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Cal Poly Orfalea College of Business

Description:  The Orfalea College of Business prepares career-ready business leaders through hands-on discovery and dedicated mentorship. A curriculum infused with cutting edge technology trends, and supplemented by cultural and social service experience, gives students the knowledge and experience needed to thrive in California and the global economy. Our graduates are innovative problem solvers, prepared to excel in a variety of business roles and catalyze positive change, wherever they are.


Relationship:  Central Coast Lean is set up as a “sponsored research project” under the OCOB.  This allows CCL to act somewhat independently while still benefiting from the Cal Poly relationship for facility access, liability protection, and reputation.  As a sponsored program, CCL financial accounting is overseen by the Cal Poly Corporation.  Eric Olsen is a Professor in the Industrial Technology Program and most of the CCL Student Team members are in the IT Program.  Professionals can attend online Cal Poly Lean Six Sigma classes and get certified through CCL.

Liberating Structures

Description:  Liberating Structures is a book, website, community and movement.  It is an alternative way to approach and design how people work together. It provides a menu of thirty-three Liberating Structures to replace or complement conventional practices.  Liberating Structures used routinely make it possible to build the kind of organization that everybody wants. They are designed to include everyone in shaping next steps.


Relationship:  Central Coast Lean is a big fan of Liberating Structures.  Keith McCandless, the co-developer of LS, has been to SLO to do an immersion workshop and has been a Summit keynote.  We use Liberating Structures whenever possible in our meetings, kaizen events, and workshops.  We have aspirations of restarting our LS user’s group if you are interested.


Description:  MoreSteam is the leading global provider of online training, certifications, and technology for Lean Six Sigma.  They work with individuals, universities, and businesses large and small to provide proven solutions that are right for them. From interactive training to process improvement software, they are here to help you work as efficiently and effectively as possible.”


Relationship:  MoreSteam is a major source for lean six sigma training and workshops and general support for Central Coast Lean.  We use their online Green Belt and Black belt courses as the foundation for our certifications and offer their workshops periodically.  We have friends at MoreSteam.  If you are interested in bringing any of their products or training to your organization, let us know.  We can help.

Lean Education Academic Network

Description:  LEAN is an organization primarily composed of university educators who are dedicated to the growth of lean research, teaching, and practice. Its purpose is to drive thought leadership. LEAN seeks to actively engage leaders in industry and academia to develop new approaches to teaching university students lean thinking, practices, and action.


Relationship:  Eric Olsen, Director of Central Coast Lean, is a founding member of LEAN and on its Steering Team.  Cal Poly has been host to LEAN’s annual Summit that rotates between Cal Poly, Utah State, Ohio State, and University of Minnesota.

Shingo Institute

Description:  The Shingo Institute’s purpose, based on ourtimeless principles, shapes cultures that drive organizational and operational excellence.  Their mission is to improve the process of improvement by conducting cutting edge research, providing relevant education, performing insightful organizational assessments, and recognizing organizations committed to achieving sustainable world-class results.


Relationship:  Central Coast Lean uses the Shingo Modelby permission as the framework for its New to Lean Workshop.  It is one of the best descriptions of how lean works out there.  The folks at Shingo host the website for LEAN and participate in LEAN’s Steering Team.  Ken Snyder, Executive Director of the Shingo Institute, has been a keynote at the CCL Summit.


Description:  Business Excellence Enterprise is your go-to resource for training designed to improve your business.  They offer a comprehensive set of classes that provide participants with opportunities to learn how to improve their data analytic, communication and continuous improvement skills.  BEE endeavors to ensure that every staff member feels empowered to make a positive and significant impact within their department, company, industry and society!  They started as, and still provide, inhouse training for Radiology Associates in San Luis Obispo.


Relationship:  Because both CCL and BEE are local to San Luis Obispo, and are dedicated to improving the level of lean capability in our local workforce and organizations, we chat regularly, compare notes, and share lean training participants.  We also cross advertise our events.  More local lean thinking is good for everyone.    


