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Coaching for Improvement

Create a culture of continuous improvement, adaptation, and innovation

In an economy defined by new challenges and greater uncertainty, organizations capable of adaptation will be better positioned to succeed. This application-based workshop provides a systematic, scientific pattern to help individuals and teams develop the thinking skills required for continuous improvement. Learn the importance of deliberate practice in skill development, practice rapid Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycles, learn how to coach others, and develop a plan to deploy these techniques at your organization.

Key Information

Course Dates

Oct 18-28, 2021
Remote Delivery via Zoom

Registration closes 1 week before course start date.

GO BLUE Discounts

Time Commitment

4 total sessions over two weeks; 3 hours per session


Remote Delivery via Zoom

Continuing Education Units (CEU)


Course Overview

This workshop will be delivered in a remote live format:

  • 4 total sessions spaced out over a two-week period
  • Each session 3 hours in length

2021 Dates

  • Offering #3: October 18, 21, 25 & 28

In the spirit of deliberate practice, you will immediately apply what you learn throughout the workshop. By focusing on a work (or even home) process, you will use real-world experiences to practice the PDCA methodology and coaching. This application-based approach provides a richer learning experience and enables learners to develop or enhance existing skills for coaching, innovation, and improvement.


Day 1

Welcome, Introductions

Coaching and Why Coaching for Improvement 

The Socratic Method

  • Functional vs. Cognitive Skills

How We Play the Game (PDCA)

  • A Coaching Model – The Coaching Kata

  • The Basics of Coaching for Improvement

Let’s Begin to Practice

  • Homework: Identify a Focus Process, Create Storyboards, Grasp Current Conditions, Identify First Experiment
Day 2

Review Homework

  • Coaching Practice

How We Play the Game

  • A Deeper Look

More Practice

  • Homework: Conduct Next Experiement(s), Update Storyboards
Day 3

Review Homework

  • Coaching Practice

What to Look For

Know Your Learners

  • Types of Learners

What It Takes to Win

  • Make the Process and Thinking Visible
  • Practice, Practice, Practice

How Do We Know We Are Winning?

  • Keeping Score

Deployment Strategies

Homework: Develop Deployment Plans

Day 4

Review Deployment Plans

  • Receive Coaching on Plans

Practice, Practice, Practice

  • A3s, Idea Cards, PDCA Form, A3

More Than Getting Things Done

Coaching Lessons Learned

Wrap Up

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the importance of deliberate and repetitive practice in skill development
  • Practice rapid PDCA cycles
  • Learn how to coach others
  • Effective deployment strategies

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)

This workshop will review W.E. Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) as a model for deliberate practice. Variations of it exist in the  improvement methodologies that some organizations have been practicing for many years. It provides a systematic, scientific pattern for individuals and teams to follow so that they may effectively and efficiently develop the thinking skills required to meet goals and challenges.


Identify your problem


Test possible solutions


Analyze the results


Implement the best solution


In addition to deliberate PDCA practice, you will learn a coaching model that has proven effective at developing critical thinking skills in others. Effective coaching provides learners with the support they need throughout their personal development journey. The model — which helps leaders teach process improvement to their work teams — is a critical success factor in developing a culture of continuous improvement.

instructional team

Drew Locher
Drew Locher
Lean Specialist and Instructor, Nexus, College of Engineering
President, Change Management Associates

Drew first became involved in the development and delivery of innovative Business Improvement programs while working for General Electric in the 1980s. Since leaving GE in 1990 and forming Change Management Associates, he has provided Operational Excellence consulting and organizational development services to industrial and service organizations representing a wide variety of industries including: Healthcare, Transportation, Distribution, Education, Financial Services and Manufacturing. Read full bio


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From the Author:
Mike Rother, author of Toyota Kata Practice Guide

"This course is not about Lean solutions to problems, but about the road to developing your own solutions, again and again! It is a management system that coaches people for continuous improvement and achieving ambitious goals in all aspects of an organization." 

More About Mike Rother

A copy of the Practice Guide will be provided to each participant.

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“[Drew Locher] has deep experience and knowledge of the subject, combined with a very engaging, friendly, and inclusive personality.”

- Remote Learning Participant