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2020 Lean and Six Sigma Conference

February 23 – 25, 2020  |  Phoenix, AZ   

APPLYING Lean and six sigma for organizational excellence


Building off the success of the 2019 conference, in 2020 we focus on identifying ways to put those ideas and learning into action at all levels. Quality professionals are uniquely positioned to lead and help their organizations achieve business process excellence through insightful, high-level learning and idea sharing during this conference. Participants will leave with the ability to identify areas of focus within their organization for maximum financial impact.

Focus Areas

Embracing Change

Today’s ever-changing landscape of disruption and transformation requires organizations to continually evaluate and challenge past practices to optimize excellence and growth. Sessions in this area of focus cover topics such as:

  • Change Management
  • People and Processes: The Human Side of Quality
  • Risk Management

Best of Lean and Six Sigma in the Digital Age

The fundamentals of quality have not changed, but the settings in which they are applied have. Current and future digital advances offer opportunities to enhance the application of quality principles, tools, and techniques throughout an organization. To help attendees identify opportunities in their own organizations, sessions in this focus area will cover:

  • Quality Basics in Today’s World
  • Practical Application
  • Sustaining Results

Integrating LSS Principles, Tools, and Techniques in Quality 4.0

Rapid-fire innovation is changing how organizations gather, analyze, and use data. The opportunity to apply lean and Six Sigma principles, tools, and techniques to these changing conditions is often overlooked by organizations that traditionally seek solutions from the IT team. This area of focus explores the potential for lean and Six Sigma to address challenges and opportunities brought on by disruptive technologies such as:

  • Big Data
  • Data Analytics
  • Cyber Security
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Agile

Delivering On What’s Next

Yes, we understand the need. Yes, we’re excited about our tools. Now what? How do we identify which strategies are truly aligned with the organization's mission of excellence, and how do we implement them? How do we effectively advocate for leadership support? This advanced area of focus offers conference participants sophisticated insight into what’s next for lean and Six Sigma, and how these concepts can create immediate impact. Topics include:

  • Strategic Alignment
  • Cutting Edge Tools
  • ROI and Trends
  • Future of Quality 

Gregory H. Watson, Ph.D.

ASQ Fellow and Past Chair
The Art of Leading Change in the Age of Quality 4.0

Organizational excellence does not just happen; it must be created, cajoled, nurtured, and managed into existence. While statistics can formulate options and lean methods can aid in efficiency creation, it takes an artist’s hand to design an innovative, multi-tiered structure of cross-organizational and multi-generational plans for effective change management. What’s more, the Age of Quality 4.0 will feature vast amounts of information that will deeply influence strategic decisions, ensuring that the role of senior quality professionals will include steering the executive team toward comprehensive, data-based strategies that deliver the desired future state. Are you ready to take on this quality role? Learn how to manage your personal transformation with creativity and innovation and adapt to the Age of Quality 4.0.

A survey of quality professionals published in the January 2000 edition of Quality Progress Magazine voted Greg Watson "one of the 21 voices of Quality for the 21st Century". He has been active in industrial and systems engineering for over 40 years with a special concentration in quality management, reliability engineering, and industrial applications of statistics. He is a past chair of the American Society for Quality and president of the International Academy for Quality and has been elected a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, Institute for Industrial and Systems Engineers, Royal Statistical Society, and the International Statistics Institute.

Watson is the first non-Japanese individual to receive the W. Edwards Deming medal from the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers. He is also a recipient of the highest-level awards of the American Productivity & Quality Center, American Society for Quality, the European Organization for Quality, and the Asia-Pacific Quality Organization. Watson has been elected an honorary member of the national quality organizations in 15 countries.

Watson is a pioneer in Six Sigma through his early work in the 1990s as director of corporate quality at Compaq. He earned his MBB from Mikel Harry in 1998 while acting as executive deployment champion at Nokia Mobile Phones. While ASQ chair, he was the initiator of the ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt certification and member of the team that developed the ASQ Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification. Watson initiated establishment of the ISO Technical Committee on Statistical Matters (TC-69) Six Sigma Sub-Committee (SC-7).