Description: CultureStoke exists to inspire meaningful lives at work and beyond by helping business leaders and teams create intentional company culture focused on long-term growth, success and happiness.  They offer three branches of support to help you build your very own world-class company culture.  

  • Culture Cultivation: Learn the proven systems and practices you need to build, grow, and sustain your very own happy, healthy, high-performing company culture.

  • Speaking & Workshops: Inspire, align and empower your team to build a bigger and brighter future, together, through meaningful experiences and conversations.

  • Leadership Enablement: Equip your leaders with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to grow your most valuable asset - your people.


Relationship:  CultureStoke is proud to partner with Central Coast Lean to help organizations that want to embed lean into their culture through proven methods of organizational cultural development.  Working together to make out work beyond just the summation of tasks that we do and connecting it to the impact it has to the world around us.

Gemba Academy

Description:  Gemba Academy is a premier provider of lean six sigma training.  Their online training and videos help remove the struggle from Continuous Improvement learning.


Relationship:  Central Coast Lean pays for all Cal Poly staff and students to access Gemba Academy online training.  This training is used in support of classes at Cal Poly and in its own improvement efforts.  Gemba Academy has been a sponsor of the CCL Summit since we started in 2009, is on CCL’s Advisory Board, and has provided keynotes and generous support over the years.


Description:  The FranklinCovey organization is the global Leader in personal growth, team transformation and organizational change. 


Relationship:  Central Coast Lean is a local provider of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People training.  We are big believers that it takes effective people to make effective organizations.  CCL offers 7 Habits training to business, non-profit, and education organizations.  The 7 Habits Workshop is the kickoff for your Lean Leadership Workshop Series.  CCL has FranklinCovey certified trainers and is building a local 7 Habits community of practice.  A 7 Habits class is now offered for credit to Cal Poly students.     

Transitions-Mental Health Association

Description:  A non-profit organization serving San Luis Obispo and North Santa Barbara Counties, Transitions-Mental Health Association is dedicated to eliminating stigma and promoting recovery and wellness for people with mental illness through work, housing, community, and family support services.


Relationship:  Central Coast Lean first began working with Transitions Mental Health Association in the summer of 2020 as part of a three way partnership between TMHA, Cal Poly, and the Lean Enterprise Institute.  Paid by the James P Womack Scholarship & Philanthropy Fund, two Cal Poly interns worked on a project to demonstrate the benefits of implementing lean practices in a public service organization.  Since then, Central Coast Lean has "adopted" TMHA and provides free workshops and student project work in support of their mission “dedicated to eliminating stigma and promoting recovery and wellness for people with mental illness through work, housing, community, and family support services.”

Lean HE

Description: Lean HE aims to ensure that continuous improvement philosophies within Higher Education (HE) are themselves always improving.  The Lean HE Americas division gives university, college, and community college Lean practitioners in North and South America an opportunity to network and learn from others in the Lean-in-higher-education arena. This forum will give members opportunities to share best practices and emerging techniques that will support service improvement across their organization

Relationship: Eric Olsen, Director of Central Coast Lean, is also on the Steering Team for the Lean HE Americas group. CCL's efforts to teach lean to college students and build lean practice in local institutions of higher learning overlaps with Lean HE's mission to bring lean to universities and colleges. Appropriate Lean HE events appear in the CCL calendar page. Lean HE folks are invited to attend CCL events and often show up at virtual events like Lean Coffee.

Voltage Control 

Description:  Voltage Control is a change agency that helps leaders and teams thrive through change to fully unleash their potential. They specialize in interventions and training focused on facilitation, collaboration, psychological safety, and play for organizations experiencing uncertainty and change. From Fortune 100 companies to art startups, municipal service providers, and universities, Voltage Control has helped a spectrum of organizations embrace change and build resilient teams


Relationship:  Douglas Ferguson, President of Voltage Control, presented and facilitated at our Central coast Lean Summit 2022. He and Voltage Control are a highly recommended for facilitation and "organizational improvement thinking" on the Central Coast.

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