Free Recording of Introduction to Lean Government Webinar #PM130

Click here to view a free one-hour introduction to the Lean Government webinar series with Steve Elliott and Pat Wagner:

Who it’s for: Managers, supervisors, and employees interested in change in government agencies as well as businesses and nonprofits.

What you’ll take away: How to reduce waste, save money and time, and improve customer satisfaction.

Steve head shot square 400 x 400About your presenter: Steve Elliott, president of Constant Improvement Consulting, Inc. based in Longmont, CO, has decades of experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors as a manager, business owner, trainer, and consultant. He was instrumental in the creation and adoption of Colorado House Bill 11-1212, which officially made Colorado a Lean Government.

Webinar description:

This webinar and the webinar series is a joint project of Constant Improvement Consulting, Inc., and Siera: Learn. Teach. Inspire.™ Registration for the rest of the series will open August 5th. Let us know if you would like to be notified: Pat Wagner at

Most people (we know who we are) who work in smaller organizations – local government agencies, community nonprofits, and small businesses – watch the bottom line and provide great customer service.

However, we develop blind spots. Procedures, once efficient, are slowly choked with red tape. Processes, which worked fine when we had more staff to serve fewer people, fail under the pressure of expanding demands and shrinking resources. Our workplace cultures become reactive, A.K.A. “whack-a-mole,” and responsive customer service is replaced by a culture of expediency.

The Lean Government movement is based on a practical set of principles, organized around eliminating waste, saving money, improving the quality of products and services, and making customers happy. Steve Elliott, president of Constant Improvement Consulting, Inc., will guide you through those principles in a 10-part webinar series over the next few months.

The introductory webinar is available for free and will show you how you can immediately use these ideas in your workplace. Although the focus is local government, the principles apply to any type or size workplace. Also, leaders, managers, supervisors, and frontline (and back room) staff can master them. The goals? Reduce costs, improve productivity, and please your customers with better response time and a client-centered approach to delivering goods and services.

Contact for prices and payment options related to the paid programs below:

  • Tuesday, July 9, 2013: Free Introduction to Lean Government (PM 130)
  • Tuesday, Sept 10, 2013: Define Customer Value (PM 131)
  • Tuesday, Oct 8, 2013: Muda Eyes: Learn to See Waste (PM 132)
  • Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013: Lean Leadership: The Long Game (PM 133)
  • Tuesday, Dec 3, 2013: Cultivate Change Agents in Your Organization (PM 134)
  • Tuesday, Jan 7, 2014: Embrace Resistance: Turn Cynics into Supporters (PM 135)
  • Tuesday, February 4, 2014: The Lean Toolbox (PM 136)
  • Tuesday, March 4, 2014: Value Stream Mapping: Weed Out the Waste (PM 137)
  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014: Overnight Success in One Week: The Team Approach (PM 138)
  • Tuesday, April 29, 2014: The Totally Lean Organization (PM 139)

Mistakes Only Experienced Instructional Designers Make

I will be attending InstructureCon 2013 this week in Park City, Utah. Besides immersing myself in the world of Canvas with Tim Sullard and Bronwen Abbattista, I will be presenting a program on the pitfalls of being an experienced instructional designer; what happens when success makes one a tad smug and indifferent. – Pat Wagner

Photo Credit: This work is in the public domain.http://commons.wikimedia. org/wiki/File:Albert_Einstein_Head.jpgMistakes Only Experienced Instructional Designers Make

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013, 3:15 pm- 3:45 pm Kokopelli 3 (Higher Ed track)

Have you have been designing online courses for more than five years – a generation in ID dog-years? Along with the wisdom that comes from experience you might have also acquired some bad habits. Learn to identify typical blind spots that even experienced designers develop, from relying heavily on favorite templates to refusing to adopt new technologies that challenge your status as head ID geek. Topics include isolating yourself from student feedback, falling in love with the first theory you mastered, and not understanding the demands working adults face while taking online courses.