Stuart MacDonald

The Unintentional Magician
More than Magic: Fooling Penn & Teller with Lean Principles and Continuous Improvement

Award-winning illusionist Stuart MacDonald treats the audience to a performance that fooled Penn and Teller, then delivers an in-depth presentation of how he applied Lean processes to improve the act 100% in 30 days, helping him win the most awards in Olympics of Magic competition history. Learn how this process can be applied to organizations looking to increase adoption rates, improve efficiency, and fully embrace Lean and continual improvement practices. 

Stuart MacDonald made the decision to go pro in the 3rd grade. He put himself through college as a performer and became one of the top touring magic acts in the college market. He has performed at over 1,000 college campuses, hundreds of corporate events, and as a cruise ship headliner.

Ten years into touring, MacDonald decided that he wanted to take some time off to create an experience that no one had ever seen before. He collaborated with other magicians, directors, and designers, including Tony-nominated Tobin Ost, to help develop a magic show like no other. MacDonald decided to compete in the Internationals of Magic in 2017, proving to the world he had something new by sweeping the competition and claiming all 5 top awards, including the rarely awarded Silver Medal of Merit and the People's Choice Winner (by a landslide). From there he went on to TV and Fooled Penn and Teller on their hit TV show FOOL US. Following that performance MacDonald performed at the Winter Garden Theater in Blackpool, the World Championships of Magic, and TED Talks, making him one of the hottest acts in magic across the globe.

Kaplan Mobray

Founder, The Kaplan Mobray Leadership Institute
Achieving Organizational Excellence with Passion and Creativity

Innovative thinking generates inspiration, leading to real results. But knowing why and how to innovate isn’t always instinctive, and unconventional approaches aren’t always embraced. This presentation shines a light on the techniques, strategies, and skills you can apply to foster innovation in your organization. Learn how to become a creative thought starter who adds value, impacts leadership, and contributes to the drive toward enterprise-wide excellence. 

Kaplan Mobray is one of the world’s most dynamic and inspirational business speakers and award-winning author of “The 10Ks of Personal Branding.” 

Wharton-educated, Kaplan draws from over 15 years of corporate experience as a successful business executive where he led corporate marketing, advertising, and brand development initiatives for Fortune 500 companies. Kaplan has received worldwide acclaim and numerous awards for his leadership and branding insights. He has been featured on CNN, FOX, Businessweek, The Wall Street Journal, Ad Age, and shares his message to NFL players and fans annually at the Super Bowl. Prior to his speaking career Mobray served as U.S. Diversity Programs Leader at Deloitte.

Through his latest venture, Mobray is revolutionizing high performance online learning with his virtual interactive Kaplan Mobray Leadership Institute. He continues to serve as a consultant to Fortune 500 companies and a brand coach to professional athletes. All his innovative presentations have been described as life-changing events. 

In his personal pursuits, Mobray is a professional saxophone player. He resides in West Nyack, NY and is active in civic and charitable organizations.

Gregory Offner

Speaker, Coach and Facilitator
Striking the Right Chord: Finding Balance in Everyday Disruption

Since the beginning of time, it has been the simplest disruptions that have caused the most impactful results. Fire started with a spark. America started with a boat ride. And MC Hammer started with Rick James. So how can quality professionals unearth those hard-to-find catalysts that bring innovation to an organization? This keynote explores the quality’s essential role in creating individual and enterprise-wide excellence, and helps organizations find true harmony in disruption.

Greg Offner has been a disrupter before it was cool. In fact, many of his teachers foresaw this career for him, consistently stating on his report card that “Greg is a disruption”—clearly, they got the suffix wrong. Offner mixes humor and stage presence taken from a lifetime in music and entertainment with the executive acumen and business savvy gained from a 16-year career in sales and consulting

Today, Offner utilizes his favorite skills (persuading and entertaining) to convey the value of micro-disruption and constant, never-ending self-improvement to audiences around the globe.

2020 Conference Materials


Conference Location

Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs

11111 N. Seventh St.
Phoenix, AZ 85020