “way it’s always been done.” While there is an important place for standard... More
AME Blog
  Taylor and Harrison-Chambers join to lead AME's Inclusion, Equity & Diversity Programs The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) is excited to announce the appointment of Billy Taylor to our Management Team as global head of inclusion, equity and diversity (IE&D), effective September... More
AME Blog
  “Blame lean manufacturing.” According to the subheadline from an August 21 Wall Street Journal article, our community is to blame for continued shortages of paper towels in the United States because of just-in-time inventory practices and the “decadeslong quest by businesses at all levels, handling... More
AME Blog
As I’ve mentioned before, I love movies. Enjoying a movie in the theater is the simple pleasure that I’ve missed most during the pandemic. Like many of you, I am focused on the many bigger issues at play in the world, but seeing a movie in the theater has always been where I escape from the everyday. You... More
AME Blog
  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... More
AME Blog
  Like many of you on the East Coast of the U.S. and Canada and in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and neighboring islands, I am dealing with the fallout from Tropical Storm Isaias. I consider myself fortunate because, outside of power outages and connectivity issues, my neighborhood was largely spared by... More
AME Blog
  I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say that our industries and our vocations have been affected in dramatic ways by the pandemic. Whether you’re in manufacturing, health care, finance, government, tech or the other sectors that AME serves and represents, your organization has undoubtably... More
AME Blog
  I have officially passed six months on the job as president and CEO of AME. Over these past few months, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard people ask if a global pandemic was part of my first-year plan. And, yet, AME members, volunteers and employees have done what lean practitioners... More
AME Blog
  I may be one of the only people who has not seen Hamilton. I love theater and movies, but it’s never worked out to see the Tony Award-winning musical. I’ve also not heard the soundtrack, nor did I join the millions of people who streamed it when it recently became available. There’s just something... More
AME Blog
  They say, “It’s not the destination. It’s the journey.” For the continuous improvement community, we live this everyday as we move our organizations toward an ideal state of enterprise excellence. This is the lean journey, and AME considers itself a navigator or wayfinder on your pathway to... More
AME Blog
  The majority of AME members come from Canada or the United States, so for most of you, this is a week of celebration with Canada Day this past Wednesday and U.S. Independence Day on Saturday. These two celebrations remind me of the importance of celebrating and remembering our successes. In our own... More
AME Blog
  North American industry and the economy are facing unprecedented challenges brought on by the global pandemic. Organizations are grappling with employee engagement, supply chain disruptions, retraining employees, implementing new safety procedures and other complex, pandemic-related issues. Industries... More
AME Blog
  Beyond the personal relationships and networks I discussed in last week’s email, AME has created formal groups around North America through our AME Consortia program. An AME consortium is a tight-knit group of local companies that collaborate for broad and deep accelerated lean progress through... More
AME Blog
    I have been blessed with formal mentors from whom I’ve learned a lot, but much of my learning has come from informal peers. These relationships have helped me develop as a leader and lean practitioner. Through both AME events and personal invitations, my fellow lean practitioners have opened... More
AME Blog
  Each week I conclude my message with the same statement: keep looking out for one another. These aren’t just words tacked on with little thought. I mean them sincerely. I think about them often as a personal guiding principle and particularly every week when I type them. Likewise, they aren’t... More
AME Blog
  In Col. Arthur Athens’ recent story for Target Online, he shared the powerful story of Adm. Jim Stockdale’s time as a POW during the Vietnam War. During his captivity, Adm. Stockdale continued to lead his fellow captives with what Athens refers to as “hope anchored in reality.” Athens shares... More
AME Blog
    Working in the pandemic era has presented new challenges. While some of you have returned to or never left your offices or the production floor, many are working remotely from home. For those in the latter situation, you might have experienced the phenomenon that I experience each day: I look at... More
AME Blog
  Last August, the Business Roundtable released its Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, which refocuses businesses from shareholders to stakeholders. The shift is important: the 181 CEOs who signed the statement have effectively said that the business industry must create a thriving economy for... More
AME Blog
  The famed architect Daniel Burnham once said, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood.” When I began in my role as AME's president and CEO on January 20, I had grand plans for AME’s future. As you might imagine, my 90-day plan went out the window with the onset of COVID-19,... More
AME Blog
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been easy on anyone. But when we maintain our continuous improvement mindset, we recognize the opportunities to adjust and adapt to our current situation. On a Champions Club call this week, Marc Kuzik from Argus Machine mentioned that his company has adopted a “yes,... More

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