Building and Sustaining a Culture of Quality

Concurrent Session

M22 - Building and Sustaining a Continuous Improvement Culture at a Global Company

Monday, April 30
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Location: WSCC Ballroom 6E

Level: Intermediate

Division: Automotive Division

Continuous improvement (CI) initiatives are often launched with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm, but then fizzle over time. We will share a success story of building and sustaining a culture of continuous improvement at a large multinational Fortune 10 company. We used innovative methods and proven solutions to build on the culture of improvement to drive breakthrough sustained results. The team recognized the "antibodies" to change and developed strategies to overcome. The team integrated various CI techniques such as lean, Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma, and Shainin Red X to accelerate and integrate continuous improvement in all functions globally—including finance, marketing, sales, engineering, and manufacturing. See how this team overcame challenges of implementing and sustaining continuous improvement in more than 20 countries. Results so far have been beyond initial leadership expectation of over $2 billion impact on the organization's bottom line, 1,500 projects completed, and 3,000 individuals trained in two years.

Learning Objectives:

Michael Hardie

6 Sigma Master Black Belt

Director of Operational Excellence
General Motors
Detroit, Michigan

Mike Hardie is responsible for Operational Excellence process strategy and delivery of high level closed projects benefiting the company. In this role, he brings experience from previous large scale Six Sigma rollouts at a major automotive company. Mike is passionate about continuous improvement and problem solving. He is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt.
He reports to Tony Francavilla, Vice President, Quality and Operational Excellence General Motors Company.
Previously, Mike Hardie was the Director of Quality and Customer Experience strategy. In that role, he brought his experience in Quality Management Systems and process improvement to the company on their goal to improve initial quality, long term durability, and product excellence to drive delighted customers.
Previously, Mike Hardie had been Director of Global Quality and Productivity Planning, Ford Motor Company responsible for developing the quality plan to drive quality processes and discipline throughout the design and production of Ford vehicles and to provide support to improve the Quality and Productivity of the processes that support vehicle production. He also held many other positions within the company.
Prior to Automotive, Mike was in the aerospace business, designing and developing aircraft simulation systems for military programs for Northrop. As well as a Captain in the US Air Force.
Hardie, a native of Salem, Oregon, holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon and a Masters in Engineering Management from University of Michigan.


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Kush K. Shah

Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Shainin Red X Master, ASQ Certified - SSBB, CMQ/OE, CQE, CQA, CBA

Senior Manager, Operational Excellence
General Motors Corporation
Oakland Township, Michigan

Kush Shah is globally recognized for his expertise, professionalism and outstanding contributions to the field of quality. He has a proven track record for solving tough quality problems. He has demonstrated his unwavering dedication in advancement of organizational excellence by introducing quality concepts for many organizations and individuals that resulted in a significant improvement in performance and customer experience.

Kush is currently a Senior Manager, Operational Excellence with responsibilities of coaching and training top leadership to front line employees in continuous improvement methodologies globally. Completed Operational Excellence projects have impact of over $120 million globally. He has held leadership positions in manufacturing, ME, R&D and quality functions. Kush has received the Chairman’s Honor Award, People Make Quality Happen Award, Quality Driver Award and GM Trade Secret Award.

He has served in many leadership positions at the ASQ including Director on the ASQ Board of Directors, the Chair of Automotive Division and the Chair of Detroit Section. He has received the Distinguished Service Award from Detroit Section along with the Koth Award and Jarvis Award from the Automotive Division for his leadership and contribution to these organizations. He also received the ASQ Testimonial Award for his outstanding leadership and distinguished service to the Society. Kush was recognized as an ASQ Fellow. He was selected to participate in the development of the first ASQ Certified 6 Sigma MBB exam.

Kush is a preeminent quality professional who has applied his expertise to advance innovative application of quality systems and methodologies to diverse audiences as a mentor, teacher and speaker. He has trained thousands of individuals at all levels of organizations across a variety of businesses globally. He has been speaker at many global conferences. His contribution to improve healthcare quality has been featured in the Detroit Free Press.


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Colin Gray



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M22 - Building and Sustaining a Continuous Improvement Culture at a Global Company


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