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The Park Avenue Solutions Blog

Leigh Ann Schildmeier

Leigh Ann Schildmeier specializes in implementing continuous improvement and risk mitigation strategies that help clients increase efficiency, improve quality and service, and increase profits. A frequent speaker and coach on process improvement topics, she is a certified Lean Practitioner and Six Sigma Black Belt with more than 20 years of experience across a range of industries, including healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. Leigh Ann is founder and president of Park Avenue Solutions, a process improvement consulting firm that works to empower excellence in businesses and teams.

Recent Posts

2 min read

3 Ways to Start Learning Kata Now

By Leigh Ann Schildmeier on Oct 8, 2020 1:51:49 PM

“Growth and comfort do not coexist.” ― Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM

This is an important point to understand in education in general and particularly on point for those of us training and coaching Toyota Kata.

Getting out of your comfort zone is an important step to growing new skills, including Scientific Thinking, PDCA, and the entire Improvement Kata methodology. Reaching the outer limits of what you know —your "knowledge threshold"—is by its very nature an uncomfortable place to be. But right there is the starting point for learning, improving, and growing. Are you ready?

Here are a three ways to get started learning and working with Kata: 

  • Check out my Toyota Kata workshop coming up on October 14 as part of the IISE Engineering Lean Six Sigma 2020 Conference + AI Symposium. This workshop will provide a good overview plus quick hands-on practice. It's a great jumpstart for skill-building tools that will advance your career & build your problem-solving chops. WEDNESDAY, OCT 14: Toyota Kata: People and Processes. Only at VIRTUAL #ELSS2020 + AI. CEUs available. Conference registration: https://link.iise.org/ELSS2020register
  • Visit www.doyoukata.com — This is our Kata overview and resource page (approved by Mike Rother, the guy who literally wrote the book(s) on it) for understanding the fundamentals of the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata, along with links to Starter Kata resources, including a Kata Storyboard template and other templates and materials. 

For reading all the way to the end, here's the bonus way to start learning about Kata: Call me. When you click that link you'll be able to schedule a call at a time that's convenient for you. You can ask questions, learn more about what's available for Kata training and coaching, or talk through whether Kata would be a good fit for your particular challenge, personal or professional (hint: it probably is). 

However you choose to get started, just get started! The skills you build with Starter Kata will serve you for a lifetime. 

 

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6 min read

Learning about #RootCauseRacism

By Leigh Ann Schildmeier on Aug 11, 2020 5:01:50 PM

UPDATED:  Additional #RootCauseRacism post links added. 

Although #COVID-19 may be the over-arching theme of 2020, #racism has been catapulted back into our collective awareness. With #BLM, protests, 24/7 news coverage, and numerous articles, books, documentaries, and discussions at the forefront right now, finding a logical, cohesive starting point for learning about systemic racism can seem impossible. We humbly suggest this one:  #RootCauseRacism

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2 min read

Production Boards & Peanut Brittle

By Leigh Ann Schildmeier on May 27, 2020 10:08:44 AM

During quarantine, we’ve all had to get back to basics with many things. At our house, that has included eating at home more, which, of course, means cooking more. We are both great cooks, but we rarely seem to have time to make our meals at home. So, while we have a repertoire of meals that we create from memory, this time is different, so, let's try some new things. Or, as it turned out, some old things.

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Tips & Tricks: Whiteboard vs Sharpie

By Leigh Ann Schildmeier on May 14, 2020 11:51:46 AM

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3 min read

Caught in a Fixed Mindset

By Leigh Ann Schildmeier on May 12, 2020 6:32:47 AM

I got caught with the fixed mindset. How about you?

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2 min read

Thanksgiving Standardized

By Leigh Ann Schildmeier on Nov 26, 2019 1:12:04 PM

Standardizing your processes can create repeatable and reproducible results. We know that standardizing can make you more efficient by reducing or eliminating non-value added activities. Why wouldn't we want to do that so that we can spend more time with her family? Isn't that what the holidays are all about?

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1 min read

Welcome to the PAS Blog

By Leigh Ann Schildmeier on Nov 26, 2019 9:07:25 AM

At Park Avenue Solutions, our mission is to Empower Excellence in people, processes, and organizations. Using the tools and methods of continuous improvement, such as Lean, Kata, Agile, Six Sigma, Quality, and Leadership Development, we work with organizations to  create happier employees, ecstatic clients, and superior results.

That's why our goal with this blog is to build a forum where people can read, use, and share information, ideas, and tools to help anyone working in, interested in, or tasked with improvement for their organization. Yes, that means anyone. Because at one level or another, improvement is part of everyone’s job description.

In the timeless words of one of the most famous coaches of all time, Vince Lombardi, "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.“ 

We look forward to chasing perfection with you!

 

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