Daily Kaizen Comes to the King County Labor Summit

The opening panel of the 2015 King County Labor Summit, Empowering Employees to Better Serve the Public, featured five speakers describing Lean and King County’s Lean journey.

Held on June 15 at the Seattle Labor Temple, the Labor Summit was a special meeting of the Metropolitan King County Council, joined by King County Executive Dow Constantine and David Freiboth, Executive Secretary of the King County Labor Council.

The event was broadcast on KCTV and can be viewed at this link.

Lean Presentation at Labor SummitThe five speakers on Lean in King County (pictured above, right to left at the center table):

  • Denise Cobden, co-chair of the King County Coalition of Unions, discussed the memorandum of agreement regarding Lean that King County has with the King County Coalition of Labor Unions. The MoA creates an environment where employees are empowered without fear of reprisal in their jobs.
  • Jeremy Valenta, a Lean Specialist on the Continuous Improvement Team, talked about how true Respect for People means treating the people who do the work as the experts.
  • LaDene Thomas and Neil Dayley described how Daily Kaizen (link to another daily kaizen team in King County) has fostered improved communication and problem solving on their team, how they have developed and improved both as supervisor and team member (respectively), and how the service they provide has improved as a result. Both are on the Health Information Management team in Jail Health Services and are members of Professional and Technical Employees Local 17. Thomas is an Administrative Support Supervisor and Dayley is an Administrative Specialist.
  • Jim Chrisinger, Director of the Continuous Improvement Team in the Office of Performance, Strategy & Budget described the Lean successes the County has achieved so far, then noted that, in the long run, developing a culture of empowered, engaged employees will be the greatest and most impactful success of King County’s Lean journey.

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