Take a Walk to Change Your Leadership Style

Date and Time: Wednesday, 8 March, 8.55am - 9.45am



While it’s comforting to blame others, change actually starts with you. Do you wish to become a more effective leader? Most leaders say, “People are our most important asset!” but day-to-day actions suggest they don¹t really believe it. Elite organizations (those few highly effective at improving) have one key difference from the rest. They significantly elevate the performance of average performers. It is a different way of operating than the norm.

Gemba walks provide an opportunity of discovery for walkers to change the way they lead as they learn. The end result is a leader more in touch with reality, with a higher degree of humility and a leader who more effectively coaches team members to elevate the effectiveness of performance improvement activities.



Michael Bremer, President of the Cumberland Group, Book Author & 2016 Shingo Prize Winner (USA)

Shingo Research Award Recipient 2016 “How to Do a Gemba Walk”

Author of “Escape the Improvement Trap” and several other books, President of several start-ups, Vice President AME’s Excellence Awards Council (volunteer), President of the Cumberland Group and Exec. Director of the Chicagoland Lean Enterprise Consortium Group. Former Chief Financial Officer for AME. Michael teaches a class on innovative work practices for the University of Chicago’s Graham School “Better Ways to Work - Innovative Tools for Organizational Excellence.”

Michael’s passion is to help people discover more effective ways to improve and to inspire more leaders to effectively elevate the performance of average performers.Michael Bremer initially learned about the world of business performance improvement as a very young man in the 1980s when he was given responsibility for creating a company-wide improvement effort for a Fortune 30 company, Beatrice Foods. He spent time with Dr. W. Edwards Deming (process thinking), Dr. Joseph M. Juran (employee engagement, focus on the vital few) and Phil Crosby (quality is free, cost of quality). The Beatrice improvement initiative (Strive for Excellence) was one of the improvement models looked at when the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Criteria was originally developed. Michael was also privileged to be mentored by several senior executives from other Fortune 100 companies who had significantly more experience in the world of business performance improvement.

Currently Michael is President of the Cumberland Group – Chicago; V.P. of Manufacturing Excellence Awards for the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME - volunteer); Co-Managing Director of the Chicagoland Lean Enterprise Consortium Group; and Instructor for the University of Chicago’s Graham School on process innovation. He holds a B.S. in Business from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. He is keynote speaker at business conferences and is co-author of four books: Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook (McGraw-Hill, 2004), Six Sigma Financial Tracking and Reporting (McGraw-Hill, 2005), and Escape the Improvement Trap (CRC Productivity Press, 2011), and the Shingo Award Winner, How to Do a Gemba Walk (CRC Productivity Press, 2014)

Michael is an executive with broad domestic and international industry experience in business process redesign, Six-Sigma, Kaizen/Lean methods, post-ERP business process performance improvement (financial and operational), project team development, lean accounting, and continuous improvement.

He has worked in a variety of environments including: high- and low-tech manufacturing, electric utilities, USAF, USN, software, newspaper publishing, and non-profits. Clients include: Motorola, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Hallmark Cards, 3COM, American Electric Power, The Houston Chronicle, Hamilton Sundstrand, Verizon, AT&T, Flextronics, Elkay Manufacturing, Department of Financial Services (DFAS), Veterans Administration, NAVAIR, and a variety of Air Force and Navy weapons acquisition-related teams.

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