Photo Credit: This work is in the public domain.http://commons.wikimedia. org/wiki/File:Albert_Einstein_Head.jpg

American Library Association 2013 Annual Conference participation

Hope to see my library, school, and higher ed friends at the American Library Association annual conference in Chicago in two weeks. Here is the schedule for the panels and training showcase at which I will be presenting, with short descriptions of my contributions to the panels.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – LearnRT panel; Saturday, June 29th from 4:30pm to 5:30pm in McCormick Place Convention Center, S102a

The Best-Laid Plans: Mistakes Experienced Trainers and Staff Development Managers Make

A dedication to helping others brings responsibility. It is easy for even the best trainers to develop blind spots, especially if they develop routines that rarely are questioned or evaluated. In olden days, stale teachers would mimeograph the same curricula over decades. Today, longtime trainers and educators are at risk at falling in love with one model of education or one set of tools and resting on past successes. In my experience, it can help both new and experienced staff development specialists to reflect on what it takes to stay open and aware.

Learning Round Table Training Showcase (LearnRT), Sunday, June 30th from 1:30 to 3:30pm in McCormick Place Convention Center Hall A, Meeting Room D

Showcase of trainers and vendors, highlighting programs and products for staff training, staff development, library continuing education, and professional development.

Best Practices in Training – LearnRT panel; Monday, July 1st from 10:30am to 11:30am in McCormick Place Convention Center, S102bc

Fresh Eyes: Evaluating Training Programs

We can forget that most workplace learning happens outside of the classroom – and the training department. What questions should be asked to improve the effectiveness of staff development programs? And which sacred cows need to be put out to pasture?

What Libraries Need To Know To Help Local Businesses Succeed

We have worked for libraries since 1978 and for business start-ups longer. Although we applaud the work public libraries are doing to support business success, we have noticed an interesting disconnect. Most of our friends who work in libraries have never started or run a successful business. It is one thing to watch a relative or friend spend long hours from idea to new business and on to success or failure, but watching is different from doing it yourself. And it also makes a difference if you have been involved hands-on with different business models and in different fields and not just one enterprise.

What Libraries Need To Know To Help Local Businesses Succeed

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 from 10:30 am to 11:30 am Eastern Time (USA)

Fee:  $49.00. Receive a discount of $20.00 when you use the discount code SAVE20.

Photo Credit: The Library of Congress 1939. No known copyright descriptions. This is an adaptation of the original work. help people start and grow neighborhood businesses with programs on government licensing and funding, as well as workshops on research. But how many people on your staff have ever run a successful business? How can you help the self-employed professional or artisan who won’t qualify for a bank loan? What about the unemployed dreamer who needs a reality check about what it takes to open a restaurant or make money from an invention? Who in your community can offer advice that applies to current business models? Can you offer business-support services that will create new jobs in your community?

Participants will learn how to:

– Better see, hear, and understand the challenges to small business success; it is not just about filling out forms.

– Identify and target the different kinds of businesses, business models, and business owners:

– Build a team of local business owners to provide advice on relevant programming,
funding, marketing, and personnel issues.

New Library Series with PCIWebinars

I am very pleased that Andrew Sanderbeck asked me to participate in his library webinar series this spring. He has generously offered a significant discount. If you use the code SAVE20 when you enroll, you can save $20 off the $49 enrollment fee.

The first webinar is April 9th: Your Library Friends’ Group Success: Build Teams That Keep Their Eyes on The Prize

Here are the links to the next two webinars:

Hope to see you online.

Seats Available for Live FL Everyday Library Ethics Class March 14, 2013

I understand some seats are still available. If you live near Tallahassee, will be at FAMU library.

Ethics is one of my favorite topics to share with live or online audiences. It is about asking questions, understanding different points of view, becoming well-versed in a variety of topics, and always remembering that you might be wrong, and they might be right. My experience has been that people who think in terms of black-and-white often have trouble with sometimes ambiguous and complex ethical challenges.

Although there are many flavors of ethics and ethical theories, I stick to a pretty vanilla party line: I currently (notice I am hedging here) prefer a standard description that ethics is “the study of morality and right and wrong”. Sounds simple to some, but when good people have conflicting ethical principles, and those principles collide in a workplace where decisions have to be made on the clock (and in front of a surly group of taxpayers) – and you might have no laws to fall back on for guidance – simple it ain’t.

Ethical practices – and particularly the paths by which those ethical decisions are made – can earn us trust and respect, even from our opponents. And, an ethical life earns you a good night’s sleep. You can live with your decisions, and the cliché is true: You can look at yourself in the mirror without flinching.

In 2010, the Kansas State Library created a year-long program on ethics in libraries. I was very flattered to be invited to participate. The videos and materials are posted at:

We have several program topics related to practical ethics in workplaces.

What are your favorite resources?