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Continuous Improvement Leadership Program

Change your organization’s culture to one where everyone exudes innovation and high performance regardless of their job title.

Starts April 11, 2018 at Venture13, 739 D'Arcy Street, Cobourg


This comprehensive training program was developed by Fleming College, in consultation with the Northumberland Manufacturers' Association and their member manufacturers, and focuses on innovative thinking, continuous improvement skills and high-performance behaviors.

Inherent to the training is the development of skills that reduce interpersonal conflict, promote an acceptance of diverse viewpoints and promote an active participation in complex problem-solving. The curriculum focuses on developing leadership skills, project management, creative problem-solving and continuous improvement methods.

Consult with our Contract Training Managers

Contact us to find the best fit for your organization, get more information or to arrange for training.

Deborah Stanford
905/372-6865 ext. 5228

Participant Registration Form


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Program Format

The program will follow a modular format with each skill set being reinforced by the classroom content, personalized coaching from an experienced change expert and an in-depth applied project. The curriculum is delivered in half-day training sessions every two weeks for 17 sessions, culminating in the presentation of the applied project.

Pre- and post-program essential skills assessment

Pre-program entry assessments in Essential Skills for Employment and Education (ESEE) and Essential Skills for Ontario's Tradespeople (ESOT) will be administered through an online multiple-choice test. These tests focus on reading, document use and numeracy, which are foundational skills required to learn and improve other skills. A basic level of reading skill is required to complete the ESEE assessments. To measure skills gained, participants will complete these tests again at the end of the program.


Module 1: Leadership Applications (4 sessions)

Prior to the program, participants will complete a Character Strengths Self-Assessment, which focuses on their positive core characteristics. We will debrief the results in the first session to give insight into your personal strengths, your approach to situations as well as an awareness of the ways others approach the same situation or problem. This learning will help participants gain more confidence in the strengths they bring as well as increase their ability to value the strengths of others.

The remaining three sessions in this module will focus on the application of concepts learned throughout the program, projects check-in and mentoring/coaching. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss in detail what they are learning and how they are applying it to their own workplace situations. These sessions also assist participants with effective project management to keep the applied projects on track.

Module 2: Communication Fundamentals (2 sessions)

Poor communication can be a major cause of conflict and poor productivity. This module focuses on increasing interpersonal skills and effective communication to reduce workplace conflict, resulting in more positive and productive relationships as well as less time spent rehashing old issues. As communication skills are a core part of leadership, the development of these skills is also built into other modules, such as the applied project, high-performing teams, presentation skills and individual coaching sessions.

Module 3: Managing Change (1 session)

This module aims to develop a mindset of Continuous Improvement, supported by techniques and tools that are essential to implementing and supporting the change process. Participants will learn how to identify and respond to internal and external factors that will determine when and what types of change initiatives are required. We will focus on environmental scanning, identifying trends, implementing and measuring successful change, organizational readiness, risk assessment and the leadership role in implementing and sustaining positive change.

Module 4: Project Management (2 sessions)

In this module participants will learn the proven, practical methods of successful project management with a continuous improvement perspective. They will also will learn how the elements of project management are applied during each phase of a project’s life cycle and the implications of project management on leadership skills. These techniques will help establish priorities and effectively manage the various stages of the applied project ensuring a successful completion as well as a tangible portfolio outcome.

Module 5: Continuous Improvement/Lean (3 sessions)

For manufacturers to be successful change must be both intentional and continuous. Lean Six Sigma focuses on building critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are proven catalysts for creating strategic organizations. Participants will discover, how Lean tools build capacity in designing/leading effective change initiatives, promote creativity and spur innovation. A Lean mentality is a comprehensive approach to organizational change and continuous improvement. In this module, participants will gain the skills to recognize improvement opportunities as well as waste, initiate basic Lean assessments and implement practical basic Lean tools to for change and process/service improvements. We will also identify tools and techniques to increase customer focus and productivity and integrate sustainable business practices. Participants will learn to support their employers with the initial resources to apply Lean principles and tools.

Module 6: High Performing Teams (2 sessions)

This module explores the skills to foster successful teams in the workplace. Participants will learn the differences between a group and a team and the techniques for creating team charters, vision statements and team values. They will discover how to identify stages in team development and how to support members through the process. This module will also focus on how to improve problem solving and decision making at the team level, and how to be team players.

Module 7: Creative and Critical Thinking (2 sessions)

Building on material covered in previous modules, participants will learn techniques to help them think creatively and critically. These skills can help analyze information to respond to a wide variety in organizational, professional and personal situations. We will examine how creative thinking differs from critical thinking, and how these skills relate to our own role and the role of a leader. Participants will assess their own creative and critical thinking skills and develop strategies to improve these skills for themselves, an individual or a team. We will also explore the difference between thinking and knowing and the implication to business operations.

Module 8: Presentation Skills (1 session)

This module gives participants the tools they need to make powerful presentations that are well organized, concise, and believable. Participants will discover the essential elements that will help them be more relaxed, confident, and skilled in relating to their audiences. This module breaks down the process, from analyzing a situation before creating the content, defining the presentation objective to make it compelling and developing content using the Audience Questions Technique to creating powerful openings and provocative closings. We will also identify key elements for creating visuals to support the message. Participants will gain the skills to command respect, trust and credibility from their audience.

Module 9: Applied projects presentations and debrief

This culminating module give each participant the opportunity to present their applied project to their manager and colleagues at their place of business. This final program module gives participants a platform to reflect on the program learnings and tangible benefit to themselves and their businesses.

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